NCAA March Madness things to hate – get off my lawn

Grayson Allen drinks Mountain Dew

March Madness is here! No single month of the year exemplifies our culture’s need for gambling more than the month of March. The NCAA tournament is everything you would want in sports, incredible competitiveness, underdog narratives and of course hated opponents. It’s all the aspects of terrific story-telling in a 30 day-ish, 5-round meal. But with every meal, inherently there are aspects you love and hate equally…or possibly hate more than your soul would ever allow you to love.

Haterade in full affect

Since we’re all haters at our core, here’s who you can feel free to hate on during the month of March.

Even his mom thinks he’s kinda ehhh

1. The Duke Blue Devils,but more accurately it’s their senior guard and overall rich-kid asshole, Grayson Allen.  Doesn’t he just look like the kinda guy that needs a smack to the grill? He’s essentially the reincarnate of Christian Laettner, minus the blonde highlights. Duke is a perennial Final Four school, which is annoying enough by itself, but Grayson Allen is a 10th year senior (seriously he was a freshman in like, ’99 right?), who has tripped 3 opposing players over the last 2 years AND threw a dirty hip-check to another last week. If that isn’t bad enough, after every incident he’s acted like a fat kid who got caught stealing cookies from the cookie jar, “who me?” and “I didn’t do it” faces are the only expressions Grayson has to offer. Feel free to hate on Duke and Grayson as much as your soul will allow.  

2. The play-in games. The four games before the REAL GAMES that determine which little school that no one has ever heard of, or big school that sucked this year, gets to play in games that actually count. The 8 teams that didn’t quite make the tourney but somehow kinda made the tourney play to see who gets two 11-seeds and two 16-seeds? I’ve never understood how teams that barely squeaked into the tourney, by accident, could somehow get an extra game in order to be an 11-seed in a bracket ranked above teams that won their conference out-right? How much sense does that make? I don’t know what the answer is to this stupidity, maybe have the play-in winners always be the four 16-seeds? Anyway, who cares…..unless Radford somehow beats Villanova in the first round, then this is scenario is awesome AND I LOVE IT.

Small school shout-out..and a headband

3. The NCAA/FBI investigations. Seriously, who cares at this point? EVERY D-I school on the planet has been paying players under the table since the mid-80’s in some way shape or form. It’s not a new occurrence, Blue Chips was made in 1994 and He Got Game was made in 1998  for God’s sake. The NCAA “amateur status” players is a broken and archaic model, don’t hate the player…hate the game.

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4. Crying fans. I get that it’s a funny moment, but I mean come on. Ok, ok I will admit I still laugh at the kid from last year who looked as if someone stole his Playstation controller mid-game at the same moment that his puppy died while his favorite Power Ranger got beat down with Harry Potter’s sword-stick thingy in a pool of Spaghetti-O’s……..or whatever these kids are into these days.

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5. People that don’t understand how to fill out a bracket. It’s not complicated, you pick a winner for each game and write it down next to the game. That’s it. THAT’S the  solution to the mind-blowing puzzle. Choose by team name, geographic location, mascot, team color, or some random family connection. Truthfully, you all have as much of a chance as a college basketball analyst. 

When does he come back?

  • Sidenote to this one, if you don’t watch college hoops all year and then annoyingly talk like you’re an ESPN analyst because you read Joe Linardi’s article this morning and watched Bracketology on the World Wide Leader, just shutup and sit down. Enjoy the games, root for whoever you want, but don’t regurgitate something you read and try to pawn it off like it’s your idea. Don’t be that guy.

 

 

 

Probably The Only Figure Skating Post Ever

Figure skater and future “So You Think You Can Dance” contestant Jimmy Ma just went full Chazz Michael Michaels on the crowd at the 2018 National Championships when he ended his ice-performance with LilJohn’s “Turn Down For What”.  Proving once again that men’s single figure skating is the most LIT competitive ice-dance in the history of competitive ice-dance.  The ice catches fire at about the 2:14 mark in the below video:

What do you get when you mix fire and ice?  Warm water baby, waaaaaarm water!

 

I Think I’m Gonna Be Sick

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The man with the best bracket and most points racked up among the 3 million brackets submitted to Yahoo sports made a terrible, terrible mistake.  He forgot to pick a champion.

$50,000 in prize money on the line, and he did not pick a champion.

James Kiki’s nailed some early upsets, he had seven of the Elite Eight teams correct.  He has a perfect Final Four.  He is tied with two other people for first overall, just three games away from a $50,000 grand prize.  James Kiki will not win. Here is his bracket.

“I don’t even want to think about it,” Kiki told Syracuse.com.

Ready to get even more upset?

Kiki, a South Sudanese refugee who works for a nonprofit in Syracuse, says he’d never filled out a bracket in his life, and only did so because he saw he could win $50,000.

But he was challeneged by Yahoo’s somewhat unintuitive picking system.  Kiki says he forgot about his bracket—“I’ve been watching the games, but I didn’t even know what teams I picked”—but only realized how well he had done, and how he had screwed up, when he was flooded by messages from other Yahoo users telling him how stupid he was.

I think I’m gonna be sick.

It’s Bowl Season, Here’s a List Of What To Watch

National rankings from LEAST-interesting bowl game to the MOST-interesting bowl game according to CBS SPORTS (sorry CSU/Nevada fans) :

RANK BOWL BREAKDOWN
40 Arizona Bowl: December 29, 7:30 p.m.

Nevada (6-6) vs. Colorado State (7-5): This is just a Mountain West Conference game that won’t be nationally televised. Doesn’t sound very fun.

39 Cure Bowl: December 19, 12 p.m.

San Jose State (5-7) vs. Georgia State (6-6): I’m happy that Georgia State qualified for a bowl, as it’s a major turnaround for the program, but this is not an appealing matchup.

38 Independence Bowl: December 26, 5:45 p.m.

Tulsa (6-6) vs. Virginia Tech (6-6): The only appeal of this game is it’s your last chance to watch Frank Beamer coach. Other than that, well, it’s No. 38 for a reason.

37 St. Petersburg Bowl: December 26, 11 a.m.

Connecticut (6-6) vs. Marshall (9-3): Somewhat interesting matchup stylistically, but not the most appealing of teams, nor game time.

36 Liberty Bowl: January 2, 3:20 p.m.

Kansas State (6-6) vs. Arkansas (7-5): It’s a matchup of Power Five teams. So it has that going for it. It should also be over in less than three hours. That’s better.

35 New Mexico Bowl: December 19, 2 p.m.

Arizona (6-6) vs. New Mexico (7-5): One team that had a disappointing season against another that surpassed expectation. In other words, one team that will want to be here, and Arizona.

34 Pinstripe Bowl: December 26, 3:30 p.m.

Indiana (6-6) vs. Duke (7-5): This game may end up being great because Indiana is lovingly known as Chaos Team. Nothing about an Indiana game is ever what you think it is, so if I have it ranked this low, it’ll be amazing.

33 Quick Lane Bowl: December 28, 5 p.m.

Central Michigan (7-5) vs. Minnesota (5-7): A mid-tier MAC team against a Big Ten team that lost more games than it won in Detroit on a December evening. What more could you ask for?

32 Texas Bowl: December 29, 9 p.m.

No. 20 LSU (8-3) vs. Texas Tech (7-5): I just can’t help but look at this matchup and see a blowout one way or the other. So even if it’s two Power Five teams, I don’t expect it to be good.

31 Birmingham Bowl: December 30, 12 p.m.

Auburn (6-6) vs. Memphis (9-3): Memphis without Justin Fuente against an Auburn team with major changes on its own coaching staff. I don’t have the highest of hopes.

30 Cactus Bowl: January 2, 10:15 p.m.

West Virginia (7-5) vs. Arizona State (6-6): This game not only has a late start time, but it will last about five hours. You’ll probably be better off going to bed.

29 Foster Farms Bowl: December 26, 9:15 p.m.

UCLA (8-4) vs. Nebraska (5-7): Two great Power Five brands, two not-so-great teams.

28 Idaho Potato Bowl: December 22, 3:30 p.m.

Akron (7-5) vs. Utah State (6-6): The reason this game is ranked ahead of some of the others is that these two teams are a lot closer to one another in their football-playing ability. So while they may not be great teams, they could make for an exciting game.

27 Camellia Bowl:  December 19, 5:30 p.m.

Ohio (8-4) vs. Appalachian State (10-2): If you haven’t taken the time to watch Appalachian State this year, give the Mountaineers a shot. They’re fun. Not sure how fun this game will be, but App State’s cool.

26 Bahamas Bowl: December 24, 12 p.m.

Middle Tennessee (7-5) vs. Western Michigan (7-5): Again, this is ranked here based on the similarity of the teams. It should be close. Besides, what else are you going to do on Christmas Eve? Spend time with your family?

25 Hawaii Bowl: December 24, 8 p.m.

San Diego State (10-3) vs. Cincinnati (7-5): This game could prove to be quite entertaining, and again, what else are you going to do on Christmas Eve? Spend time with your family?

24 Poinsettia Bowl: December 23, 4:30 p.m.

Boise State (8-4) vs. Northern Illinois (8-5): The idea of a Boise State-Northern Illinois game is great, as these are your two Cinderellas of the last decade. It’s just, this year the glass slippers broke and there was blood everywhere.

23 Armed Forces Bowl: December 29, 2 p.m.

California (7-5) vs. Air Force (8-5): An Air Raid offense against an option offense will provide an interesting contrast of styles. I just don’t know if these teams will make for an interesting game.

22 Sun Bowl: December 26, 2 p.m.

Miami (8-4) vs. Washington State (8-4): If both teams show up wanting to play, this could be a sneaky-good matchup in El Paso.

21 Military Bowl: December 28, 2:30 p.m.

Pittsburgh (8-4) vs. No. 21 Navy (9-2): This game has a shot to be finished in under three hours, which is always a bonus. I suggest tuning in for no other reason than to watch Navy quarterback Keenan Reynolds.

20 TaxSlayer Bowl: January 2, 12 p.m.

Penn State (7-5) vs. Georgia (9-3): Penn State-Georgia certainly sounds like a good game given the two schools, it’s just, the two teams aren’t all that great this year. I expect this one to be close, but I also expect it to be ugly. So maybe not the best hangover cure.

19 Belk Bowl: December 30, 3:30 p.m.

NC State (7-5) vs. Mississippi State (8-4): This is an interesting matchup, in my opinion. I fear a possible blowout, but I believe this one could prove to be more entertaining than you might think just looking at it on the surface.

18 Heart of Dallas Bowl: December 26, 2:20 p.m.

Washington (6-6) vs. Southern Miss (9-4): A very good offense against a good defense. I always enjoy matchups like this.

17 Music City Bowl: December 30, 7 p.m.

Texas A&M (8-4) vs. Louisville (7-5): This bowl matchup would have sounded a lot better before the season began, but even so, it could still make for a fun game.

16 New Orleans Bowl: December 19, 9 p.m.

Arkansas State (9-3) vs. Louisiana Tech (8-4): Games like this are why I do these rankings. You may look at this matchup and write this one off, but I’m telling you, this game will be worth your time. You don’t have to know the teams to enjoy a game.

15 GoDaddy Bowl: December 23, 8 p.m.

Georgia Southern (8-4) vs. Bowling Green (10-3): Another “sleeper” game. I love the matchup of Bowling Green’s spread attack against the Georgia Southern option running game.

14 Miami Beach Bowl: December 21, 2:30 p.m.

Western Kentucky (11-2) vs. South Florida (8-4): The Willie Taggart Bowl. The Hilltoppers are a good team that can put up a lot of points, while the Bulls had a very strong finish to the season.

13 Holiday Bowl: December 30, 10:30 p.m.

No. 25 USC (8-5) vs. Wisconsin (9-3): USC is a better team than its record suggests, and Wisconsin didn’t have a great season, but it’s solid too. Attractive names and what should be a close game.

12 Outback Bowl: January 1, 12 p.m.

No. 13 Northwestern (10-2) vs. No. 23 Tennessee (8-4): Northwestern has a tendency to make games rather ugly, but I’m still intrigued by the matchup of its defense against the Tennessee offense.

11 Las Vegas Bowl: December 19, 3:30 p.m.

BYU (9-3) vs. No. 22 Utah (9-3): It’s The Holy War. In Sin City. That’s all you need to know.

10 Boca Raton Bowl: December 22, 7 p.m.

Toledo (9-2) vs. No. 24 Temple (10-3): Two teams who were competing for that Group of Five bid to the New Year’s Six all season long now face one another in a lower-tier bowl game. Should still be an upper-tier game, though.

9 Citrus Bowl: January 1, 1 p.m.

No. 14 Michigan (9-3) vs. No. 19 Florida (10-3): A classic matchup of schools, and what should be a very enjoyable game for anybody who appreciates good defense. I wouldn’t expect a whole lot of points here.

8 Alamo Bowl: January 2, 6:45 p.m.

No. 15 Oregon (9-3) vs. No. 11 TCU (10-2): Before the year began, these two teams were definite playoff contenders. Things didn’t go to plan, but if TCU gets healthy on offense in time for this game, watch out. It’ll be fun.

7 Sugar Bowl: January 1, 8:30 p.m.

No. 16 Oklahoma State (10-2) vs. No. 12 Ole Miss (9-3): I have a feeling this game will be a lot more competitive than the last time Ole Miss took on a Big 12 team in a major bowl game. It’d be hard not to.

6 Peach Bowl: December 31, 12 p.m.

No. 18 Houston (12-1) vs. No. 9 Florida State (10-2): Houston earned the auto-bid from the Group of Five, and it gets an interesting matchup with Florida State. I really want to see how Tom Herman, Greg Ward Jr. and company do against the big boys.

5 Russell Athletic Bowl: December 29, 5:30 p.m.

No. 10 North Carolina (11-2) vs. No. 17 Baylor (9-3): The Bowl Game Most Likely To Feature 100 Points And 1,000 Total Yards Award goes to …

4 Fiesta Bowl: January 1, 1 p.m.

No. 8 Notre Dame (10-2) vs. No. 7 Ohio State (11-1): It wasn’t that long ago both of these teams were ranked in the top four. Neither finished there, but the two of them together makes for a top four bowl matchup.

3 Rose Bowl: January 1, 5 p.m.

No. 6 Stanford (11-2) vs. No. 5 Iowa (12-1): If you enjoy two good football teams trying to beat one another up for three hours, you’ll enjoy this matchup. If you enjoy amazing football players that do a little bit of everything, you’ll enjoy Stanford’s Christian McCaffery. You’ll just enjoy this game, I promise.

2 CFP Semifinal — Cotton Bowl: December 31, 8 p.m.

No. 2 Alabama (12-1) vs. No. 3 Michigan State (12-1): The only reason I have this game ranked second instead of first is I feel like, with these two defenses, this game has a chance of being “ugly.” Not bad, just not the most aesthetically pleasing. Still a great game, though.

1 CFP Semifinal — Orange Bowl: December 31, 4 p.m.

No. 1 Clemson (13-0) vs. No. 4 Oklahoma (11-1): I bet this one is more competitive than when these two met in a bowl last season. I also bet there will be some great offense and defense on display by both teams. You may not like these games being on New Year’s Eve, but trust me, this game will be better than whatever party you’re at anyway.

One Shining Moment

With tears in my eyes, shivers down my spine, a lump in my throat and the greatest three minute-montage of the college basketball season, I give you……..One Shining Moment:

Good luck doing anything productive with your next 10-15 minutes.

TBP of the Month from TheCoLA: Larry Johnson (February 2015 Edition)

Grand-Ma-Ma is in the building!

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Larry Johnson was an impenetrable, gold-toothed, flower dress-wearing, physical force in the paint for the Charlotte Hornets and New York Knicks in the 90s.  LJ was the whole package,  he had a signature shoe by Converse that introduced React Juice to the world, he had a great alter-ego personality for his shoe commercials known as Grand-Ma-Ma, he had a gold tooth, a million dollar smile, AND he had PROBABLY the greatest post-big-shot celebration: L-J signature sign-off.

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We’ll jump right into ALL of this and more, maybe we’ll even follow the LJ timeline to TGIF Television’s “Family Matters” appearances, but we’ll have to wait and see (that’s called a teaser).

College:

UNLV Runnin’ Rebels:

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I love these old 90s team pictures

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  •  The 1989-90 UNLV Runnin’ Rebels were men among boys in the NCAA men’s basketball landscape.  Lead by Junior College transfer (Odessa College) and future NBA star Larry Johnson, the Runnin’ Rebels of Sin City finished the season at 35-5 while conquering the Laettner lead Blue Devils for the 1990 NCAA championship and college hoops immortality.
  • With an average margin of victory of 18 points per game in the National Tournament, UNLV breezed through without a hick-up (except for a 2 point victory over Ball State in the sweet 16) on it’s way to the school’s first National Championship.  Larry Johnson, Greg Anthony, Anderson Hunt, Stacey Augmon and David Butler were house-hold names, and the squad would look to repeat and solidify a college dynasty the following year in 1990-91.  Unfortunately for them, Duke’s Christian Laettner wasn’t about to let that happen.

Larry Johnson averaged 21.6 ppg, 1.5 bpg, 11 rpg, and shot 64% from the field with 35% from behind the three point line while at UNLV.  He would go on to win the NCAA Player of the Year Award in 1991 as well as the John R. Wooden Award (’91).

Long story short, LJ was the man in college and quickly transitioned that over to the NBA.

NBA:

Johnson was selected 1st overall by the Charlotte Hornets in 1991, by way of UNLV and Coach Jerry Tarkanian (read about Coach Tark).  LJ would become the Rookie of the Year in the NBA in 1992 and be an All-NBA Rookie First Team selection as well, averaging 19 ppg and 11rpg.  He would help lead the Charlotte Hornets out of the dumpster and into relevancy in the Eastern Conference.

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In LJ’s second year in Charlotte, along side future HOFer Alonzo Mourning, the most annoying defender EVER: Mugsy Bogues and the poor man’s MJ: Kendall Gill, the Hornets finished with a 44-38 record taking them to the Eastern Conference playoffs, eventually losing to the John Starks, Patrick Ewing, Anthony Mason (RIP) Knicks in the semi-finals.  Who of course then got rolled by MJ’s Chicago Bulls.

  • But in only two years, LJ had become a PRESENCE on the court and a personality off the court in the NBA.  He inked himself a big shoe deal with converse, which intro’d the BEST post-Chuck Taylor Converse shoe that would EVER be released:

$_35

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This LJ phenomena took the league by storm, he was a great player, a HUGE personality (to go with being a huge physical specimen) with a bright, shiny, gold-toothed smile that sold the purity of hard-nosed basketball.  He was Mike Tyson meets Shawn Kemp meets Charles Barkley meets………..Grand Ma Ma.

He was loud, tough, BIG, and most importantly he brought a love for the game and a passion to compete that the fans LOVED.

When LJ‘s alter-ego (?) Grand Ma Ma took off in popularity, it reached levels outside of JUST basketball and hoops fashion (although the dress and wig never real caught on).  Grand Ma Ma was about to hit prime-time TGIF television, care of “Family Matters” when Steve Urkel needed a 2 on 2 teammate to beat Eddie (too many Urkels on your team, that’s why ya) Winslow in a basketball tournament:

Due to copyright infringement, Warner Bros took down the real episode, apparently Grand Ma Ma playing basketball with Urkel is too important for Warner Bros’ bottom line to be available on youtube.

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Lastly, before we let LJ ride off into the sunset.  We must discuss his signature hand/arm/L.J. sign-language brilliance, that if you saw as a defender it only meant your demise and eventual downfall.

big_lny_greatest_knicks_18The man spelled his name with his arms.  What other player in NBA history has been able to accomplish such a feet!?!?  Did you ever see Vlade Divac or Nikoloz Tskitishvili or even Michael Jordan sign language/quiet a crowd after a HUGE jumper???  NOPE.

Larry Johnson OWNS the post-made shot-sign language-celebration industry.

And just so you Knicks fans have something to smile about, here you go:

We miss ya LJ and we miss your Grand Ma Ma too.

Rip Hamilton Officially Announces his Retirement from the NBA

I think I speak for everyone when I say, “He wasn’t retired already?”

Rip hasn’t played in the NBA since the 2012-2013 season, so no disrespect to my main man Richard Hamilton (cause he was a baller), but you’ve BEEN retired.

Hamilton played 921 games in the NBA averaging 17.1 points, 3.1 rebounds and 3.4 assists with Washington, Detroit and Chicago.  Rip was selected with the 7th overall pick in the 1999 NBA Draft, he was an NCAA National Champion with Uconn in 1999, a consensus NCAA All-American twice, he was a 3-time NBA All-Star, he won an NBA title with the Pistons in 2004.

Rip was one of the best I’ve ever seen at coming off screens for a catch & shoot situation, he was impossible to guard off the ball and seemingly NEVER ran out of energy.  He was always moving, never stagnant and could drop a jumper in your eyeball if you gave him an inch of space.

Ohio State Finishes an Incredible Run to the Ship

The BCS computers would have had Florida State vs. Alabama for the National Championship this season if it wasn’t for the change to the 4-team Playoff system.  Both those teams lost in the semi-final rounds of the playoff to Oregon and Ohio State respectively.  Great work BCS.

Congrats to Ohio State on a truly unbelievable run in the first ever CFB Championship.  The Buckeyes barely squeaked into the playoff by jumping TCU:

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then in the CFB Semi-Final round, beating SEC powerhouse and Elephant activists, Alabama:

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NOW they’ve managed to take out the BEST UNIFORMS IN COLLEGE SPORTS and win the National Championship:

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2015 National Champs, Ohio State Buckeyes!  Congrats.