First, Hot Potato! Here are the new and updated standings:
Carrie friggin' Murphey may have dropped from Pick Six, but she is determined to stay front and center in SCSD! Her pick of 20 for Kyle Singler was right on the nose, making her the first player to ever nail two straight picks. She's got a nice lead on Jill, another Pick Six exile, and an even bigger lead on the rest of the field. I may be speaking out of turn here, but this is especially crazy because I believe Carrie has never watched a Duke basketball game in its entirety. WHERE IS YOUR PRIDE, DUKE NATION?
Awesome Friday joke: Personally, my picks have been so bad that I'm ready to call this a...potato famine.
We play UVA tomorrow at 2pm. I'll probably be posting a little pre-game look at the teams, but it's smart so here's the Hot Potato for that game:
Make your picks before Saturday at 2pm. For one bonus point, tell me your fondest or least fond Duke memory in the comments. Whatever strikes you. Yes, I'm serious. Doesn't have to be long.
(In case anyone is curious, Hot Potato is a simple game where people pick the points scored by a given player chosen by me before a Duke game. The difference between their pick and the actual points scored is their total for the day. Low score is better. If anyone misses a game, they get the average score of that game plus 3. If anyone hits the nail on the head, they get a -3 bonus. People can join at any time since we use an average rather than a total and adjust for new players.)
Second, I was at the UNC-Virginia Tech game last night. A couple buddies had free tickets from their office, so I decided to head on over and see what I could scare up in terms of cheap tickets. Turns out, it's a huge buyer's market outside the Dean Dome. I stupidly paid $14 for the first one I found, but I could have easily nabbed one for $5. There were three main highlights for me:
1) My friend Josh. He's a Maryland fan and grad, which is fairly horrible, but he was in fine fettle lat night. He decided to pick on Harrison Barnes early, and the storm of invective was hilarious. If possible, imagine in your head these outbursts coming from a person who's purposefully trying to sound half-crazed. Here's a quick compilation of things he yelled during the first half in a sea of powder blue:
-"He shouldn't be on the court! His shoes should not touch the hardwood!"
-Why is Harrison Barnes so BAD?! He's so BAD!
-He's an embarrassment!
-The emperor has no clothes! The emperor has no clothes!
He cooled down a little when an older genteel woman in front of him took him to task for swearing. "I'm just offended by that language," she said, before taking out a giant white handkerchief and fainting.
2) Malcolm Delaney. He hit seven threes and kept silencing the UNC fans. He's good at basketball, I don't care what you say.
3) Harrison Barnes. He had a pretty terrible first half, but he actually stepped up and scored 8 points in the last 2 minutest to lead UNC to a tough win. I saw North Korean dictator Kim-Jong Il after the game, and he was as happy as a clam. The following admission is going to make me look like a very bad Duke fan, but during the game I started feeling a little pity for Barnes. When he hit a big three at the end, I actually turned to my friend Andrew and gave him a double high five.
I'm so ashamed.
Seriously, though, Barnes acted like such a punk that it would be shame if he wasn't at least a little good. It's been fun making sport of his poor play, but that fun won't last; I want him to be at least kind of good so there's a legitimate rivalry. The recent era of Duke-UNC basketball has been kind of boring; one team has been dominant. I'm ready for some battles.
Thirdly, I'm the captain of a co-ed intramural basketball team at school. I made the unilateral decision to try to think of the lamest team name possible. I wanted every other team at the school to think they were about to play a bunch of total dorks when we came up on their schedule. I tossed a few ideas around, but it came down to one incredibly horrible name: Dr. Hoopenstein, MD. Pretty lame, right?
Fourthly, the guy's team I'm playing on is called the Carolina Cougars in honor of an old ABA franchise that used to play in Charlotte and Greensboro. Did you know that the San Antonio Spurs are the only team from the old ABA to ever win an NBA title? INTERESTING, RIGHT?! (There were four who ended up merging: Pacers, Spurs, Nets, Nuggets.)
Fifthly, my New York pal Noah wrote me an e-mail yesterday with this subject line:
Can we please talk about how Nolan Smith looks like Dobby the house elf from Harry Potter?
A few months ago, my ole Duke compatriot Marion came up with the wildly popular Ryan Kelly-Neville Longbottom comparison, and now it looks like we might be able to make an entire Harry Potter team. But time for a confession: I've read none of the books, and only saw the first movie which I now can't remember. If anyone can come up with Harry Potter look-alikes for the main players, though, I have a feeling it would be quite appreciated.
Okay, enough foreplay. You know what the clock says...
VOLUME THREE, WEEK TWO
The Friday Pick Six is an original SCSD! game where six people make six predictions for six weeks. Along with their picks, they're allowed and encouraged to submit a 'sound-off' on any topic, sports or otherwise. When it's all done, the winner earns great honor among the people, while the two losers are exiled in shame and the three middle finishers go to purgatory, with the chance rescue their good name up to three times. To learn more about the rules, and about the current contestants, read below:
-Volume Two champion and intros to the new class
THE HALL OF ANGELS: OLD CHAMPIONS
Speaking of old champions, the trophy has been shipped from Tom to Mike. The latter, inspired by reading the story (halfway down) of how Tom (my stepdad) and my mother were flabbergasted at the exotic prospect of a sushi dinner, decided to take the trophy out for a sushi dinner of its own:
Excellent sushi, a cute girl who believes in peace, and an indian trophy: this is what life becomes when you win Pick Six. Shudder in envy, you others.
Here are the current standings after Week One:
1. Dylan & Patrick: 4
1. Marc: 4
3. Swetha & Sabreena: 3
3. Monty: 3
5. Spike: 2
5. Nick E. 2
Ole Jimson, the loony pal who I called a prick for no reason in yesterday's post and who came up with the awesome "Moody Blues" name that I adapted for the extreme sect of really good Duke fans, is back with the docket. And for the record, Jim can do every fucking accent on the face of the planet. He's truly amazing, it provides hours of entertainment. At some point I need to record his Vlade Divac impression and post an audio file here. Okay, so...only #6 is mine. Take it away, Jimbo Jones:
Alright, let me say the last week was full an emotional sports roller-coaster. I was sad for Oregon, happy for the Jets, totally blind-sided by the Seahawks, and a little disappointed that Les Miles continues to win in spite of himself. RIP NCAA Football 2010-2011 season. I miss you already.
That being said, we can finally focus on some great NCAA B-ball matchups as well as be excited for some awesome NFL playoff games.
1. Man, I hate when the Jets start talking trash about Brady, because he usually gets pissed and rips the CBs a new one (see regular season ass-whuppin'). Can they pull out another win or are they doomed to be trounced by the Brady Blitzkrieg again?
2. I thought I had seen the most embarrassing thing on TV, but Seattle's beating of the Saints left poor Drew Brees pretty red-faced. Can the Hawks pick up another win against convicted retard Jay Cutler?
3. Double Down! Yale has the #1 men's hockey team in all of NCAA land. They have a double header both at home and at Brown this weekend (Rhode Island is neither a road, nor an island. Discuss.) What do you think? Bulldog domination? Split? Double upset? Yale has only lost one game all season but the Bears might have the right matchup to put these prettyboys in their place.
4. Lets switch to the roundball. My favorite coach named Jim is leading his Oragemen through another great season. Cincy had a great record, until they started playing schools whose name does not end in "For the Deaf and Blind." A win here would sure help out Cincy in the strength of schedule department...
5. Last one, Big 10 matchup. Not sure if you saw it but Michigan State pulled away from Wisconsin the other night. Now the Badgers face a tough Illinois team. Can they pick up the victory?
6. Virginia's coming to town to take on the Dukies. How many foul shots will Kyle Singler take, and how many will he convert? Points at stake for each category.
We begin with our leaders, the father and son squad dead set on bringing Pick Six to its knees:
Loyal Pick Six readers will know that my dad and I are working on the Pick Six together. We're kind of like Swetha & Sabreena, except we won't find ourselves in purgatory. Now, I must tell you, my dad is a good man. He is extremely smart, writes a blog, hosts a podcast, and is looking forward to a peaceful retirement. With that being said, sometimes he worries me. This is one of those times.
You see, I had a busy week, working and doing some winter break stuff for school and noticed I hadn't heard from my dad for a few days. Then I got a voicemail from him, but he sounded a bit dazed and couldn't get all the words out. I figured I would stop by to check on him. No one answered the door when I knocked so I let myself in and I heard some muffled sounds coming from the computer room. It was dark and I saw my dad hunched over the keyboard, staring at the computer screen. He was muttering something and watching a duck scroll across the screen. I listened to him closely and he was repeating the words "Seth sent me a duck, a scrolling duck. I love ducks, I love Seth" over and over again. I helped him away from the computer desk, sat him in his comfy chair and we had the following conversation:
CB: Dad, you ok?
D: Yea, I'm good I just got caught up watching that duck. I really like ducks and Seth sent me one.
CB: Dad, its Shane. How long were you watching it?
D: I don't know, what day is it?
CB: Dad, it's Tuesday.
D: Aw shit, did I miss work again? I think I first saw it Sunday, early morning. So I guess it was about 60 hours. I'm a bit hungry, I think I'll make a sandwich. Want one?
CB: WHAT!? YOU WERE WATCHING FOR 3 DAYS!?
D: Well, I was just waiting for it to go away. and it just... didn't! It just kept coming by! This one time, I thought that it stopped, but then I saw it again. The duck tricked me!
CB: I, I don't know what to say. I don't think your'e okay right now.
D: HAH! I'm just fucking with you! Man I've had this damn page bookmarked for three days waiting for you to stop by. Hey, I see we finished out of the money in the bowl pool. Could have used those 17 points you cost us.
CB: What!? What?! What the fuck man! No wonder I don't come over you're always pulling this shit on me!
D: So anyway, Did you see the first week results for the Seth Pick Six! I got us tied for first. Damn, if only Archie Manning wasn't quarterbacking the Colts, we could have been in first. You like that Vick guy too, don't you? That game was quite a dogfight huh?! Get it? Dogfight?
CB: Hah, yeah dad, I get it.
I eventually settled him down, and we got to making our picks. By the way, I made a Shane flash card. I think by next week Dad will know the name of the guy who writes the blog he reads every day. No ducks this time, but a shout-out to my favorite machine, the train.
1. It is about time that someone, ANYONE, shuts the Jets mouth. They have been crowing for like two years like they have won anything and when they lose this game, they will simply look like a bunch of whiny underachievers. Please keep the crowing for when you win something OK! Jets go down in a heap!
2. Even though Jay Cutler has the potential to throw 17 interceptions in any one game, I don’t expect as much passing as usual in cold, cold Chicago. Seattle overachieved in the first game because New Orleans unexpectedly looked past them and was surprised. This will not happen again. Seattle will be pounded into the frozen turf in Chicago. Go get some latte Seahawks!
3. You know, when your number one, you must be knocked off the pedestal and I just don’t see Brown being the one to do it. They can’t even keep up with FedEx, never mind the Yale forwards. Sorry Brown, you go down twice to the Yalies!
4. We like Jim Beoheim, but seriously, when was the last time the Orangemen won a big basketball game – back when Melo was orange? Then again Cincy hasn’t won a big game in …FOREVA! So, we go with the Orange to make Cincy black and blue!
5. Wisconsin is perfect at home this year, Illinois has already lost on the road. The game is in Madison, need we say more? Wisconsin wins a close one!
6. Boy, until FSU stormed the Dukies this one was looking like a no-brainer but now the doubt creeps in. Will this be a good game for the Singler or will he disappear like the governor of New Jersey in a snowstorm. Will Singler shoot the lights out or be blinded by the lights of anticipated stardom. Well? WELL??? We think he gets talked to by Coach K and responds with a big night and going 5/6 from the free throw line.
Well here we are, Duke has lost, life is over. Russia has launched all their nukes and America has responded in kind. It was a good life while it lasted. If we lived in the world of commercials we'd all be drinking Bud Light and saying stupid things. The game was disappointing. Shane has already said what we all felt when Duke lost, so no need to relive that night.
The first week of pick six was an unmitigated disaster for me. When Texas and the Colts lost at the last second I felt crushed. However, Auburn won at the last second so that helped boost my self-esteem. That game also won me a free crepe. Thanks Cam Newton. You may cheat, and you may have a douchebag smile, but you pulled through when I needed you (I was asleep for the entire second half except for the last field goal so I don't actually know what happened).
Let's get on to this week's Pick Six! I do have one piece of advice for you guys though. Don't go surfing in 43 degree water when it's 32 degrees outside with an awful wind accompanying it. Your feet and face will be numb for an hour afterwards. You'll stand around in the parking lot trying to get your frozen hands to work your car key so you can escape into a warm safe haven. Stay away from the ocean in the winter, it's only for a few choice idiots.
1. The Jets, the douchebag Jets. I watched the end of the Colts-Jets game at a small little bar. A bald, drunken jets fan did the stupid J-E-T-S chant and that only cemented my hatred for the Jets even more. Brady will have no mercy on the Jets. This will be a complete and utter smashing. The Patriots will murder the Jets so I never have to hear that awful chant again.
2. I, like every other person in the universe just knew the Saints were going to crush the Seahawks. We all stared at our TV's in shock as Marshawn Lynch devastated the Saints with one of the most impressive runs I've ever seen.
The Seahawks won't do it again. I feel that this will be another game of domination. The Bears will tear them apart.
3. Hockey, I don't even know what hockey is. I treat hockey like ESPN treats hockey. It's in my mind when I see it in the top 10 and that's it. I vaguely pay attention when the Hurricanes are in the playoffs, but even then I don't really care. Hockey is actually fairly enjoyable to watch. It's one of the few sporting events I'd rather watch live than in the comforts of my own home. Too bad this is the south and we only know ice as the little cubes that cool down our sweet tea. Sweet tea is gross though. I shudder at how sweet it is. I've gone completely off track, so I'm just going to guess here and say that Yale wins both games!
4. I'm gonna go with Syracuse to take this one. Somehow their zone befuddles opponents when anybody who knows anything about basketball knows how easily exploitable zones are. You can step back, examine their defense and attack it easily. Zone's to me are essentially a stagnant castle, and you can lay siege to it with a variety of devices. Does that make any sense? Probably not, but it does to me, and I'm what matters. Me, me, me, me, you! Crap. When I think of Orangemen vs. Bearcats I think of this vs. this.
And anyone who has seen Happy Gilmore knows Bob Barker always wins.
5. According to the ESPN website Illinois is at Wisconsin, and Wisconsin never loses at home. Bo Ryan has some magic voodoo power that allows him to recruit every tall white farmboy and teach them how to shoot the three. Hopefully Bo Ryan actually coaches Wisconsin, I'm doing this off of memories that may or may not exist. Therefore, with all those brilliant facts I've just presented it's obvious Wisconsin will win this game.
6. I would hate to be Virginia right now. I actually heard from some guy that Tony Bennett was running around his house and screaming at the top of his lungs in a worried rage after FSU beat Duke. It might have been Shane, but who knows the difference. We all know Duke will win by 30+, but it will be interesting how it happens. Singler will be good, because he always is, but how will he do it. Shoot some pretty threes, or awkwardly drive into the lane begging for a foul to be called? I think Singler will shoot five free throws and he will convert four of them. Don't let me down, I need this!
I really can't get my mind off of terrible beer commercials. Ever since it was talked about on this blog I notice every awful beer commercial even more. The most idiotic to me are the Miller Lite commercials. The douchebag guy always asks for a "beer." If you've ever asked for a "beer" in a bar the bartender looks at you like you're a moron and asks what kind. But in the Miller Lite commercial the sultry bartender presents two options: Miller Lite or a beer with "less taste." "Do you want more taste or less taste?" asks the bartender. "Doesn't matter," responds the douchebag. Then she sarcastically chastises him and there is some stupid joke about the outfit the douchebag is wearing. This commercial really gets my blood boiling. Miller Lite is gross, we all know this, the people who make Miller Lite know this. There is no "more taste" vs. "less taste" when comparing Miller Lite to other beers. It's "would you rather have this watery beer or that watery beer?" Screw you terrible beer companies, you're ruining my life!
Not a particularly inspiring start for us in this edition of the pick six, but we'd rather start slow than fizzle late like we did last time around.
1. We've had trouble picking against both the Patriots and the Jets. But Tom Brady and Co. have really handed it to us when we don't pick them. Besides, when this guy starts jawing at Brady, you can bet it ain't gonna end well for the J-E-T-S jets. Sorry, Rexy. Now it's personal. PATRIOTS.
2. Having grown up a diehard USC fan, one of us was positively tickled when Pete Carroll's Seahawks beat the Saints last week (Sorry, Reggie). But even though Seattle has already beaten Chicago at Soldier Field this year---seriously, how ridiculous is that---it's hard to see this magical run continuing any further. Even against a total loon like Jay Cutler. Think of this as when the Cardinals went into New Orleans last year and got the stuffing knocked out of them. BEARS.
3. It's really hard to beat a team three times in a row, and since one of the No. 1 ranked teams we hold near and dear lost this week, we feel Yale deserves similar treatment. SPLIT.
4. Kudos, Jim. The description of Cincy's nonconference schedule pretty much says it all. Plus, we don't go against Syracuse. Especially not at the Carrier Dome. ORANGE.
5. We're big fans of the Illini, especially Mr. Demetri McCamey. But we're all too familiar with how difficult it is to go into the Kohl Center and come out of with a win. Plus, we can't imagine that Wisconsin's going to blow another game after that 4th quarter collapse in East Lansing. BADGERS.
6. Random guess here. But just for fun, Kyle gets buckets! 7-OF-9.
After Wednesday night, it is very hard to make picks on anything. Remember the years between 2001 and last year? When we had talented people, but either no inside presence, no point guard or neither of those things? Where we'd have games wherein we'd do nothing but shoot (and miss) the 3? Oh well, it was a great 25 game streak... I guess we're on the watch now for Kyrie's toe getting better. When did my life get to the point where I'm focused on the toe of an 18 year old I've never met?
1. The Jets are going to get trounced. When they decide to hole up and be quiet like they're doing... it's a sad day for the Jets coming up.
2. Amazingly, I called the Seahawks winning last week. That wasn't because I'm a huge Seahawks fan (I grew up in Durham - I was mid-twenties before I'd even admit that football was a sport) - but rather just because. It doesn't carry a second week. Jay Cutler may be a dofus, but the Seahawks are done.
3. Yale all the way. Nobody actually even lives in Rhode Island, so Yale will actually statistically speaking be playing against no team.
4. Cincinatti? Really? Against Syracuse? (sounds of laughter and a little bit of vomit) Cincinatti and Pittsburgh are consistently the two most overrated teams in the country. No matter how well they are rated, they are over-rated. Really, they should both just stop playing the sport.
5. Yes, the Badgers can pick up a victory. I don't believe in Big 10 Basketball, but I'm really not an Illinois fan. Wisconsin also actually has a pretty darned good team this year (aside from being in the Big10 which makes them wankers)
6. First, I'd like to point out that last year Singler had an Assist to Turnover Ratio of 1.22, which is quite a bit better than the two years before that. This year, it's worse than his sophmore year .96 at .76. He's going to take 3 free throws and make 2 of them. The one he misses is going to piss me off.
Just please, God, if you are out there- let Ohio State lose before Monday? I really don't want them to be #1. Please?
Pats, Hawks, Yalesweep, Cuse, Michigan St, 6/7
I came home to a shattered bottle opener today. No big deal, right? Well, this bottle opener played a Dave Neihaus grand slam call every time you cracked a beer. And with Dave no longer around to call games, it was the only way I could hear his voice without, well, going on my computer or something. Sad. So this pick six is for Neihaus.
So I was thinking about what Shane said before about Duke students’ reputation, I think there’s a couple of factors that really play into this. First and foremost, I think Duke gets a little too much credit for being a great academic institution. Don’t get me wrong- I absolutely believe that Duke is one of the best schools in the country, and during my time there I was constantly amazed by the depth of resources and opportunities for those that wanted to learn. However, because of the basketball team, Duke gets on TV just about every five minutes. And every time Duke gets on TV we see the Neo-Gothic architecture, and we usually get a at least a mention or two of how those Cameron Crazies are all such devoted students yet still find time to let it out for the team. When you consider that Coach K has run an incredibly clean (not to mention successful) program over the last 30 years, it’s not hard to figure out why people get sick of hearing about how great Duke is.
Furthermore, despite the fact that a huge percentage of kids are on financial aid, the price tag to attend Duke still says roughly 50 grand a year. When you add it all up, the perception of Duke is the overachiever you knew in high school that was good at sports (or the violin, or whatever), got great grades and probably had parents that would spring for a SAT prep class. That’s a lot to live up to, and it’s not that much of a stretch for someone that’s sick of Duke to start writing off the students as rich and arrogant D-bags.
Now Duke definitely had its fair share of rich, arrogant D-bags. But every school has its share of rich, arrogant D-bags, especially schools that are similar to Duke. But I will say that the vast, vast majority of people I knew at Duke were hardworking, talented and friendly people. One of those guys is Eric Holljes.
Eric is a musician I saw perform last night with his new band, Delta Rae. You’ve probably heard Eric before, as he’s a backup vocalist for that incredibly popular Mike Posner song (who also went to Duke). I strongly recommend checking out Delta Rae’s stuff, especially if you like folk music with beautiful, layered harmonies. Not only is Eric one of the nicest guys I knew at Duke, but he’s just one example of what can come from really talented and hardworking people. Duke is filled with people like Eric. Most of them go on to be doctors or lawyers or finance-ers, but one unifying trait is the fact that they’re people who have made the most of their talents. I, for one, give back to the world with dazzling beer pong performances.
If you already hate Duke, I’m sure the last paragraph is just another vomit inducing example of a Duke kid kissing his own ass. But those people can go fuck themselves, because what they don’t know is that there’s a lot more Erics than Karen Owens at Duke. So if you’re considering going to Duke, or know someone who is, let them know it really is a fantastic place that’s made better by the people that go there.
OK, enough of that. PATRIOTS, SEAHAWKS, YALE wins 2, SYRACUSE, WISCONSIN, 5 of 7 from the line.
See you all tomorrow morning with a Duke-UVA preview. T-G to the motherclucking I-F.