Saturday, February 21, 2009

Never A Dale Moment

We lost our second game in a row to Northwestern on Wednesday night. The entire road trip was a disaster, mostly due to the Super Nintendo not working on the hotel TV because the input channels were deactivated. Beyond that, my fingertips are cracking from the cold weather, which made my usually wet jump shot a little bit drier than normal. I honestly couldn’t throw the ball into the ocean during warm-ups. Keep in mind that we were over 800 miles away from the ocean, so really my inability to throw a ball that far kind of makes sense. Maybe if I could throw 92 with movement it would be a different story.

To make matters worse, we didn’t end up getting back to Columbus until about 3:15 in the a.m. and I didn’t go to sleep until around 4. This wouldn’t have been a problem if not for the fact that I had a test Thursday morning. I went into the test with about four hours of sleep and ended up having Bob Seger’s “Against The Wind” stuck in my head the entire time. Part of me thinks I should have just wrote the lyrics to “Against The Wind” down and turned in the test. Wait, did I just say part of me? Yeah, scratch that thought. I definitely should have just wrote down the lyrics and been on my way. Probably would have gotten the same grade anyway.

Since the road trip was as successful as, well, my college basketball career, I’m thinking I should just put it behind me and move on with my life. Instead, I’m going to use this post to re-introduce you to undoubtedly my favorite fan out there. No disrespect to the rest of the Trillion Man March, but Dale R. “Woody” Thornton III is one of the finest Americans with whom I’ve ever had the pleasure of conversing. Even though I’ve never met him, I give it about a 90% chance that Dale looks pretty much identical to the lead singer of Ram Jam.

For those of you who don’t remember, Dale Thornton was one of my original fans who would send in easily the most entertaining e-mails I ever get. That’s not to say I don’t get other entertaining e-mails, it’s just that Dale’s always seemed to stand out for being so bizarre. Because the blog was in its infancy and virtually nobody wanted a shout-out, I promised Dale that if he kept churning out these entertaining and question laden e-mails, I would keep publishing them on the blog and answering them as best I can. But for whatever reason, he suddenly just stopped e-mailing me and I didn’t hear from him for a few months. Until I got this gem in my inbox last week. Enjoy.


“What’s up college boy? Me and my cousin Conrad were wondering if you could talk about our classic rock blog on your blog. Give us a holler if you can.”

Sorry, Dale, but I can’t make a comment on whether or not I like your blog. I’m forced to be impartial on this one, but I will say that you update your blog less than I update mine and even less than Keller updates his, which is pretty impressive. Until you prove that you have a legitimate blog and actually update it at least once every three months or so, I’m not going to link anybody. I trust you understand.

“Did you see the HORSE competition during All-Star weekend? Nobody used my go-to shot, which is where I shoot a three pointer and chug a PBR before it goes in. I think I could take you in HORSE, but I first want to know what your five best HORSE shots are.”

I feel bad for you, Dale, because you seem to not have any idea what you would be up against if you played me. My HORSE shots, in order of what letter they would give you, are as follows:

H --- Layup off the shot clock (provided the shot clock is attached to the basket support within a reasonable distance from the rim). When you see how easy I make it look, you will nonchalantly throw the ball up there, forgetting to account for the fact that the ball doesn’t bounce off the shot clock like it does off of the backboard. But don’t feel bad, Dale, cause I’m a little bit of a master when it comes to this shot. For those of you scoring at home, I once hit 14 shots in a row off the shot clock at my high school gym. Apparently this shot has no practical use in an actual game, though, which is a lesson I had to learn the hard way.

O --- Bank it in from the top of the key. Utilizing the glass is something I strongly believe in for any game of HORSE. If you can’t use the glass, you truly have no chance whatsoever when playing me. The thing about the bank shot from the top of the key is that it feels really awkward. You have to shoot it straight, but also shoot it about three feet longer than your eyes are telling you to shoot it. There is a pretty solid chance you will miss off the back of the rim and not even make contact with the glass.

R --- Nothing but net from one foot away. At this stage in the game, I’m shooting shots that after you miss, you will legitimately question your function in society. This shot always feels like it’s going to be easy, but nearly everyone draws iron for one reason or another. There’s really no guarantee that I don’t draw iron to be quite honest with you. Eventually, though, I will hit it and you will find a way to mess it up. That’s how it always works.

S --- Bank in a three from an impossible angle. Remember when I said using the glass is a must when playing me? I wasn’t lying. To line up this shot, I get in the dead corner and slowly start making my way around the arc until I can barely see the glass. After I sink it, I will stand still and wait for you to come stand in my exact spot, making sure you don’t cheat and get a better angle and thus make the shot infinitely easier. But you will slyly get a better angle anyway, and I will let it slide because I know you still won’t be able to make the shot. And you won’t.

E --- Half-court shot. I like to put the nail on the coffin from half court, mostly because it is demoralizing. After giving you a steady dose of fundamental shots, I hit you with a shot that will make you think about how bad you are at HORSE as you walk from underneath the basket all the way out to half-court. Then, when you airball it, I will verbally remind you how bad you are at HORSE as you walk from half-court over to your wallet to pay me for the beat down I just gave you.

Those are the only five shots I will ever need to beat anybody in HORSE. If by some unforeseen circumstance I happen to miss one of these five shots, I will keep trying it until I make it. And if you do happen to miraculously beat me, Dale, I’ll personally paint your name next to mine on Brownsburg’s water tower. After all, your win would undoubtedly go down as the biggest upset since the guy from “Honey, I Shrunk The Kids” beat Al Bundy in the Urbania pee-wee playoff game. But because my jumper is typically wetter than Billy Madison’s pants on field trip day, I can’t possibly envision a scenario where I get a letter at all.

“What would that Danny Peters do if you hid that t-shirt he wears under his jersey before a game? Why don’t you play more pranks on that guy?”

I’m not too sure what Danny would do if I hid his shirt. I’ve seen him wear a shirt under his jersey so much that I’m not fully convinced that his jersey doesn’t have sleeves sewn onto it. I tried a couple of times to pull pranks on Danny, but I just didn’t feel the sense of accomplishment that I feel when I prank Evan “The Villain” Turner. There truly is no greater feeling on this Earth than annoying The Villain through a series of juvenile pranks. I can guarantee you that.

By the way, I’m calling on the Trillion Man March to extend my nicknaming of Evan as “The Villain.” You know how in “Old School” everyone Mitch Martin would see would call him “The Godfather” and he would be visibly upset with having a nickname that he doesn’t endorse? That’s what I’m picturing here. I know that this really isn’t that great of a prank, but I can assure you that The Villain loves his self-imposed nickname of “The Kid” just a little too much. Calling him The Villain will definitely frustrate him a little bit. Besides, every time I call him “The Kid”, I feel like he jacked the nickname from Shawn Michaels somehow. And last time I checked, Evan doesn’t dish out Sweet Chin Music and he certainly isn’t a sexy boy (I understand that having a link titled “sexy boy” could be a little sketchy, but I promise there’s not a half-naked picture of Channing Tatum, or any other heartthrob for that matter, waiting for you. Sorry, ladies).

I’m definitely voting for you in the whitest guy on the team thing, but Conrad thinks you’re a fraud. He wants to know if you could ride along with any NASCAR legend, who would it be, what track would it be on, and what classic rock songs would you be listening to?”

I feel like I might be upsetting you with my choice of driver, but hopefully I can redeem myself with my choice of track and rock songs. I would want to ride along with Jeff Gordon, for the simple fact that we grew up ten minutes apart. I fully understand that Gordon is the pretty boy of NASCAR and really doesn’t epitomize the culture of the sport like Bobby Allison does. By the way, Bobby Allison would be my second choice of driver for the smackdown he laid on Cale Yarborough at the 1979 Daytona 500.

To complete my answer, I would want to ride around Darlington while rocking out to CCR’s “Up Around The Bend.” Throw another favorite song of mine in there for good measure and you got yourself quite the two song playlist. Come to think of it, Gordon doesn’t fit this particular fantasy all that well. I’m giving Bobby Allison the nod to drive me around Darlington while jamming to Credence and Journey. I dare you to come up with a better NASCAR related fantasy than that.

Would you rather have your sister marry the starting quarterback at Michigan or never be able to eat those peanut butter and chocolate Buckeyes that me and Conrad love ever again?”

Ladies and gentlemen, Dale Thornton…


Obviously none of the Northwestern players read the blog because they are too busy either trying to split the atom or watching “PTI”, hoping that Michael Wilbon will drop a shout-out to his alma mater. Pair that with the fact that Northwestern’s entire team makes me look like Flava Flav and it’s no wonder why my one-arm embraces did not go over well with these guys. I’m genuinely surprised they didn’t look me in the eye and say “thank you sir” as they shook my hand. Apparently, Manners 101 isn’t a prerequisite for taking Saving The World 750.

One Armed Embraces: 7 to date (0 last game)

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


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

Your Friend and My Favorite,

Mark Titus

Club Trillion Founder