Posted by Dr Fro 9:20 PM
I watched UT beat Baylor tonight. I love college basketball, but I have seen less basketball each year of my life than the previous year for about 10 years straight now. This year continued the trend. Yet, I did catch the game tonight, and I heard this gem:
This crowd of 9,385, the largest crowd since the 2003 season, trying to see if the Bears can end a Texas 18-game win streak...
Seems like a simple comment describing the Baylor crowd, except that it was drowned out by a chant in the background:
TEXAS! FIGHT! TEXAS! FIGHT! TEXAS! FIGHT! TEXAS! FIGHT!
Seriously. It was too funny. The production at FSSW is always bad, but suggesting the Baylor is excited about their basketball program, when it is overhwellmingly obvious that what is really the cause of "one of the most attended games in Baylor basketball history" is the fact that UT is 1.5 hours away and the Burnt Orange Nation is dying to watch the best player to ever play basketball in UT history, such a comment is quite funny.
The journalists in the sports media has always been the most dim-witted of all journalists (which is quite an honor, given how stupid all members of all media are!) The above attempt to force a canned story is a perfect example. There is a guy that writes for a sports medium who is anything but stupid. In fact, he is brilliant.
His name is Jerome Solomon.
Jerome Solomon covered the Big XII for the Houston Chronicle for a long time before he moved away (circa 2004 to, I think, Boston). Back then, every idiot UT fan in Austin was certain that Jerome was the devil. Jerome was not the devil; the UT fans in Austin, in their insular fashion, could not handle any opinion that fell short of, "UT is the greatest football team, ever." Jerome suggested, correctly, otherwise. He was right then. He was also right the other day when he wrote:
So Texas A&M has passed Texas in men's basketball, huh? That's so ridiculous...
Then he wrote this:
Only three schools have advanced to the Sweet 16 in four of the last five years - Duke, Connecticut and Texas. The Blue Devils and Huskies won't be back this year; the Longhorns probably will.
Oh, I am sure that the UT fans in Austin immediately thought this story was brilliant. Such is life on the Forty Acres. They attract to praise of all things orange like flies to a bugzapper: unwittingly, predictably, seeking what seems to please them.
As a UT fan on the short list of people who agreed with Jerome when he was critical of us, I can only hope that the A&M fans whose blood boils when they read his article can be similarly open-minded. We live in the ESPN SportsCenter highlight reel age, and opinions are consequently too much a factor of what-have-you-done-for-me-lately. Jerome takes a different direction.
On a side note, in case anybody accuses me of baggin on A&M, I will quickly point out that they may well have the best coach in basketball. What he has accomplished is nothing short of amazing. That phrase is often used as a hyperbole, but I mean it quite literally. He is to basketball what Bill Snyder was to football: he took a team with no hope of being competitive to being competitive with the best of the best. No doubt, Billie Gillespie might be the best true "X's and O's coach" in all of basketball.
Where was I? Oh yes, I was telling you that Jerome Solomon is more insightful than other sportswriters. I know Jerome, but if you understand how I know him, you would be confused as to why I compliment him so.
I used to play poker with him.
Jerome is an average Holdem player: good enough to not lose, or at leat to not lose much. When we play Omaha, however, Jerome always wins. He wins a lot. Actually, that isn't accurate. He doesn't take everybody's money in Omaha, he just takes my money: all of my money. It is quite frustrating, really, but it is true. He has several hundred of my dollars right now, all of which was won in Omaha.
It was in those poker games (when he took my money) that I realized how insightful he was. While everyone was singing the praises of Kobe Bryant and what a saviour he was versus the Bad Boy image of the NBA, Jerome said, "he is an @#*!, he is an @#*!, he is an @#*!!!!" I didn't speak punctuation, so I had no idea what he meant, but one month later we all learned that Kobe did something very naughty in Colorado (with a punctuation mark.)
So I learned to believe Jerome (even while he took my money.)
Speaking of losing money, I had UT -6 for $40. It was a good bet until 1 minute left in the game. I am now 0-2 for the season, losing $20 and $40 in two bets on UT.