A. MY FAVORITE FAN MAIL EVER.
Sunday night, a half hour after the Miami game, I got this note from a young lady we'll call "Sherry." That is a fake name, but the e-mails are real. Her e-mail name appeared as "SHERBELL SHERRY," (again, fake, but you get the idea) and her note was in large purple font. Here's the text:
Was just wondering if this was really Seth Curry
U r a really good bball player and i love watching u play....your brother
Stephen is a very good bball player too!!!!
Was just wondering...is it fun playing college bball???
Well....bye bye- Have a wonderful day
GO DUKE!!!!!! :))))))))))
That made me laugh, and I wasn't going to respond since I make it my business not to start e-mail correspondence with girls in their early teens. Then, two hours later, she e-mailed again:
Please send back :))))
Have a great day....bye bye
Not only did the girl love potential Seth Curry, but she wouldn't tolerate him not responding to an e-mail less than two hours after one of his games had just finished. The next day, I decided I should probably write back and nip it in the bud.
Sorry to say, this is not Seth Curry. I just write a blog with his name on it. But thanks for reading, and I agree, the Currys are very good at basketball.
Have a good day, and Go Duke!
Notice the professional tone. Normally if someone wrote to me, I'd joke around or something, but in this case it seemed wise to be very bland. A day later, Sherry wrote again.
Do you ever talk to the Curry's???
Just wondering because I love watching them both play and I am a huge fan :))
That one I left hanging. But Sherry, if you're reading, I have never talked to Seth Curry or Stephen Curry. I would like to one day. They seem like nice fellows. I hope you keep reading my blog. Here's a poem I wrote for Jon Scheyer that I think you might enjoy.
B. MY FAVORITE PURCHASE FROM THE WEEKEND
I was in the carousel mall in Syracuse this past weekend, and came across this on the shelf of some sporting good store whose name I can't remember:
Is that a Robinson Cano bobblehead doll, you ask?
OH SI SI, AMIGO. ROBEETHON CANO ESTA EN MI CASA CON UNA CABEZA QUE BOBLA!
(I'm assuming the Spanish verb for bobble is 'boblar.')
This was the last of its kind on the shelf. Just one left, and it was Cano. Best 300 dollars I've ever spent. (Actually $15).
C. WHAT MUST COACH K THINK?
I spoke yesterday about the hilarity of the Kyrie-Nolan interview DukeBluePlanet posted after the Miami game, and you can watch the video in yesterday's post. Here's the best part, transcribed:
Kyrie: Talk about the second half. I don't know if you blew me a kiss, or...you were looking my direction. We definitely made eye contact. But if you did blow me a kiss, this was the second time you blew me a kiss. Was it to me?
Nolan: I love you. Simple as that. I love you.
Kyrie: I love you too, Nolan.
(The two stare lovingly at each other for five seconds before they break down laughing.
Again, I think it's awesome that they're willing to go there, and part of what makes it so hysterical is wondering what Coach K thinks. He's an old Army guy, and this stuff is clearly pretty strange even by today's standards. What's his reaction when he watches this? I wonder if he gets mad, or just confused, or wonders if Kyrie and Nolan are actually gay. Maybe he considers talking to them, and gets nervous at the idea. Or maybe he gets it, and even finds it funny.
If some deity gave me one free fly-on-the-wall situation, I might make a really stupid choice and use it whenever Coach K watches these interviews.
D. 1920S REPORTER
I just came across this yesterday. There's a guy who calls himself "Scoops Callahan," working for some radio show, who goes to press conferences and asks athletes and coaches questions in a weird 1920s lingo. It cracked me up.
I think my favorite part is that he always leads his questions with "CHAMP! CHAMP!" Also, I think it's pretty telling that while most people laughed or wondered what was happening, Eli Manning didn't miss a beat in his answer. He has no personality.
Former Dukie Sean has been pimping Ken Pomeroy's college basketball rankings a couple times in the comments, and yesterday I started to get into it. Verdict: pretty awesome. The basic thing I love is 'adjusted offense' and 'adjusted defense.' The theory here is that teams play different styles, and it's not wise to compare points per game or points allowed per game. Duke, for example, might have 80 possessions a game if they play really fast, while Wisconsin, who plays slower, might only have 55. Obviously, Duke is going to score more points. But it doesn't mean they're more efficient.
What Pomeroy does is to adjust it to 100 possessions. So his numbers indicate how many points each team scores per 100 possessions. Defensively, he calculates how much they average per 100 possessions. That's a far better barometer of skill than points per game or points allowed, and gives a great picture of efficiency.
You can see the rankings here. Duke has the 2nd most efficient offense (Pitt is #1 by less than a point) and the 3rd most efficient defense (Ohio State #1, Kansas #2).
There's a lot of other good stuff there too, and I'm just getting into it. Perhaps Sean or someone else can explain their favorite parts in the comments.
F. I WOULD LIKE EVERYONE TO KNOW
That I'm 19-10 picking college football games. I still probably won't win any money in my pool, but I do have the best record. It's very rare that I'm even moderately successful in predicting sports outcomes, and now I'm knocking this out of the park and even winning Hot Potato. IS 2011 THE YEAR OF SHANE? (Oh God I just fell out of the chair and hit my jaw on a hutch.)
G. THE JOHNNIES
Could St. John's be kinda decent, or is Georgetown just bad? At the very least, wouldn't it be a good idea not to rank Georgetown before they prove themselves? It seems like they start in the top 10 every year and end up barely hanging on in the bottom of the top 25 within weeks. UNC is kind of in the same boat, though it's only been two years for them and they still have a title in recent memory. But Georgetown are true phonies. And if you can't tell, I'm still annoyed that they beat Duke last season.
Either way, it was a pleasure seeing Gene Keady on the bench as an assistant. It's like one of those movies where the old white guy makes a bond with the inner-city kid, like Finding Forrester. Keady and Lavin is a fun combination.
H. OH AMERICA
My pal Rebecca posted these photos of decaying Detroit on her facebook wall yesterday. This is either sad in a beautiful way or beautiful in a sad way. I'm not sure which, but I enjoyed them.
I. AM. LEAVING. NOW.
L. O. L.
M. DUKE BASKETBALL iPHONE APPS
Everyone seems to be making iPhone apps these days, so I thought I should take a stab and try to make some extra money. The following are iPhone apps you can buy for Duke basketball, once I get some start-up funding and try not to blow it on miniature buildings made of food.
1. Catch Like Miles!
In this app, you coat the iPhone in butter, dip your hands in grease, and toss the phone up and down to yourself. The more you drop it, the more points you get in the 'Catch Like Miles' scale. (This app should be used only on your second, expendable iPhone.)
Here you swear at a virtual referee on your phone until he changes his call or gives you a technical. Warning: it takes a lot of vitriol, but it's also a balancing act. Subtle rage is the name of this game. (This app should not be used in public.)
3. Kyrie's Toe
With this app, you can experience the pain Kyrie feels in his toe. First, take off your shoe and sock. Then drop the phone directly on your big toe. The iPhone will tell you whether or not you've hurt yourself in the same manner as Kyrie. (Again, use your second iPhone for this one.)
4. Casey Peters' Walk-On Mania
Ever wondered what it's like to be on an elite team when you're not an elite player? It must be hard to practice against top Division 1 talent when you're not as athletically gifted, right? To re-create the difficulty, fill your mouth with sand and try to swallow your iPhone. (This is not necessarily an app.)
5. Picking up Chicks with Baby Dawk
Try to pick up virtual girls at Duke parties with this hot new app. One problem: they all think you're 12 years old. Try to use your wit and charm to convince them that you play for the Duke basketball team. If they believe you, you're home free! If not, child services takes you to a foster home and you have to wait for Nolan Smith to come pick you up in the morning. (If user is successful, this app includes explicit simulated sex.)