Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Welcome to Those I Don't Know

Yesterday brought a boatload of unexpected attention, which can be ultimately traced essentially to my email to Big Ten Wonk regarding Brian Butch, which led to some links from his site, an unexpected mention on a Marquette message board that I read, and an unexpected link from Mid-Majority, who I had not read before (and I now rather enjoy), but has the noble goal of attending 100 college basketball games this season. He's getting a link today merely because he has this phenomenal goal. Something tells me that if I lived in the same region as this guy, we'd be drinking Yuengling together (obviously, it would have to be his region) and watching basketball on a regular basis. And as with most of my friends, he'd be schooling me with his knowledge.

Which brings me to my main point. Those of you who don't know me personally, welcome, I'm glad to have you visiting. It brings joy to my life that someone cares what I have to say. However, in the interest of fairness, you should know the same things as those that do know me personally. This is particularly true, due to my positive endorsement on the Marquette board from a longtime poster, and my status as a Wisconsin alum and fan. So here's what you should know:

1) I'm strictly an amateur, so don't take my words too seriously. Call me a small-timer if you must, because that's what I am. This forum was designed largely to keep about 7 guys that I know updated on what I’m thinking with regards to basketball--I never expected anyone else to find it. I watch a lot of college basketball, I read a lot of basketball info, I’m around a lot of fans, and know how out of control people can get. I offer no inside information, and I never played baskeball beyond junior varsity in high school (which I will often take the opportunity to make fun of myself for). I go to more games than the average fan, but the average fan is fine by me, since I don’t know much more than him.

2) On the Marquette board, I was mentioned as a source of high school knowledge. It is true that I like to attend high school games, however, it's seldom that I can find friends to go with, and I don't like being the weird guy that sits alone, so I won't see as much as you might think. I did attend the same high school as Jerry Smith, so I can usually find old classmates to go to games with and observe him, so I've seen a lot of him over the past few years. I'm starting to know his game. But bear in mind that I'm 10 years older than the kid. I don't know him personally, and don't know anything that you probably don't already about his recruitment (though I, too, have my theories). I know a coach or two, but not beyond the level that they'd say much more than "hello" to me. And any second hand info that I have based on friends' bar room conversations with those close to the situation (yes, I’m a bit of a townie) are things that I didn't mention when I thought no one could find my site, and are certainly things that I won't mention now. They're probably wildly inaccurate, anyway, and I know I wouldn't want some weird internet guy commenting on me if I was 16 years old. But, if you want to know about the 3rd option for Tosa East, or my fascination with tbe solid players for Marquette High, be my guest. Just recognize that if I see Travon Hughes 2-3 times this year, it will be a victory for me. And if I do see him, 3 of my 6 points in the post-game breakdowns will be about how much salt was on the popcorn that I bought at the high school gym, as I don't take things overly seriously.

3) Again on the Marquette board, if anyone takes the time to visit me from there, I'm likely to be skewered for my comment that I think UWM has a better team this year. Indeed, I will not back off of that comment until I see at least a few more solid games out of Marquette. I've seen both teams a handful of times, and that's my honest opinion. I can qualify it for you by saying that it's the first season that I've ever thought that. And I'm going back at least to Von McDade. That’s as much as I’m willing to budge for now, though. But hey, at least take some solace in that I’m often wrong.

4) Who are my teams? I went to high school at Tosa East, and despite my many college friends at rival Marquette High, I remain loyal to my alma mater. Yes, I'm a homer for the high school, so take that into account. As for college, I grew up a Marquette fan, going to games with my father, a Milwaukee transplant, so I have a soft spot for Marquette. I have two degrees from Wisconsin, so they're obviously a favorite of mine, even if I wanted desperately to get out of the state when I was 18. UWM games are a good value, so I can't forget them. UW-Green Bay shows heart, and has kick-ass uniforms. I have a really cool UW-Stevens Point t-shirt. I guess you could say that I like anyone from my home state--I just have to temper those preferences when they meet each other.

5) I recognize my biases, but many have told me that I'm good at tempering them. Whether that is true, I don’t really know.

6) I admit it--I like Duke. My dad even attended North Carolina, which makes this tendancy of mine worse. I think this may make me a fundamentally evil person.

There, those are the administrative tasks for the day. I’m done talking like a guy who’s got a blog, hopefully for good. Let’s get back to talking basketball, and basketball-related nonsense.


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