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Shaw ’13: Family, friends and sports

Contributing Writer
Sunday, November 25, 2012

Welcome back from break, everyone. These past few days have been all about self-reflection, learning to be men of good character and being grateful for the little things. So here are a few things I’m thankful for.

First, I’d like to thank Brandon Moore, Mark Sanchez and the rest of the New York Jets organization for starting Christmas early and giving America the greatest 52 seconds of NFL football it’s seen in a long while. At least they followed the game plan and kept the New England offense off the field as long as they could.

Of course, Detroit also made headlines Thursday for throwing away their season as quickly as Jim Schwartz could get that challenge flag out of his pocket. (Note: For those of you not watching, congratulations for not having any ties to Detroit or Houston!) The Lions faced a must-win game and would have won if only their coach didn’t challenge an unchallengeable play which would have been successfully overturned if it weren’t challenged. Welcome to the Twilight Zone. As if things couldn’t get worse for the city of Detroit, the spirit of replacement ref past emerged to give the ball to the Texans despite Detroit clearly recovering their own punt. The game ended up going into overtime and, while no one actually cares who won, at least we got an extra 15 minutes of Megatron doing amazing things. The takeaway is, as usual, to cheat without getting caught or, as Mr. Cartmenez taught me, be savvy. (But how do I reach these keeeds?) 

For my post-Thanksgiving food coma, I had the pleasure of attending the National Invitational Tournament Season Tip-Off at Madison Square Garden with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (I was on the Jumbotron before they cut to him!). I witnessed No. 4 Michigan hold a scrappy Kansas State squad at bay for the first half before blowing the doors open in the second, with one noticeably intoxicated fan screaming, “Don’t let the gate hit your ass on the way out!” 

Though the results weren’t surprising, the amount of NBA pedigree on the Wolverines team was. With Tim “Screw ‘Run TMC,’ I’m Playing Hero Ball” Hardaway Jr., Glenn “Not as Big Dog” Robinson III and Jon “His Mom’s Favorite Basketball Player is Al” Horford leading the way, the forensics experts would suggest good things for this team. 

Obviously, there are a lot of great teams in contention in college basketball. Kentucky is once again stocked with talent (John Calipari is going to run out of souls to sacrifice at this rate), Duke is their usual selves (see: douchebag) and Ohio State, though undefeated, is still not going to a Bowl game (oops, wrong sport). Of course, come March, I fully expect KU to go on a roll (Rock Chalk! We’ll do without molasses because anything from Missouri has a taint about it!) and win me all my money back when I inevitably pencil them in as national champions. 

While there were many highly touted players in the tournament, the player that really surprised was Pittsburgh’s Steven Adams. A 7-footer out of New Zealand and the youngest of 18, the 19-year-old was able to put up an efficient 13 points along with three incredible blocks that helped key a blowout win over the Delaware Blue Hens. That’s the kind of talent that has vaulted Adams to the top of scouting reports with multiple draft sites projecting him as a lottery pick, assuming he declares. (I guess a 7-foot-3-inch wingspan compensates for the fact that he couldn’t read until a few years ago.) If Danny Ainge is reading this, take notes.

And finally, I couldn’t go through today’s column without mentioning my favorite big man in the league, Andrew Bynum. It seems that after years of dominating the hardwood, Bynum may have rolled his final strike. Hopefully, Steven Adams doesn’t discover a latent love of bowling because Disco Inferno may just be the bane of NBA centers’ knees. This is why you don’t trade for someone who, with the exception of ’06-’07 and last year’s lockout-shortened season, hasn’t played more than 65 games in the regular season and has publicly acknowledged that he has arthritis in his knees. Sure, Iggy Iguodala was a redundant piece in the 76ers’ swingman heavy rotation, but maybe Philadelphia General Manager Tony DiLeo should look for someone with a full skeletal structure next time before dealing away his best player. Now, Bynum’s just one parking lot fistfight from reaching Glen Davis’ potential and being traded for Marcel Reece and a box of condoms in DiLeo’s fantasy football league. Either way, the classy citizens of Philadelphia will have to go on sporting those awesome, irregularly proportioned Kwame Brown jerseys for the rest of the year. And if that’s not your thing, I hear bowling is really fun this time of year.

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