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TD: Don't Take Us Alive

Date: 2/9/2010

Two Dukies  
Posted By: Matt (micropreramble, microcomments), duhomme (microcomments, microbrew)


Volume XIII, Episode 28 (TD Micro) 
February 9, 2010

Matt’s comments in
duhomme's comments in red.

BOSTON COLLEGE (12-11, 3-6) @ WAKE FOREST (16-5, 6-3)

So it ends up that Swofford has no qualms about dispatching the Beagles on quick-turnaround road trips either - - but then, they’ve been home for well over two weeks.  After showing considerable grit, toughness, free throw mettle, and outside shooting talent against Duke, every single one of those qualities will now dramatically disappear.  Meanwhile, Goonio seeks to hold serve (or as Len Elmore would archly say, “hold service, per se”) at home after upending Virginia 64-61 in OT in Charlottesville, an accomplishment that means something again.  Fourth sentence to wonder aloud why Chris Berman is suddenly the most desirable pitchman in America (who is this clown’s agent??), and why he looks like a wax dummy of himself in the new Internet-based ads for a service company that Tom Daschle has never heard of. 

Wake Forest 78, Boston College 59.

If you’ve been paying attention (and there’s no shame if you haven’t, I struggle at times myself), you have probably deduced that the two of us who populate this site with erroneous basketball predictions and lame analysis also enjoy poking fun at dumb ads, dumb news stories, dumb T.V. listings and any other examples of Mass Media Fail.  In fact, I enjoy it more than coming up with anything of substance regarding a Boston College team that just played its best game of the season against Duke, and will now revert back to its comfortable doormat status.  With that said, enjoy this channel guide description of what is apparently an X-rated cooking show.

Wake Forest 99, Boston College 40.

SPECIAL BONUS!!!   Hey, remember when Duke played Gardner-Webb about eight months ago?  duhomme wrote a recap, and I cruelly neglected to post it for some reason, and continued to do so for such a long delay that it became sort of a joke, with scant laughter, but plenty of wan smiles.  And now, here it is.  It's actually interesting to see how perspectives on the team have transformed as the season has progressed, or at least, that's my story and I'm sticking to it.  And besides, Tiger Woods is still relevant.  If boring even in scandal.     

Had enough of Tiger Woods? Yeah, me too, especially the ticker on what sponsors are keeping him on and which are dumping him ESPN has decided to scroll throughout all of its broadcasts. And I kind of wish the Associated Press could have delayed its release of the Sportsman of the Decade for at least a few more days. On the other hand, the news did result in the local sports talk station here in Our Nation’s Capital announcing this accomplishment at the top of every hour, each time informing listeners that Tiger has won a tournament on every continent.

Really? Now, see, I don’t really follow golf, so I was entirely unaware the there was any golf played on Antarctica. As impressive as Woods’ accomplishments have been in survivable climates, this is truly amazing. Imagine trying to avoid this water hazard? Or navigating this fairway? Putting on this green?
In related news, TMZ is reporting the existence of more of Tiger’s mistresses.

Next subject: the latest trend in basketball announcers being stupid. We’ll get to the specifics of the chronic idiocy in Duke’s last game in a few minutes, but need to highlight one item that is somehow part of every single broadcast, regardless who is playing. And that is saying that Player X “had his shot blocked” or “had the ball taken away from him.” No, he didn’t. You have your car repaired. You have your suit dry cleaned. You have your nails done. These are voluntary acts, things you want to happen. When Player X’s shot is blocked, that is not what he intended. And he certainly did not request that the defending player take the ball away.

This is easy to fix, simply by naming the other player involved, which would not only help represent proper use of the English language, but would actually inform the viewer of what happened. Such as, “Player Y blocks Player X’s shot!” “Player X goes up for a layup. Blocked by Player Y!” “Player Y takes the ball away from Player X!” Of course, that would require actually paying attention to the game, which is what these guys are paid to do.

Now, one of these days, I will figure out an alternative phrasing to “And Player X is fouled from behind.” ‘Cause that sounds painful and/or gross.

Pushing the limits here now, huh? I’m sure Matt was reaching for the delay button back there but, too late! Alrighty, continuing with the announcing gripes but transitioning to the Gardner-Webb game (smoooooooooth) the usually capable Mike Patrick, unfortunately saddled with the Associated Press Sportsdope of the Decade Len “Picket-Fence-Mouth” Elmore (seriously, the guy could floss with a garden hose), decided for some reason to spend approximately 98 percent of the broadcast talking about the fans. Namely, that, with school out of session, the students were replaced (mostly) by other folks. Oh, and so was the band. This was worth mentioning in the beginning, so the viewer would understand why the place was much quieter than usual and most of the folks in the student section were sitting down. But bringing it up, again and again, every 45 seconds in the second half? Unnecessary. As was the repeated digs at the age of the replacement fans. Sorry, Mike, I guess not everyone can maintain their youthful appearance as well as you. 

Believe it or not, there was a basketball game being played, as Duke took apart the law firm of Gardner & Webb, with Jon Scheyer having career highs in points, rebounds and assists. And what has to be a career low in minutes played with a paltry 30. That’s the sort of thing you would expect in a blowout, but doesn’t often happen in the Durham-based program. Speaking of iron-man minutes, Singer, who was questionable going into the game, logged 27. Unfortunately, Kyle left his shot back at his apartment, and the team manager took until just after halftime to go back and get it for him. But he did manage to score 11 and pull down five errant shots. The Pair of Plumlees continued to show development, with 1.0 scoring 13 and declining three of GW’s transactions in less than a half of play. More importantly, he actually created shots with some nice post moves, including one where he was double-teamed, faked to his left, faked to his right, faked a pass to his left that shook off one the defenders and then went back to his right for the score. Nice. The alley-oops are always fun to watch, but sometimes you have to do it the hard way.

Plumlee 2.0 showed some pretty good moves as well. Following the game, Coach K made an interesting comment that, since Mason was hurt before the season started, he comes in without a “reference point.” Meaning, (I think) that he looks now the way he would have looked in the first couple of games of the year. As long as he doesn’t get a bad case of Chronic Freshman Benching Syndrome (CFBS), we should be able to watch him improve game by game.

You know, folks, with all due respect to Garder-Webb, well, this was Gardner-Webb. Aside for some fairly good defense at times, they really didn’t have a chance and there’s no good reason to dwell on this game. There was the usual exam hangover to get through, with bobbled dribbles and a number of passes that looked about 90 percent. But, other than that … Oh, let’s just get to it.

Treebeard getting 13 and eight in only 15 minutes on the floor makes a strong case. Especially with no turnovers. But the honor has to go to Andre Dawkins. Not because I wanted him to come back and play, and play well (along with Matt, I really thought he might take the rest of the year off). No, and I may not describe this well, but because he was doing what he does, what he loves and what he has devoted much of his life to. Given what he has just gone through, it’s important that he has that. Trust me. (By the way, in addition to Coach K and Nate James, Duke Athletic Director Kevin White accompanied Dawkins to the funeral. Classy.)

I had penciled in the apparent lack of any remembrance symbol on Duke’s uniforms for Dawkins’ sister but had second thoughts. First off, maybe it’s there and I just couldn’t see it. Maybe the school just didn’t have time to get it on (hard to believe, though). Maybe the NCAA won’t allow it. Maybe Dawkins declined. So, for now, the university gets a pass. No, today’s fail is ESPN’s “Green Game” airing on Saturday. And it’s a double fail. To begin with, the mascot, and lead pitchman, is Kermit the Frog. What’s his connection? The performer of a song entitled “It’s Not Easy Being Green.” Um, you know, if you are trying to encourage people to be more environmentally conscious, do not remind that it’s not easy. Even worse is ESPN’s announcement that it will take certain measures during the broadcast, such as using LED lights, to be more friendly to the Earth. Here’s the problem: is this game being transmitted to televisions? Yes, through cable and satellites. Do those things use lots of power? Yes, they do. Do they devices that receive them, called televisions, use lots of power? You betchya. Is the game being broadcast in high-definition? Have you ever seen the damage one of those can do to your power bill?

As a final note, you can talk about the University of Kansas’ whopping 15 elliptical machines that convert kinetic energy into usable electricity all day long. But if you really want to take a load off the grid, hook one of those devices up to Chris Carrawell’s jaw during a game. The way that guy chews gum could power the greater Triangle area.

Last Edition:
Matt 4-2
duhomme 5-1 
Guests 0-0

Matt 42-23
duhomme 41-24
Guests 2-1


View more articles from this category


Posted by: duhomme Date: 2/10/2010 2:22:37 AM  
i did my best to hold this off, but failed. expect a nasty letter from our attorney, hugh jassell.

Posted by: Matt Date: 2/10/2010 12:46:46 AM  
Well who can blame them, as the NLRB is perfectly capable of functioning with just two members who are bound to deadlock on every issue. Hey - - it's just like the Senate! In any case, the editing functionality will thankfully remain on . . . hold.

Posted by: duhomme Date: 2/9/2010 11:13:56 PM  
we just had a meeting here at the washington, d.c. bureau and found that an editing function is required under our collective bargaining agreement. had the senate not blocked craig becker's nomination to the nlrb today, you'd be in some serious trouble.

Posted by: Matt Date: 2/9/2010 9:41:12 PM  
Wake wins 92-85, that is. When is this site going to add a editing function for the comments, one wonders. I'll speak to the people running it.

Posted by: Matt Date: 2/9/2010 9:40:34 PM  
Wake wins, 92-95, as Tyler Roche (whom Mike Patrick presciently touted during the Duke-BeeCee game as a player who should get more time) scores a career-high 31, getting the Bootsy by a single point. Nice D, Wake! Still, WFU shot almost 57.4% from the floor, and Sanders, Ravenel, Paris and Elmore were all either DQed or had four PFs. Anyone watch this one?

Posted by: Steve!! Date: 2/9/2010 5:41:12 PM  
SFSF - Thanks for the compliment. There was no coordination, so hopefully Andrew hasn't done the same work.

I'd do the television question, but the Tar Heel website requires more effort than I'm willing to give to determine each game's television coverage. For this season though, I can report that of ACC games, there is one Duke game that wasn't nationally covered (N.C. State) and there will be four UNC-CH games (N.C. State, Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech, Miami).

I'd say only ACC games should count because as much as I'd like to watch every game, I can't say I really blame a national broadcaster for not getting the rights for Duke/Radford or UNC-CH/Marshall.

In general, I'd guess more Duke games are covered, but having a Tar Heel fan complain about lack of television coverage must make a Wake Forest or N.C. State fan in San Francisco cringe.

Posted by: T. Randall Taylor Date: 2/9/2010 4:29:19 PM  
Swofford gets an assist from God. The Maryland/Virginia game has been postponed due to bad weather, giving the Terps a bit more practice time.


Posted by: SanFranSoxFan Date: 2/9/2010 2:53:46 PM  
Steve!!, great research (in your comment on the previous post) re close-coupled games, Duke vs. UNC-CH. Hopefully you are coordinating with Andrew on this stuff as I figured he'd also be looking that one up - definitely want to avoid duplication of effort here!

To follow on, and since we're warming up for that biggish game Wednesday evening...

While I tend toward the "Swofford don't like Duke" opinion as well, I did get a fresh perspective on a flight two weeks ago from a lovely older lady seatmate who was a UNC-CH alum. Among the usual fare (they hate K cause he's a rat; Henderson was a thug; Roy's too busy winning NC's to coach the Olympics, K's not really a businessman so why's he doing AMEX commercials except for recruiting?, etc.) was this gem... When she mentioned that it must be tough living in San Francisco and missing all the ACC action, I innocently (oh how I wish it had been calculated) mentioned that almost all the Duke games were televised. Oh the look of malice - we must have been sitting near the exit cause the temperature dropped 20 degrees. Gosh, how I wish I knew the numbers of televised games, national vs regional, these two storied programs' fans get to enjoy each season (for those who enjoy research but may miss hints, please allow me to repeat "Oh how I wish I knew the numbers...").

Apparently, judging from this pretty knowledgeable if not unbiased woman's reaction, there is a disparity in this area that is another of the many slights those poor Tar Heel fans must suffer at the hands of:
1. K (the rat)
2. Broadcast America, which favors big money programs like Duke over poor, innocent public education Universities
3. Dickie V and all those Duke-loving broadcasters
4. The population at large, that loves watching Duke lose so much it is willing to buy all the advertisers' products just to keep those games on TV.

So, before we go blaming Swoffie alone for punishing Duke through nasty scheduling, we probably need to figure out who is getting the best coverage. If it is Duke, than just maybe the opportunity for exposure means Duke is complicit in it's own scheduling hell (and as one of the beneficiaries of such exposure... I'm cool with that).

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