May 1st, 2003


Basketball rant

I was up waaaay too late last night watching what was possibly the last game together for John Stockton and Karl Malone of the Utah Jazz.

I've been a Jazz fan for a long time, particularly of those two. They were never the flashiest players, but I love an underdog, and perhaps because of my own blue-collar upbringing, I've always had a fondness for the teams and players that get it done by hard work and teamwork.

But I think I'm in the minority. In an interview I read several years ago, Larry Bird noted with irritation that the Jazz was one of the best teams in the league, but they never seemed to get any promotion. Who wanted to put the Jazz on NBC when you could get higher ratings showing then-rookie Shaquille O'Neill on an inferior team, but breaking lots of backboards?

Now the commentators who've barely talked about Malone and Stockton for years are falling over themselves to kiss their asses. Last night I heard sportscasters suddenly start claiming that Stockton is a tougher competitor than Michael Jordan and a greater player than Larry Bird. I realize that hyperbole usually rears its head when someone's retiring or on the verge of it, but seriously, if this is all so obvious, how come you never mentioned it before? I'm contemplating a career change to color commentator. I may have some serious gaps in my basketball knowledge, but honestly, do you think I could sound any dumber than Bill Walton?

(And while I'm at it, would somebody please explain to me why people think Charles Barkley is such a great sportscaster? Yes, I know he's charmingly controversial, and they don't pay him to think before he speaks, but really!!)

At least the Kings fans were totally classy. They gave Stockton (possibly Malone also?) a standing ovation and several obvious Kings fans still had signs expressing their admiration. We'll never see a basketball duo the likes of them again. (Though I'm still crossing my fingers for another season. No disrespect intended to Jordan, but I think Stockton's aged better -- still leading the league in assists at age 41.)
  • Current Mood
    grumpy grumpy

A discussion of coed living

My first year at Vandy (where they try to make sure everyone lives on campus all four years, gotta get those housing fee$), I lived on an all-girls hall. Chicks running up and down the hall shrieking at four in the morning. This one girl who would get in screaming fights with her boyfriend on the phone and then wail and scream loudly enough to wake the whole hall at 8 AM on Sunday morning. The president of the dorm getting busted for noise violations during finals. The bathrooms were so disgusting I'm not even going to go into it. And this was the calmest of the freshman dorms. gamgee has this great story about the only offense that got written up on his hall his entire freshman year -- the guy who got so drunk he couldn't tell the difference between "bathroom" and "RA's room" and pissed all over his RA's stuff while said RA screamed at him. But I digress.

For my sophomore through senior years, I lived in the foreign language dorm on the German hall. (We weren't total immersion, we were way too lazy like that, but I can curse like a mutterficker in German!! Actually, I was the hall schmutzigmund, who thought "Wie sagt man 'I'm gonna kick your ass' auf Deutsch?" was perfectly acceptable dinner conversation.) McTyeire was the only dorm on campus that was coed by room because it just wasn't practical to have separate male/female halls for each language. We had the lowest rate of property damage on campus (and the highest cumulative GPA). Some of that was self-selecting, I'm sure -- you had to have at least a little dedication to your language to live there -- but I think the coedness (is that a word?) made a big difference. The girls weren't running around shrieking, and the guys weren't busting beer cans on their heads.

We did have separate bathrooms though. Some things are just too much ;)

But that leads me to one last McTyeire story -- the semester a Fullbright scholar from Lithuania, in her 50's, lived with us. She was constantly rude and belittling, informing us we Americans had no culture, calling one resident an "ungrateful child" because she didn't go home for spring break, and the highlight, pissing all over the toilet seat and never cleaning it up. I wrote a humorous poem about it once; I should try to find it.
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    nostalgic nostalgic