Russ not-so-diculous Smith… Man of The Year


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I’ve been a Louisville fan since growing up in the South End there in the late 1960’s. In those days Wes Unseld held down the post while Junior Bridgeman (oops wrong year… it was Butch Beard) drilled bombs that would now-a-days be NBA threes. I was also a Kentucky fan back then, as my limited scope at 11 only suggested that both teams were from my home State; and for me… that was good enough. I cried after the 1966 Finals when Kentucky lost to Texas Western. It was the first televised game I had ever seen (if you call a 13 inch B/W TV using rabbit ears at Rough River with fuzzy reception actually “watching”). I remember Louie Dampier and Pat Riley playing well, but Texas Western was loaded with quick athletic jumpers who cleaned nearly all of the glass. No matter how hard we played T-W was relentless and refused to reliquish an early lead. They shot 38 free throws and made 24, while were 11 for 13, because we could not stop (Calipari’s Don Haskins Dribble-Drive).

I could not then, nor do I now understand the hatred that exists between the fans of these two highly vaunted programs at (UK and UL).

Since those formative years I’ve remained a spectator and college basketball fan, eventually forsaking football, baseball, and other sports to concentrate on basketball, and found new love… in playing soccer. After college graduation one generally finds that career and other diversions tend to implore us not to spend so much discretionary time on sports. Somewhere along the way we should also gain a certain “adult” perspective that allows wins and losses to affect us only in “momentary” situations, without changing our personalities or affecting our priorities. I can remember once thinking (as a Cleveland Browns fan), “what if they win the Super Bowl this year?”

My internal answer came back solemnly… “well… you’ll have a hangover at work the next day. And then, it will all be over as quickly as it unfolded.” Of course, I never got to test my theory on Cleveland.

But, I’ve always known that the special UL/UK hate was limited to the fans, but not the players. The players, for the most part all respect one another and truly wish them well when not in direct opposition with one another. This last week, I was incensed after reading a Louisville fan blog, where a number of (so-called) humanoids berated Russ Smith’s game against their hated rival Kentucky. It is the epitome of classless, spineless, little man complex to even suggest that Russ Smith ISN’T the epitome of college basketball. I mean, holy sh&t, without Russ Smith, Louisville wouldn’t be on the map this year?

If I could have traveled through cyberspace I might have strangled someone. I wonder how much sweat these slugs must have lost watching Russ make a mistake or two? The nerve! And I hate to report that this kind of attitude is more commonplace than one could reasonably imagine. I witnessed Kentucky fans dropping  wholesale after every disappointment this year, creating more Calipari is crazy conspiracies than David Icke does aliens are living next door. Now they’ve had to order a new fleet of “bandwagons” to accommodate the repentant.

Of course, as we advance both in age and financially we become further removed from the “good ole days”, as our lives settle down we find time for watching sports again; if only to harass our friends over drinks, use travel games as party excuses, and/or make idiotic blog posts about our two-time First team All-American’s deficiencies. Albeit, we do all this with the same passion and nasty vigor of our youth, unless by then we’ve learned anything about real life. But then, sports chatter using facts and figures can also be fun, even when all you want to do is watch from the couch with family and friends and berate the commentator (I mean homer/hater Doug Gottfried).

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The last few years though, I have experienced a gnawing ache, which seems to grow as I follow my favorite teams on the internet on TV and in the news and through internet blogs. Admittedly, (and duly embarrassed) a couple of years ago I began to engage my acute sense of wit (my description of course), knowledge of the game and its history, and uniquely blatant in-your-face writing style to have some fun tormenting those brain-farts whom I felt were less informed about the game I love, or were just plain trolling ignoramus’ who apparently make a life out of denigrating other teams and their fans.

 I can honestly (no self-efficacy here, huh?) say that when it came to words-a-cuffing, I was/am/can be the Mohammed Ali of heavyweight lightning factoid-icule. For awhile I got a kick out of out belittling (some unknown to me poster) with a twisted sarcasm that only I seemed to be able to produce in imaginative volume. For awhile, I admit it was fun…

Yet, it was internally hollow, and I soon tired of out-lambasting some teenager or sock-puppet who could barely spout, “my team is better than yours”, or wax philosophical about some ridiculous straw man argument, whom I quickly leveled with a few light jabs and then an overhand hay-word-insult-maker, landing him on his back not even attempting to answer the keyboard beep.

I particularly loved sparring with more intelligent fans (unarmed with my modestly? over-the-top imaginative hater vocabulary); unfortunately they too sometimes lacked the Ali-dance-cleverword-shuffle or even the hack-a-fact, and I found myself mocking them before finally throwing a swift combination Ali would have marveled at. Canvas. 1-10. Boom. K.O. Next…

It was easy especially if you’d ever read Darrell Huff’s book, “How to Lie With Statistics”, the most widely read book on quantitative analysis ever written. And if you’ve happened to have read his sequel, “How to Tell if Someone is Cheating With Statistics”. then…BOOM! Tysonian.

Thankfully, those days are done-skeey and I lament remembering some of the verbal beatings I gave. Almost…

Occasionally I can and do get drawn into a minor word wrestle with a formidable foe (likely because they have said egregious ignorant things with uncommon pride and arrogance instead of understated objectivity) whom I sense cannot go the whole fifteen rounds… even though I recognize my latent memory is beginning to escape me .

I’ll set ’em up with some obscure factoid, wait for the bell of my chosen round… then simply wind-up-round-house them before they can type, “Google”. Trust me, I had to learn a plethora of one punch put-down lines in Louisville’s South End growing up and I remember most of them.

But, I swear it’s ONLY because I hate the hater…

 …and so I dose ’em with a dash of high-test-hate-o-line (then an throw uppercut to the super-ego with a lit match thrown in for good measure). BA-BOOM!

True is dat. But this a confession, even if it sounds arrogant, because I’m sorry… especially after what Louisville’s Russ Smith has recently taught me.

The following statement by arguably the best player in the nation over the last two years exemplifies the notion of

CHAMPION

 better than I or anyone could ever express with any brand of kindness or venom.

THIS IS WHAT EVERY COLLEGE FAN SHOULD LEARN TO RECITE.

 Russ-not-so-diculous is, as of now my ALL-TIME favorite college basketball player:

Can anyone find something NOT to love about this guy? I don't think so...
Can anyone find something NOT to love about this guy? I don’t think so…

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Those who play the game (just like MOST OF US likely remember when playing sports), respect one another; it’s the fans who are LAME. Stop it you friggin’ idiots! It is a game. You have to work tomorrow either way, so STFU… (I know, I know… sure… its the refs fault).

Because in the end sports are about sportsmanship (learning how to win, and how to lose), not winning… and especially not whining like your 7-year old. It’s about enjoying true athletic skill which the common man can only appreciate with a certain awe. It’s about competitive fight, 100% effort, and all without cheating; and learning to LOSE well as well as WIN well. Well?

That trait alone makes one Russ Smith a true hero, and a real man. Those who play the game respect one another; it’s us fans whose ignorance is more than made up for by our lack of intelligence.

I mean, it’s a shame that stupidity isn’t painful…

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Stop the hate, fans of whom-ever-in-the-rat-fk.

It is ONLY a game that you ONLY participate in vicariously. Your kids will still have to go to the Dentist tomorrow, so please STFU with the crybaby stuff.

And… unfortunately it is the fans of my beloved State of Kentucky (equally offensive UL and UK fans) who are among the worst offenders. Some of these Neanderthals have professional jobs and careers. I mean, I love Kentucky though I’ve lived in North Carolina just as long, and now Florida nearly as long.

I’m still a UK and UL fan to the bone… because…

There’s nothing like basketball in KENTUCKY. I just hope it stays that way without us making fools of ourselves any more than we have already… well, all of us but those young inexperienced players on our teams… Bye Russ! I’ll miss your style, your smile, and your helter-skelter…

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Homers n’ Haters n’ (da)Mastur (de)Baters


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Historical data with facts and reasons to back em?

All courteous discourse be damned

Intelligence lost in a deep dark sphincter band

Trotting out opinions like… everybody has one

Experts who follow ex-purps, Blogsquirts who can’t write a lead or a lick

Internet Sports Websites; a vast and barren mind-field of Virtual (dick)weed-oligists.

Me? One time follower of Dean Oliver (Mi Deano que Numberino)

Now everybody’s got one,  a statistical guru with matchin’ number-crunchin’credo

The eye test is done-skee, Now its the drumbeat-of-repeato, conceited Eggo, a waffler with a bigger Ego

But, I’ll tell you what you can cram  up your USAs BEST Speedo…

A large wad of green ONE-and-DONE-o, shove that up your Uncle Sam Taxedo, dumb-a- dido

The NCAA. Straight laced but two-faced, laughing all-the-way to the… Johnny Cashed (not burned)

Dressed all in Folsom black, ring-of-fired up monied Coaches, BIG money not shared but stashed.

Call your raise little Homer-boy, and go up another notch just to see you show your red-faced gash

Mindless Babel, no pecking order, a Tower of  Trash talking knee-walking Monkey see-do commentators

Imagined a smarter retort?

Instead I’m reading between lines of the yellow teethed keys you gnashed.

Feel insulted? I can only hope.

Oh yeah, you-da Homers N’ Haters N’ The Mastur(de)Baters…

(All alone) on/under your keyboard, a Johnny-Cum-Later with everything and nothing to say.

Brainless Brainfarts spewing ignorant insult jism, eventually we all need knee-waders

Not the self-deluded Fanboy who incessantly yells “cheaters and one-and-doners”.

No, these… the loser “haters”who bury their hearts and their heads bad-mouthing everything,  even their own mashed potaters

Please, tell me who can discuss Sports intelligently anymore…besides the Cabbies and the Waiters?

YOU ignorant fans without rational rhyme or reason to believe, just wearing.school colors makes you feel smart looking lame. You got NO game.

and remember, you can’t lose if in the bigger picture it doesn’t really matter… so, until it does… I think I’ll read ya later.

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Get a life if all you have to look forward to is vicarious victories by your faved team, son.
Get a life if all you have to look forward to is vicarious victories by your faved team, son.

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THE HATE ON

Oh yeah… it has become Madness alright.

The twitter buzz lit up only minutes after University of Louisville reserve guard Kevin Ware landed poorly on his right leg in the Sunday (April) 2013 NCAA Tourney Final Four matchup between the University of Louisville and Duke University. But, as Ware was writhing on the floor and sending an entire nation watching to the bathroom sickly holding onto their dinner, a Syracuse fan tweeted to the world about Ware’s “wild background story”, then further hinting that it was Ware who had been responsible for the University of Central Florida’s NCAA probation issues.

Though Pete Thamel of Sports Illustrated (and NY Times) later attempted to minimize his tweet as only “providing background” to Ware’s story, most college basketball fans who know Thamel’s sensational yellow-coated writing style were left to speculate as to his real intentions. His timing couldn’t have been worse. Even Thamel was smart enough to retract and retreat, and explain away in re-tweet after re-tweet.

All Too Sweet, Pete.

Thamel, a Syracuse graduate and fan, and personal friends of both Syracuse Coach Jim Boeheim and Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski has made a living denigrating college basketball programs (outside of Gaudy Orange and Deep Blue Sea Devil) that don’t exactly meet with his personal “holier than thou” biases. If some heads-up Louisville fans and other intelligent sports fans hadn’t caught the ill-advised tweet, he likely would not have felt the urgent need to diareah-ically (my word not Websters) apologize for the Ware tweet. Thamel makes his living digging up dirt in Sports on players, coaches, and teams he also happens to dislike (read: they are better than his faves). He gets dirty too, sometimes.

By contrast, following the Cuse-Indiana Elite Eight game in a video interview with Syracuse’s Michael Carter Williams, fans were shown how the team’s players feel about one another (see NCAA video). Williams calmly and warmly spoke of his team’s biggest rival this year, Louisville, and showed the real side of competitive student athletes, rather than the one “so-called” media experts, haters, homers, trolls, and irresponsible fans-from-hell would rather have us believe. MCW is the rule, not the exception, and it has always been this way. Off court and on, competitors respect their adversaries to the point of rooting for them when they are not immediately diametrically opposed.

Sorry haters… the players just don’t feel the way you do about their rivals. Instead, they like them and wish them well. I repeat, there’s no HATE between College Basketball teams’ players…or any other sport for that matter; it exists only in the heads of their idiotic fans.

STOP THE HATE. IT’s way out of hand and way out of DATE. But, is it too late?

Seriously, what has happened to sports fandom today? The gloves have come off when one of the most respected newspaper’s (NY Times) own Sportwriter(s) fails to show good sportmanship in our virtually twisted-tweet world of Twitter-by-instant messaging? I mean really, does it make one a “cockroach  and a bandwagoneer” (as I was recently dubbed on a UL fansite by some nit-wit troll posing as a human and a Cardinal fan) if he/she is lucky enough to root for two teams from his home state ALL-his-life (in my case its called “Kentucky”), and only if their names happen to be “Kentucky” and “Louisville”?

Must I really choose between these two teams as several (anti-UK) UL fans demanded?

And hey… does it really hurt slime turtle, since it’s only megahertz… U foo-bean!

Well… uh, I graduated from Morehead State University. Must I be their fan, and that of no other team in this solar system? Ouch! Oh really now shit-for-brains, because which little Bimbo-boy says it must be so? You? He-he. HA!

But hey, I usually don’t go on my favorite teams’ Fan-site to argue ifs, ands, and maybes with brain-numbing stupidity, or to spout in-your-face electro-insults to moronic retardos like you, but instead (as in UL’s case) to simply celebrate our “RedBirds-of-a-Featherness” if only for but a brief, albeit passing moment.

Can U Dig it mumbo-gumbo? This better be good if you want to hold my attention little man!

Though, admittedly it can cause me to type ever more venomous and poisonous thoughts of my own hate-stew, word-wrestling with me can be an exercise in futility for the typical dyed-in-the-wool Hater. I admit to knowing that lame-brain banter makes me eventually start to yawn and becomes tedium, and so I normally lose interest in the verbal one-upmanship after one or two touché….zzzzzzzz

But, to say you win? Never.

When the Louisville-Duke game ended on that Sunday, Guards Quinn Cook and Rasheed Souliman both of Duke, quickly embraced their Louisville counterparts as if to say, “Congratulations guys on a great game, go on and win this thing”. And love him or hate him, Coach K was his usual class actin’ self-debasing-self in a loss, and when describing his respect for the players and the game his team had just endured. Was NO one taking notes?

Such is the State of Hate in Sports, and in Sports Journalism today. And I for one…HATE it.

And who really cares what Pete Thamel thinks? He’s a Cockroach.Screen-shot-2013-02-07-at-10_18_18-PM

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