Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Fun with GameTracker

You know, you can just say "mishandle" or "double contact." No judgements, GameTracker!

I post this gem only to demonstrate the wonder that is GameTracker: There are three different scores given on this page for the same game.

Monday, December 17, 2007

'Tis a Happy Valley

Russ Rose is once again the mayor of Happy Valley! Meaning it's someone else's turn to be the messageboard punching bag in a vicious circle of ridiculousness. Enjoy!

The Convention, or Things I Learned in Sacramento
- Karch is in much better shape than I'll ever be. Plus, he's an avid fan of banter. Just ask Rangel.
- If you're ever running a setting seminar, have Nicole Vargas be your demonstrator.
- "Reasonable serves" has a lot more shelf-life as a catchphrase than I thought.
- Rose acknowledged the varying interpretations of "brief" and believes if you want to be pinched, the convention is as good a place as any to get it accomplished.
- Everyone wants the All-American speeches to come back, at least for the First Team.
- Debby Colberg is not waiting for a bus, even if it appears that way.
- Cecile Reynaud should host the Emmys, but only after learning how to pronounce "Schatzle."
- Stone and Collier had solid analysis, but I wanted to see them mix it up some more, go mano-a-mano like Kornheiser and Wilbon. You decide who would be Kornheiser and who would be Wilbon.

The Match
What can you say? It all comes down to Glass improvising in game 5 like John Coltrane live at Birdland. Props to Price for pulling aside D'Errico and Holehouse before game 5. We imagine the conversation was something along the lines of "REMAIN CALM! ALL IS WELL!"

Sunday, December 9, 2007

It's Monday, and my bracket is completely screwed

CRIPES - Angie Pressey and Hana Cutura were the Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin of the regional finals, weren't they? They could book two shows a night at Caesar's Palace with the performance they put on against Nebraska. And what's with Cook skipping the interview between games 2 and 3? Is that something else the Huskers don't do besides play in non-air conditioned gyms pre-conference? Favorite TV comment from this match came in game one when Cal went up 3-0:
Maggie Gray (excitedly) - And it looks like the Huskers are stumbling a little bit early on, Mike!

Mike Dodd (low-key) - Nah, they're alright.

BTW, how'd you like to attend a lecture given by Dodd and Doug Beal? I think obviously Dodd knows his stuff, but would it kill him to have a _little_ inflection? He could use some lessons from Florida's way over-the-top TV guy, who I thought was going to have a hernia. And why can't someone inform these people how to pronounce "Pavan" or "Carly"? Are these names that hard and I just don't realize it? Who's producing this stuff?

Is Maes losing to his former employer sorta like what's-her-face at Tennessee beating Penn State two years ago?

Zounds! - If Pressey and Cutura were Frank and Dean, Penn State's whole roster was the 1927 least for that match. If Lou Gehrig wasn't crushing a ball on the outside, then Tony Lazzeri was busting one out of the middle or the Babe was roofing someone. It'd be nice to see Miller Huggins take them all the way. BYU had no answers, but can you blame 'em? Would YOU have had any answers to that onslaught?

Of course, BYU's fate may have been sealed before the match started when a BYU warmup swing hit Russ in the melon and broke his glasses, to which he responded with a standard Russ joking, deadpan mafia threat. No wonder the Cougars sleep with the fishes.

Texas Hold 'Em? - Longhorns are the Peyton Manning Colts pre-2007, doing all the right things during the season, setting records, then missing The Big Show. Engle's still got two years to win the big one and then go on to host Saturday Night Live. And is Brian Hosfeld trying to grow a mullet? Anyone else see that head of hair he's got goin' on right now? Is he moonlighting as one of Toby Keith's backup singers?

Team #4 - Stanford won, but the Bruins were defensively astounding in the loss. Barboza comes up big, and Foluke simply does what she's been doing, just Foluke bein' Foluke. But the best is watching Kehoe v. Spicer, two top QBs going at it in a fierce competition. It's like Joe Montana v. Dan Marino. Wouldn't you love to just have them switch sides and see what would happen?

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Special Regional Weekend Primer

Fun with opening statements from regional press conferences
Christy Johnson: "Obviously, thrilled to be here."
Rich Feller: "Well, it’s great to be here."
Mary Wise: "We had to earn our way here."
Cathy George: "Well, first of all, we’re very excited to be here."
Jerritt Elliott: "We’re excited to be here."
Joanne Persico-Smith: "We’re really excited about the regional."
Mark Rosen: "Obviously we are very excited about being here."
Matt Peck: "We are absolutely thrilled to be here to be quite honest."
Jason Watson: "I guess first and foremost, we are excited to be here."
Russ Rose: "It's nice to be at home."

(I'd pay money to hear someone, anyone, say "Sucks to be here, aaaand I wanna go home. Questions?")

Madison Regional press conference: Christy Johnson wish she knew how they turned the season around; The Spartans most resemble a jade meteorological effect; Hey, Angie Pressey, is there some kind of awkward, random connection we can draw between you being in Madison and your dad having played basketball for Milwaukee?

Gator Regional press conference: St. John's not cocky about being here (although if they were we probably wouldn't get it, you know, with the language barrier and all); Elyse Cusack has the green light to pull a Kelly Leak and take serves away from Tanner, er, I mean Rivers; Elliott thinks there's something to this Hooker kid.

PSU Regional press conference: Surprisingly, Rosen doesn't think the team can slack off in this one; Rose not sorry they drew Siena and Albany, so don't ask; Jason Watson has no idea what's behind BYU's latest success; Wait'll you see MTSU run sprints and do burpies!

Weekend primer

Hodge and Rose go together like peanut butter and oven cleaner, but you can't argue with the results. And, oh yeah, she's kinda good.

Fawcett ain't too shabby either, and Rose thinks she's probably a good fit for the lumber industry.

Now that Marquette's season is over, let's...get to meet one of their players that you'll never be able to see again since she's a senior?

Athens, OH, totally cleaned up last weekend by hosting, looking to buy a monorail next.

Nieves steps down, no lawsuit expected this time...or is there?

Dunning and Colberg agreed there's parity, right before he swept her out of the tournament for the 98th time. Thanks, John!

Nothing beats beating Washington, not even Idaho state championships.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

It's now time for a Totally Manufactured Controversy![tm]

Here's how it breaks down. Mark Rosen says:
"I like the fact that we are going [to Penn State]. To go to a final four, to advance past the round of the 16 and the round of eight, you are going to have to beat some of the best teams in the country. I look at the four top seeds and of those four I probably would most like to play Penn State."

And then the PSU Daily Collegian asks Russ what he thinks about what Rosen said:
"Maybe he thinks we are the worst of the top seeds, but I don't know what he is thinking. Both teams are more familiar with each other than some of the other teams. I would hope that's what he is alluding to. If he is alluding to the fact that he thinks we're the weakest of all the teams, that would be something the players would probably like to hear."

Oh, snap! Oh...

...yeah, not much there. I told you up front it was a manufactured controversy.

Monday, December 3, 2007

What's better than quotes? TOURNEY QUOTES!

"I thought we had the best middle blocker [in the country] in Alexis. And I've worked with some of the best middle blockers to have ever played volleyball." - Brian Gimmillaro.

"This is certainly not a position we expected to be in." - Top Badger Pete Waite on being the Michael to Christy Johnson's Fredo. If I were Christy, I wouldn't go fishing with Rod Wilde anytime soon.

"I feel we can do so many things that we don't even know we are capable of." - (I don't remember where I got this quote, but it seems kinda existential to think you're capable of something and not even know what that something the one-hand clapping-thing.)

"Early in game two, the lack-of-confidence bug bit us again." - Mike Hebert after the loss to Sac State. Hey, there are worse bugs to be bitten by. The "Didn't make the tournament" bug, the "This season blows" bug, and herpes. I guarantee herpes is worse than a lack of confidence.

"As the old saying goes, 'All good things must come to an end.'" - The Daily Princetonian's Zach Kwartler on Princeton's season-ending loss to Delaware. Seriously, $50k a year for school, Ivy League, and THAT's your lede? Couldn't he at least translate it into Latin or something? Or quote Kierkegaard or Thoreau? I feel gipped.

"It was magical until tonight." - Princeton coach Glenn Nelson. See, Zach? That's got a little bit of originality at least, a little panache, and Glenn went to Orange Coast College.

"Our team has learned how to fight." - Iowa State coach Christy Johnson, breaking the first rule of Fight Club. Tyler Durden is not amused.

"I thought Michaela was one of the finest players, and most versatile players, in the country that I ever coached." - Brian Gimmillaro.

"I look at it that Christa was willing to sacrifice hitting .800 so that Nicole didn't have all the errors." - Penn State coach Russ Rose on Harmotto racking up 1 error so that Fawcett wouldn't feel lonely with her 3. Those were the only errors for Penn State in the entire match, by the way.

"Can you count that high?" - Albany coach Kelly Sheffield to his middle hitter Ashley Crenshaw after the senior took a look at the numbers Penn State racked up against the Great Danes.

"Wow. That's amazing." - Ashley Crenshaw after looking at the stats.

"We talk about how everyone puts their spandex on the same way." - Delaware's Bonnie Kenny on the Blue Hens' unique outlook on volleyball competition. To be honest, there really aren't that many different ways to put on spandex, are there?

"We made it to the final four last year so, me and Nellie have both seen the light at the end of the tunnel." - UCLA's Kaitlin Sather. Hate to say it, Kaitlin, but this year I think that light at the end of the tunnel might be Stanford coming the other way.

"I sure hope so." BYU head coach Jason Watson when asked if he considered the win over Washington an upset. What rocket scientist asked that question?

"I don't know to express my thoughts." - Oregon's Jim Moore, entering some kind of "Regarding Henry" state after beating K-State in 5 games.

"I knew from the beginning here, even with Talaya's injuries, that we had one of the best, if not the best, liberos." - Brian Gimmillaro, completing the hat-trick!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

From 64 to 32 just like THAT

First, a little housecleaning: GameTracker is ruining my life. You remember that speech Susan Hawk gave to that other woman on Survivor about not stopping to help her if she were dying of thirst? That's how I feel about GameTracker, the worst piece of technology since New Coke, Pepsi Clear, and ColecoVision. GameTracker is not the pebble in my shoe, it's the goiter on my neck. If my toaster performed this badly, I'd leave my bagels lying out in the sun to ensure myself a more rewarding experience.

BYU over Washington - The Mormons defeat...THE Washington, no less. Three out of BYU's last four matches have gone 5. Mitt Romney just jumped 5 points in the polls.

Mmm, Michigan... - In one fell swoop, Dayton's dream of a brave, new A10 world is squashed by the Spartans, while the Wolverines made good on their pre-conference promise with a sweep of Hilbert's Harbingers of Doom.

Murfreesboro Attacks! - Matt Peck and the Blue Raiders beat Hawaii in the tourney? And we're not talking about Tennessee Tennessee, Middle Tennessee. State. This is like the UNI Revolution, just further south and with fewer people named "Bobbi."

Speaking of Iowa, sorta - Former Wisconsinites Christy Johnson and Joey Lynch commit an egregious act against the Motherland by sweeping the Badgers AT Wisconsin.

Ducks on the Fritz - Get it? Oregon Ducks? Susie Fritz? Oh, the humor...With a 5-game win over K-State, Oregon now has 22 wins, the most since 1986 when they were coached by...Gerry Gregory, probably most famous for being the father of...Jaimi Gregory, the high-flyin' Stanford Cardinal.

Pac-10 boots ACC - UCLA and Cal go all the way across the country just to uproot the ACC from the NCAA tourney. That, folks, is determination.

The .300 Club? - EVERY Longhorn starter hits over .300 while dropping LSU in three straight. Every starter, that is, except for Brandy Magee, who hit over .600.

The rise and fall of Albany, Delaware - The dizzying highs! The punishing lows! The mocking tone of volleytalk's finest as they decry the nature of the 64-team field!

Oh, Beach... - 49ers fall just short -- losing in five games -- but put on simply a magnificent performance, just marvelous, considering all the obstacles they had to overcome, and how far they've come, oh glorious Long least that's what I've been told to say by my 49er overlords located deep within the Pyramid, from whom I receive my daily instructions.