Sunday, November 29, 2009

Long Night for Long Island; Hall Cruises

Last night was a battle between Pirates and the Downeaster Alexa. Let's just say the piano man isn't thrilled.

With the Long Island fishing industry still reeling, SHU delivered a crushing blow, sinking the LIU ship and catching all "stripers" in sight. Not only did the Hall sail on to victory with ease, but they did it in style!! For the first time in recent memory, a first mate within the cheerleading squad sang the national anthem! And finally a student won the SHU shotclock challenge, although his pants were down at his ankles while he did it -- better pull those up when you go to McLoones!

As the LIU players swam frantically like guppies, Pope soared high to grab every rebound in sight. Harvey was confident, feeding a gorgeous alleyoop pass to Hazell, and Stix used his legs like oars to beat down the opponent. Even Long Island-native Matt "Juice" Cajuste got into the game! It was a tough night for Fero, however, who found himself frequently pushed out of position, but we think he'll bounce back. Freshmen have nights like that.

But is there not always a twinge of sadness in every victory? Yes, while the Pirates looked buoyant last night, it might have been because they were carrying less weight. Due to poor academics, Mel has been asked to take a leave of absence from the team. It's bad news to say the least, since the Hall needs Mel come Big East time. His talent is undeniable... let's hope lack of discipline doesn't hold him back.

For now, let's enjoy the blow out. Sail on, Pirates!! Sail on... And Dave, if you're reading, bring me back some Moroccan couscous!!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanks to you, Seton Hall!!

As Thanksgiving approaches, I would be remiss if I didn't express my gratitude. Pirates fans certainly have a lot to be thankful this year. So, with Dave still out of the country, grapevining with his lady across Europe like a young Dogus Balbay (did anyone watch him last night -- incredible!!) I figured it was time for a sincere, holiday-themed post. So here goes:

I'm thankful that we have two incredible point guards.

I'm thankful that our players desperately want to win, and have a coach who pushes them to achieve.

I'm thankful that we beat St. Peters, barely.

I'm thankful that John Garcia returned to play another year.

I'm thankful that Keon survived the car crash with his life, as did the other injured driver -- I'm hopeful that he learns to be more responsible as a result.

I'm thankful that Stix brings his best effort every night.

I'm thankful that the school awarded Professor Cajuste tenure.

I'm thankful that the Booster Club is such a welcoming community.

I'm thankful that Hazell continues to work hard on his game, rather than just resting on his laurels.

I'm thankful that our team plays in a first-class arena, although I wish it were on campus.

I'm thankful that Hall committed here, as his upside is huge.

I'm thankful that we have Herb Pope, because without him, we're not very good.

And lastly, I'm thankful for tomorrow's meal!! Which gets me thinking, how does our starting line-up compare with tomorrow's buffet menu?

Hazell: Definitely turkey. At the center of it all, goes with everything, best served piping hot (12 of 25), less good when served cold (0 of 10)

Stix: Mashed potatoes. Classic blue collar, roll up your sleeves, middle America. Oh you just finished gathering rebounds in a coal mine? Here, have some mashed potatoes. Love that guy.

Harvey: Gravy. Smooth, silky. An assist to any meal. May occasionally dribble onto the tablecloth - whoops!

Theodore: Cranberry Sauce. Sweet, tangy, and full of pep! Oh, wait, the tryptophan making you drowsy??? Here, have a shot of Cranberry Sauce!!

Pope/Garcia/Mel: Stuffing. Good, hearty, and clogs up your middle. Provides the necessary weight and size. Everything tastes better with stuffing!!

Fero: Pumpkin pie! What a treat! I wasn't even expecting dessert!! How thoughtful of you! And so versatile!

Well SHU nation, have a great holiday and remember the neediest!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Hall Makes Puree of Big Red!!

After watching Theodore the last couple games, I knew he was due. With all the hard work in the offseason, he was bound to start producing. As predicted, JT played an incredible game last Friday, deflating the Cornell faithful and carrying the Hall to victory.

Though the Big Red got off to a solid start, our athleticism proved too much to handle, slicing and dicing them all over the court until they were nothing more than a delicious bowl of Taughannock Farms strawberry soup -- bold menu choice, RFS!! Yes, with the Booster Club there to support, our courageous Pirates couldn't be defeated.

There was however one big loser of the evening: SNY. While I'm appreciative of the opportunity to watch my beloved team from the literal comfort of my actual home, I can't say I was impressed with the broadcast. From the screaming accountant in the background who kept audibly yelling "WHERE WAS THE FOUL?!?!" to the play-by-play guy's incessant Freudian psychoanalysis of Harvey's bench posture, I was less than impressed. Also, the camerawork left a lot to be desired; alternatively, it might qualify for Golden Globe nomination, as I've never seen so many creative cuts and angles! WHAT, POPE IS GOING IN FOR A DUNK?? QUICK, LETS GET A SHOT OF GARCIA'S SHOELACES!!

Despite the Eyes Wide Shut cinematography, I did manage to make a few key game observations:

- We did a great job feeding the post. Unlike so many other games, we established Garcia and Pope on the inside, which opened things up for our perimeter players.

- Now that we have forwards who can dunk, we need to get better at the alleyoop pass. JT threw one a mile too high, and Harvey has missed a ton as well -- it's such an exciting play when executed properly.

- Can't say enough about Fero Hall. Like the endive at the Ithaca farmers' market, this kid is organically grown. Those Tennessee coaches really did a great job, because he has a very natural feel for the game.

- Jamel didn't play very much, but when on the floor, he didn't play very well. Missing two of three free throws isn't really acceptable as a reserve guard, nor is chucking up a 3 pointer with a second left and the game in hand.

- Stix is a junkyard dog, and I absolutely love it. Instead of diving for a loose ball, he chose to sit on a Cornell player's face. Fortunately, Stix only weighs 3.6 British stones.

Well, great win, and awesome defensive intensity. Proves that when we're pumped and prepared to play, we can be an extraordinary team. Also, thanks to Vinny for the Booster Club text updates!! Sorry Dave and I couldn't be there, fellas, but let's just say we're already picking out our hibiscus swim suits for the Virgin Islands!!

Friday, November 20, 2009

The Drive North!!

With Dave jetting off to Spain -- his fair lady Lisa at his side -- and me stuck at work analyzing the Vegas lines, we've said goodbye to our Booster Club comrades who are now en route to Cornell's campus by bus. (Thanks to Vinny, we do have some inside info to share: the movie on the ride there was "Planes, Trains and Automobiles.")

Given the firepower of this Cornell squad, we could probably use an arsenal of Planes, Trains and Automobiles, not to mention a couple Tankers and Hydrogen-Powered Gorge-Bombers. As I've said, I expect SHU to win this game, but it will not be easy. Still, we've had an entire week to prepare -- a veritable "reading period" by Ivy League standards. Let's just hope Stix made some flash cards, because memorizing the opponent's offensive sets won't be easy; who's on this Cornell team again?

The big question remains: to Keon or not to Keon? Still no word as far as we know, but it's a very sensitive issue. Either way, you can bet those Cornell fans will be auditing his every move, on the bench or not.

PS. Apologies to any accountants who might have been offended by my earlier post. My uncle is a fantastic accountant! He went to Cornell.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Cornell: Scarier than the '96 Bulls?

Sure, those Jordan teams were good. But if you believe the SHU message board hype, they were nothing compared to this year's terrifying Cornell squad!!

Now, when you think of Cornell, hoops might not be top of mind. First, their stellar international relations department. Second, gorges. But third, most definitely third: basketball dominance.

Gosh, if we lose by less than 50, let's consider it a victory! How could we ever hope to keep pace with such athleticism -- an entire Ivy roster full of Konchalski 5 AP Scorers!!

In all seriousness, Dave and I have been thinking quite a lot about this game, and we're not too worried. It's true, this Cornell squad plays solid ball, and away games are scary, but Ivy league fans aren't usually too rowdy -- think a gymnasium full of would-be accountants. And even though Big Red has a good outside shot, expect our own Big Mel and Garcia to clog up the inside like a gorge stuffed with municipal waste. "EPA caught napping on the backdoor feed!!"

Here's really the million dollar question: does Keon play? We have no inside information (damn that Facebook ban!!) but our instinct says no. Let's give him a couple games to resolve all off-the-court issues before re-inserting him in our up-tempo offense. Although we're certainly a stronger team when we have his mid-range game to round out the deep threat of Hazell and Jackson.

Prediction: SHU gets off to a strong start in this game after a dedicated week of practice. Theodore has an extraordinary performance after some sub-par numbers the last two games. Cajuste tours campus and moonlights as keynote lecturer at applied mathematics conference.

Final score: SHU 71 Championship Cornell 64

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Cell Phone Earns 6th Man of the Year Award; Pirates win 87-72

In the rare instance that Ben and I cant make a Seton Hall game (home or away), we usually sulk for a few minutes and begrudgingly turn on SNY to watch our beloved Pirates take the court. When the low budget OOC games aren't televised, we welcome the opportunity to listen to Gary Cohen and Dave "Wonderkid" Popkin do the play-by-play.

However, we were not entirely prepared to handle today's obstacle. For the first time in Seton Hall basketball history, neither Ben or I were able to watch or listen to the game! What were these two intrepid bloggers to do!?!? With literally dozens of avid followers around the world (hola Senor Garcia!), we knew we had to follow the game, one way or another.

Since both of us were returning from weekend commitments, we turned to the only device that we knew would keep us in touch with the game...our cell phones. Hitting refresh multiples times on our cellies, texting each other figurative fist pounds after every basket, and forwarding updates to our fellow booster Vinny, Ben and I were able to keep up with the virtually the entire game. The only thing we missed were Seton Hall's new road unis and a few Gonzo foot stamps.

While blackberrys dont necessarily provide the most colorful picture of the game, regardless of the model you have, it did seem like Hazell was able to find his shooting stroke and His Heighness, Herb Pope, put up one of the monster type games we are all expecting from him. Jackson appeared to light it up from deep when given the chance and the new kid on the block, Genghis Khan, had a solid all around game that will hopefully set the tone for a promising freshman year.

It wasn't ideal, but Ben and I were able to follow the game play by play, thanks to the miracle of the cell phone. Wouldn't Alexander Graham Bell be proud...?

Friday, November 13, 2009

Hall Completely Flat; NuNu Wins on a Prayer!!!

We should've known. It was Friday the 13th. It was the first game of the year. And with my benevolent uncle driving Dave and me through Newark in his Nissan, it was destiny.

We had just sped past Don Pepe's, admiring the ornate window guards, when all of a sudden we heard something. Was it the sound of Gonzo foot stamping through the ironbound?? Was it the sound of Big Mel tricycling along the Pulaski?? WRONG! It was the sound of us getting a flat tire!! Hurray!

That tire was a metaphor for our team. In all our years of Hall fandom, never has the team looked flatter. The first half was truly atrocious -- but shockingly, the second half was just as bad. With Keon dressed as Dick Tracy in Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, the team looked distracted by the intricate tattoo plumage of the St. Peters point guard.

Probably the most abysmal performance of the night was Hazell. Completely out of rhythm, Jeremy played a truly horrendous game. But there was good news!! He qualified for an honorary degree from the SHU Florence Nightingale School of Nursing, as he graciously reached down to massage Pope's cramped hammy. (Umm... don't we have professionals for that??) Hazell and Kwillett will both be receiving their degrees in a special ceremony before the Monmouth game.

But I digress... despite it all, Harvey found a way to win. After receiving tons of criticism for his handling of late game situations, Harvey put up a prayer, and it was answered. With 3 seconds on the clock, Harvey pushed the ball through the net from 25 feet out, giving the Hall the lead and preserving our NCAA dreams (delusions?) alive.

As we drove back into New York, we couldn't believe what we had witnessed. We just sat in the car, shaking and trembling. Even the car was shaking and trembling. It was missing a tire.


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Updated: Keon in Parkway Accident

Dave and I usually try to find the humor in things. There's nothing funny about this story.

The Herald News is reporting that Keon Lawrence was in a serious car crash on the Garden State Parkway in Sayreville. Fortunately, Keon and others involved in the crash did not sustain life-threatening injuries. The details of the accident are still being gathered.

Here's a statement from Gonzo:

“As you may know, Keon Lawrence was involved in an automobile accident early Monday morning,” Gonzalez said. “First and foremost, we are relieved and gratified that all of the parties involved were not more seriously injured. We will respond accordingly when all of the facts of this matter have been collected. Effective immediately, Keon Lawrence has been suspended from the team indefinitely.”

Friday, November 6, 2009

Seton Hall 2.0

While Ben and I are not the most technologically savvy bloggers out there, we have managed to navigate Blogspot with considerable ease (thanks Larry and Serge!). Ever since the first blog entry, we were able to figure out how to copy and paste ridiculous pictures from the internet, create polls to ask our "audience," and post hillarious pictures from our recent road trips.

Channeling our inner Lewis and Clark, we decided to push the envelope and venture into unchartered waters. Wondering what more there was to social media, we took the plunge and literally dribbled into the last frontier...Twitter!

Now you can get all your Seton Hall news bites 24 hours a day in 140 words or less! We're not sure exactly what will come of our twitter account, but be sure to check us out at @setoniablogspot! See you in cyperspace!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

One Hall of a Weekend!

Dave and I have dedicated our entire lives to Seton Hall basketball. But I'm not sure there's ever been a weekend that's tested our devotion more than this last one. I'm happy to say we passed with flying colors -- big ups to Robin Cunningham!!

After 4 NJ Transit round trip tickets, a couple generous carpool sessions up and down So. Orange Ave -- you know who you are!! -- Dave and I spent practically every hour shuttling back and forth from Manhattan to our beloved "almost mater." And was it ever worth it!!

The weekend started on Sabbath evening as our Pirates took on a team from Carlton University in an exhibition game. At first glance, I thought I was better than most players on Carlton. But I quickly realized that their forward Kevin "Timothy Leary" McCleery had more creative pivot moves than an actual 60's groove piper. Still, our Pirates prevailed handily.

The first half was full of energy, as Harvey and Theodore played great up-tempo basketball. Pope also completely took over the game at certain times, and Stix brought intensity that Canada hadn't seen since the French Indian War. Bonjour, Monsieur STIX!!

The only scare came when Mel was discovered to have blood on his jersey, and had to leave the game. It was okay though -- he came out for the second half wearing a fresh, clean jersey (women's petite) with a new number, which means that he must have changed uniforms in the locker room with the rest of the players during Gonzo's halftime speech. Umm... sorry coach, what were you saying about half-court defense??

Then, as if that wasn't enough, we found ourselves back on campus on Sunday to watch a little blue-white scrimmage. Now, as a Jefferson Lakes Day Camp alumnus actuallus, I can tell you, I've participated in the blue-white scrimmage: it takes place on the final day of color war, and it involves throwing eggs at counselors. This, however, was much different.

The team went a little light on each other, but the talents still shone bright as ever. JROB put on a dunk contest of one, and Hall had some athletic plays. But possibly the best moment of the day came when RFS scored us some sick bracelets, and we snuck into the meet-the-team party.

As I was busy sampling various Cabot cheeses at a forlorn booth beside the Pirate Blue ticket desk (umm, in case you're wondering, horseradish cheddar by a mile) Dave was focused on cutting a line of tweens to win some sweet autographs. Probably the best moment was when JROB voiced his frustration that Stixie had signed in what he claimed was "his spot" on the poster. Comedian that he is, JROB then decided to pen his siggy right on Stix's face -- burn!!

So yes, this is a team with lots of talent, and yes, they're already fighting for their respective spots. But at least they have a sense of humor about it??

See you soon, SHU!!