Monday, March 31, 2008

Australian Andrew told me about this awesome website called You can watch a ton of TV shows and movies for free. Seriously. Free. I don't get it either, but it's true.


Well, after a 9-month hiatus, the Diversey L stop is open again, and I, for one, am happy to be walking one block to the train rather than four blocks. For those of you who don't know, the Chicago Transit Authority (the organization that ruins lives, not the original name of the band Chicago) decided a while back to renovate nearly every station on the Brown Line so that all stations can accommodate 8-car trains, rather than 6-car trains, and so that people without working legs can also have the pleasure of riding an elevated train. The Diversey stop closed June 25, 2007. It was scheduled to be closed for exactly one year. No more. No less. Within a week, the platform was torn up. Over the next six months, workers managed to accomplish nothing. Literally nothing was done. After sitting idly by during the summer and fall, when most other workers -- professional and otherwise -- were busy, well, doing work, the CTA decided to choose late December to begin constructing a new station and the accompanying elevator shafts. And then at some point in February, the CTA announced that Diversey would be opening early (i.e., yesterday), but with a temporary platform. They managed to construct an entire, working temporary platform -- made from real wood -- and a temporary station within about two weeks. I can't help but think that maybe if the CTA hadn't wasted an entire 6 months doing nothing on the Diversey station, then they would have been able to construct a fully functioning permanent platform, willing and able to accommodate 8 cars and people with or without legs. If the CTA was any less efficient, it would be the -- the -- the -- wait, nevermind, it's categorically impossible to be less efficient than the CTA. At least seniors get to ride for free.

IU Coaching Search, Part 2

Well, now that a couple weeks have passed since my longwinded discussion about who I want to be the next IU coach. Since then, the first two weekends of the NCAA tournament have passed, and several potential coaches did better than others. Sources (whoever they may be) have indicated that IU hopes to name a coach by the end of this week.

Below is my revised list. Unfortunately, Washington State coach Tony Bennett decided not to pursue the IU job. He may also be holding out to take over LSU (come again?) or Wisconsin (where his dad coached and where he is from) whenever Bo Ryan returns underground to join the rest of the Morlocks. Whatever his reasons, even from an objective standpoint, this may turn out to be the biggest mistake of his coaching career. He would have moved up to be my second choice. Now he must be destroyed.

Also, there have been whispers about Tom Izzo (which I've actually heard more from MSU grads than anywhere else). I don't think there's a chance in hell of that happening, so I'm not including him. Rest assured, he would top the list.

I am also excluding Larry Brown and Bob Knight, both of whom were on my original list, and I added a couple names.

Anyway, here is my list, with some additional comments about each.

1. Bruce Pearl, Tennessee head coach - Even though he says he's not going to leave Tennessee, IU needs to make a run at him and pay him whatever he wants. As Christoff says, the man "is out of his goddamned mind," which makes him perfect for IU.

2. Rick Barnes, Texas head coach - I still like Barnes, even though his team's loss to Memphis in the Elite 8 essentially destroyed my previously pristine chances at winning several pools.

3. Rick Pitino, Louisville head coach - Elite 8 appearance and throttling of Tennessee moves him up. Not that he will leave Louisville anyway.

4. Jamie Dixon, Pittsburgh head coach - Second-round loss to Michigan State was disappointing, but I still like him.

5. Sean Miller, Xavier head coach - Elite 8 appearance bumps him up, although he has said that he is at Xavier for the long haul.

6. Thad Matta, Ohio State head coach - The college basketball world is waiting with bated breath to see if OSU and Florida are headed for a rematch of last year's NCAA championship game. Both are one game away from the finals . . . of the NIT.

7. Trent Johnson, Stanford head coach - After escaping to the Sweet 16 with a victory over Marquette, his team got destroyed by Texas. I do like the fact that the usually-cool-and-calm Johnson got booted from the Marquette game for arguing with the refs.

8. Tim Floyd, USC head coach - Floyd is a dark horse candidate that no one is really talking about. While his head coaching record in the NBA was subpar, he is a great college coach and a great recruiter, winning at traditionally bad basketball schools New Orleans (127-58, 2 NCAAs, 3 NITS in six seasons), Iowa State (81-49, 3 NCAAs, 1 Sweet 16 in four seasons), and USC (63-36, 2 NCAAs, 1 Sweet 16 in three seasons).

9. Jay Wright, Villanova head coach - Taking a 12 seed to the Sweet 16 is always a good thing.

10. Lon Kruger, UNLV head coach - Kruger's name has popped up in a couple places. He is a pretty solid coach who has won everywhere he's gone (at least at the collegiate level) and has turned UNLV back around with 2 MWC championships in the past 2 years and a Sweet 16 berth a year ago.

11. John Calipari, Memphis head coach - Now that he has reached a Final Four with Memphis, I think he is less likely to make a move. Also, IU likes players who graduate, and Calipari is tepid at best when it comes to graduation.

12. Tom Crean, Marquette head coach - He was a last-second shot away from the Sweet 16.

13. Mike Montgomery, Assistant AD at Stanford, ex-Stanford head coach, ex-Golden State Warriors head coach - His name has been popping up in the search, and he would be higher on my list if he weren't 61.

14. Scott Skiles, ex-Chicago Bulls head coach - He has been mentioned in the search and has possibly been contacted. I'm still not sure how I feel about the fact that he has no college coaching experience. Actually, I am sure how I feel about it, and, frankly, I don't like it.

15. Scott Drew, Baylor head coach - He could have helped his cause big time by beating Purdue in the first round, but he did not.

16. Mike Brey, Notre Dame head coach - After dismantling George Mason in the first round, Notre Dame got dismantled themselves by Washington State, and there is still that issue with the sportcoats with t-shirts and/or turtlenecks.

17. Kevin Stallings, Vanderbilt head coach - Siena? Really?

18. Chris Lowery, Southern Illinois head coach - Second round of the NIT. Whoopdeedoo.

19. Anthony Grant, VCU head coach - A first round NIT loss isn't that cool, as far as I'm concerned.

20. Brad Brownell, Wright State head coach - It's confusing as to why Wright State didn't get an NIT or a CBI invitation. It's even more confusing as to why he is even being mentioned as a candidate for the IU job.

21 (tie). Lawrence Frank, New Jersey Nets head coach; Keith Smart, Golden State Warriors assistant coach; Randy Wittman, Minnesota Timberwolves head coach; Mike Woodson, Atlanta Hawks head coach; Isaiah Thomas, New York Knicks GM - Not only do none of these guys have great (or any, in some cases) college coaching experience, I find it highly unlikely that an NBA coach would quit mid-season to be a college coach, which is essentially what they would be doing if IU wants a coach by the end of this week.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Not So Eggcellent

It is with a heavy heart and a slightly-larger-than-healthy gut that I report to you the death of Herb Peterson, the man who invented the Egg McMuffin. What a leggacy this man leaves behind. See what I did there? I put an extra "g" in "legacy." You know, to make it more apropos. Because of the Egg McMuffin. Leggacy.

Thanks for the link go out to Jesterio, my lovely wife and self-described master of the black arts.

Midwestern Eavesdropping - 3/27/08

After a seven-week hiatus, I finally have enough submissions to fill a Midwestern Eavesdropping. Please enjoy. I beg of you.

Twentysomething female, longingly, after watching a segment on the evening news about an African-American toddler who is missing: "I wish I had a black kid."
--Chicago, Kenmore & Diversey
Eavesdropper: GMYH

Thirtysomething male at German restaurant: " I will never eat anything but sausage again."
--Chicago, Chicago Brauhaus, 4732 N. Lincoln
Eavesdropper: The Loose-Lipped Lithuanian

Ten-year-old kid in Northwestern basketball parking lot after winning $1 bet with dad: "Or
you can just take me to Hooters."
--Evanston, IL, outside Welsh-Ryan Arena
Eavesdropper: Trashton

Twentysomething male bartender talking to other bartenders and a couple servers: "She broke up with ME for Jesus Christ."
--Duffy's, 420 1/2 W. Diversey
Eavesdropper: GMYH

Thirtysomething male walking down sidewalk: "There's no such thing as date rape gone wrong."
--Chicago, Southport and Addison
Eavesdropper: GMYH

Twentysomething special ed teacher: "I am like the butt quarter champion."
--Chicago, Chicago Brauhaus, 4732 N. Lincoln
Eavesdropper: GMYH

Twentysomething special ed teacher, discussing butt quarters: "The bar method has changed my ass."
--Chicago, Chicago Brauhaus, 4732 N. Lincoln
Eavesdropper: GMYH

Thirtysomething male and twentysomething female discuss Michigan's Upper Peninsula:
Male: "I'm from Escanaba." [a town of 13,000 people]
Female: "Where in Escanaba?"
Male: "Escanaba."
--Chicago, 845 W. Grace
Eavesdropper: GMYH

This isn't technically eavesdropping, but it's worthy of inclusion:

A white cargo van parked in a handicapped spot outside a doctor's office with the following words in large print on the side of the van:
"Single white female needs kidney
A+ call (number forgotten)."
Sitting in the front of the van was a large mustachioed, tattooed man smoking a cigarette and blasting death metal.
--Maywood, IL, Loyola University Hospital
Eavesdropper: RDC

Thanks to all who contributed. Please keep those ears open, and remember, you don't actually have to overhear it in the Midwest for it to be included in Midwestern Eavesdropping. Just email it to, and it will be included in the next installment. Peace.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The State of Indiana Basketball

Spurred by a self-loathing email from Widenhofer on Sunday about IU basketball, I felt the need to write a State of Indiana Basketball post. Apologies to those of you who don't care one way or another about IU basketball, but it's my blog, so I write whatever I damn well please.

This past season -- which ended with an uninspired loss to Arkansas, who went on to lose by 31 in the second round to North Carolina -- was supposed to be the year that springboarded the Hoosier program back to prominence and dominance. We had, in D.J. White, the best big man in the Big Ten and, in Eric Gordon, one of the most talented all-around players to wear an IU jersey since Isaiah Thomas. In Kelvin Sampson, we had a coach who excited his players and excited the fans. He was the man who would bring us back to consistent top three finishes in the Big Ten and consistent Sweet 16s and Final Fours.

I wouldn't be writing this post if things had gone well this season. I'm bitter, frustrated, and angry at the way things turned out. More than anything I'm disappointed. I'm disappointed that Sampson couldn't keep his fingers off the phone. I'm disappointed that the media made Sampson out to be Satan, even though all he did was make extra phone calls. And I'm even more disappointed that our players absolutely mailed it in after Sampson resigned (I'm not sure if that's a testament to Sampson's coaching and motivation skills, a knock on Dan Dakich, or simply a lack of concentration and dedication by the players).

The state of Indiana basketball is as follows: not good.

It's been 21 years since we've won a national title. I know that for programs like Illinois and Purdue, you just wish you had an NCAA title, but at Indiana we expect to win them every now and then -- certainly more often than the time it takes for an infant to reach the legal drinking age.

We're going through (and are hopefully in the late stages of) a bit of a dry spell, the likes of which the Hoosier program hasn't seen since the unstable bridge between Branch McCracken and Robert Montgomery Knight. Between 1953 -- when McCracken led the "firewagon" to its second national title -- and 1973 -- when Knight made his first of five Final Fours -- times were dark for Hoosier basketball fans. In the 20 seasons in between, the Hoosiers won only 4 Big Ten titles (three while McCracken still coached) and failed to reach the Final Four. The names Lou Watson and Jerry Oliver still cause IU fans to shudder a bit. As well they should. In the seven years between McCracken and Knight, Watson and Oliver combined for a 42-46 record, only one Big Ten title, and only one NCAA appearance.

Then came an angry 31-year-old coach from Army, who arrived in 1971. The next 23 years were pretty damn good by any measuring stick: 11 Big Ten titles, 18 NCAA tournaments, 3 NCAA championships, 5 Final Fours, 8 Elite Eights, 14 Sweet 16s. Plaid suits were worn. Chairs were thrown. Puerto Rican cops were punched. Good times were had by all.

Knight's last six years were marred by wasted talent and underachievement. The vaunted high school class of '94 was supposed to keep the train running. I remember watching the McDonald's All-American game in 1994 when an unchoked Neil Reed threw a perfect alley oop off the backboard to a soaring Andrae Patterson, who slammed it home with authority. I beamed, knowing that these two would be leading IU for the next four years (in those days, most players actually stayed in college for four years -- good ones, too), along with Charlie Miller (a lefty small forward who was to be the next Calbert Cheaney), Michael Hermon (a gritty guard from Chicago's Public League who lasted one season at IU before being dismissed from the team), and Rob Hodgson (who ended up being a hell of a player -- at Rutgers). It was a solid class that was touted as the next "Magnificent Seven" (the class of 1989 -- Calbert Cheaney, Greg Graham, Pat Graham, Chris Reynolds, Todd Leary, Lawrence Funderburke, and Chris Lawson). By the end of their careers, those of the class of '94 who were left had led IU to exactly zero Big Ten titles and a single NCAA tournament win.

In Knight's final few years at IU, the talent was either transferring to other schools or not coming in the first place. He tried to make due with decent players, but he simply could not bring in the caliber of players that he once did. It was brutal to watch as our teams would get outmanned in the first and second rounds of the tournament by such basketball powerhouses as Missouri, Colorado, and St. John's. Not to mention his last game at IU, a 20-point drubbing by Pepperdine in a 6-11 match-up in the 2000 tournament. Thankfully, a connecting flight from Newark to Indy was delayed on my way back from spring break in London. Six of us sprinted through the concourse after landing in Indy, arriving at the first sports bar in time to see the final 30 seconds. It was painful. Had our plane been on time, we might have destroyed that very same sports bar with its own pint glasses. For that, and many other reasons, I have not been back to Newark and hope never to return.

We all know that Bob Knight's tenure at IU ended unceremoniously in September 2000 with nothing more than a "What's up Knight?" Fuck you, Kent Harvey. Show some respect. Protests ensued. Myles Brand was deservedly burned in effigy.

In came Mike Davis, a players' favorite with no head coaching experience who had recruited many of the IU roster at the time. He was a nice guy who was thrust into a tough position, not only coaching at one of the most storied basketball programs in the NCAA, but also following a legend who was more associated with Indiana basketball than anyone else. He was set up to fail.

Many IU fans lambasted Davis as soon as the "interim" tag was lifted from his title. In my opinion, he was never given a fair shot by much of the IU fan base, and I was embarrassed on more than one occasion about how he was treated. In the last 2 or 3 years of Davis's tenure, people who called themselves IU "fans" rooted against the team because they thought it would get Davis fired. It wasn't fair, especially for someone like Davis, who was a genuinely nice and good person. His problem was that his name didn't start with a "B," nor did it end with a "t," and, worst of all, nor did it have an "ob Knigh" in the middle.

Granted, Davis was not a great Xs and Os coach, but as maligned as he was, he provided IU fans with their only bright spot of the past 15 years: a share of the Big Ten title in 2002 and a miraculous and emotional ride to the NCAA championship game. I was in my second year of law school at IU that year, and it was unbelievable. I broke my toe running out of my house on Grant Street to celebrate in the street with the masses when IU beat Duke in the Sweet 16, and I didn't care. It was euphoria in Bloomington. My toe still doesn't bend all the way.

Things were looking up. We had momentum, excitement, and a solid recruiting class coming in the next fall. But things did not go up. In fact, they fell. Fast and hard. After starting 8-0 in the 2002-2003 season, Davis infamously flipped out at Freedom Hall, running onto the court after Bracey Wright was fouled (but it wasn't called) during the last minute of a close IU-Kentucky game. Before that game, his record as a head coach was pretty good (54-25, .684). His record after that was a mediocre 61-54 (.530).

Eventually Davis saw the writing on the wall and resigned in 2006. The search was on. It was the first coaching search IU had had in 35 years. We needed a coach with experience, with a history of winning, with passion, and preferably with public speaking ability, although not the kind laced with profanities.

In late March 2006, a tight-lipped IU announced that Oklahoma's Kelvin Sampson was the next head coach. I was thrilled. He was better than any of the other names that had been tossed around by the media and IU fans. Frankly, aside from one small problem, he was everything IU would want in a coach. He won games, he recruited very well, his players loved him, he was passionate, and he was a great marketer for the program.

But there were those pesky extra phone calls he made while at Oklahoma. 577 of them. It was an issue, but I quickly got over it when Sampson addressed the concerns head on in his first press conference. I don't blame the administration or the AD for hiring Sampson. I trusted that they had done their homework and that they thought Sampson was worthy of the job, despite his misgivings at Oklahoma. I though it was a great hire then, and I still think it was the right hire at the time. They took his word that he wouldn't do it again, and I don't fault them for that. Everyone deserves a second chance, right? And it's not like he was offering recruits Chevy Blazers, looking the other way as boosters padded players' bank accounts, hooking his players up with cushy summer jobs that involved little to no actual work, or committing academic fraud. No matter what you think of his excessive phone calling, Sampson legitimately cared about his players and his players cared for their coach. I was happy with the hire, even after the second wave of allegedly improper phone calls was reported by IU last fall.

Then came the NCAA's report -- conveniently released the day before we played Wisconsin at home with the Big Ten lead at stake -- which alleged that Sampson had made 10 additional phone calls while on NCAA probation. Worse yet, he allegedly lied to NCAA investigators and to IU investigators. The lying made these infractions "major" in the eyes of the NCAA.

Not this year, I thought. Not this fucking year. This was supposed to be our year. Big Ten title. Final Four. Maybe even a championship. I've been waiting too long for this year for it to go down the shitter. Not. This. Year.

IU ponied up $200,000 and an anonymous donor ponied up the remaining $550,000 to force Sampson to resign about a week and a half after the NCAA's report was released. Disgrace shrouded the IU basketball program. More than anything else, I was disappointed because it was just so stupid of a thing to ruin one's coaching career.

To top it off, we end up making Dan Dakich our interim coach, even though the players' overwhelming choice was assistant coach Ray McCallum. It should be noted that Dakich was not even an assistant until this past fall when assistant Rob Senderoff resigned. McCallum, on the other hand, was an assistant all along, had recruited some of the players, and was simply a more familiar face to the players. Under Dakich, the team faltered, going 3-4 down the stretch, losing in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament, snagging a fucking 8 seed in the NCAA tournament, and then putting forth minimal effort in their first-round loss to Arkansas. For the past month, it looked like the players simply gave up. They obviously didn't jell with Dakich, and they didn't play with the kind of emotion they played with under Sampson. An 8 seed! This was supposed to be our year.

Now I am (as I mentioned above) just bitter and disappointed. I got my hopes up, and I still can't fathom how we went from a top 10 team a month and a half ago to an 8 seed (!) and a first-round exit. I love IU. I love watching IU basketball. Since I watched my first full IU game -- a 1989 game against Michigan when Jay Edwards hit a 3 at the buzzer for the win -- I have bled cream and crimson. I expect certain things, and I certainly expected this year to turn out differently.

As IU fans, we're often delusional about our beloved Hoosiers. We cling to those 5 banners hanging in Assembly Hall and those 8 Final Fours and those 20 Big Ten Championships, believing that the program is much better off than it actually is. The fact of the matter is that we have been average since 1993, when we were ranked #1 going into the NCAA tournament (and we all know that we would have won the title had Alan Henderson not injured his knee, putting him out of commission for the tournament). Since 1993, we haven't had anything better than a 4 seed (2001 -- a first round loss to Kent State in Mike Davis's first year).

I remember a time, not so long ago, when a Sweet 16 was expected every year, and anything less than that was a disappointment. Since IU made the Sweet 16 in 1994, we have been back exactly once -- during the team's remarkable run to the 2002 title game.

First round exits in 1995 (9 seed), 1996 (6 seed), 1997 (8 seed), 2000 (6 seed), 2001 (4 seed), and 2008 (8 seed).

Second round exits in 1998 (7 seed), 1999 (6 seed), 2003 (7 seed), 2006 (6 seed), and 2007 (7 seed).

An NIT berth in 2005. What the hell is the NIT?

As if that wasn't bad enough, the year before, the team had its first losing season since 1970. Are you kidding me?

Meanwhile, since we last won an NCAA title in 1987, every other one of the "Big 6" programs has won at least one title: Duke (3: 1991, 1992, 2001), Kansas (1: 1988), Kentucky (2: 1996, 1998), North Carolina (2: 1993, 2005), and UCLA (1: 1995).

Each has been to multiple Final Fours: Duke (9: 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1994, 1999, 2001, 2004), Kansas (5: 1988, 1991, 1993, 2002, 2003), Kentucky (4: 1993, 1996, 1997, 1998), North Carolina (7: 1991, 1993, 1995, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2005), and UCLA (3: 1995, 2006, 2007).

In that same span, IU has been to only two Final Fours (1992, 2002), reaching the championship game only once (2002), but failing to bring home a title. Since 1993, we have won a grand total of one Big Ten championship (2002), and even then, we shared it with three other teams.

So there it is. The State of Indiana Basketball. Just getting by. A shell of its former self, struggling to keep up and waiting to break out. IU basketball has reached a crossroads. Whoever IU hires as its next coach will have a gigantic impact on the direction of this program -- up, down, or stagnant.

I still think the position of head men's basketball coach at Indiana University is one of the top five positions in college basketball. IU is the flagship university of the only state in which basketball is religion. I hope the University hires someone who will bring excitement back to Assembly Hall (but who won't make too many phone calls from within its corridors). It's not about whether a potential coach played or didn't play at IU. It's not about whether he has some connection to the state or some connection to Bob Knight. It's about whether a potential coach can excite this fan base and bring IU back to it's former glory. It's about winning the right way and graduating as many players as possible. Most importantly, it's about whether a potential coach is ready and willing to become a legend. That last point may seem like a no-brainer, but I don't think every coach is willing (or ready) to become a legend. But to be a successful head coach at IU, you must be willing to be a legend. Branch McCracken and Bob Knight were legends and strove to be legends. Mike Davis wasn't ready to be a legend, at least not at IU. Kelvin Sampson was ready and willing, but perhaps a little too willing. Were it not for his happy fingers, I have no doubt that he had the passion, drive, and skills to become a legend.

I'd be hard-pressed to find a school whose alumni care more about their university than IU. Just about every IU alum you meet unequivocally and genuinely loved his or her time at IU. More than anything, we love basketball. It unites alumni and students alike, whether you're a business major or a fine arts major. We're great fans. Unlike some other fan bases, we're not obnoxious, we don't whine whenever something doesn't go our way, we're not petty, we don't have a "little brother complex," and we don't walk around with chips on our shoulders. We just love to love IU basketball, and we've suffered through mediocrity for too long. We fill up Assembly Hall every game, year in and year out, yelling our lungs out (I implore you to find a college basketball venue that gets louder than Assembly Hall when it gets rockin'), hoping that our passion in the stands will find its way onto the court (and it usually does).

With this next coaching search, I hope and pray that the administration hires the right man. I don't give a shit what his name is or his race or his religion or his alma mater (notwithstanding Purdue, of course, since we want someone capable of going to the Final Four). All I want is someone who will return this program to where it should be. A stopgap will not do. A "good coach" will not do. Only a legend will do.

New Raconteurs Video

As you may or may not know, today The Raconteurs released their second album, Consolers of the Lonely. For good and valuable consideration, Amazon is sending a copy to me via post. In the meantime, here is a video for "Salute Your Solution." Enjoy.

Monday, March 24, 2008

New Book - Then We Came to the End

Despite what my sidebar may have led you to believe, I finished A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers more than a week ago. I sincerely apologizing for leading you to believe that I was currently reading it. Overall, I liked AHWOSG a lot. It's a memoir, but the kind of memoir where nothing really happens, but at the same time there is a lot going on, if that makes sense. The very end was a little strange, with a bitter rant riddled with four-letter words comprising the last page or so. It was very Christoff.

I have since started reading Then We Came to the End by Joshua Ferris, which came highly recommended from Jesterio. It's a first-person plural (i.e., "we"), based-on-a-true-story account of the post-internet-bust-era layoffs of a Chicago ad agency. So far it's pretty funny.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

See, I Told You . . .

IU didn't deserve an 8 seed. Thanks for showing up Hoosiers. I love you. Why do you hate me? Why do you feel the need to rip my heart from my fucking chest year in and year out? We could have had something special this year, but no, you folded. You puckered. You choked. You ruined my year. Don't do that again.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Who'll Be the Next in Line for Heartaches?

At Jaleh's request, I was going to write a post assessing the various and sundry possibilities for the next head men's basketball coach at IU. However, Mike Pegram (founder and operator of, the IU site) beat me to the punch, with a nice article about whose names have been mentioned as possibilities thus far. Obviously, it is very early in the search process. I will not leave you without any of my own input, however.

Generally, I think IU should go after a big name coach who has proven that he can win at a major level. I hesitate to go with a mid-major coach because there is a huge difference between a mid-major and IU (expectations, pressure, recruiting, etc.). Some might argue that IU got Bob Knight from a mid-major (Army), but my response is that Bob Knight is the greatest basketball coach of all-time. You can't expect that every mid-major coach will turn into another Bob Knight. For every Bob Knight, there are dozens of Dan Monsons.

Also, I will say right now that I do not think that interim coach Dan Dakich is the right person for the job, even if IU makes a deep run in the NCAA tournament. He had a mediocre record (156-140) in 10 years at Bowling Green and has not impressed thus far during his tenure as IU's interim coach.

In order of preference, here are my choices for coaches who I think IU should go after, both from those mentioned in the Peegs article and from several others that I added myself for shits and giggles (with a comment about each):

My Top Choices

1. Bruce Pearl, Tennessee head coach - Perfect combination of Xs and Os and passion for IU; he may be the only coach who would piss off Illinois fans more than Kelvin Sampson (which I would love); has Midwest connections (assistant at Iowa and head coach at UW-Milwaukee and University of Southern Indiana); may not be willing to leave Tennessee.

2. Rick Barnes, Texas head coach - Has Final Four experience and is a great recruiter; may not be willing to leave cushy job at Texas, although he is not a Texas guy and has coached all over (George Mason, Providence, Clemson); he is 53, so he may not coach for more than another 10-15 years.

3. Jamie Dixon, Pittsburgh head coach - Great up and coming coach who has done well at Pitt since taking over for Ben Howland in 2003; has the potential to be at IU for a long long time; potential downside is that he is currently under contract until 2013, so the buyout might be large.

4. Rick Pitino, Louisville head coach - One of the premier coaches in the NCAA; has expressed interest in IU in the past, but very unlikely to leave Louisville at this point.

5. Thad Matta, Ohio State head coach - Good Indiana ties (Butler alum and former coach) and can obviously recruit in Indiana (see Greg Oden and Mike Conley); has had great success at Butler, Xavier, and Ohio State; may not jump to another Big Ten school.

6. Tony Bennett, Washington State head coach - Has done very well in his two years at WSU (49-15; 3 seed last year and 4 seed this year; national COY in 2007); is young, so could stay at IU for a long time; comes from a great coaching family (father Dick coached UW-Green Bay, Wisconsin, and Washington State; sister Kathi is IU's former women's basketball coach); major concerns are that he only has 2 years of head coaching experience and that he may be waiting to take over Wisconsin once Bo Ryan retires (which I hope is tomorrow).

7. John Calipari, Memphis head coach - Great coach with Final Four experience; has expressed interest in IU in the past, and he could potentially get over the championship hump at IU; there is a feeling that he is somehow shady (his players seem to get arrested fairly often and then not suspended or kicked off the team), although he has never been sanctioned by the NCAA.

Second Tier (good coaches who don't particularly excite me, who I think IU shouldn't even look at until the above 7 options have been exhausted)

8. Trent Johnson, Stanford head coach - Has done fairly well and recruited well at Stanford; took 10-seeded Nevada to Sweet 16 in 2004; has no ties to Midwest; may not want to leave Stanford.

9. Jay Wright, Villanova head coach - After disappointing first 3 seasons at Villanova (3 NITs), he as done well (4 NCAA appearances, one Sweet 16, one Elite 8); did well at Hofstra before coming to Villanova (2 NCAA appearances); Villanova has slipped the past 2 seasons (9 seed in 2007 and 12 seed in 2008); he's a Pennsylvania guy, married to a former Villanova cheerleader, so he may be in it for the long haul at Villanova.

10. Tom Crean, Marquette head coach - Has done well at Marquette (Final Four in 2003), although not extraordinarily well (2 NITs, 2 NCAA tournaments, 0 NCAA wins); is young, so could stay at IU for a long time; has a fat contract at Marquette through 2017, so buyout may be huge; was assistant coach under Jud Heathcoate and Tom Izzo at Michigan State, and there is a perception that he may be waiting for Izzo to retire to take over at MSU.

11. Sean Miller, Xavier head coach - Has done very well in four seasons at Xavier since taking over for Thad Matta in 2004 (3 NCAA appearances, one A-10 regular season title, one A-10 conference tournament title); good Midwest connections; has only been a head coach for four seasons; has a contract through 2013, so buyout may be large.

12. Mike Brey, Notre Dame head coach - Has done fairly well in 8 seasons at Notre Dame (142-78; 5 NCAA appearances) and did well before that at Delaware; recruits pretty well; was an assistant at Duke from 1987-1995 (6 Final Fours, 2 NCAA titles); has advanced to Sweet 16 only once; wears sportcoats with t-shirts far too often.

13. Scott Drew, Baylor head coach - As a member of Valpo's famed Drew family and Butler grad, he has Indiana and Midwest connections; has done a phenomenal job turning around a Baylor program that was left for dead (pun intended) after 2003's several scandals; this year took Baylor to first NCAA appearance in 20 years; because of sanctions from the aforementioned scandal and resultant hamstringing of the Baylor program, Drew's coaching ability/potential is unclear at this point.

14. Kevin Stallings, Vanderbilt head coach - Was hired by current IU AD Rick Greenspan as head coach when Greenspan was AD at Illinois State; did very well in 6 years at Illinois State (2 NCAA appearances, 2 NITs); inconsistent at Vanderbilt (too many NITs), but has done very well the past 2 seasons; is a Purdue grad and was a Purdue assistant under Gene Keady, which is a deal breaker for many IU fans.

15. Chris Lowery, Southern Illinois head coach - Is from Evansville (played high school basketball with IU legend Calbert Cheaney) and has good Midwest connections; has done well in his first four seasons at SIU (3 NCAA appearances, Sweet 16 in 2007); 2008 team vastly underachieved, starting the season ranked and ending in the NIT; has only been a head coach for 4 seasons; connected to Bruce Weber (played under Weber at SIU and was assistant under Weber at SIU and Illinois), which may leave him in a position to become Illinois's next coach after Weber is inevitably fired.

16. Brad Brownell, Wright State head coach - Is also from Evansville (and also played high school ball with Calbert Cheaney) and has good Indiana and Midwest connections; has done well as a head coach at UNC-Wilmington (2 NCAA appearances in 4 seasons) and Wright State (1 NCAA appearance in 2 seasons); has never won an NCAA tournament game as a head coach; has no coaching experience at a major program.

17. Anthony Grant, VCU head coach - Is 52-14 in 2 seasons as VCU head coach and lead VCU to upset of Duke in 2007 NCAA tournament; was an assistant at Florida from 1996-2006 (2 Final Fours, one NCAA title); has only been a head coach for 2 seasons; is rumored to be very close to a deal to be the head coach at LSU.

NBA coaches or retired coaches (none of whom I think would be good choices):

18. Scott Skiles, ex-Chicago Bulls head coach - Hard-nosed and passionate coach like Knight; is from Indiana and apparently lives in Bloomington; was not very well liked by players when coached Bulls; has little to no college coaching experience; is a Michigan State grad, so there is fear that he would one day want to jump to MSU after Izzo retires.

19. Lawrence Frank, New Jersey Nets head coach - Former IU manager who has led the Nets to the playoffs in every season he has coached them; was a former assistant under Kevin O'Neill at Marquette and Tennessee, so has some college experience; however, that experience was over 8 years ago and he is from (and lives in) New Jersey.

20. Keith Smart, Golden State Warriors assistant coach - Former IU player who hit the winning shot in the 1987 NCAA title game; coaching experience is mainly in the NBA.

21. Randy Wittman, Minnesota Timberwolves head coach - Former IU player on 1981 NCAA title team and Big Ten POY in 1983; all of his coaching experience has been in the NBA.

22. Mike Woodson, Atlanta Hawks head coach - Former IU player and Big Ten POY in 1980; nearly all of his experience (if not all) is in the NBA.

23. Mike Montgomery, Assistant AD at Stanford, ex-Stanford head coach, ex-Golden State Warriors head coach - Did very well at Stanford; was mentioned in IU's last coaching search; he is 61, though, and may not be the long-term solution IU is looking for.

24. Larry Brown, Executive VP of Philadelphia 76ers, ex-Kansas head coach, ex-NBA head coach - He would be a great choice if he wasn't 67.

∞. Bob Knight, ex-Army head coach, ex-IU head coach, ex-Texas Tech head coach - For those of you who are delusional to ever think that Knight would come back to IU or that IU would hire Knight, please go with the nice people in the white coats. I love Bob Knight, but I don't think he will ever again be the right man to coach Indiana University, and certainly not at 67 years of age. He had a great 29 seasons at IU. Look back fondly on them and move on. He has.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

New Poll - Fame in Life or Death

Well, 22% of you were right by picking Wisconsin to win the Big Ten. The other 88% of you were just dead wrong. Thanks for nothing, Hoosiers.

This week's poll is a bit more thought provoking. You've probably heard this question before, but it's still a fun one to ask. Would you rather (1) be unbelievably famous during your lifetime, but then be literally forgotten as soon as you die by everyone except your family and close friends, or (2) live a normal life and never be famous during your lifetime, but then be famous and remembered on a wide scale for hundreds of years after your death?

"What's That?"

Those were the words spoken to me by at least five people in my office when I asked if they wanted to participate in the office's NCAA Tournament bracket pool. They honestly had no idea what I was talking about. They looked at the brackets, then looked back up at me as if I had just handed them something in broken Sanskrit, looked back down at the brackets upon seeing the oblivious look on my face, then said something like "what do I do?" or "this looks complicated" or "I've never done this before." These are Midwesterners. I didn't know it was possible for someone in the Midwest over the age of three to have never participated in an NCAA Tournament pool, much less to have never even seen a bracket. I have to rethink some things.

Then on my way to work today some bird got in my face, so I punched it right in the beak. Suck on that, Audubon.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

And Another Thing...

How is it that this year's IU team has a better record and a higher RPI than the IU teams from the past 2 years (and is, frankly, a better team than the previous two years), but it has a worse seed?

Here are the stats from the past three seasons (records are pre-NCAA tournament; RPI stats are from

2006 - 6 seed
34 RPI
9-7 in the Big Ten (5th place)
1-1 in the Big Ten Tournament
7-8 vs. RPI Top 50
Worst losses: at Indiana State (RPI 163), at Penn State (RPI 106), at Minnesota (RPI 83) (all other losses were to teams in top 23 of RPI)
5-5 in last 10

2007 - 7 seed
28 RPI
10-6 in the Big Ten (3rd place)
0-1 in the Big Ten Tournament
5-8 vs. RPI Top 50
Worst loss: at Iowa (RPI 96) (all other losses were to teams in top 54 of RPI)
5-5 in last 10

2008 - 8 seed
22 RPI
14-4 in the Big Ten (3rd place)
0-1 in the Big Ten Tournament
5-5 vs. RPI Top 50
Worst losses: at Penn State (RPI 157), Minnesota (in Big Ten Tournament) (RPI 101) (all other losses were to teams in top 18 of RPI)
6-4 in last 10

So next year, as long as we go something like 27-5 and finish in the top 2 in the conference, we should be able to snag a 9 seed. I just don't get it.

An 8 Seed?!

Are you fisting me? Where's Ashton Kutcher? Seriously. He must be behind this. That's the only explanation.

Granted, IU lost its last 2 games (one in OT on the road and one on a Laettner-esque last second shot after IU had come back from 17 down), but come on. IU is 25-7, went 14-4 in the Big Ten (3rd place), and has an RPI of 20 (according to CBS Sportsline). I figured their loss to Minnesota would move them down from a 5 seed to a 6 seed. But an 8?! That's some happy horse shit.

There are 10 teams with worse RPIs than IU that have better seeds:
4 seeds:
Washington State (24-8, 22 RPI, 3rd in Pac-10, 1-1 in Pac-10 tournament)
UConn (24-8, 24 RPI, 4th in the Big East, 0-1 in Big East tournament)
5 seed:
Notre Dame (24-7, 31 RPI, 3rd in the Big East, 0-1 in the Big East tournament)
6 seeds:
Oklahoma (22-11, 29 RPI, 4th in Big 12, 1-1 in the Big 12 tournament)
USC (21-11, 28 RPI, 4th in Pac-10, 1-1 in Pac-10 tournament)
Marquette (23-9, 26 RPI, 6th in the Big East, 2-1 in Big East tournament)
Purdue (24-8, 44 RPI, 2nd in the Big Ten, 0-1 in the Big Ten tournament)
7 seeds:
Gonzaga (25-7, 27 RPI, 1st in WCC, 1-1 in WCC tournament)
Miami (FL) (21-10, 39 RPI, 5th place in the ACC, 1-1 in ACC tournament)
West Virginia (24-10, 33 RPI, 5th place in the Big East, 2-1 in Big East tournament)

The other 8 seeds are BYU (27-7, 30 RPI, 1st in MWC, 2-1 in MWC tournament), Mississippi State (22-10, 52 RPI, 1st in SEC West, 1-1 in SEC tournament), and UNLV (26-7, 21 RPI, 2nd in MWC, MWC tournament champs -- they should also be pissed with an 8 seed).

And how the fuck did Purdue get a better seed that IU? IU beat Purdue the only time they played this year. Purdue's RPI is 44. Purdue was also 0-1 in the Big Ten Tournament, losing to a sub-.500 Illinois team. The only thing they had over IU was that they were 15-3 in the Big Ten regular season, while IU was 14-4. And I don't understand how Michigan State got a better seed than both IU and Purdue. They were 12-6 in the Big Ten regular season and 1-1 in the Big Ten tournament.

So now, IU will have to play a pesky Arkansas team in the first round, in order to have the pleasure of playing North Carolina in the second round in Raleigh. Fuck you, Selection Committee.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Getting Pooped On

This week, shit is raining down on me. Nothing seems to be in order. Instead of order, I am getting shit. On. By everyone and everything. I feel like I finally know what the dudes in Slayer must have felt like when they wrote "Raining Blood," except that I am currently being rained upon by shit, which, frankly, is much more odorous, messy, hardcore, and difficult to dodge than if it were raining blood, proving once again that Slayer is full of pansies.* To all entities dropping deuces -- insane or otherwise -- on me, I respond with a profanity-laced tirade. Fuck you. Fuck this long winter. Fuck meteorologists and their never-ending false promise of hope. Fuck work. Fuck driving to Wheaton twice in one week. Fuck not having a goddamned minute to workout or being too tired and/or lazy to workout even if I had a minute. Fuck opposing counsel who went to Illinois, who are Cubs fans, and who are Republicans. Fuck opposing counsel who are a combination of all three. Fuck being a lawyer. Fuck still being awake at 12:36 a.m. Fuck, I need a beer right now. Fuck Lent. Fuck not being able to get a good night's sleep. Fuck, wasting time writing this when I could have been in bed by now. Fuck the CTA, just because. Fuck Client #9. Fuck Mobb Deep. Fuck Biggie. Fuck Bad Boy as a staff, record label, and as a motherfucking crew. Fuck you, as well, if you sympathize with Bad Boy. Fuck you, as well, if your name is Chino XL. Fuck all you motherfuckers, as well. Fuck me gently with a chainsaw.

*Before any Slayer fans start going apeshit on me, obviously Slayer is not full of pansies -- literally or figuratively. In fact, Tom Araya scares the shit out of me -- figuratively, not literally -- and I am confident that, if given the chance, he would shoulder-press me and swiftly bring me down so as to break me in half over his head. Then he would start to devour my flesh, stopping soon after because I would probably taste like shit -- literally, not figuratively.

Monday, March 10, 2008

The Lady's Brunch Burger

"We take eighteen ounces of sizzling ground beef, and soak it in rich, creamery butter, then we top it off with bacon, ham, and a fried egg. We call it the Good Morning Burger."
--The Simpsons, Episode 8F22

Jester sent me a recipe for something called the Lady's Brunch Burger. Given the name, you might think it's a dainty, small hamburger, garnished with flowers, lace, babies, bubble baths, and a bottle of Massengill's. After all, it is a "lady's" burger. Not so fast, my friends. A quick glance at the name of the person who submitted the recipe (Paula Deen) hints at gluttonous possibilities. I've never seen a Paula Deen recipe that skimped on lard. Then you look at the recipe. Sweet mother of all that is delicious and artery clogging, this is the closest thing to the Good Morning Burger I've ever seen. I know some women who would eat this, but certainly no "ladies":
-A 1/2 pound hamburger patty
-A fried egg
-2 strips of bacon
-Glazed donuts used as a substitute for a bun

I just simultaneously vomited, cried, ejaculated, and salivated. Brings back memories of my wedding night.

Beatles Finally on iTunes?

The Beatles (read: Sir Paul McCartney) have apparently reached a $400 million deal with Apple (the computer company, not the Beatles' former record label) to release the Beatles' catalog on iTunes. As someone who already owns the Beatles' entire catalog, I can say with conviction that I am glad everyone else in the world will be able to more easily access what is hands down the greatest musical assemblage of the 20th Century. There, I said it. Take that Dave Clark Five fans!

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Revised Big Ten Tournament Predictions

Well, IU shit the bed today at Penn State to give the #2 seed in the Big Ten Tournament to those rat bastards from West Lafayette, so the seeds from my previous predictions must be revised. Here are my revised predictions (arriving at the same result, but getting there a little bit differently):

FIRST ROUND - Thursday, March 13
No. 8 Iowa vs. No. 9 Michigan (Iowa)
No. 7 Penn State vs. No. 10 Illinois (Penn State)
No. 6 Minnesota vs. No. 11 Northwestern (Minnesota)
QUARTERFINALS - Friday, March 14
No. 1 Wisconsin vs. Iowa (Wisconsin)
No. 4 Michigan State vs. No. 5 Ohio State (MSU)
No. 2 Purdue vs. Penn State (Purdue)
No. 3 IU vs. Minnesota (IU)
SEMIFINALS - Saturday, March 15
Wisconsin vs. Michigan State (Wisconsin)
IU vs. Purdue (IU)
CHAMPIONSHIP - Sunday, March 16
IU vs. Wisconsin (IU)

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Fun x Fun = Fun

So Detroit Metro is a fun place to wait several hours for a flight. Anywho, while I'm sitting here at a "Laptop Pit Stop Charging Station" dreaming up creative ways to stab myself to death, I might as well make myself useful. Thus, I'm going to update my Championship Week predictions as the champions are crowned (because you care), placing my correct predictions in a delightful green and my incorrect predictions in an ominous red. Oooh, look, a Detroit-themed souvenir spoon!

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

New Poll - Big Ten Tournament

It's official: GMYH readers would overwhelmingly (77%-23%) prefer to smell smoke in a bar than BO and other bodily smells. To the Statehouse!

This week's poll relates to the upcoming Big Ten Tournament, which gets underway Thursday March 13 in Indianapolis. Here are the current Big Ten standings, with the remaining games for each team:
1. Wisconsin 15-2 (at NW - 3/8)
2. Indiana 14-3 (at PSU - 3/9)
2. Purdue 14-3 (at Mich - 3/9)
4. Michigan State 11-5 (at Ill - 3/6; at OSU - 3/9)
5. Ohio State 9-8 (MSU - 3/9)
6. Minnesota 8-9 (at Ill - 3/8)
7. Penn State 6-11 (IU 3/9)
8. Iowa 6-12
9. Michigan 5-12 (Pur - 3/9)
10. Illinois 4-12 (MSU - 3/6; Minn - 3/8)
11. Northwestern 1-16 (Wisc - 3/8)

Based on the remaining games, here is how I see the seeds/standings shaking out:
1. Wisconsin - 16-2
2. Indiana - 15-3 (holds tiebreaker over Purdue due to victory in their only meeting)
3. Purdue - 15-3
4. Michigan State - 13-5
5. Ohio State - 9-9 (holds tiebreaker over Minnesota due to better record vs. Wisconsin (0-1 vs. 0-2))
6. Minnesota - 9-9
7. Iowa - 6-12 (holds tiebreaker over Penn State due to better record vs. Ohio State and Minnesota (1-2 vs. 0-3); it goes down that far because Iowa and PSU split their season series, and have the same collective record against Wisconsin, IU/Purdue, and MSU)
8. Penn State - 6-12
9. Michigan 5-13
10. Illinois - 4-14
11. Northwestern - 1-17

Thus, here would be the match-ups in the Big Ten Tournament, with my biased predictions:

FIRST ROUND - Thursday, March 13
No. 8 PSU vs. No. 9 Michigan (Michigan)
No. 7 Iowa vs. No. 10 Illinois (Iowa)
No. 6 Minnesota vs. No. 11 Northwestern (Minnesota)
QUARTERFINALS - Friday, March 14
No. 1 Wisconsin vs. Michigan (Wisconsin)
No. 4 Michigan State vs. No. 5 Ohio State (MSU)
No. 2 Indiana vs. Iowa (IU)
No. 3 Purdue vs. Minnesota (Purdue)
SEMIFINALS - Saturday, March 15
Wisconsin vs. Michigan State (Wisconsin)
IU vs. Purdue (IU)
CHAMPIONSHIP - Sunday, March 16
IU vs. Wisconsin (IU)

So, who do you think will win the Big Ten Tournament: Wisconsin, Indiana, Purdue, Michigan State, or someone else?

Championship Week is Upon Us!

It's here. The Madness, that is. Oh, what a glorious time of year. Over the next five weeks, hearts will be broken, dreams will be realized, bubbles will be burst, and contenders will be separated from pretenders, culminating in the sweet voice of Luther Vandross's ghost providing the backdrop for a singular moment that is not dull. (By the way, to see all of the One Shining Moments from 1987-2007, click here)

But first things first. Beginning last night with the kickoff of the Big South, Horizon League, and Ohio Valley conference tournaments, we have been thrust the joys and perils of Championship Week, which is a misnomer, since it actually lasts twelve days, which is considered MORE than one week under the Gregorian, Julian, Alexandrian, Hindu, Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Tibetan, Vietnamese, French Revolutionary, Icelandic, Norse, Hermetic Lunar Week, and proposed World Calendars. Every Division I conference but one (damn those uppity Ivies and their precious focus on academics) will hold a tournament to see who gets that coveted automatic bid to the Big Dance. To add to the excitement, Bob Knight is joining ESPN's in-studio crew during Championship Week (read: The Twelve Days of Championships). I'm literally and figuratively moist.

Here is a rundown of the dates and location of each tournament and who I think is going to win, because you give a shit:

March 13-16 (Charlotte): Duke (North Carolina)

America East
March 7-9, 15 (Binghamton, NY; championship at higher seed): UMBC

Atlantic 10
March 12-15 (Atlantic City, NJ): Xavier (Temple)

Atlantic Sun
March 5-8 (Nashville): Belmont

March 13-16 (Kansas City): Texas (Kansas)

Big East
March 12-15 (New York City): UConn (Pittsburgh)

Big Sky
March 8, 11-12 (first round at higher seeds; semis in Portland; championship at regular season champion's campus): Portland State

Big South
March 4, 6, 8 (first round at higher seeds; semis in Asheville, NC; championship at higher seed): Winthrop

Big Ten
March 13-16 (Indianapolis): Indiana (Wisconsin)

Big West
March 12-15 (Anaheim): UC Santa Barbara (Cal State Fullerton)

Colonial Athletic Association
March 7-10 (Richmond, VA): UNC-Wilmington (George Mason)

Conference USA
March 12-15 (Memphis): Memphis

March 4, 7-8, 11 (first round at higher seeds; quarters and semis in Indianapolis; championship at higher seed): Butler

March 7-10 (Albany, NY): Niagara (Siena)

March 12-15 (first round at higher seeds; quarters through championship in Cleveland): Kent State

March 11-15 (Raleigh, NC): Morgan State (Coppin State)

Missouri Valley Conference
March 6-9 (St. Louis): Southern Illinois (Drake)

Mountain West Conference
March 12-15 (Las Vegas): BYU (UNLV)

Northeast Conference
March 6, 9, 12 (higher seeds): Robert Morris (Mt. St. Mary's)

Ohio Valley
March 4, 7, 8 (first round at higher seeds; semis and championship in Nashville): Austin Peay

March 12-15 (Los Angeles): Stanford (UCLA)

Patriot League
March 5, 9, 14 (higher seeds): American

March 13-16 (Atlanta): Tennessee (Georgia)

Southern Conference
March 7-10 (North Charleston, SC): Davidson

March 13-14, 16 (Katy, TX): Stephen F. Austin (UT-Arlington)

Southwestern Athletic Conference
March 12-15 (Birmingham, AL): Alabama State (Mississippi Valley State)

Summit League
March 8-11 (Tulsa): Oral Roberts

Sun Belt
March 5, 9-11 (first round at higher seeds; quarters through championship in Mobile, AL): South Alabama (Western Kentucky)

March 11, 13-15 (Las Cruces, NM): New Mexico State (Boise State)

West Coast Conference
March 7-10 (San Diego): Gonzaga (San Diego)

Monday, March 03, 2008

Things to Do in Chicago When You're Dead

  • Go to sleep at 10 p.m. on Friday night because you got up at 5 Friday morning.
  • Awaken briefly around 9:27 a.m. on Saturday so that wife can tell you that she took the dog out before she goes home to Northwest Indiana for approximately 30 hours to see her sister's new house.
  • Awaken for good at 11:05 a.m., after 13 glorious hours of sleep.
  • Revel in the fact that you got 13 hours of sleep for the first time in over 5 years, celebrating by sitting on the couch and winning a staring contest with your potentially autistic dog.
  • Watch a whole host of college basketball games between schools that you did not attend, including, but not limited to, Duke, North Carolina State, Syracuse, Pittsburgh, Marquette, Georgetown, Wright State, Valparaiso, Boston College, North Carolina, Texas, Texas Tech, Purdue, and Northwestern.
  • Complete assignment for Second City class by writing first 15 pages of screenplay that someone one day will call both hilarious and poignant, even if that someone is you.
  • Get phone call from wife explaining that your Swedish-made station wagon is without a functioning alternator, that there are no alternators for Swedish-made cars in all of Northwest Indiana, and that your Swedish-made station wagon will thus be spending a week in the Huntington, Indiana area.
  • Curse.
  • Shower.
  • Dress yourself, for Christ's sake.
  • Meet Tradd at 6:45 at the corner of Wilton and Diversey and walk to Duffy's for Hess's going away party, which will be $20 for domestic drafts and well drinks from 7 to 11.
  • Be the first to arrive at the party.
  • Order your first of many whiskey and diets because you're watching your weight but not your sobriety.
  • Hang out with the likes of Hess, Davidson, Dietz, Kern, Babcock, Poll, Garfield, Dickerson, McHugh, Grant, Schuster, some dudes you don't know, and some chicks you don't know who are with the dudes you do and don't know.
  • Watch Garfield -- the dude you know, not the incorrigibly lazy cat -- fail miserably in his attempt to convince your waitress that she needs to bring a bucket of gin, as he has purchased a turkey baster and a can of Peach Citrus Fresca, leaving him two key ingredients away from a Gin Bucket.
  • Leave with Tradd at 11:30 or so with one goal: a burrito.
  • Go to Bamba's and order a regular steak burrito with everything and side of cheese sauce, which most people don't realize is actually made from the body of Christ.
  • Watch Tradd order super chicken nachos, but fail to finish them while in the restaurant because he has to excuse himself, and when some dude asks if he is blocking Tradd's car, watch Tradd explain that he was merely vomiting in the Bamba's parking lot, rather than owning a car that was in a position to be blocked in.
  • Walk towards home with Tradd, as he carries the remainder of his super chicken nachos and retires.
  • Text Christoff and discover that he is at Corcoran's, where you will not be going to sleep.
  • Despite the fact that you are only two blocks from home and could easily have the first back-to-back nights of 10+ hours of sleep in six or seven years, grab a cab outside Grand Central and head to Corcoran's.
  • Meet Christoff, The Brothers Weeser* (minus Greg, of course), Noreen, and the Lutzows at Corcoran's.
  • Arrive just in time for them (minus Noreen) to go to another bar, the Old Town Ale House.
  • Fail to realize at that time that the Old Town Ale House is open until 5 a.m. on Saturdays.
  • Drink PBR and probably some other kinds of beer at Old Town Ale House.
  • While taking a cigarette break outside, run into the ex-girlfriend of your Australian friend named Andrew, and when she asks how Andrew is doing, tell her that "he's doing great things," without any further elaboration.
  • Text Andrew to tell him that you just saw his ex-girlfriend and told her he was doing great things.
  • Fail to leave when the Lutzows leave.
  • Fail to leave when Christoff leaves.
  • Fail to leave when Tim Weeser* leaves.
  • Sit with Dan Weeser* and get even more elegantly wasted, while having deep conversations about political ideologies, religion, and probably some other things.
  • During a discussion about the merits of the existence of God, inadvertently attract the attention of two females sitting at the table next to you -- one unattractive, one possibly attractive -- who join the conversation, which takes a decidedly less God-based tone.
  • Find out that the possibly attractive girl is from Nashville and be honest when she asks you for your opinion on country music.
  • After you explain that you dislike country music, for some reason be asked by a possibly attractive girl whether you like Alan Jackson.
  • Explain again to a possibly attractive girl that you dislike country music, but you know the words to "Chattahoochee" because one time in high school Mike Jones (the dude you know, not the rapper) had a broken car stereo, and so he had a little boombox in his Ford Escort Pony, but the radio on the boombox didn't work, and the only tape he had was his brother's tape single of "Chattahoochee," so you and your buddies listened to it over and over again for the entire night and you never knew how much that muddy water meant to you.
  • Be told by a possibly attractive girl that her neighbor in Nashville is Alan Jackson, who has a legitimate problem with crazy fans stealing trees from his property.
  • Discover that possibly attractive girl also lives on the same block as Tanya Tucker, whose name you recognize but who you couldn't pick out of a one-person line-up, and Willie Nelson, who is one of one living country musicians whose music you tolerate.
  • Get invited back to an unattractive girl's apartment, which is just down Wells a couple blocks, because Old Town Ale House is about to close.
  • Accept invitation, reminding an unattractive girl that you and Dan Weeser* are both happily married, but will gladly consume free beer.
  • Upon your arrival at an unattractive girl's apartment, watch as a possibly attractive girl immediately goes to sleep in the second bedroom, while you and Dan Weeser* notice all of the sailing shit on the walls and her dog named Dave who limps because one of his paws is all fucked up and will be forever.
  • Pet Dave and comment on "what a good dog" he is.
  • Question an unattractive girl about all the sailing shit on her walls.
  • Discover that she is into sailing.
  • Confirm your and Dan Weeser*'s disinterest in an unattractive girl who is into sailing by explaining that you have at least one perfect husband for her, based solely on your friends' love of and participation in sailing, even though you know that neither of your friends would pursue this girl outside of perhaps a boat race.
  • Ask unattractive girl about Dennis Conner, and discover that Dennis Conner is not well-liked by this unattractive girl and that Dennis Conner once saw her while she was changing into a bathing suit in her car and it was pretty awkward.
  • Realize that it is after 6 a.m. and you and Dan Weeser* are in the apartment of an unattractive girl with a gimpy dog who is into sailing.
  • Finish beer.
  • Leave unattractive girl's apartment with Dan Weeser* and curse along with Dan Weeser* as you realize that the sun is about to come up.
  • Catch a cab home and stay conscious for a considerable portion of the ride home.
  • Get shocked awake at 11:30 a.m. -- still drunk because you had your last beer a little more than five hours beforehand -- by the repeated pressing of the button that causes your buzzer's high-pitched and unforgiving scream.
  • Go downstairs, but realize that you are only wearing boxers.
  • Return to bedroom.
  • Put pants on.
  • Continue downstairs and buzz person in without regard for who it might be, discovering that it is one of your neighbors who locked herself out.
  • Close door.
  • Slap the shit out of yourself for completely nullifying the 13 hours of sleep you got Friday night.
  • Receive a call from Christoff, who wants to know if you want to go somewhere for breakfast.
  • Accept Christoff's invitation.
  • Go to Clarke's on Lincoln.
  • Believe that maybe this time you will have decent service at Clarke's, even though you have never had decent service at Clarke's.
  • Order a bacon cheeseburger with Meunster using those exact words.
  • When asked by your waitress several minutes after your order whether you wanted a skillet with bacon and Meunster, explain to waitress that you would like a bacon cheeseburger with Meunster using those exact words.
  • Watch the beginning of the IU/Michigan State game at Clarke's and have a bad feeling about things when Jordan Crawford bricks a breakaway dunk when IU is already down by ten.
  • Go to Morgan's house to watch the rest of the game.
  • Finally sober up.
  • Watch as the last few minutes of the IU/Michigan State game get preempted by CBS to show commercials.
  • Get picked up by your wife, who is driving a late-model maroon Toyota Corolla with Florida plates.
  • Walk your dog with the wife.
  • Be surprised at how well she takes the fact that you were up until 6:30 when you explain that you met Alan Jackson's neighbor.
  • When she asks whether you think there is any chance she will get to meet Alan Jackson, explain to her that you don't even know the name of the possibly attractive girl who lived next door to Alan Jackson.
  • Go to Penny's for dinner.
  • Buy some Liquid Plumr at 7-11 because your fucking shower refuses to keep water within its drain.
  • Curse as an entire bottle of Liquid Plumr is wholly ineffective at allowing water in your shower to drain.
  • Watch your dog freak out and sniff the computer speakers when you play a YouTube video of a dachshund "singing."
  • Play video of dachshund "singing" several times.
  • Watch a fascinating documentary series on History International about the SS.
  • Thank God you and your dark hair and non-blue eyes never encountered Reinhard Heydrich.
  • Wonder out loud whether your friend Holt, whose last name is Hedrick, is distantly related to Reinhard Heydrich.
  • Vow never to again speak to your friend Holt.
  • Go to bed around 9:43.