Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Mmmmmm.....Turkey Bowl

Not a whole lot going on today as I am getting myself mentally prepared for our annual Turkey Bowl. The Turkey Bowl is a Thanksgiving tradition that is just what it sounds like...a football game. The added bonus of the Turkey Bowl is that instead of actual football players, the field is covered with out of shape twentysomethings who are still half drunk from wednesday nights revelry. Or in my buddy Kurt's case from last year...still completely hammered. I swear that Kurt was about to puke as we got out of the car, even stopping to lean over in anticipation. Yet, Kurt is a pro and got it together in time to throw approximately 12 touchdown passes on his way to the MVP award. If you know Kurt, this was quite a moment for him.

I, on the other hand, did not have what one would call a memorable performance. Coming off of MVP honors the previous year, I was poised to repeat my two touchdowm, two interception performance. Alas, I was teamed with Kurt's brother JJ and his gay lover Ricky who did his best Vinny Testaverde impression by staring down JJ and throwing balls at his feet. I caught three passes (on the first drive) including the game's first touchdown only to be frozen out the rest of the way like Jordan in the '84 All-Star game. It got so bad that I was openly ripping my QB for most of the second half. Not a T.O. on the sidelines type display but more like a heckler at a bad comedy club...only one for horrible QBs who want to make out with their wide receivers. That's one thing about the Turkey Bowl...its never predicatbale, other than the fact that somebody is going to throw up on the field at some point in the morning.

Just a few random thoughts as I avoid work for the remainder of the day:

If I didn't know better, I would swear that Raja Bell was faking it when he got shook by Dwyane Wade last Friday. Did you see that highlight? Bell looked like he was diving to avoid a bomb blast in Die Hard 18: The Battle for Planet Hollywood...For a guy who made his name with his defense that was pathetic, and funny. I don't know if I'll ever be able to look at Raja the same way again.

It probably won't happen, because he's certifiably crazy, but the potential influence of Kevin Garnett on Eddie Griffin could finally make Eddie realize that he has as much talent as any PF in the NBA and that shooting twenty-three footers is not in his best interest. Another angle on this is that Eddie has already been making an impact on KG, by introducing him to the fun filled world that is sucker punching your teammates. I'm not saying that Eddie told KG to punch Rick Rickert this summer but its not like Eddie has a rep of "working well with others". I think this theory may have slipped under alot of people's radars because sadly, after you shoot at your ex-girlfriend, people tend to forget all the tender moments that Eddie shared with guys like Ty Shine over the years.

With the success of guys like Tayshaun Prince and Josh Howard, do you think NBA GMs will start taking a longer look at versatile swingmen who attended four years of college? Of course they won't. Why would you want to draft a guy who won his conference player of the year award when you could draft a European who played in his league's second division or a 19 year old who has an affinity for taking bad shots? Jeez, maybe I'M nuts because I cannot understand at least 75% of the GMS in the NBA. Do you even have to interview for these jobs? Its not like Prince and Howard played in the Mountain West. They were the best players in the SEC and ACC, respectively, and both of them lasted until the last 5 picks of the first round. Of course since they were 22 at the time, then they were definitely done improving as a basketball player. Yeah, that's about right...I don't recall Mullin, Pippen or Steve Smith ever improving once they got out of school.

What in god's name is with all of these teams breaking out yellow uniforms this year? Is it really neccessary to wear jerseys that Gordon Gund can see? How long until some team takes the court with pink uniforms? Actually, that would be the exact same amount of time until my death by electrocution.

I absolutely hate NBA Inside Stuff (because I'm not a 12 year old girl) but the all access stuff with the Hornets has been very interesting. I only hope that they continue this all season long so that we can all see Baron Davis attack Byron Scott after a loss to the Knicks or somebody. Which brings up an interesting question....Can you actually fight somebody with your arms crossed? For Byron's sake, I hope so.

Maybe its just me but the Pistons have a "lose in the second round" kind of feel to them this year. I'm not saying I'm rooting for that to happen...I'll just say I root for whatever is going to get Darko on the court.

The University of Florida takes on Providence College on Saturday as Billy Donovan returns to take on his alma mater. That alone is interesting enough, but anytime a team plays in an arena named the Dunkin' Donuts Center and used to have a starting point guard named God then you know that you're in for a treat.

I'm interested to see how the Gators react to a hostile environment as that has not been one of their strong suits the past couple of years. This year's freshman class has looked good (too bad its been against Jacksonville and Florida Atlantic) especially Corey Brewer, who is already the best defensive player we've had since Justin Hamilton. The other freshmen all look to be finding their niche and should all (hopefully) provide nice contributions throughout the year.

The matchup to watch in this one is David Lee vs. Ryan Gomes. Lee was a McDonald's All-American who has been good, but not great in his Gator career because of his inability (or unwillingness) to take over a game at both ends of the floor, especially on the backboards. Gomes, on the other hand, was very underrecruited coming out of high school and has blossomed into a dominant offensive player who has elevated the Providence program. So its the age old matchup of potential vs. productivity. While Gomes became a national name as junior, Lee looked clearly distracted by the need to impress NBA scouts (think Keith Bogans as a junior) and show off his individual abilities, even putting on so much weigh that he became a walking cramp for much of the first half of the season. If Lee wants to recapture the buzz that he had accrued after a sensational finish to his sophomore year and have a big senior year, therby improve any shot he has at being all starts here. Lee HAS to come out and post a double-double while containing Gomes and leading the Gators to victory if he wants to get NBA scouts talking again. If Lee can lead by example and show some real toughness on the boards then the Gators have a shot. If not, well then Gator fans ought to get ready for another early NCAA flameout. I think that this Gator team has alot of potential to be very, very good but only if their leader(s), this includes Roberson and Walsh, can figure out a way to win with defense and toughness. What better place to show everything that you've learned than at your coach's alma mater.

Now if you'll excuse me. I have to go film the intro sequence for tommorrow's's a hint: It involves a butterball turkey in nothing but a towel.

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