Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Let’s Shake on It

I know that you come to this blog to read about college basketball-related happenings, so please forgive me for making this the second entry in a row in which I talk about the Super Bowl. If you bear with me, though, there promises to be a nice little treat at the end. ___________________________________________________

I took away three (and only three) things from Super Bowl XLIII, despite the fact that it was by far the most entertaining Super Bowl of the year—Journey without Steve Perry just doesn’t cut it, the stubble beard is more powerful than I ever could have imagined, and I officially hate Roman numerals.

Steve Perry-less “Journey”

I’ve gotten a few e-mails asking about my thoughts on this Arnel Pineda character, because “he sounds JUST like Steve Perry.” And after watching the Super Bowl pre-game show in which Journey was performing, I admit he does sound similar to Steve. But as far as I’m concerned, Journey without Steve Perry might as well be an amateur Mariachi band. This is the equivalent of bringing back “Seinfeld” with a cast consisting of Stephen Colbert as Jerry, Frank Caliendo as George, Tina Fey as Elaine, and Will Ferrell as Kramer. Sure it would probably still be funny, but you simply cannot recreate perfection using different ingredients.

By the way, since Journey had so many members over the course of its existence, I decided I’d figure out the members that got the trillion equivalent during their tenure with the band, which would consist of being with the band for a short period of time and doing virtually nothing important. My original thought was Randy Jackson, but after doing a little research, it turns out that he helped put together the “Raised on Radio” album, which features at least three songs that blow my mind. Instead, I went with Stevie Roseman. According to Wikipedia, he played the keyboard for one album, but only did so in the studio and didn’t go on tour. Also, he’s the only past or present member of Journey to not have a Wikipedia page, meaning his existence in the band should legitimately be called into question. Congratulations, Stevie, for your irrelevant contributions to Journey.

I Tried To Warn(er) You

(How about that cheesy play on words for the header? After giving it some thought, I honestly someday want my only contribution to society to be the guy who comes up with those headlines for ESPN.com that always seem to be puns. The headline after the Steelers won said “Great Sixcess!” I envy the creative mind that conceived that.)

As I’m sure you remember, my Super Bowl prediction was based solely on one thing—Kurt Warner’s stubble beard. Most of you undoubtedly bet your first born that the Cards would win because of my brilliant analysis and I really can’t blame you for doing so. But hopefully you realized before the game started that Warner shaved the mystical stubble because his wife suggested it. And in case you missed it, the Cardinals lost. This furthers my claim that women should never intercede with their opinions of facial hair. It’s a surefire way to ruin dreams.

If you take a look at the history books, you will notice that nearly every starting quarterback with a stubble beard in Super Bowl history came out victorious. And even in the rare instance that the stubble-bearded QB didn’t win, he ALWAYS finished in at least second, which is pretty respectable really. Let this serve as a lesson to all you men—never, under any circumstances, take facial hair advice from a woman (unless it’s the librarian I had in elementary school with the full blown goatee).

(I’m not sure if anyone noticed, but during the pre-game show Bob Costas asked Warner what he planned to do about the “growth” on his face. I lost all respect for Costas at that moment. I wasn’t even paying attention to what was on TV, but when I heard Costas say that Warner had a growth on his face, I quickly glanced up in hopes of seeing an arm coming out of Warner’s chin or something. Growth, Bob? Really? Even if you don’t support it, at least show a little bit more respect than liking the defining aspect of my lifestyle to a mutilation.)

When In Rome

Does anybody know for sure what Super Bowl was played on Sunday? My original guess was somewhere in between 35 and 50, but I grew up in America where we use numbers for numbers and letters for letters, so I really had no idea. Maybe the NFL (which coincidentally is the Roman numeral for twelve) thought there would only be seven or eight Super Bowls and the Roman numeral thing would be a nice little gimmick. But at this point, it’s getting out of hand. Is it really too much to ask for Sunday’s game to be referred to as the 2009 Super Bowl?

Let’s not forget the Super Bowl from 1996, better known as Super Bowl XXX. Because of the whole Roman numeral thing, parents all over America wouldn’t let their kids watch the Super Bowl because they thought that NBC (Roman numeral for six and a half) was airing a porno. Because my parents wouldn’t let me watch it, I’m still not fully convinced that that Super Bowl wasn’t a porno. Either way, I knew that whatever was being broadcast on NBC featured…yeah, I’m going to go ahead and just let you pick out your favorite football-related euphemism and apply it here.

(Personally, I can’t wait for Super Bowl L for the sole reason that it will always look like a typo.) ___________________________________________________

I apologize for diverting away from the events in my life that pertain to basketball, but after watching the Super Bowl on Sunday, I felt like I needed to get those three things off my chest. Besides, I haven’t really been doing much with basketball because my foot is still bothering me. I actually dressed in our game against Indiana on Saturday, but that was only because I ran out of dress clothes and I refuse to repeat an outfit. My foot still hurts much more than it should and I am honestly losing hope on my chances of getting a trillion this year. But enough with the negative. I promised I’d give you a treat if you made it to the end of this post and that’s exactly what I plan on giving you.

I have been scratching my head for awhile about some type of ongoing thing I could keep track of, as well as a prank type thing I could do. The Bone-Crushing Screen Counter, while near and dear to my heart, has stagnated with my injury and I’ve been left scrambling for something else to count. I’ve also wanted to do pranks of some sort, but my teammates have a high sense of awareness because they constantly hear about my blog from people on campus. I think I’ve found the solution to both of the problems.

I’ve noticed in my two and a half years of college basketball that nothing demonstrates the caste system on a basketball team quite like the post game handshakes with the opposition. In case you don’t quite follow, consider this. The only people that are allowed to do anything other than slap hands with the opposing players are the star players for each team. The star players always go through and do that handshake that looks like they are about to thumb-wrestle, followed by the leaning into each other to touch shoulders and then wrapping their arm that isn’t involved in the handshake around one another. If you still don’t know what I’m talking about, watch the post-game handshakes after any college basketball game and prepare to be blown away.

People like me who didn’t play or had very little to do with the game are nothing more than a stepping stone to that big embrace with Evan Turner at the end of the line. I plan on changing that. Starting tonight with our game against Purdue, I plan on going through the line and making it awkward times ten for everyone I shake hands with. I am going to do the regular handshake, but hold it for a moment too long while I do that one arm wrap around thing that the superstars always do. I will keep track of how many people give me the one arm embrace in return. If the player I am shaking hands with thinks “Who does this guy think he is?” then I have successfully done my job. Hopefully I can average at least one a game, but I honestly have no idea what to expect. I’m just anxious for the inordinate amount of respect I will undoubtedly get. ___________________________________________________

Bone-Crushing Screens: 1 to date (0 last game)
Your awesome YouTube was sent in to me by Stephen L. There's your shout-out, Stephen. And here's your (incredibly disturbing, yet absolutely awesome) video.

Your Friend and My Favorite,

Mark Titus

Club Trillion Founder