Monday, April 21, 2008

Champs

I've been trying to put into words how it felt, being in Lawrence for the first time in six years, when the Jayhawks took the title. I've written and re-written this thing three times, and it just doesn't do it justice. But, this video is pretty close, taken at Allen Field House. I still get a little teared up when watching it. This is why we are fans.


Saturday, April 19, 2008

11 Up!

I'm an 11-up junkie. Enough of one, in fact, to write about it, rather than my trip to Busan last weekend. Busan, by the way, is a coastal Korean city that I've been to three times now, maybe 11 minutes of that time sober, and a city chock full of drunks, Russian mafioso types, whores, and apparently legal fireworks. It's never boring, yet I'm choosing to write about 11-up. That, and the thing I wrote about Busan is fucking terrible and I don't want to post it.


For the un-indoctrinated, 11-up is one of these horrible touch screen games that polute the barscape of America. I used to play trivia and Run-21, but I was introduced to 11-up by Matt-toast in the year 2000 or so. I've since spent roughly $93,000 on the game, and I am number one on countless machines in no fewer than 27 states. With my enormous investment in this game, I'm pretty good, and I can usually claim the number one spot on any given machine within a dollar or two's worth of plays.

So far as I know (and I'm the type of person who would know) there's a total of one Megatouch machine in the whole of Korea. It's at Hollywood pub, in Itaewon, the bar district in Seoul that I've written of countless times before. The first time I went to Hollywood, at Halloween of 2006, I noticed the machine and borrowed a 500 won coin (roughly 50 cents, the type of coin this machine takes) from a friend, played the game once, and got the number one score. All things were good in the universe. However, when I went back to Hollywood a couple weeks later, I discovered my score was defeated by a girl named Kat, and she hadn't just beaten my score, she'd crushed it, by like 10,000 points. I loathed Kat after that, and felt a bit vindicated when I first saw her bogarting the Megatouch machine - she turned out to be every bit as fat and ugly and you would expect a Megatouch champion named Kat to be. At least I didn't have to worry about any plot twists that involved me falling for her.

I beat my old score several times, and came close to Kat, but I just couldn't get to her ridiculous 159,600 points. My once top score, that Kat relegated to number two, fell to the number seven score - though every name on the list between 1 and 7 was mine. I played 11-up every time I went to Itaewon, usually at least $900 worth per night. I had a 159,200 game. 400 points in 11-up is nothing, it's beating a level one second sooner. I was so frustrated afterwards that I considered burning the Hollywood to the ground, before remembering that the building Hollywood is in houses my favorite club and my 6th and 7th favorite restaurants in Itaewon, so destruction wasn't a viable option.

Tonight, for the millionth time, I stopped at Hollywood to claim the record that I knew was properly mine. This time, I was shocked to see that all of Kat's and my old scores had been erased. The machine had been reset, for some reason, for the first time in a year and a half. The top score was a paltry 131,000, which I knew I would beat in no time. Still, I felt a bit bad, claiming the top score on this machine with such pathetic competition. However, on my 3rd or 4th credit, I ended up playing the game of my life, and scoring an insurmountable 163,000 something. I saw Kat, all 300 pounds of her, sitting at the bar waiting to play the Megatouch, so I played for another hour just to be an asshole. The bartender told me "she is waiting for the game." I told the bartender that I know who she was, and she can wait. I've been waiting for a year and a half. Kat- if you're out there - you'll never beat my score.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Rock Chalk!





By the way, contrary to popular opinion (at ESPN, SI, CBS, even the KC Star), you can see clearly here that Kansas WON the game, not that Davidson lost it. I hated every second of this game other than the last one. But, just to be clear, and the video shows this, Curry didn't give up the ball at the end because he was scared to take it, he gave up the ball because of the suffocating defense of Rush and Collins. Curry never had a chance at the shot, nor did the other guy who actually missed. I didn't realize this at the time and thought we got lucky, but after watching the replay 15 or 20 times, it wasn't luck. The shot had no chance.


Also, this was a tough, tough game. Everyone said KU got lucky to play a 10 seed. Bullshit. I would have much rather seen Wisconsin, we'd have beaten them by 15. Hell, if not for some of the worst officiating I've ever seen, we would have beaten Davidson by 10. KU plays Wisconsin in Detroit, 30,000 people tops show up. We played Dacidson, and 57,000 people came, and everyone who wasn't affiliated with KU were cheering for Davidson. Props to Gus Johnson though. The national storyline was Davidson as a team of destiny and KU as the bad guys, and Gus called the game fairly and evenly throughout.

By the way, after this KU-Davidson experience, I think I'm done with underdogs in college hoops. With seven Final 4 appearances and fifteen Sweet 16 appearances in my basketball lifetime, Kansas, the only college hoops team that matters, are clearly an overdog. Sorry George Mason, I cheered for you over UCONN in the 2006 Regional Finals, but I now retroactively throw my support behind the Huskies despite a loosing effort. From now on, in the tourney, the only time I will cheer for a "mid-major" to beat an elite school (for the record, that list is Kansas, Kentucky, North Carolina, UCLA, and Indiana. Even Duke is noveau riche in my book) is when I have money on the underdog. Unless the mid-major is Southern Illinois, Murray State (don't count out the Racers!) or coached by someone with a KU connection. Or unless said mid-major is playing Carolina.
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