Last night my bowling league was going on, so there was no chance to watch any basketball. So, in the interest of adding something to the mix today, I thought I’d reflect on some points that I missed earlier on, and some periphery issues that I have not yet touched on:
1) The mascot of Marquette’s opponent on Wednesday night, Delaware State, was the Hornets. That’s all well and good, but why, then, were they wearing red uniforms? I’ve never seen any red hornets. I suppose I’ve never seen and teal hornets, despite the fact that the NBA went with that color scheme for its hornets, but red just seems counter to all things hornet-related. If you wanted to go with red, there are so many more appropriate mascots you could have.
2) Out of the last 4 sporting events that I’ve attended in time to hear the national anthem, only 2 out of the 4 people that I heard sing the anthem got it correct. I’m not an extreme patriot or anything, but this is pretty disgraceful. And while I can almost understand a high school student or two messing up the anthem, the guy that I heard at the Packer game had no excuse. Not only was he a pro, but as my buddy Nick pointed out, the words were right on the scoreboard for him to look at. No one was trying to trick him, but he still dropped the ball.
3) I picked up my copy of the Wisconsin Basketball Yearbook the other day, which is the place to look if you want info on high school or D-3 college basketball in Wisconsin. Because it’s sort of a niche publication for nerds like me, I’ve only been able to find two places to buy it (other than that time when I was 16 years old and saw it at the local supermarket for some reason). When I was in Madison, in recent years, the University Bookstore carried it. In Milwaukee, I’ve been making my yearly pilgrimage to a small periodical shop in West Allis called Booked Solid. The great thing about Booked Solid is that nearly every time that I’ve been in there, I’m the only guy who’s not heading back to the pornography section. The non-pornographic section of the store probably contains 25 times the number of publications as the back corner with the dirty old men, but something tells me that Booked Solid isn’t making most of its money by selling Forbes. As long as I can get my basketball guide and I don’t have to touch anything, though, I’m cool with it.
4) I think I completely glossed over the Wisconsin loss at Pepperdine. That was pretty upsetting, but it was seen by few, and the Maryland game hopefully shows that Pepperdine was an aberration. I was somewhat unconcerned when I saw that part of the reason for the loss was 7 turnovers from Mike Wilkinson. While 7 turnovers isn’t a good thing, at least you know with Wilkinson that it’s not going to happen again.
5) Today I’m finally breaking down and ordering my Blue Ribbon College Basketball Forecast. I had been holding off, since I’m really cheap and didn’t want to pay the extra $3.75 or whatever for shipping and handling, so I thought I’d wait for it to hit Barnes & Noble. However it’s looking like it’s only available online this year. The faster this thing can get to me, the better, since Blue Ribbon’s real worth is in allowing you to get the inside scoop on what makes schools like Bethune-Cookman and South Dakota State tick. By conference season, I’ll already be informed on the Michigan States and Louisvilles of the world.
6) A couple weeks ago, while perusing several pre-season basketball guides, I came upon a bit of a disappointment. Once considered the top guide around, Street and Smith has fallen off mightily. While I have never been a fan of Street and Smith’s abbreviated team breakdowns, this year I was able to pick out several errors in spelling and accuracy. I wasn’t trying to pick these things out, and frankly, I didn’t even read much of the magazine. The errors jumped out at me, though, and made me lose a lot of respect for Street and Smith. Thankfully, they somewhat made up for these errors by giving their annual feature on what the Street and Smith All-American teams of 10 years ago are doing. I’ll take all the spelling errors in the world for that moment where I go "Oh yeah, I had forgotten about Octavius Thomas. I wonder what he’s doing?" For accurate basketball info, though, I’m going elsewhere.