That's my IU graduate... or her husband.... just before the game began. My Hoosier Mama shirt was still in the laundry after last week's game against Georgetown; I wore the IU Mom GO HOOSIERS shirt, instead. It's only weird if it doesn't work, as they say.
The good guys were up by 30 points for most of the second half, and even Dick Vitale wasn't quite as annoying when he was cheering for my team. He only referenced Bob Knight once, which, given his screed last weekend when IU met Georgetown, was nothing short of remarkable. I wonder how vociferously he was told to tune it down?
Tom Crean is a marvelous steward of the Indiana basketball tradition. He was as engaged in the last two minutes of the game, coaching guys-who-were-never-going-to-see-nationally-televised-action-ever-again, benchwarmers who deserved as much attention as did the starters.
Up thirty or three, these kids play hard all the way to the final buzzer. It's good, solid, mid-western basketball, flavored with Cody Zeller.
Alex Smith, concussed-former-starting-QB-for-the-49'ers, graduated from the University of Utah one semester earily, with a 4.4 GPA.... or maybe he graduated in two years with a 3.74 GPA ... the interwebs are so unreliable and the facts are less important to the story than the gestalt: he's a smart kid. He's married to a former Oakland Raiders cheerleader, and they have a baby boy. His base salary is $5,000,000. He's got a nice life.
Still, it's hard to be demoted so publicly, even if the coach does go out of his way to say very nice things about you at his press conference. "We can win with either of them.... They are both our guys...."just doesn't mean as much when you're sitting on the bench and your replacement player has become the starting quarterback.
The 49'ers were on the 103" screen at the sports bar on Sunday. I was there for part of the first half, which was just enough football for me on a sunny afternoon. The scene was fun; our section filled with 9'ers jerseys of all sizes and descriptions.
They are not very obvious in this ad from the NFL Shop, but they were particularly jarring to my eye on Sunday. Some ideas aren't worth acting upon.
There was a father and son wearing San Francisco's red and gold sharing a table with the mom and another son wearing New Orleans's black and gold. We three had a good time wondering what other, deeper divisions in their family this might reveal.
Right next to us was a big guy and a little guy, each wearing a red Crabtree jersey. When Michael ran 15 yards they were shuffling their feet in time with his. It was almost as much fun to watch as their tablemate's 49'ers knee socks. Not many men could carry that off; personally, I credit his Chucks for saving the day.
Tonight there's Duke vs Ohio State, a #2 vs #4 match-up that has piqued TBG's interest. With real claim to the #1 team in the nation (GO I U!!) and to the much-overlooked-but-up-and-coming Hoyas (who, though unranked, acquitted themselves with more aplomb than did the #14 Tarheels against IU), and to our #9 ranked hometown Wildcats, this looks to be a season I can really follow. I won't be reading in the library; I'll be on Douglas, cheering for a good game.
The last time I knew this much - or cared this much so early in the season - about college basketball was when DePaul and Ray Meyer made a run for it all..
I'm trying not to think about how that turned out.