Sunday, February 12, 2006

Bucks v Memphis: Tightly Under the White Shadow

A satisfying win from the Bucks this evening. Fairly tight game the whole way through.

I still have not decided what to make of Terry "The White Shadow" Stotts. I know it's his first season with the Bucks, and he's probably still feeling his way around, but he just seems so bemused by it all, and this attitude might be transferring to the team. The Bucks themselves don't seem frustrated by their performance this season, they just go out and play. Maybe that's a good thing, but it might do them some good to be pissed off by their record, by their frustrating and often heartbreaking losses. Its like they've just accepted that they're "playas," but not "contendas." They should be contenders, but they're not. Maybe its not pissing them off, but its pissing me off. Whatever, tonight they were pretty, and the bench was nice and deep, but that still isn't waning my anticipation for the return of Mo Williams from injury.

I'm sorry, Northlake High School Band, but your rendering of the anthem this evening basically shows you're not ready for the big time. It's bad enough your entire woodwind section was out of tune (or maybe the brass were out of tune, and the woodwinds in) but first, you come out wearing jeans. Jeans? That's your uniform? Is the school that poorly funded that you can't afford some tasteful black pants? Not, those jeans made you look just as sloppy and unprepared as you ended up sounding. The anthem was, in a word, terrible. No dynamics, nothing. Worst part: you didn't even do the ritard during "o'er the la-and of the free." Not only did you not ritard, you played it like five quarter notes, instead of, at a minimum, a dotted quarter followed by an eighth and then the three remaining quarter notes. Sounds like a band teacher too lazy to spend a couple of days working on a standard rhythm run that third graders could get. This would have been endearingly cute had you been a class full of third graders, but you are high school students. Have you ever played the anthem for a crowd bigger than 200? Have you ever played the anthem at all? That's how bad it was. It sounds like the teacher just passed out the sheet music and this was your first run-through. No, you've had at least 5 home football games and you're halfway through prep basketball season. There's no excuse for this. You should know this song and be able to play it well by now. I'm sorry, I know you're not the UW-Madison Marching Badgers, and I know I'm being harsh, but I'm doing you a favor by telling you this. Go home and work on your delivery before you come back to the big city. Oh, and sell some nasty frozen pizzas and use the money to get yourselves a strobotuner.

I was in a particularly harsh mood tonight overall. They had the pee-wee game at halftime, and it was cute, but geez, these kids were traveling and double dribbling like there was no tomorrow. Brian disagrees with my stance that they should have been calling these (or at least the really blatant traveling, like the kid who held the ball while he ran around the paint like it was rugby). He says they'd never get any shooting in if they did. He's probably right, but this only points to bad coaching. Why teach kids that violating fundamental concepts of the game is acceptable? I can slide on the 3-second lane violation, and a shot clock is ridiculous for kids, and I'd be willing to pass on backcourting and goaltending to keep a game moving. But traveling and double dribble? I don't see the coaches at the Ys letting the pee-wees get away with this --they stop play until the kids get it right. I know that's not much of a "show," and yeah it was cute, but note to self: don't enroll my kid in the McDonald's PeeWee Hoops program --the coaching and skills work leaves me wanting. The kids could shoot -- they left them at regulation height, I'll give 'em that, and there were no fouls whatsoever. But I'm sticking with the YMCA or MPS Recreation to teach my kids how to play the game correctly. The lady sitting next to me agreed: it does kids no good to get them started with bad habits. If it means a 10 minute quarter takes a half hour to play, so be it.

Black socks report: The Memphis Bobcats have enough black in their dominantly orange uniforms to justify black socks, but the overall effect is way too Halloween-ey. Its like these seven-foot pumpkins were on the court and I'm not even going to reference that overrated Chicago band, because they did nothing to justify that adjective. And maybe its time, since all the sports pundits are talking about it, to comment on the black tights favored by Michael Redd and Andrew Bogut. It's hard for me to criticize that, because I often sport that look myself. Its comfortable, and I understand the functionality. If I had to go running up and down court all the time, I'd wear the tights. It's much easier to do in tights, or leggings: having something to keep raw thighs from rubbing against each other or loose fabric probably would help a lot. Plus, their tights are probably made of some super-technical wicking material that keeps their legs warm, dry and in top condition. And, the black looks better than white tights that Redd was wearing for a while there. (Oh, and purple or any other color would be altogether wrong, so don't even go there, boys.) But here's the thing. I'm a girl. And I have thunder thighs. You mean to tell me that world-class athletes have chafing issues that a little cornstarch can't fix?

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