Before the Storm Comes the Thunder
Man, all these NCAA violations are getting me fired up. First, BYU suspends their second best player before the biggest national tournament because he got freaky in pre-marital sex, then today Ohio State head football coach Jim Tressel gets suspended 2 games and a quarter million dollar fine for knowing about players selling their used uniforms for cash.
It’s a god damn joke that players are intended to make absolutely no money the entire duration of their career at a college they help make millions of dollars. It’s a quarter million dollar joke that Jim Tressel is losing for knowing about the events and not disclosing it. What’s really stupid is the NCAA has a system where college recruits are allowed to visit schools and players, but they can’t bribe them in any way, shape, or form before they enter one of the largest grossing industries in the entire world. That’s insane.
You know what calmed me down though? THE SIXERS BABY!! Tough week ahead for the Sixers, going for a 4 game stretch in 5 days, but guess what? After tonight’s win against the Pacers, the 76ers are 16 of their last 21 games. I saw a lot of good signs from the Sixers today, most notably Evan Turner’s continual emergence from his cocoon into a NBA player. He looks mean now. He knows how to draw fouls. He’s asking for the ball all the time now (maybe too damn much.) But I certainly don’t see the same timid, uncomfortable player I saw when the season began.
Iggy getting two triple-doubles in a row. Brand looking like a damn monster this season. Yesterday on PTI Tony Kornheiser said he still thinks the Knicks are better than the 76ers. Call me crazy, but I don’t. The Knicks gave up a lot of good positional players to grab Melo, and no sweet cut-off jean jacket is going to save you with how many crappy bench players you have. The Sixers are a half-game behind the Knicks.
Last year I went to 7 Sixers games, and they lost every single one. I watched the old Heat blow us out by 40 (Adam wrote a post about it.) I watched the Magic destroy us. I watched Bosh on the Raptors get like 19 rebounds. We were awful. I probably spent about $400 on tickets last year, and the only memories I can walk away with are the friends I went with, and Matisyahu beat-boxing the National Anthem on Jewish Heritage Night. Damn that was fun.
Tonight, I’m going to spend about two-thirds of that to watch just one game. A game that I don’t expect the Sixers to win. Coming off a game the night before, 644 miles away, doesn’t give me much hope for a win, never mind that it’s against one of the top 3 teams in the Western Conference. But with all that in mind, I still got the best tickets I could possibly find, first row behind the 76ers bench. And I’m still going to cheer. I’m going to cheer so loud that Coach Collins is going to turn around and give me Matt Cord’s job for play-by-play announcements over the intercom (just listen to me, I’m good.) I hope the Sixers embrace the challenge as much as I do.
I want this win. I need this win. You think the Sixers could finally get some love after upsetting the best team in the NBA already, but I suppose upsetting the top scorer in the league Kevin Durant’s Oklahoma City Thunder will do just fine as well.
Bring the Thunder boys.
This post was written by Randy Neil