Last night we lost to the Wisconsin Buzzcuts in game that featured only 105 points, none of which were contributed by me. Calling Wisconsin the Buzzcuts isn’t meant to be an insult (mostly because I rocked the buzzcut for most of this past summer/fall and the first half of this season), but rather an observation of fact. As long as I’ve been at Ohio State, seemingly every white guy on Wisconsin has had a buzzcut. Maybe Bo Ryan is comfortable with players with buzzcuts and recruits accordingly. I legitimately wonder if he’s ever recruited someone who had a little less talent than the other guy, but had the nice looking buzzcut that the other guy didn’t. Something to think about.
Because the game was on Valentine’s Day and because a certain someone from my past was going to be at the game along with the College Gameday crew, I was a little nervous. All my nervousness immediately subsided at shoot-around in the afternoon, though, as Erin approached me and insisted that we talk some things over. I assumed she wanted to talk about the dozen roses I had sent to her hotel room, but she assured me that she never got them. It turns out that I accidentally sent them to Digger Phelps’ room, which probably explains why Digger felt the need to wink at me about thirty times too many. Anyway, I planned on sending Erin the roses as a way to say “Even though we had a falling out, true love won’t desert you.” She was overwhelmed by my generosity and essentially begged that we get back together. Maybe it was because she was so convincing or maybe it was because I didn’t want to be a heartbreaker on the day of love, but I somehow found myself agreeing with everything she said. It may come as a big surprise to the Trillion Man March, but I would like to announce that Erin and I are now back together. To make it official, she even made me go change the sign on her dressing room to reflect our rekindling love.
Pictured: A fresh start
Despite the fact that we lost to Wisconsin, I clearly didn’t come away from Madison as a complete loser. But my victory with Erin wasn’t the only mega victory I scored. I also managed to make my roommate Danny Peters question every aspect of his life using nothing more than a Super Nintendo and a little game called NBA Jam.
Before you get all worked up and start littering the comment section/my inbox with the same questions, the answer is no, I don’t own the Tournament Edition and yes, I fully understand that you think the Tournament Edition is far superior. I’m talking about the original NBA Jam. You know, the one that left out the best players in the league at the time. No Jordan, no Shaq, no Barkley, and no Bill Cartwright (Note: apparently Barkley was in the game. I was looking for him on the 76ers, but he was on the Suns at the time. The point is still valid, though). It’s a wonder why I even bought the game in the first place.
Every time we go on the road (and especially the last road trip since the tip wasn’t until 9 p.m. EST) we have pretty much nothing to do in the hotel all day. Surprisingly, Coach Matta doesn’t just turn us loose and tell us to be at the gym sometime before the game starts. Because we are usually bored out of our minds and because doing frog splashes on my bed is only entertaining for about two hours, we are forced to think of alternative ways to entertain ourselves. That’s why I decided to start bringing my Super Nintendo on the road trips.
I usually bring Super Mario World, Super Mario Kart, and NBA Jam, but we almost always end up playing only NBA Jam. We got to Madison on Friday night and had a nice steak dinner and headed back to our rooms. It was at this point that Danny decided to get the party started with a little NBA Jam session. He felt like he was on top of his game and the time had come for him to beat me. It was then that I realized that Danny clearly mixed some sort of alcohol in his drink at dinner, cause the Shark was not about to lose on this particular night.
If there’s one certainty in my life, no matter what the circumstances may be, it’s that I will always put my trust in the hands of Clyde “The Glide” Drexler whenever an NBA Jam game breaks out. Simply put, when it comes to NBA Jam, Clyde Drexler is murder in the form of a pixelated and balding basketball player. Danny thought that the Knicks, featuring Patrick Ewing and John Starks, would be able to handle the Blazers. In case you didn’t notice, Danny, the Knicks don’t have Clyde Drexler. Strike one.
So the game gets going and I’m giving Danny a steady dose of The Glide jumping from the free throw line and throwing down on Ewing’s nostrils paired with the tenacity of Terry Porter on defense. My game plan consisted of Porter absolutely plowing over John Starks (there are no fouls) and dishing it off to The Glide, who would then make Ewing look like a guy who gets dunked on a lot.
We traded baskets to start the game, but I managed to get a few more stops than Danny and led the entire first quarter, with the score at 24-20 at the end of one. I continued this pattern in the second quarter and went up by six at halftime, with The Glide having all of my 46 points. By the time the third quarter came around, it looked like the game was getting out of hand as I took a commanding fourteen point lead. Then, Starks decided to man up and began punking Terry Porter. By the end of the third, the score was 64-58, with The Glide still having every point (and shot attempt for that matter).
Apparently, the artificial intelligence in 1993 was much more advanced than I ever realized because the computer decided to make it closer than it ever should have been. Despite the fact that I set a personal record for quickest shattering of the backboard (it came with 2:42 left in the fourth), Danny managed to tie the game with a minute and a half left. I wasn’t sweating it too much since I had the ball and knew that we could just trade baskets the rest of the game. However, Danny hit a three with Starks with 37 seconds left to take his first lead of the game. We maintained our trading of baskets (and consequently, the lead) for the next couple of possessions until I was clinging onto a one point lead with ten seconds left and Danny took it to the rack and threw down hard with Ewing. I was left with four seconds, down by one, and The Glide taking the ball out of bounds. Clearly way too much time. Strike two.
Now, normally I don’t let Terry Porter do anything but play defense and pass the ball (so basically what I do every day in practice), but in this particular instance, I knew I had to make an exception. Porter’s 3 point ability is much better than The Glide’s and I knew I would have to throw up a prayer, so I made the decision to let Porter shoot. As I inbounded it to Porter, Danny went after the steal with Starks, leaving me wide open to take a couple dribbles and heave up the miracle. Strike three. You’re out.
Porter shot it from beyond half court as the buzzer sounded and the ball bounced on the rim for literally two seconds. As the ball rolled in, I dropped my controller and started celebrating like I was a world class soccer player. I ran out of our room and proceeded to yell as I made my way up and down the hotel hallway, totally disregarding the fact that it was after midnight. I chestbumped a housekeeper, kissed a random bald man’s head, and knocked on Evan “The Villain” Turner’s door before making my way back to my room. When I got back, Danny had his face in his hands and was repeatedly saying “Why me?” Don’t worry, Danny. It’s not you, it’s me.
I now have a much greater appreciation for Terry Porter, something that the Phoenix Suns apparently don’t have. Maybe I should write a letter to the Suns explaining to them exactly what they are giving up. I love Terry Porter so much now, that I have decided to order all T-Bone steaks I get from now on as “Terry Porterhouse” steaks. I can’t recall too many moments in my life that caused more excitement than winning NBA Jam on a half-court shot, which either shows you how seriously I take Super Nintendo or how miserable my life has been thus far. I’m crossing my fingers that you interpret that as being the former, but I guess that’s a decision I have to leave up to you.
After the game was over, I was so disappointed that we lost that I didn’t remember to do the hugging hand shakes with Wisconsin. My memory was jarred by the Buzzcuts, though, as five of them gave me the one arm embrace. I’m convinced that either most of the guys on their team read the blog or they are just really friendly guys who like to hug it out more than Ari Gold. At any rate, five of Wisconsin’s players gave me the one arm embrace. Good work, Buzzcuts.
One Armed Embraces: 7 to date (5 last game)
Bone-Crushing Screens: 1 to date (0 last game)
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