Monday, July 17, 2006

Monday Musings

After taking Friday off from The WAD, and after enjoying a weekend away from the office, I’m feeling refreshed and looking forward to the new week. Let’s get things off to a roaring start with some musings:

  • Remember this name: Derrick Rose. Who is he? He’s a 6’2” point guard out of Chicago, IL, and he’s the real deal. On Friday, I made the two hour drive east on I-20 down to Augusta to take in the quarterfinal math-ups of the Nike Peach Jam with my buddy Joseph. In case you don’t know, the Peach Jam is one of the most elite of the big AAU summer tournaments. In other words, a prerequisite for playing in the Peach Jam is that you have some legit balers on your squad. Well, of the ballers I saw, Rose stood out over them all. I won’t bore you with details, but suffice it to say that this kid has “it”. I’m not exactly sure how to define “it”, but you just know it when you see it. Right now, he’s narrowed his choices to Illinois and Memphis. Not coincidently, both Coach Cal and Bruce Weber were sitting in courtside at Derrick’s game. Weber has actually already signed Rose’s teammate, Eric Gordon. If he can convince Rose to join Gordon in Champagne, they might actually accomplish the impossible: make Big-10 basketball exciting to watch. If you want a glimpse a why I like Rose so much, take a look at this video clip:

    I love the pass at the 1:50 mark of the video. There aren’t 100 people alive that can make that pass. Trust me.

  • Here’s some other video clips Joseph brought to my attention of some of the stars of Peach Jam:
    Kyle is choosing between UW and Arizona. And yes, Lute and Lorenzo Romar were both keeping a close eye on his game. In fact, when I asked Coach Romar who he was watching, he gave me a curious look and said, “you don’t need me to tell you that!”
    Here’s the aforementioned Eric Gordon.
    This kid created a huge stir with a 29 point 9assist first half performance! If you watch his videos you will see that he can definitely score, but I think you will also see that he might have some issues with his quickness. We’ll see. He’s going to Florida, and after watching the video interview on this page, I think you will agree that he is a perfect fit for that little ninny running that program.

  • Other than watching Rose and Gordon play, my favorite moment of the Peach Jam actually came when my buddy, Joseph, and I were drinking a few beers and having a bite afterwards. We happened to be sitting at the table right next to a very prominent coach and one of his assistants. While I won’t say his name, I will say that if he walked into your office right now, not only would you know him, you would probably have a thousand questions to ask him. Anyway, at the table next to them were four women, probably in their mid-30’s or early 40’s that had clearly left home that night with the intention of making some friends.

    Well, the Coach carried on a polite conversation with them for a while, but his assistant (who is a really large man that was wearing skin tight jean shorts!) was spitting his game left and right. This guy was nailing his Cedric the Entertainer routine, and these ladies were loving it. Finally, the Coach got a phone call and stepped outside to take it. No more than a few seconds, one of the ladies asked the Assistant, “so, you are the head coach, right? I mean, you are the boss, right?” Well, the look on the Assistant’s face was priceless. It was a cross between panic and absolute confusion. The look itself was great, but what came next is what makes this what Joseph called “A great Poor Man’s Bill Simmons Story.”:

    Faced with three options with: a) telling the truth and losing all hope of hooking up; b) flat out lying and preserving hope of the hooking up, but running the risk of getting fired if the Coach found out; and c) desperately seeking some middle ground, the Assistant went with option C by throwing out this gem, “ah, nah baby, we all the head coach. I mean, we don’t like labels. We all have to work together baby.”

    I know that this is one of those moments that is 100 times funnier in person, but you have to trust me, this was one of the funniest things I have seen in a long time. And no, they didn’t believe it for one minute, but you have to give the guy props for doing what he could to save a sinking ship.

  • They have only been advertising it for two months now, well, last night ESPN finally aired the ESPY’s. Since it was taped earlier this week, certain things were inevitably leaked, so you knew some of the winners, and you knew when to pay attention because something notable was about to happen. Even so, it was a ore than enjoyable experience. Here’s some quick takes on the most notable moments of the evening from my perspective:

    1) Seeing Tyrone Prothro limping on stage with his left leg still in a cast was very depressing. Nice job Coach Shula. You really needed that last touchdown when you were up 28 with 5 minutes to play. Good work.

    2) Ben Stiller is the Dr. Yang of comedians. Every time I see him on t.v., I just want to squash him like a bug.

    3) Lance Armstrong was tremendous. Sure, he didn’t write the jokes, but he did an amazing job delivering them.

    4) After walking arm in arm with Carmen Elektra, Shaun White won’t have to buy a new Playboy for at least six months.

    5) Chris Berman is the Ben Stiller of sportscasters.

    6) Will Ferrell was the biggest winner of the night. The Ricky Bobby SportsCentury piece was hilarious, and his musical tribute to Lance was first ballot hall of fame comedy.

    7) Does it make me a bad person if I’m ready for Jason McElwain’s 15 minutes to be over? Don’t answer that. I can’t believe I just wrote it. I’m going to punch myself in the face.

    8) After that little shake she gave with Ludacris, Danica Patrick is in my Top 5. Some things just defy explanation.

    9) Props to Mark Wahlberg for calling Ben Roethlisberger out as a moron, and big props to the ESPY’s crowd for not giving a crap when Roethlisberger came out on stage. I mean, shouldn’t a quarterback average more than 200 yards/game before he has the audacity to make a grand individual entrance when his team is being honored? What a joke! And yes, Roethlisberger has entered A-Job territory in my book.

10) D. Wade is not only the NBA Finals MVP, but he also, by far, had the greatest hat at the ESPY’s. And yes, he had plenty of competition. You got to love the ESPY’s.