Monday, January 12, 2009

Diary of a Crazy Sunday

What do you get when you combine 5 hours of sleep, a nasty hangover, the number 1 basketball team in the NCAA, Steelers-Chargers, and the return of Jack Bauer? A Three River Sports running diary of course! What follows spans a hectic 13 1/2 hours for yours truly.

8:30 (beep, beep, Beep, Beep, BEEP, BEEP, BEEP...)"ugh, stupid alarm" (pressing sleep button)
8:37 (beep, beep, Beep, Beep, BEEP, BEEP, BEEP...) "NO! There is no way it's time to get up yet (pressing sleep button)
8:44 (beep, beep, Beep, Beep, BEEP, BEEP, BEEP...) "crap" I finally stumble out of bed cursing those extra drinks I insisted on last night at Peter's Pub.
8:46 Trying to shower myself awake
9:30 Only about 25% awake, I embark through the frigid Oakland weather up the large hill in front of the Petersen Events Center that feels roughly like Mount Everest right now. Why did I leave at 9:30 AM for a noon game you ask? Because these are the sacrifices necessary when you are a student fan on the number 1 basketball team in the land. If you don't get to the Pete a minimum 2 1/2 hours early for Big East games, you're seat in the Oakland Zoo just isn't good enough. Plus, it's sort of like a badge of honor. "Oh yeah, well I got up here at 9:30 and I was still a little bit drunk!" Damn I'm going to miss college.
10:20 They finally let us into the Zoo a little before the designated 10:30 time, and everyone rushes inside, only 100 minutes now until the game gets under way! It's always a little weird to look around the Zoo and see it about 80-90% full and see no more than a couple dozen people in the rest of the arena this early.
10:50 Me and my buddies spend the first half hour of the pre-game time discussing the Steelers-Chargers game at every single position. Yeah, we're kind of fans. We're getting a little tired of that discussion, and, distracted by the warming-up Panthers we decide to discuss how far we think each player on the Pitt roster will go with basketball
11:30 Our Consensus: Sam Young hangs around the NBA for about 6 or 7 years as a borderline rotation guy on bad teams or a 10th/ 11th man on good teams. DeJuan Blair has a 10+ year career and spends the majority of that time starting. We also decide he gets badly overpaid at least once in his career. He ends up being about a 15-and-8 guy for his career. Levance Fields goes the Jaron Brown/Julius Page/ Antonio Graves/ Carl Krauser route and plays in the CBA or something weird like that for a couple yers and eventually ends up coaching somewhere before long. Tyrell Biggs does similarly for a year or two and then leaves the sport behind. Jermaine Dixon is a D-Leaguer or something, partially because of name recognition, and kicks around Europe for a while. Gil Brown matures into a stud at Pitt and plays in the NBA, Brad Wanamaker becomes a better Antonio Graves and is a CBA/ D-League type player, as well. Nas Robinson turns into a good player and gets a brief shot at the NBA that doesn't last long. Ashton Gibbs is a CBAer, as is Tra Woodall.
11:47 HERE COME THE PANTHERS!
12:00 Tip-off gets under way with DeJuan losing the tip to a guy wearing a freaking Rip Hamilton schnozzo mask.
12:20 St. John's is a frisky bunch. DJ Kennedy is playing well. Pitt really isn't. Just a sloppy start to this one.
12:56 Halftime. Pitt pulled ahead 41-36 late in the first half. D.J. Kennedy is a hell of a player. I think he was fouled somewhere between 4 and 3,000 times in the first half. Like a poor man's poor man's poor man's Dwyane Wade. Why didn't Pitt go hard after this kid? DeJuan got in foul trouble with 4 minutes to go in the first half. No good Blair, we need you to be nice and available in the second half. Gil Brown, Sam Young not looking good at all. Jermaine Dixon had a decent half as did Levance. Should be an interesting second. Let's hope they remember they need to play defense.
1:19 Just got word from my buddy watching at home that I made an appearance on the tube. Bad-ass-ness. I freakin' love being in the Zoo.
1:30 Things looking much more comfortable, Pitt up double digits. DeJuan has taken control underneath, and I can't be positive, but there is at least a 10% chance that Juan Dixon stole his little bro's body for this game because Jermaine is lighting the stuff up out there.1:35 Forgot to mention, there are all sorts of recruits for the football squad hanging out here today. A few have come over, including QB Kolby Gray, who is not exactly an imposing figure, but at least he can't be any worse than Billy Stull right? I've got to say, Cam Saddler, if he doesn't recover from the torn ACL, has a serious future as a recruiter. He was encouraging the youngsters to come over to the Oakland Zoo and hang out with us and cheer and sign their name on the little white boards the Zoo guys bring along. Even the guys who haven't committed yet are over here basically saying their gonna be Panthers. This comes a year after Saddler helped us land his buddy Shayne Hale in an absolute coup. He just seems like a real cool guy. I wish I was good at football so he could recruit me.
2:05 Panthers win! 90-67 over the Johnnies, pulling away at the very end. Even Tiesi and Sean Brown make an appearance at the end of the game. Jermaine Dixon had a great game, as did Blair and Fieldsy. Sam I Am was okay, but it was obvious that the Storm game planned to keep him in check, so you've got to give him credit for that.
2:18 I finally get the heck out of the Pete. I mean I love that place and all, but it is freaking impossible to get out of there when a packed house attends a game and hardly anyone leaves early. I'm absolutely starving now, having overcoming my earlier nausea and nasty hangover. Time for a Wendy's run.
2:25 Turns out we weren't the only ones feeling some Wendy's. A minimum 15 consecutive people in front of us on the street turn in to Wendy's. I consider other alternatives, but I've already begun salivating over a Spicy Chicken sandwich and a chocolate frosty.
2:35 Mmmmm....Spicy Chicken...2:55 I'm finally back to my apartment with less than two hours until game time. I'm real tired all of a sudden. Thinking about a nap...
3:15 Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
4:15 Woken up yet again by that damn alarm. Better get another shower before the game starts.
4:30 Heading over to my buddy's house for the game. Luckily he only lives about 2 minutes away.
4:45 HERE WE GO STEELERS HERE WE GO! clap clap4:50 Crap! Phil Rivers drills Vinny Jackson for a touchdown. Jackson celebrates by pretending to walk a straight line, then falling off like he's drunk. Just kidding. But how funny would that have been? I'd be laughing even if the Bolts go on to win this thing 70-0. Anywho, the Bolts are off to a cookin' start, 7-0. Our D was having some serious struggles on that one. Bad news bears.
4:56 Steelers going for it on fourth down?!?! Really Mike Tomlin? One of my buddies, who is no Mike Tomlin fan, is quickly irritated and says Tomlin doesn't know how to coach in the playoffs. But Wait! Big Ben with the quick kick! My buddy quickly sits down and doesn't say anything more. That was a bold strategy Cotton, definitely paid off though, as its downed at the 9. Okay Mikey Thomlin, I'm with you on that one. I like the creativity, anyway. Plus, anything that keeps Mitch Berger off the field can't be all bad.
5:09 SANTONIO! Our beleaguered wide receiver HOUSES a punt return from the Mike "Jesus Christ" Scifres. All week long I heard people yelping about Scifres being the ultimate difference maker for the Bolts, including Bill Simmons' ludicrous picking of the Chargers because of Scifres, yet no one mentioned that booming kicks that don't land near the goal line too often out-kick their coverage, which is exactly what happened now. Suck on that Sports Guy.
5:49 The aforementioned friend who doesn't like Tomlin is borderline homicidal right now after a bizarre fake punt that was so bad it looked like it was drawn up by Matt Cavanugh. That's just a ridiculous decision there considering how wonderful our D has been since the opening drive. This game has turned into a field-position battle, and this isn't helping us.
5:58 Field Goal Nate Kaeding. This one's on you Mike Tomlin. You'd best more than make up for it as the game progresses.
6:07 Steelers run a spectacular 2 minute drill with Willie Parker scooting in to the end zone from 3 yards out. Hines Ward made the critical play on this drive on a deep ball from Giant Ben.6:14 We are at the half. 14-10 Stillers. The Yinzers are loving it. Ben is showing almost no ill effects of that concussion, and is doing an excellent job of not risking mistakes or getting hit. The key has been Willie being incredibly effective running the football. And of course, the D has really clamped down after an unusually lackluster opening drive effort. Should be a heck of a second half.
6:34 The Steelers absolutely dominate the opening drive, holding the ball for nearly 8 minutes to start the third quarter. Ben hits Heath for 8 yards for a score. That was old school, Bill Cowher era clock control. Nice mixture of runs and passes on the drive, with Heath being a popular target at thend of the drive. That was a statement drive. 21-10 Steelers.
6:41 After a long kick runback, the Chargers run exactly 1 (one) offensive play and it is... INTERCEPTED by Larry Foote, who apparently stole it from James Harrison on the ground. That was HUGE!
6:45 No Brain Norv spends his last challenge despite absolutely no evidence that the pick was even remotely in doubt.
6:46 AHHH! Ben just made me nearly soil myself throwing a crazy block on a Santonio Holmes end around. Listen, Ben, the extra couple yards gained by you throwing that block wasn't even remotely worth the injury risk. Thankfully he's okay. And by the way... it was a SICK block for what it's worth.
6:52 Holy friggin crap! Mitch Berger's punt smacks off the top of some Chargers doofus and is piicked up by William Gay and run into the end zone! Of course, you can't advance a muff in what is a truly strange rule, but still, the Steelers get the ball on what was basically a long offensive play downfield. Crazy day, eh? Ben knocking a punt inside the 10, Mitch Berger turning into an offensive weapon and Ryan Clark taking the snap on a punt. Just weird all around, but the Steelers have a chance to put this game almost on ice here.
7:01 Fourth and goal at the 6 inch line, and the play goes to... Carey Davis?!? He would have been my 8th guess. It goes mostly without saying this didn't work. The Bolts take over. Let's hope for some more Jimmy Harrison end zone magic.
7:08 The Steelers get the ball back with great field position and march down the field thanks to an Eric Weddle PI call. I think that was the same guy who Pele'd that punt to William Gay before. I think he may have money on the Steelers. Ball at the 1 and... Gary Russell into the end zone! Touchdown!
7:24 Chargers strike back for a touchdown, 28-17. This sucker isn't over yet folks. Hold on!
7:41 Okay NOW it's over. Slick Willie caps off a fantastic day by housing a 16 yard run. 35-17 Men of Steel. Okay, this puppy IS over.
7:58 Let's call it a day. 35-17 Steelers win. And with just 2 minutes to spare until the return of the one, the only, the immortal Jack Bauer!
8:00 Beep...Beep...Beep...BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP. (Nothing sends chills through my spine like the "24" clock).
Jack's Back! I'm not going to blog this because, well, it just means too much to me to be distracted. If you want a blog for 24, go here.
10:00 That was so good I think I might smoke a cigarette. Good night all.

1 comment:

Peter said...

Good job on the diary. I hope your buddy got put in his place for disrespecting Coach Tomlin. Guy's the best young coach in football these days. And while I don't quite have your excitement, I was pretty excited to have 24 back as well.