Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Grateful Red-Letter Day

Ah, you smell that? In the air? Oh yes, your nostrels do not deceive you. It's the unmistakable smell of COLLEGE BASKETBALL SEASON!!!

This blog apologizes for that outburst, it didn't mean to scream at you. But the season is here, and Pun City is bursting with excitement. This is no ordinary amount of excitement, either. Pun City is bursting with excitement in the same way that Pop Rocks are bursting with flavor.

It's hard to make any predictions for the 2006 National Champions at this stage, so it promises to be an exciting year. Duke is probably as good a bet as any team (as usual), so that's Pun City's preseason #1.

Last Friday, October 14th, Pun City was priveleged to attend the "Night of the Grateful Red" at the Kohl Center in Madison, WI. The first "practice" for the Wisconsin Badgers was a fun time. Brian Butch, a former McDonald's All-American, won the team 3-point contest. This is especially notable since Butch is a 7-footer. This blog expects a big year for him, and not just physically. Freshman Marcus Landry took 4th in the team slam dunk contest, though his finish would have been higher had he made some of the spectacular jams he attempted. Landry will be a more than competent backup point guard (truth be told, he could end up starting by year's end), and should compete for Big Ten Freshman of the Year.

Another Freshman of the Year candidate would be DeAaron Williams, a redshirt who tied for the slam dunk contest title (with Junior Alando Tucker). Williams is a phenomenal athlete with a striking resemblance to rapper 50 Cent. Badger fans (like this blog) hope that his year culminates with a nickname like "Final Four Bits."

Perhaps the best part of the event was the amount of fun the players, coaches and fans had with the marketing event. This blog was just about rolling in the aisles watching player and coach introductions. Introduced with Survivor's "Eye of the Tiger" blaring, Landry broke out his shadow boxing, Junior Jason Chappell displayed a weight belt, Senior Ray Nixon doffed his hooded sweatshirt to reveal a ninja mask, and Tucker sported '80s-esque "Max Headroom" shades. To cap it off, Bo Ryan's stunt double walked to half court, then busted out some break dancing moves.

Not a great deal of actual practice, but certainly a ton of fun, and a chance for fans to get a glimpse of the Badgers, an opportunity that is often hard to find given that the season is sold out for the 3rd year in a row.


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