Spring Madness

Spring break brings on two extremely different types of madness for the college world. The first is the complete anarchy that is a college kid’s week away at some distant beach with a whole lot of booze and zero physical activity. Unless of course, you count drunk body surfing as a physical activity. Now coming from a self proclaimed master of sport, drunk body surfing is no walk in the park, but that’s neither here nor there. The second of the two types is, in my opinion, the greatest sporting event of the year: March Madness. This 64 team, single elimination basketball tournament is the epitome of physical excellence as players dive for loose balls, bang it out in the post, and give everything they got just for the chance to move on to play one more game. It’s a tournament where regular season records are erased and the only thing that matters is the will to win. My anonymous blogger friend, Let’s Grab A Drink, can talk to you about the madness of college kids drinking from sun up til sun down for seven days straight, while I quickly break down what has happened so far in the greatest tournament in sports.

A bunch of drunk college kids. Image credit: springbreakguide.com

A bunch of drunk college kids. Image credit: springbreakguide.com

VS

Big Bad Kevin Love. Meanest White Dude since Larry Bird

Big Bad Kevin Love. Meanest white dude since Larry Bird. Image credit: officialtwolves.tumblr.com

Let’s start off with the game that a brought a smile to everybody’s face. Duke lost to Mercer in the first round. Say it with me, #3 DUKE LOST TO #14 MERCER. The final score was 78-71. It was practically a blow out. Mercer started 5 seniors while Coach K, the wizard/weasel of basketball, only started one. The boys of Mercer took experience and shoved it in the most experienced college basketball coach’s face. They proved that a strong core of veterans who believe in each other and their system can take down Darth Vader and his evil empire of freshman and sophomore babies just using college basketball as their ticket to NBA contracts. Its the classic backyard match-up of the dads vs the kids. The kids got all the youth and all the moves, but the dads always find a way to will their way to the bucket with sharp elbows and some silky hook shots. A great win for Mercer, but in classic Duke fashion, Coach K steals the spotlight. He immediately runs into the Mercer locker room to shout his praises. I mean seriously, Coach K brings the definition of brown-noser to a whole different level. The man’s the damn teacher, for god’s sake. Shit, this is exactly what he wants. Anyway, GREAT win for Mercer. Always love to see the Dukies lose.

I've Never Been More Happy To See A Kid Cry

I’ve never been more happy to see a kid cry. Image credit: kentuckysportsradio.com

Another big loss in the 1st round was #6 Ohio State to #11 Dayton. It was a nail-biter as the Fllyers pulled out the win 60-59. I wouldn’t necessarily have called this an in-state rivalry before, but now I will.  The game went down to the wire and there were 15 lead changes, but Dayton’s Vee Sanford put in a lay up with about four seconds left to put the nail in the coffin. Not even Ohio State’s hero, Aaron Craft,could save them as he just missed a floater with time expiring. This now brings me to the extreme joy I felt when the floater clanked off the rim. I was at a restaurant, responsibly drinking some adult sodas with my friends when he missed the shot. I jumped out of my seat, did a little fist pump and didn’t even care that I looked like a complete douche. Craft is that kid at practice who dives for loose balls, fouls way too aggressively on defense, and just plays so hard so that coaches will love him. Why do I hate Aaron Craft? Because in pick up hoops, I play aggressive defense, I talk too much, I dive for loose balls, and I take a loss way too seriously. But am I going to the NBA? No. That should be me, but instead I’ll most likely be a world renowned blogger of useless issues. However, it brings a smile to my face to know that right now he’s probably sulking about how life’s unfair and it should have been him for his senior year. Aaron, pull up a chair because for the next couple of weeks your just like us.

I Was Flashing The Same Pose Last Week On The Beach

I was flashing the same pose last week on the beach. Image credit: sbnation.com

Those were the top moments of the first round. Everything else was, to put simply, irrelevant.But sitting here, I’m starting to realize I take a lot of comfort in the defeat of people who have no relation to me. I’m starting to feel like a member of the Capitol in The Hunger Games.

The second round brought some great surprises as well. The most notable was that #10 Dayton kept the train rolling and beat #3 Syracuse. Dayton won another close game, 55-53, as Syracuse missed a shot to win at the end of the game. The key to this game? The long ball baby. If you live by the three, you die by the three. As a 5’11 white kid, I love the long ball and have been known to chuck it up every once and a while. But when it’s not falling, I get the message pretty quickly. If only I was the coach of a Syracuse. The Orange did not hit one three pointer for the entire game. You do the math. 0 for 10 behind the arc equals loss with a capitol L. Got to love the spirit of these Dayton Flyers. They’re just staying in these close games and pulling out W’s. The beauty of it is that nobody knows who these guys are. I’m pretty sure only a handful of Dayton students can name the starting line-up. Who cares, LET’S RIOT!!!!!!!

Ohio is useless, but it's colleges' know how to party

The state of Ohio is useless, but Dayton knows how to party. Image Credit: brobible.com

Another huge upset was #10 Stanford beating #2 Kansas. The wannabe Ivy league school from the West beat the Jayhawks by 3 points (60-57). The loss is a surprising one since the first coach of Kansas was Dr. James Naismith. Who’s that? Oh I don’t know, just the guy who created basketball. They’ve gone on to have legendary coaches like Dean Smith, Larry Brown, and Roy Williams. They’ve been to the big dance 25 times, the final four 14 times and they’ve won the whole thing 3 times. They’re always a solid pick to go to the Elite Eight, but not this year. Kansas’ one and done superstar, Andrew Wiggins, shot an abysmal 1 for 6 from the field. Good luck in the NBA when you can’t even beat the mighty Stanford Tree. The primarily football school shook the birds out of their nest (Oh man that was bad). The nerds from Stanford shot a better percentage from the field and out rebounded the Jayhawks. No magic secrets, just hard-nosed basketball. Even though they won, Stanford better watch out for the chainsaw that is the Dayton Flyers.

The second round brought some close games as #3 Iowa St held off #6 North Carolina (85-83) and #8 Kentucky upset #1 Wichita St (78-76). Kentucky and Wichita St. went back and forth with three ball after three ball, but the Wildcats proved to be too athletic as they gained the lead and Wichita St couldn’t hit the shot to stay in the hunt. It was a great game, but I knew Kentucky was going to win so no surprise upset for me. The round also brought some blow outs as #1 Arizona wiped the floor with the usually strong #8 Gonzaga (84-61) and #6 Baylor upset #3 Creighton (85-55) who just couldn’t get anything going. The ACC has one team left and that’s the Virgina Cavaliers. I don’t like them, so I’m not going to talk about them. Some great basketball has been played and we got a lot more left to watch. Grab a seat, crack a brew or a sprite, and enjoy. GO FLYERS!!!

 

Rugby: its all about the look

Rugby is a grueling sport that demands the athlete to be strong, smart, fast and physically fit. One must be able to break tackles, make tackles, sprint and think throughout an entire 80 minute period. Now, what do you think determines how good someone is at the game? Their ability to perform in the 70th minute as if it was the 10th minute? Their ability to read the defense and find the open space/man? Their ability to play well on both sides of the ball, which requires them to make hits and drop dimes? While all of these factors play a role, success on the pitch comes down to one simple line: “Look good, play good“. What better way to illustrate this point than to break down my own appearance? So, for the sake of science, I’m willing to put myself out there and prove it’s all about the look. Let’s break this down.

Sophomore in HS: Scrub City

Sophomore in HS: Scrub City

Cleats: My first pair of cleats? Football cleats. Total rookie mistake. It’s similar to running with two cement blocks tied to your feet. Those cleats are probably the sole reason I’m running perpendicular to the field (for those who don’t know, your suppose to run straight up and down the field). Just no control over my own two feet. Luckily the kid behind me was wearing the same cleats and I was just a superior athlete. Now, were they great for ankle support? You bet your sweet ass they were. However, two bad ankles is just the price you have to pay to look good.

Compression Shorts: I’m not going to sit here and lie to you, this is tough for me to look at. Just the definition of insecurity. Nothing more than a 15 yr old pale, Irish squid afraid to show a little leg.Terrible. Rugby is played with short-shorts for a reason. Show off those tree trunks baby! Also, in rugby, it’s crucial to keep your hips square. That way you keep the defender on his toes and make him commit to you. Once he commits, you can dish the ball to a teammate running on to it or you can just run the defender over. Dealer’s choice. But as you can see from the above picture, my hips are completely open and everyone who was at that game knew I was going to pass. Its simple arithmetic: Long compression shorts=telegraphing every move. To all new rugby players, be proud of your body and show some leg. That way you won’t telegraph your moves and get absolutely destroyed like the lad pictured below.

Wonder why South African winger, Bryan Habana got leveled?

I wonder why South African winger, Bryan Habana, got leveled? Image credit: Supersport

Socks: Now I don’t want to brag, but I’ve had sock swag since day one. Perfect length. Mid Calf city. Don’t pull them all the way up to the knee and don’t roll them all the way down. Perfect mixture of old and new school. Somethings, you were just born with.

Undershirt/Pads: The white T-shirt popping out of the sleeve is just down right sloppy and I apologize. If we’re being honest, I shouldn’t have been out on the field in such shambles. Now my take on under shirts and pads is you simply don’t wear them. There is absolutely no need for an undershirt. The extra shirt under the tight jersey is uncomfortable and holds you back. Not a huge fan of pads. But, if you got bad shoulders, who am i to judge? Plus, they’re cute for the undersized player. They’ll help him fill out his jersey.

Now lets take a look at my present look on the ol’ pitch.

Senior in College: New look, New man

Senior in College: New look, New man

Cleats:Tell me those cleats don’t look good. I mean, just leaps and bounds better than those crappy ankle weights I used to wear. They have the perfect combination of color with the lime green to represent my favorite drink, Sprite, and the hint of baby blue to match my eyes. Absolutely fierce. Running straight. Arm cocked and ready to meet some face. Everyone and their mother knows what’s about to happen to this poor Navy defender.

G65310_adidas_F50_adizero_TRX_Green_Zest

Stupid fresh. “Obey your thirst”.
Image credit: SoccerPro.com

Compression Shorts: What compression shorts? Is he wearing them? Maybe, maybe not. Just keeping everyone guessing. Every time you line up against a kid who’s showing more than an inch of compression shorts, you already have him beat. Just look across, pull up your shorts a little bit, and BOOM!! You just gave that kid a complete mental beat down.  Then when it comes to the actual game, keep those hips square and go to work. No compression shorts=unpredictability. You can’t argue with science.

Socks: A picture says a 1000 words. When you got it, you got it.

Undershirts/Pads: Don’t need ’em. Don’t want em.

Even if my skills and overall game-play hasn’t really improved since sophomore year of high school, the evidence shows that simply redefining my look has improved my game about 75%. Thus, the overall results indicate that rugby is 5 % mental, 5 % physical, and 90% just looking the part. It’s truly amazing what the right pair of cleats and undergarments can do for one’s sporting ability.

-Dr. Davis

No Man’s Land

Sundays in early March are a strange time for a lot of sports fans. If they’re anything like me, they find themselves in limbo trying to find a decent sporting event to watch in recovery of their own “athletics events” from the past weekend. The problem is that there is no more football, baseball hasn’t started yet, and everyone who watches college hoops is just waiting for tourney time. There is some golf going on, but if their not playing for that dope, green jacket, does it really matter? So that raises the next question. What do sports fans have to look forward to during this horrible time? The simple answer is nothing. The other Sunday, I was flipping through the channels to only find NASCAR and bowling on TV. Hopefully you can read the disappointment in that sentence. Now I don’t know much about NASCAR, but I’m very hesitant to call it sport. Some people would write me off immediately. Cue the peanut gallery: “But John, they’re going so fast and they’re so close to a wall and they could crash at any minute”. I get the danger, but they go around in a circle 500 times people. Its not exactly action packed or heart racing. I don’t think anything matters until lap Number 495 and that might be generous. You want action, lets get NASCAR racers to drift through the streets of Tokyo. Now that’s danger. But seriously, all we need to know about NASCAR is that it ruined Lindsay Lohan’s promising career.

From racing to rehab

From racing to rehab

Unlike NASCAR, I love bowling. Hell, I took a bowling class here at the University of Maryland. But, that does not change the fact that bowling is not a sport. Its a game. Anybody, ranging from a 3 year old child to a 60 year old man, can bowl. There is no strategy other than to knock down all the pins. There is no athleticism required and plus “professional” bowling is so boring because all those guys do is get strikes. Live a little. Spice the game up. Throw behind the back. Close your eyes. Maybe set yourself up with 7-10 splits on purpose to keep the “fans” on the edge of their seats. The only good things to come from bowling are Pete Weber and some fantastic pieces of American cinema.

Pete dripping swagoo with rapper, Ludacris

Pete dripping swagoo with rapper, Ludacris

Bowling has given us such classics as The Big Lebowski, Kingpin, and my personal favorite, Alley Cats Strike.

In terms of sports, I think its a good rule of thumb that if a movie is more entertaining than the actual event, it just isn’t a sport. So, sports fans, the next time you find yourself struggling on a Sunday in early March, don’t bother flipping through the 18 versions of ESPN. Just pop in Days of Thunder (pre-crazy Crusie. Nothing better).

lot of crazy behind those shades now

A lot of crazy behind those shades now