Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Court Reporter

This blog hasn't been around lately, so it figured it would a) Be lazy and just do a photographic post; and b) Show the proof that the blog was indeed travelling. From the top, these photos are from this blog's seat at: 1. Wisconsin at Michigan 1/28. 2. Iowa at Wisconsin 1/5. 3. Akron at Bowling Green 1/29. 4. Wisconsin at Ohio State 1/18. Winners are in hyperlink.

As one of this blog's co-workers said, "It's no wonder you don't have a girlfriend, you're never around." This combined with the reality that this blog is on the computer when it actually is around makes for a riveting social life. But this blog wouldn't have it any other way.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Portland State: Finishing School For WWE Superstars

Today this blog comes to you to talk about a school from the Big Sky Conference. This school is Portland State University. They're not particularly distinctive in basketball (6-10, 1-4 in conference; good for 6th in the Big Sky and 226th in RPI). This blog isn't here to talk about Portland State basketball though.

This blog is going to claim that Portland State just might be the most World Wrestling Entertainment-inspired university out there. Now this site can already hear you saying, "How can this be? Their wrestling team's no good, they're only 1-13-3 this year!" This is correct, and this blog isn't going to argue with you on that. However, what you may have forgotten is that the WWE has very little to do with actual wrestling, and quite a bit to do with x-tremeness and the other factors this blog is about to layout for you.

First off, for those of you unfamiliar with the WWE (this blog is continually less familiar with the WWE, so it knows where you're coming from), there are a few recurring storylines that crop up. One of such storylines is when a pair of previously bitter rivals suddenly decide to form an uneasy alliance and become a tag team. The explanation for this reversal of course is usually that the team was "formed out of mutual respect."

You want mutual respect? Portland State has an entire climate of mutual respect. In fact, one of their primary mottos is "A Climate of Mutual Respect."

As alluded to earlier, the WWE is a huge proponent of x-tremeness. In fact, using the letter X or Z (especially when used in an unnecessary or gramatically incorrect fashion) is a way of gaining credibility within the WWE. Come to think of it, it's most likely the best way of achieving mutual respect. X-amples of this include wrestler X-Pac, the ill-fated WWE-inspired Xtreme Football League, the WWE Fan Axxess tour, and Wrestlemania X8. Not to mention the Dudley Boyz, Hardy Boyz, and Tazz.

Portland State takes it to the x-treme by using www.pdx.edu as their website. Were it not for a WWE-affinity, this domain would be in-x-plicable. PSU.com was taken by Penn State, so it's understandable why that domain wasn't used, but this blog has no x-planation for the PDX choice. (Portland's airport abbreviation is PDX, but Portland State offers no courses toward receiving one's pilot license).

A final x-ample of Portland State's commitment to x-cellence is their sports logos. The mascot is the Viking, but in spite of this, they chose to use a logo that looks much like a wrestling mask with horns.

Beyond this, their secondary logo appears to be some type of hybrid between Hillbilly Jim and Bob "The Viking" Morse. It might also be important to add that when WWE wrestler Brock Lesnar attempted to reach the NFL, the team he went to training camp with was the Minnesota Vikings.

So there you have it, if you want to get on the inside track to the WWE, Portland State University is the school for you.

Special thanks to Phonograph's Ronk Romens for his contributions to this post.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

The Vaunted Shirt Order And Its Rules

This blog is off to Ohio for a few days, taking in the Wisconsin-Ohio State game on Wednesday. But this blog is the kind of blog that will post at 1:45 AM just to make sure the Tuesday post gets out there.

There's been some requests to hear what the rules are for the famous hat/shirt rotation this blog employs. So this blog will lay it out for you, hopefully in simple enough terms.

1. This blog has 2 closets full of shirts, casual and dress.
2. Dress shirts are rotated straight through and have no bearing on which hat is worn.
3. When a white dress shirt comes up in the order, this blog wears a tie. Some other occasions prompt tie usage with colored dress shirts. Usually this would involve a wedding or job interview though.
4. Dress shirts are worn only when absolutely required, i.e. while at work, church, or another formal event.
5. Casual shirts are worn whenever possible, usually the first opportunity on a given day is immediately after returning home from work.
6. Long-sleeved casual shirts do not have assigned hats. When a long-sleeved shirt comes up in the order, it is this blog's choice as to which hat is worn.
7. Weather can dictate whether or not the actual next shirt in the closet is worn. This clause is most often invoked when it is too warm to wear long sleeves and a long-sleeved shirt comes up next in the order. On very rare occasions, and with only the most extreme cold, short-sleeved shirts are skipped for a long-sleeved shirt.
8. Short-sleeved shirts, jerseys, and sleeveless shirts are included in the order. These are the only shirts matched up with specific hat. Each shirt is assigned a specific hat, and this is the only hat worn with that particular shirt. When laundry is completed, all shirts are hung in the back of the order in the closet. Their paired hat is put in the same order so that the next hat corresponds with the next shirt.
9. A final possible exception is that of a live sporting event. When this blog attends a live sporting event for which it has an appropriate shirt or hat, the next of these relevant combos in the order is worn. This "skips" over any shirts that do not apply to the given sporting event.
10. Once a shirt is worn, it is placed at the back of the order, regardless of where it came from. So, if a shirt skipped others because of weather or a live sporting event, it does not re-take its place in the order, instead moving to the back of the line so that it has as long as possible between wearings.
11. Also very rarely, multiple shirts and hats must be worn on the same day. The most common examples of this would be when this blog attends multiple sporting events on the same day; or when a particular shirt gathers a great deal of sweat (or dirt) and would then be gross to wear the rest of the day. Whenever possible, steps are taken to ensure that only 1 shirt (or at least only 1 hat) are worn per day. Ways to deal with this would include wearing an undershirt (which is not part of the order) or possibly a long-sleeved shirt to keep hat continuity. This blog is not above going shirtless for a time, especially in the summer. Another possibility is wearing a jacket or "shooting shirt" with no other shirt.

So hopefully that clears stuff up. Most likely it muddies the water even more, but this blog will gladly answer any questions.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Marching Orders

This blog figured it would bring up some of its "Teams to watch" for the NCAA Tournament. This site realizes it's 2 months before March Madness, but as far as this blog's concerned, it's never too early to think about the NCAA tournament. Obviously there's quite a few front-runners out there, but this blog figured it would focus on low majors, mid-majors, and some high-majors that aren't on most casual fans' radar. Also a couple teams that this blog likes to watch.

Montana: (10-2, RPI 100th) The Grizzlies' losses have come against UW-Milwaukee in Missoula and against Boise State in Boise. ESPN's Bracketology has Montana listed as a 15 seed, mainly because their biggest win to date was against Drake. Montana will potentially get a shot at a quality win on February 18th when they host their Bracket Buster opponent, but that might be their only shot to move up from a 15 seed. If Montana does receive a 15 seed, there would be some decent potential for the 5th-ever 15-2 upset. Because Montana is unlikely to be tested during the regular season, and also given the Grizzlies' near-miss 88-77 1st round loss last year to Washington (in a 3-14 game); Montana would have a good chance of bear-ly making the 2nd round of the NCAAs. An added bonus for Montana is Monte, named 2005 National Mascot of the Year by Capital One.

Air Force: (12-1, RPI 43rd) This is a very dangerous team. Their only loss was at Washington, not an easy place to play. Won on neutral courts vs. Miami and Georgia Tech, also knocked out the WCC's Saint Mary's on base. The loss of center Nick Welch (medical redshirt), once thought to be a death blow to the Falcons' tournament hopes, has actually given opportunities for multiple players to fill the scoring vacuum. Four Falcons average over 10 points per game this season, compared with three from last season, led by Welch's 12. A huge edge for AFA is their style of play, which grinds out victories while using Princeton's style of offense and a stifling defense that allows only 53.8 points per game. This edge could lead to an upset come tourney time. Perhaps not too huge of an upset though, AFA is now projected as a 9 seed in the Bracketology (although, a 1 seed that likes to run like Connecticut, Villanova, or Gonzaga might be in for a rude awakening in a possible 2nd round matchup).

Houston: (8-3, RPI 40th) Losses have come at home against Virginia Commonwealth, on the road against both South Alabama and UNLV. The Cougars did pick up wins against Arizona and at LSU though, so you never know which team's going to show up with UH. However, this type of unpredictability can work to the advantage of low seeds come March, and Houston's currently projected as an 11 seed. The Cougars could very possibly deny Memphis of the Conference USA automatic bid if UH catches fire like against Arizona.

Missouri State: (10-3, RPI 21st) This team is completely out of nowhere. Expected to be a middle-of-the-road (at best) Missouri Valley Conference team, the team formerly known as Southwest Missouri State has grabbed ahold of junior Blake Ahearn's 18.7 ppg-cape and beaten the likes of Northern Illinois (57), Drake (105), and Indiana State (115). While not household names, those wins will go a long way toward keeping "the third MSU" very high in the RPI all season. Bracketology doesn't even have Missouri State making the field, which this blog thinks is a mistake. Granted, the MVC is going to be a major battle this season, and Southern Illinois, Northern Iowa, and Creighton will most likely make the tournament (again); but Missouri State has a favorably comparable RPI, which will not be likely to fall given the MVC's high standing this season (5th in the Conference RPI).

Washington State: (9-3, RPI 27th) This blog is admittedly a huge fan of WSU's head coach Dick Bennett. Bennett led this blog's alma mater back to College Basketball's upper echelon, and did so with an unorthodox style that focused almost wholly on defense. That same system is alive and well in Pullman, and the Cougars have been able to knock off Kansas State and Washington. If the Cougars are able to finish near .500 in the Pac-10, or somehow win the conference title, there's bound to be a first-round opponent pulling its hair out trying to decypher the "pack line" defense that limits opponents to only 55.5 points a game. Washington State is now projected as one of the last 4 at-large bids, enough for an 11 seed.

So there you have it, some teams to keep an eye on. This blog's probably going to keep an eye on them simply because it's seeing 2 conference tournaments involving the above listed teams, and the other 3 are pretty interesting teams in their own respect. This blog thinks CSTV put it best when its ad campaign proclaimed: March Begins Today.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Unlinked Melody

Sorry about the lack of links. Hopefully those can get tacked on later in the week.

This is a story from the Wisconsin vs. Louisiana Tech game at the Kohl Center December 28, 2005. Actual seat numbers have been changed to protect the innocent. The story begins in the student section, where this blog has season tickets. This blog's brother was in town for the game, and didn't have a ticket for the lower level of the student section, but this is not normally a problem when school is out of session and there are many gaps in the student section. The plan was to have him sit next to this site.

This blog has seat "1" in row "9". About 25 minutes before game time, some old guy and his son that hadn't been there before (almost certainly having scalped), came down when the whole row is empty except for the PunCity brothers in seats 1 and 2. This blog had placed some jackets on seat 2. Guy approaches and immediately says "We've got 2 and 3." This blog and its brother both looked at him like, "Okay dude, well, the whole row's empty, why don't you just move down a seat?" I think this blog's brother even said something to that effect. That would move them closer to the court anyway, so it's not like it would be a scam to him here. Guy says something like "Well, when the rest of these fill up, we want to have the right seats."

The tragic part of this is that obviously he knows nothing about how it's going to fill up, and both this site and its brother know they're going to stay empty, but one can't reason with this idiot. So this site and its brother were like, alright, and in turn, kind of motion for them to go into the row. But they don't move, because the jackets are still on seat 2. Now granted, part of why this blog wanted them to go in was so they could just realize that 3 and 4 were fine and then they'd just give us 2. But seriously, do you really not trust us to move our frickin jackets 1 seat over after you walked 4 feet? Guy says something like "Well, who's going to move those?" Like it's a huge undertaking. So this blog moved the jackets over and this blog and its brother moved to Row 10, seats 1 & 2. We sit there for a while, Row 10 1 & 2 come, as do Row 10 8,7,6, 5, and 4. But the Row 10s are all reasonable and pretty much just slide into a different seat if theirs is taken.

Then, the kicker: Row 9, seat 2 & 3's old-people buddies come down. Some older woman and man. And they sit in Row 9, seats 2 & 3, while the other 2 slide over. That's right, they slide over. This blog immediately turned to its brother and said, "That's horseshit." Because the new people clearly don't have those seats, as evidenced by the woman's statement, "We decided your seats were better than ours." This blog's brother wasn't too concerned about it, but Pun City was totally spoiling to call an usher over at that point. Just to throw out the new people as revenge for the first guy being a jag. This blog proceeded to have an entire conversation with its brother about how we would do that, something to the effect of going to the bathroom, pointing them out to an usher, and saying "This blog wants them gone when it gets back." At this point this blog and its brother didn't really care if they heard.

Luckily, the new people got tired of standing, and saw some empty seats in the normal section next to the student section, and went over there after about 15 minutes. And the 2 jags stayed in seats 3 & 4. So for the 2nd half, since Row 10 was crowded, this site and it's sibling moved back to 1 & 2 without incident. But this site posits that it's just obnoxious to have someone come into a student section without a clue and act like he or she runs the thing. This blog is fully aware that it is no student, but this blog is also under 40 and have had seats in the student section the last 6 years, so don't be all hardcore about seating arrangements unless you have similar credentials. Or seats 2-10.