Wednesday, March 18, 2009

All About Media

I first want to say that I hope everyone had a happy National Working Woman’s Holiday. I took an extended period of time to celebrate with EA-T, which explains why I haven’t posted in awhile. Nonetheless, I trust that all you fellas let your ladies know that you appreciate the work they are putting in.

I really do apologize for not posting in quite some time, but with the Big Ten tournament and finals this week, I had to succumb to that increasingly popular trend called studying, which was something I had heard a lot about but had never really tried. That’s because I’ve always liked to see myself as the “Icebox” of academics. If the Icebox had put a little more effort into her looks (I’m fully aware that she did put forth effort when she became a cheerleader, but just go with me on this one), guys would have been at her feet with bouquets of dandelions, begging to hold her hand. If I put a little more effort into school, I could be that guy that goes around asking people what their GPA is and when they say that it’s lower than mine I simply reply, “Oh, that’s not too bad.” Instead the Icebox and myself both enjoy being the kid who gives off the vibe that says “I really don’t care about what you think should be important to me because I wear my hat backwards and eat powdered donuts straight out of the box.” (Just kidding, mom! I got straight A’s this quarter!) But enough about my shortcomings as a student.

Since you’ve last heard from me, we played our last regular season game, played three games in the Big Ten tournament, and I have received a bid to wear a towel around my neck in the NCAA tournament. More importantly, Kyle and I have agreed on how to solve the whitest on the team fiasco. Also, it was revealed that spiders are magic, which has nothing to do with me or this blog, but is fascinating nonetheless.

At Club Trillion, I always feel the need to give credit where credit is due. And with the conclusion of the regular season, I realized that I had failed to give a shout-out to a certain group of people that were long overdue for AMPAP. I’m talking, of course, about the athletics band at OSU, which despite the fact that I’ve heard they are not TBDBITL, they are certainly TSecondBDBITL as far as I’m concerned.

It should be noted that the band that plays for the basketball games was ahead of the Club Trillion curve by about two years. During our National runner-up season in 2006-2007, the band was right there every step of the way holding up their “Titus Time” sign as each and every beat down our starters would dish out came down to the final minutes. But what truly made them worthy of a shout-out, was when one of the members contacted me and said that the band was convincing their conductor/director/not too sure what to call that old guy who waves the stick to let them play a certain song. Not only did they succeed in their convincing, but the band has continued to play it every single game from that moment on. And for the record, you can bet your balls that I sing along every time, despite the fact that I’m supposed to be warming up. Again, AMPAP goes out to the basketball band and more specifically the group that continuously (or is it continually? I’ve never understood the difference) shows Club Trillion love (you know who you are).

As far as the basketball is concerned, we managed to find our way to the championship game of the Big Ten tournament, most likely because I told the team that the longer we stay in the tournament, the more per diem we will get. We eventually lost to Purdue in the championship, probably because I chose to dunk in warm-ups rather than do the standard board slap. I apologize to all the tOSU fans out there, but the game was in my hometown of sorts and I therefore felt the need to take my warm-up game to the next level. Anyway, the nasty taste left in our mouths from losing the Big Ten Championship was erased when we found out that we would be playing Siena, which happens to be my favorite shade of Crayola brown, in the first round of the NCAA tournament.

Before I go on, I know that all of you are curious as to what my bracket looks like. And despite the fact that filling out brackets is frowned upon by the NCAA, I want to officially go on record as saying that I have Big State over Western University in the championship game. I personally think Jesus Shuttlesworth is just a little too much for Neon Bodeaux and company, but that’s just this man’s opinion. Now that we got that out of the way, I want to address what is easily the coolest thing about postseason basketball.

After every postseason game (including the three Big Ten tournament games), our locker room is opened up to the media for a half hour or so. This means that I have to actually wrap a towel around my waist as I walk to the shower, which probably makes my teammates a little bit happier than it makes me. Anyway, the best part of the whole media circus comes when I get out of the shower and get dressed.

It may come as a surprise to some people, but after games I’m really not sought after all that much to do interviews. You would think that with a Big Ten title and a Final Four appearance to my name (not to mention the above-the-rim/how-he-do-dat? rebound I nabbed in the first round of the tourney two years ago) that the media would be lining up to watch as the knowledge just flows out of my mouth. Somehow, that’s not the case. But I’m totally cool with it, because it offers me the opportunity to annoy my teammates, which is really the only motivation I have in life.

As the interviews are going on, I can be found standing behind the interviewer doing whatever it takes to make the interviewee bust up laughing. Usually this consists of thrusting my hips the way Ace Ventura did after he made the police department look foolish. Another popular move is the Happy Gilmore dance, which involves a prop and can therefore be challenging if suitable equipment isn’t around. Whatever the case, it’s pretty awesome to see people like B.J. Mullens try to be serious while answering questions, only to cut off his interview halfway through because he can’t remember his train of thought.

After we beat Michigan State in the Big Ten tournament, I came up with a new way to torment my teammates that I found to be pretty effective and will probably use again for the big dance. Superstars such as The Villain are usually hounded by the media and end up getting ten to twenty microphones shoved in their face as an unruly mass forms around them. To blend in with the crowd, I took a dry erase marker and treated it like my microphone. I leaned on a reporter’s back like I myself was a reporter and was trying to get that awesome quote from The Villain that more than likely featured his take on how to fix the economy. I managed to get the marker right by The Villain’s face, at which point he caught me and pushed me away while pausing his speech and cracking a smile. Somewhere, there is footage of The Villain being absolutely serious while I shove a marker in his face. I can only pray that I will see it someday.

During the Final Four two years ago, we had an entire two hours one day devoted to answering questions from the media. This was when I perfected the art of messing up the interview. A particular favorite from that media day is when I convinced Ivan Harris that he had a booger hanging out of his nose and he said “Yeah we’re just going to go out and play our…hold on, I gotta go take care of something” to the reporter before dashing off to the bathroom. Another favorite thing to do was to stand by Greg Oden and ask him to say my name as he’s answering each question. I’m not entirely sure how he’s supposed to drop my name while answering questions like, “How do you think you match up against Al Horford and Joakim Phoenix?”, but that’s why he gets paid the big bucks and I’m stuck here blogging for free.

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A big thanks goes out to the Trillion Man March for the suggestions on how to break the whitest guy on the team tie. After consulting with Kyle, we have both decided that a heptathlon would be the most fun and best way to break the tie. We are unsure of what the events will be, but Kyle will choose three, I will choose three, and we will both agree on the seventh event (if necessary). Hopefully we can find a way to get these competitions on film, provided I don’t screw up the video camera like I did on the elevator in Minneapolis. As we figure out how we are going to do this, I will relay it to the Trillion Man March.

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I know that most of you are focused on filling out your brackets and are being asked to join no less than 146 bracket pools, but I wanted to once again remind everyone of the Streak for the Cash group that I created. Because of obvious reasons, I can’t participate in filling out brackets/making a Club Trillion group, so I’m stuck with asking you to join the Streak group, which can be done by clicking here. I have a sincere ambition to make my group the biggest on Streak, so tell absolutely everybody you know to join. Also, as promised, toward the end of the post I have listed your group leaders for Streak, as well as the person with the worst streak going because, well, that guy has it pretty rough and could use a little pick-me-up.

In my entry explaining my love-hate relationship with Streak for the Cash, I promised a shout-out to anyone who counted the number of times I took the towel off of my neck. It came as no surprise that an entire group of people in Block O (our student section) counted out loud with each removal of the towel. But since none of them actually e-mailed me, no shout-outs can be rewarded. Sorry, but the rules are the rules. It did come as a big surprise, however, that Cody Yeagley, who claims to have been sitting in the upper deck of the arena, got the count exactly right (for the record, it was 11). Congrats Cody on not only going above and beyond the call of duty, but for being one of the few people to get a full name shout-out on the blog. Good work.

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The last game of the regular season against Northwestern garnered two one-armed embraces, which was more of a pleasant surprise than when I recently discovered that Giant Eagle has Waffle Crisp. Somehow I kept that momentum going and got six embraces each from the Wisconsin Buzzcuts and Michigan State Spartans. Purdue was too busy chest-bumping each other to go through the handshake line after the championship game, meaning Bobby Riddell lost out on his chance to solidify his first ballot status in the One-Armed Embrace Hall of Fame. Too bad for him.

Finally, I dotted P.J. Hill at least three times since you last heard from me, meaning the only victim left on my “People To Dot” list is Zisis Sarikopoulos, whose name I more than likely just misspelled.

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Streak for the Cash Group Leaders: P. Kremer, W. Parell (streak of 10 wins)

Streak for the Cash Group Loser: G. McMurrin (streak of 11 losses)

One Armed Embraces: 23 to date (0 last game)

Bone-Crushing Screens: 1 to date (0 last game)

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Your awesome YouTube was sent in to me by Drew S. There's your shout-out, Drew. And here's your video.




Your Friend and My Favorite,

Mark Titus

Club Trillion Founder