Thursday, March 09, 2006
  I Can See Clearly Now, Despite the Fog
Yeah, it's foggy out in the MKE now. Foggy and in the low 50's.

And it's Thursday, which means not only am I gearing up for the Maroon & Gold media crush, but I'm also prepping for the #4 seeded Golden Eagles are playing the #5 seeded Hoyas at 2 EST, 1 CST. I'm not there, but I am here in the 12th Street office soon to make a move to a 10th Avenue Freezeout (more on that song later) down at the Water Street Offices.

(which reminds me of the good old days of Iona's Northern Campus, on the shores of Narragansett Bay...but that's a different story for a different day.)

Ok, onto the stuff that's just dying to get out:

*** I'm sure, unless you live under a rock, you've heard Jim Boeheim's post-game rant about his senior guard Gerry McNamara.

Even if you live under a rock, and you can understand conversational worm-speak, you'd have heard about it.

Boeheim blasted his local and student newspapers for calling the career of McNamara "overrated." He took special exception with a few anonymous league assistant coaches who uttered the dreaded O-word.

I'm torn with my feelings about it. But here goes, in no particular order.

1. Jim Boeheim loves his kids. He may not always like them, but he for damn sure loves them and will damn sure defend them if he thinks they are being wronged in any way. That is the kind of coach I'd like to play for or have my son play for.

2. Jim Boeheim is one of the best coaches in the history of the game. That's from Naismith's peachbucket to the alternate possession rule to the 2006 NCAA Tournament. One of the best ever. No doubt.

3. Gerry McNamara has had a nice career. He was won a national championship. He has won a lot of ballgames. He has completed his degree requirements at a terrific school. He has set himself up for the rest of his life, hopefully.

4. Gerry McNamara began his career as an 18-year old kid. He ends it as a 22-year old kid.

5. Syracuse is one of the best college basketball towns in the Northeast, perhaps the country. The Post-Standard does a great job, year-in and year-out, in covering the Orange(men). The Daily Orange is a terrific student-run newspaper (seeing as Syracuse has given us many of the best sports journalists in the country, it's not a surprise there).

6. Jim Boeheim has spent more than half his life dealing with Syracuse basketball, as a player and as a coach.

That being said...

7. College basketball fans, media, pundits, experts and the so-called experts and douchebag fans on the message boards always seem to forget that these are 18, 19, 20-year old kids playing a game. It's not life or death. For guys like JJ Redick to see signs reading "Hey JJ, I did your mom" with Mom Redick sitting within eyeshot...for fans to chant to Randy Foye "Hey Randy, where's you mom?"...or back in the day with the "Ewing Can't Read" or the taunting of Steve Kerr after his father was killed in Lebanon. Stuff like that has no place in college basketball, or anywhere for that matter.

8. Back to the newspapers...the Post-Standard, in an explanation/defense of its coverage which had the "Gerry McNamara is overrated" statement, said that they've been running the same sort of poll for the last seven years. In the explanation, they said in order to get the true opinion and pulse of the coaches, they have to guarantee anonymity. It guarantees honest answers and insightful reading. I can understand and respect that. On the other hand, it's a double-edged sword if the comments go negative. Not one of those assistants would want to hear, hypothetically of course, that Donnie McGrath or Carl Krauser is overrated.

9. Back to Boeheim...this is the first time someone wrote something bad or said something negative about your players. This isn't your first press conference. This isn't, as TLBR is fond of saying, "your first clambake, coach." Save the profanity for Eddie Murphy "Raw." We know you know it would get attention, we know you know you don't care and would say it again, we know you know that you're Jim Boeheim. But having dealt with individuals in similar positions, in similar set-ups, with similar gripes, who answered in more-than-similar fashions... (Example: Q: How do you stop Team X's duo of hot-shot guard and dominant post-player? A: With an uzi.) ... it's pointless. You set yourself up - and the player up, as well - for failure and give the pundits more ammo.

10. To the anonymous assistant coaches who said McNamara is overrated...why do I get the feeling that Boeheim knows who you are. Hell, I think I have a very good idea. You can't hide, it'll get out. Own up to it. Like Muhammad Ali once said, "If you dream you beat me, you'd better wake up and apologize."

* Count me in as a fan of the World Baseball Classic. I might not have been able to watch every game, but it is nice to read all the coverage. Nice to hear the crack of the bat and smack of the catcher's glove. It's also nice to see Papi and Tek hitting bombs and Adam Stern, the Sox' 4th or 5th outfielder, getting a chance to show his wares.

Overall, even though I'm neck deep in the hoops, thinking April and thinking baseball is still pretty sweet.

And with baseball in mind, here is a mini-top five list, with a decided hot stove, cool tunes feel to it:

Top 5 Rap Albums of All-time
1. Public Enemy - It Takes a Nation of Millions
2. NWA - Straight outta Compton
3. A Tribe Called Quest - Peoples Instinctive Paths...
4. Run DMC - Raising Hell
5. Eric B. and Rakim - Paid in Full

Top 5 Uncommon Songs That, if I were a closer, I'd like to hear on the PA as I trotted out to mound to get the final three outs
1. Ohio - Neil Young
2. Boy with the Arab Strap - Belle & Sebastian
3. Timebomb - Old 97's
4. Fat-Bottomed Girls - Queen
5. Tenth Avenue Freeze Out - Bruce Springsteen

Top 5 Songs I would not have playing as I trotted to the mound to get the final 3 outs
1. Enter Sandman - Metallica
2. Anything by Bright Eyes
3. Sk8er Boi - Avril Lavigne
4. The Best of John Sterling's Home Run Calls
5. Oh Well, Okay - Elliott Smith

Top 5 Bad Songs to Listen to on a bumpy airplane
1. At the Bottom of Everything - Bright Eyes
2. I'm Going Down - Bruce Springsteen
3. Plane Crash in C - Rilo Kiley
4. Freebird - Skynard
5a. La Bamba - Richie Valens
5b. The Sky is Crying - Stevie Ray Vaughn

Ok, that's about all from here. Enjoy your Thursday, take it into your Friday, and then cruise through the weekend.

And I would be remiss if I didn't recognize the 50k mark in terms of hits on TLBR. Staggering, it is. Thanks so much for tuning in everyday or whenever you get time. It is greatly appreciated.

I couldn't have gotten there without you readers. I couldn't have gotten 10 (expletive-deleted) hits without you.

To the next
Great write up on the Orangemen!
G-Mac is one of the most Underrated players of all time! (ok, i'm a bit biased)
Thanks for the note...I'm of the belief that while Gerry Mac isn't the second coming, but he's pretty, pretty darned good. Glad he continued his weekend in the Big East's with a 14 point-13 dime performance.
As a diehard Orangeman fan, I'm glad too! Syracuse is dangerous with him on the court, particularly in the tourney!

God I love this time of year!!
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