Saturday, February 28, 2009

Barack Obama - Thursday, January 22, 2009

I listened to a podcast this week featuring Bill Simmons and Chuck Klosterman. They were discussing a variety of topics; one of the topics was Barack Obama and Klosterman said that he likes him and all that but also said that people are so excited about him that they would proclaim his genius regardless of what he decided to do. He said that he could make it his administration’s priority to lower the price for aluminum siding and people would go crazy and say things like, “That’s why we elected him president!” I thought that was mildly funny. Simmons analogized that it was like a sports team that had just come off of a bad season, but that had just signed a big free agent. The big free agent would have a brief honeymoon period and then everyone would settle down and then look objectively if he was doing a good job or not. I kind of went along with that, but I found myself interrupting their conversation (in my head) and interjecting my own points and I think I have a much better one that they didn’t get to. I think that a more apt analogy would be something more close to home.

My analogy is a franchise that has been terrible for several years who then goes out and hires a big name coach who then has the twin set of expectations coming into office: (1) there is nowhere to go but up, because the last several years have been terrible and (2) there are tons of expectations because this guy has been successful and he’s expected to replicate that success here. So, when I say I’m bringing it close to home, I’m thinking that Barack Obama is to the United States as Mike Holmgren was to the Seattle Seahawks. Let’s just hope that when Obama leaves office, he doesn’t do so with the equivalent of a 4-12 season. The Seahawks were horrible under Tom Flores and vexingly inconsistent and underachieving under Dennis Erickson. Change was needed. The Seahawks needed to make a splash and needed to aim for the moon. They did when they nabbed Mike Holmgren after two Super Bowl appearances (with one victory). He was a super-duper star. He rose to prominence by learning under Bill Walsh’s system (paralleling Obama’s time at Harvard); he was wildly successful in Green Bay (paralleling Obama’s time in the Illinois State Senate and the U.S. Senate); and he became coach of a moribund franchise with all of the power to turn things around, and the resources to do so by coaching Seattle and having Paul Allen as an owner (paralleling Obama getting elected president and having all of the resources of U.S. history and innovation etc).

So there.

Biggest Winner
Barack Obama. All hail the President. Regardless of your political leanings, you have to admit that when the world cheers for a dude, loudly and continuously, then that dude has got to be a big winner, around the world and here in your email inbox.

Biggest Loser
Mark McGuire. I just saw that his brother ratted him out for using steroids. My first reaction to that was, “no duh,” and my second reaction was, “if I had a brother, and he did something like that to me, I’d put him between my steroidal-enhanced bicep and forearm and squeeze him into incontinence.” We all know that McGuire was on ‘roids, but still, I think that it would suck to be called out on it by your brother, even if he is estranged. It’s pretty weak sauce to cash in on your brother just to sell some books. Cheating in baseball sucks and I wish the steroid stuff would just go away, but disreputable dudes “exposing” the story doesn’t really help much either.

UW Hoops
I go to sleep early these days so I wasn’t able to stay up and watch the entire USC game, but I saw probably ¾ of it. Anyway, I mostly like what I see. I’ve said this before, but don’t like Brockman trying to do anything except rebound and get points off of rebounds. I cringe when I see him get the ball on the wing and try to do something with it. He really has no chance to turn that into a positive play. Actually they should never give him the ball there, so that’s the guards’ fault. He will either turn the ball over or he’ll be called for a charge because he doesn’t have any handles, at all. I suppose it’s possible that someone could foul him, but that’s the least likely of all things. If he does get the ball there, he needs to either pass it immediately or take a jumper. We know that he can’t shoot, so that means he needs to pass the ball. He really should have No. 86 on his back and running down the sidelines with shoulder pads on. Did he even play high school football? It’s pathetic if he didn’t, being as big as he is. That said, he’s not big enough to really do any damage offensively, or defensively for that matter. He has very short arms and is really only 6’7 max. He gets completely exposed when a bigger guy is on him like Taj Gibson (6’9 with really long arms) was last night. I’m sure NBA scouts don’t like him. I’d be pretty amazed if he actually got drafted, but if Mark Madsen and Brian Scalabrine are in the NBA, then he’s got a chance, I guess.

I like the athleticism of the rest of the team though. MBA is a very active player and Holiday and Gant are tough lengthy dudes who are trouble, defensively, for teams. Their complete and utter lack of size at the guard spots scare me a little though. Dentmon is the biggest guy they have that gets minutes. When your dudes are 5’11 (Dentmon), 5’11 (Overton), and 5’8 (Thomas) that’s a problem is they are playing big guards (like last night). They’re quick though, and when they hit their shots they are a tough team. But that dude from USC, Marcus Johnson (No. 0) was completely crushing them. Also, that dude DeMar DeRozen is an amazing talent. They said he’s 6’7, but he looks more like 6’5 or so, but anyway, he’s a smooth player with a very good looking jumper and silly athleticism. He’s going to be very good.

I’m looking forward to the UCLA game tomorrow, that should be pretty good. Hopefully they can get another W and keep tacking on wins, I’d really like to see them back in the tournament, it’s way more fun to watch then they’re involved.

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