Wednesday, March 25, 2009

In Eckleburg's Eyes - 3/25/2009, Part 2

News & Notes from Monday, March 23rd, 2009, Part 2

-On Monday night church league basketball resumed after two weeks off. Before the game, I had a brilliant idea. Dare I say “inspired”? I contemplated cutting the nets down after the game. I thought this would be hysterical given the fact that it was only the second game of the season and there were two games after ours. Delaying the action by carting out a ladder and having a ceremony amused me greatly. And probably no one else. I did bring massive scissors just in case.

-The scissors would not be needed. My team lost 62-48 to MDR’s squad. My “coaching” was atrocious. There were two points where this was especially obvious. First, I gave the team a spiel before the game about always having two post players in the game. Our spacing on offense has been awful and this was my solution. We have three natural post players on the team so I designated JTH a post so that we could always have two post players in the game. You will note that we now had four post players on the team. When the game started I had three of them on the bench. I am an idiot.

-The other obviously poor coaching moment came with eight seconds left in the first half. The ball went out of bounds giving my team possession underneath our own basket. Leading 26-24, I called timeout. Naturally, our in bounds passed was intercepted and Brandon Dial (BSD) hit a three-pointer at the buzzer to give his team a 27-26 lead at half. Just before this happened, I predicted this scenario. This is further proof that I am an idiot.

-It gave our opponents’ momentum in the second half and they pulled away at the end to produce the fourteen-point margin. The game was far closer than the final score indicated. The game marks our biggest margin of defeat in two seasons. We are now 0-2. I attribute this loss to three factors:

1. The schedule I was given before the season began indicated we would be playing MEB’s team and as such I did not work on our substitution pattern. (We should beat them handily.)
2. The officiating was horrible. It was so bad that MPW walked off the court saying he would not play with the father-son referee tandem again. Had any of my other players done this, it would not have been that shocking. The fact that the taciturn MPW did it was a statement. (I really do not know what a factor this was as the officiating was equally terrible for both sides.)
3. MDR’s squad was just really good on this night. BSD hit for 19 points and MBR had a great game, scoring 18. Phillip Humphreys (whom every fan we bring hates) added 10. In our league, three players reaching double figure in scoring is impressive. They deserved to win.

-The loss could not take away my joy. I had big news that I relayed during the halftime devotional. Earlier in the day, Carlus Groves added me as a friend on Facebook. Groves is a former Tennessee basketball player (1989-1992) who famously got into a physical altercation with Shaquille O’Neal when O’Neal played at LSU. March 14th, 1992 is a date that lives in infamy in the hearts of Tennessee basketball fans. The 6'7" Groves more than held his own against the massive Shaq before both were ejected from a game in the SEC Tournament. I gave the devotional on my “friend” Carlus. Groves is seventh in all-time career field goal percentage at UT (54.6%) and payed professionally for so long in Mexico that he is a naturalized citizen there. Friends know these things about each other...

-After the game, JTH proudly showed JDM his locker in the church’s locker room, #27. We are fairly sure JTH is the only one who actually uses the locker room. Before the season ends, a prank is forthcoming. Any ideas?

-JTH, JDM, and I then met JDM’s Kroger friends Jamie and Marie (the girl whose name escaped me in the March 20th “In Eckleburg’s Eyes” post) and ALK at TGI Fridays’s. ALK was very late from handbell practice. This is why she could not take photos at the game. (I have already reprimanded her on her priorities.) Unfortunately, she will only be able to make 8:30 games. She arrived before our food did as it took a very long time. In fact, despite ALK coming late and ordering nearly half an hour after us, she got her food first!

-I spent the rest of the night with KLTW, KJW, and RAW. KLTW was preparing for finals the next day so RAW and I talked and KJW and I played in her castle. KJW is at the apex (nadir?) of the terrible twos. Thankfully, she got most of her brattiness out before I arrived.

-Finally, on Monday I was e-mailed copies of forms that indicated that after all this time I have been officially accepted to UT’s PhD program in Educational Psychology & Counseling Department. It kind of seemed anticlimactic on a day that you became friends with Carlus Groves...

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