Saturday, February 28, 2009
Tonight is going to be emotional for Dave and myself. Tonight we say goodbye to a legendary Pirate.
Paul Gause is the epitome of what makes Seton Hall basketball great. He gives everything he has, running around the court like a madman, swiping at the ball every chance he gets. In many ways, he's the perfect guard for Gonzo's "system."
But that's Paul the player. What you may not know is Paul the friend.
Dave and I first "friended" Paul on Facebook simultaneously about a year ago. Since then, we've been privileged to receive frequent status updates, everything from "Paul just added new photos..." to "Paul just changed his profile picture." But while his picture may change, I assure you he is as steady a man you'll ever meet. His relationship with Amelia is a model of respect and intimacy, and I can only hope to maintain myself with such dignity in my personal affairs.
Paul, what can I say? What haven't I already said?
We are like brothers. We travelled to West Virginia, Puerto Rico... and soon we'll see you in Kentucky.
Play your heart out tonight kid. Go beat Pitt.
Thursday, February 26, 2009
….Seton Hall!! After coming away empty handed from last night’s film festival, Ben and I were comforted in the fact that the true winners of the night were appropriately rewarded with a 75-60 victory over USF. While some hardware would have been nice, Ben and I would gladly trade a miniature statue for a victory any day of the week. However, I can’t help but wonder…was the lighting too dim? The music too loud? The choreography not timed correctly? The Hazell flop not emphatic enough?...Oh well, there’s always the next one.
Last night’s game against USF was a throw back to the Seton Hall of old. Eugene Harvey returned to the court after missing last Sunday’s St. John’s game. While Ben and I failed to win any awards, Nunu earned himself Setonia’s P.O.G award. Congrats Nunu! Jeremy Hazell, despite battling an apparent chest cold, was back to making shots he shouldn’t be taking and nailing 3 pointers (4-9 from the arc). And, in classic Seton Hall form, we got absolutely murdered in the paint in the first half. While the second half offset some of the statistics, it was an absolute bloodbath down there for the first twenty minutes. If South Florida’s “Nobody #1” and “Nobody #2” can dominate us down low like that, imagine what will happen Saturday night when big, bad Pittsburgh comes to town?
Speaking upcoming games, we here at Setonia would like to make an announcement (Hear ye, Hear ye!). After the Saturday night game against Pitt, Ben and I will be stuffing our life possessions into whatever rental car we can get our mitts on and making the long trek out to Louisville, Kentucky. Why, you may ask? To see the Louisville game, duh! Realizing that the Hall’s only chance of beating Louisville is to bring the Cardinal mascot head to Kentucky, the three of us (Ben, myself and Cardinal) will be sitting courtside at Freedom Hall, using the Cardinal head as some sort of voodoo doll to cast evil spirits upon Rick Pitino and his Louisville team. After successfully casting spells upon Earl Clark and Terrence Williams, we will travel north several days later to do the same to Deonta Vaughn and his Cincinnati Bearcats team.
It should be the trip of a lifetime and stay tuned for more details.
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Dave and I have been pretty taken with the Oscars this season. Between the success of "mid-majors" like Slumdog Millionaire, and the compelling performances of Kate "Cinderella" Winslet, we've had Hollywood on our minds. For that reason, we decided to enter our acclaimed YouTube video in a film festival.
Now, it's true, we're not exactly your artsy types. Our idea of a fun afternoon is an over-priced slice of La Famiglia Pizza, watching a nail-biter against Delaware. But if it means more people will watch our tribute to Seton Hall, we'll do anything.
The festival will take place in the Crooked Knife bar between Madison and Park on 30th street. Our video will be shown at around 11pm on Wednesday, if any fellow filmophiles would like to stop by. We'll be rushing to get there after the USF game, with our black berets in tow.
We've already been nominated for a number of categories:
1. Best Cardinal in a Supporting Role
2. Best Coaching Antics to a Kanye West Solo
Monday, February 23, 2009
Carnesecca Arena, a throw back gymnasium with supposedly fewer seats than our own Vinman's high school gym, creates a great environment to watch a game and makes for a true home court feel - something that MSG nor the Prudential Center offers. With the student section bumping and Lou Carnesecca's imprint literally everywhere, St. John's was definitely fueled by the crowd's boisterous support and inspired by its own Senior Night. However, this is no excuse for our sloppy play, failure to box out and general lackluster effort.
In a game mired by turnovers and missed rebounds, there was one bright spot on the evening. After being disciplined during the Marquette game, Mike Davis used the extra time to soften up his mitts and came out strong against St. John's, having his best BIG EAST game of the season. While he only had 5 points, Mike grabbed 7 rebounds and helped anchor Seton Hall's best lineup of the season - featuring Garcia, Stix, Hazell, Theodore and Mitts of Stone himself. Hopefully this will give him an added boost of confidence as we finish up the season and head into the BE Tournament.
In more positive news, congratulations to Jeremy Hazell on becoming the 37th player to reach 1,000 career points. Only a sophmore, we at Setonia would love to see Jeremy reach 2,000 points. Only 1,000 more to go big guy - see you at the finish line!
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Playing Marquette has turned into an ugly affair for the apartment Ben and I currently rent to run our Setonia blog operation. For the second straight away game vs. Marquette, yet another poster was devastatingly ripped from our Ikea-laden apartment, signaling a sense of frustration that one only experiences after being "oh-so-close."
After playing subpar basketball for the first 20 minutes yet still somehow leading 37-34, the team managed to somehow revert to playing at an 8th grade level and was outscored 45-30 in the second half. Were it not for a couple of Hazell rainmakers in the last several minutes of the game, the score would have been even more lopsided.
What happened in the second half of tonight's basketball game will probably be studied by scientists (Dr. Adubato), dermatologists (Derm) and economists (Kaz) for years to come. Why was it that senior co-captain Paul Gause and rookie sensation Jordan Theodore were the only two players to show up to tonight's game? Well, I'm going to try and answer that question the only way I know how...by asking more questions...
- Why was Jeremy Hazell so reluctant to drive to the hoop the way he had been doing so all seasion? Was his neck still bothering him?
- Where was Stix Mitchell tonight? Did he forget his legs in the plane's overhead compartment?
- Why did Mike Davis not play one single minute? Can he really be any worse than Wawa?
- With 5 minutes left and Marquette up 25 pts, why did Gonzo pull fan favorite Matt Cajuste in favor of Wawa? Wawa had yet to register a single positive statistic in the box score and Cajuste had just blocked a shot...
- After another solid effort by Jordan Theodore and another mental vacation for Eugene Harvey, do we see the freshman get the start against St. John's this coming Sunday?
Those were just a few of the questions Ben and I had as we watched our beloved Pirates get brought back down to earth by the Golden Eagles. Hopefully on Sunday there will be some answers.
Saturday, February 14, 2009
After watching today's game, one word comes to mind: "heroes." Even though we shot the ball terribly, and were outmuscled by arguably the most dominant Big East defensive college center in years, we battled hard. We fought. We showed heart.
And on this particular Valentine's Day, no player showed more heart than John Garcia. With my fingers trembling on the keyboard, I couldn't help but send John a quick chat message after today's contest. (The trembling accounts for my slightly premature tap on the "enter" key, placing the "e" on its own line.) Still, John took my grammatical snafu in stride. Hobbling along as ever, John was undaunted, responding with his characteristic humility and grace: "Thanx alot," the hero answered.
Sure, our guards struggled. But one guard shone. Literally. And that guard was Missouri-transfer Keon Neon. Wearing a radioactive green collared shirt, and matching tie, Keon was cheering everyone on the floor as if his life depended on it. But it's clear he does have some favorites. For starters, the Flagman!!
As Flagman was performing his usual couple laps, Neon got in his face and started clapping. With Neon's radioactive powers, Flagman then went on to unleash an unbelievable 5 more laps!! Take that, Michael Phelps!
In the end, everyone on that floor for SHU was a hero today. But as Dave and I were riding the Path train back into New York, traveling its unnecessarily circuitous weekend route back through Hoboken, we couldn't help but wonder if we fans had been up to the challenge. Could we have been louder? Could we have done more to drown out those obnoxious UConn fans? Could we have invited more of our friends to the arena to occupy those couple empty seats? Could we have done more to give our team a real home team advantage?
As a team, as a school, as a COMMUNITY, let's be heroes. Let's show the world how much we love this team.
PS. Also, a big-time shout out to Kevin Willet. Upon learning that SHU was considering cutting the budget to allow for the cheerleaders and band to travel across the Hudson for the Big East tourney, Kevin has started a Facebook group to draw attention to this issue. Great work, Kevin. We support you, and will do everything we can to make sure these special members of our community are able to take part as they should. (If bus transport is too expensive, I say we construct some sort of aerodynamic flying device using Flagman and Keon's green shirt as fuel.)
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Sometimes Dave and I forget that we are part of a fringe community. We can't imagine that the rest of the world would not be as tuned in to our devoted Pirates as we are. Never was there a clearer reminder, however, then last night's ESPNU broadcast of SHU vs. Depaul.
Filled with the sort of low-cost informercial programming one might expect to see at 4 am on a cooking network, Dave and I were treated to a litany of commercials promoting a wide range of products one might reasonably consider shams. One product was actually named, "The Shamwow!" With an absorbing power inversely proportional to Mike Davis' mitts, this piece of cloth grabbed everything in sight! Cola on the carpet? Loose ball off the iron? Use the Shamwow! to pull everything in.
Another highlight had to be the Pro-Caulk. With its octogonal poker chip design, the Pro-Caulk is effectively a glorified piece of plastic used to wipe away excess caulk, creating perfectly straight lines. It also has another use: Dr. Adubato Roboto likes the Pro-Caulk for pinstriping his power suits!
Yes, there were a great many absurd advertisements, including the Montel Williams / Barack Obama Commemorative Series, a Renaissance Fair themed Free Credit Report.Com spot, and a true favorite, the Snuggie: a monk-designed piece of fabric meant to restrict mobility.
But while these Super Bowl caliber ads were entertaining, the game was actually even better. What team basketball!! What heart!!
Harvey played some of his best basketball of the season, and everyone contributed to this one. Standing on one leg, Garcia in particular had a number of "Shamwow!" moments, skying over the competition to grab board after board. Also humorous was the announcer's actually uncomfortable obsession with Stix's legs. Enough with the close-ups, already!!
All-in-all, Dave and I were pleasantly surprised. This had "trap game" written all over it, but our boys came through to shock the world.
In a word: SHAMWOW!!
Sunday, February 8, 2009
Saturday, February 7, 2009
Seton Hall has not had a single comfortable win against a Big East program in a long, long time. This game came close.
With the arena buzzing, and a "blue out" declared, the fans had a lot to cheer about. Unfortunately, while the night was a great success, there were a couple minor mistakes by the Seton Hall organizers.
A couple tips for the next "blue out:"
1. If you're the guy handing out blue t-shirts to the people sitting courtside, maybe the guy wearing all red with a St. Johns' hat doesn't deserve one.
2. At the Trivia stand, there was a man handing out white Seton Hall t-shirts. At the blue out.
3. The impact of the blue out is a little diminished when the entrance to the Prudential Center is illuminated with 1,000 watt red light bulbs.
But these are just little peccadilloes. On the whole, Dave and I had a great time. He wore blue war paint, and I had a balloon pirate sword. It was the best day of a 7 year old's life.
The game was also quite interesting. Putting aside the player performances, clearly Flagman was inspired by our poll question, as he set a record 8 laps!! Our options only went up to 7, big guy!! Take it easy!! Even though that flagpole is about as skinny as a Mitchell tibia, you know it's got to weigh a lot.
On the court, Garcia played a great first half, moving up and down the floor with relative agility, and even blocking a lot of shots. Hazell had a great shooting night, and Theodore gave a great spark off the bench.
It was also nice to see Kyrie Irving in attendance. One of the Hall's top recruits, Irving sat in the section next to us, and seemed to enjoy the game. Forgetting the fact that he formerly attended MKA, and Dave and I both graduated from rival high school Newark Academy, rest assured that we would happily "squash the beef" between our respective alma matria just to let this kid play the point.
I snapped this shot of Irving after the game, heading into the locker room, where he would surely be greeted with a sweaty hug from Gonzo and a cool handshake from SYMS fashion model, Adubato Roboto.
Check it out!
Monday, February 2, 2009
It was little over a year ago when Dave and I decided to start this blog. At the time, many said it could never be done. But we have proved the naysayers wrong! We have made our personal and professional lives an afterthought, and poured our heart and soul (and minds?!?) to making Setonia.blogspot everyone's favorite website. For some, even homepage. (That's for you, Verizon Tom!!)
Of course, the success we have enjoyed -- the fame, the glory, the ad revenue, which is barely anything -- is a testament to the wonderful support we have received. It's not just me and Dave who make this blog work. We have a working team of thousands, all living in India. But there are also many people in the States who are helping. In this entry, we say thank you.
To our parents, for their undying love and loyal readership. Even when no one knew we existed, you were still clicking on ads.
To our friends, who think our obsession with Seton Hall is strange, yet are jealous nonetheless. We promise to find you guys a part in our next video.
To the players, who respond to our Facebook messages and give their all on the floor, night in and night out. A particular thanks to Pete Peregrin for taking valuable time away from your Calculus homework in the San Juan airport to say hello.
To Gonzo, Skin, and Dr. Adubato, for your wisdom, recruiting, and complementary donuts at the Seton Hall day practice.
To HallDan, master of the Rivals universe, for encouraging a couple young upstarts in the dog-eat-dog world of the blogosphere.
To Vinman, for recognizing our talents at the Booster Club preseason dinner in the VFW Hall, and giving us the inspiration to make Setonia the institution it is today. Seriously Vinny, we love you.
To Vinman Jr., the son of Vinman, aka. VinLittleMan, whose knowledge of the game far exceeds any other preschooler.
To Jerry, acclaimed WSOU radio personality, who has always treated us exactly as we've asked to be treated: as dignified members of the Seton Hall media community.
To Rosa, the customer service representative at the San Juan Ritz Carleton, who managed to deliver free polo shirts to our hotel room.
To UConnia - whoever you might be. I feel like a proud father when I look at your own marvelous blog.
To Mr. Burke, a long-time family friend, who has provided us with free tickets to watch our beloved Hall when we could not have afforded to otherwise.
To Tim HIggins, whose refusal to go quietly into that dark night we call retirement has provided both of us with added inspiration as we endure a difficult job market.
To "Governor" Codey, whose leadership of our state is only rivaled by his hospitality at his burger restaurant in Newark.
To Gonzo's little sister, who gave Dave a ride to Don Pepe's after the big Georgetown victory.
To Flagman, who gives his heart every night to circle around a bunch of cheerleaders who probably walk right past him in the cafeteria.
To Jeb, who filmed and produced our critically acclaimed YouTube video, and Ref, Gonzo and the Cardinal for dealing with two obsessive compulsive directors and believing in us when noone else did.
To Bob Huggins, coach of West Virginia, who greeted us so warmly at 3 am in the lobby of the Morgantown Waterfront Hotel the night before pummeling Seton Hall by 30 points.
To "Fox," whose real name is __________. You mean more to us than you know.
To Vince, our intrepid Booster Club travel coordinator, who finds wonderful places for us to stay at wholesale prices.
To Carl, the man who works at the Abracadabra Halloween Store in lower Manhattan who sold me the Louisville Cardinal head at a great discount. Carl, the movie would've sucked without you!!
To "Cray," our late crayfish. RIP.
To Joe Quinlan, for your quiet, almost comatose disposition at games. In all seriousness though, it's a nice balance with Gonzo.
To Gary Cohen and Dave Popkin, for talking to us sometimes.
To Brian Laing and Jamar Nutter, former Pirate greats, whom we miss terribly. Next time we go backpacking across the Pyrenees, my friends, expect a text message!
To St. Ausgustine Okosun. You are gone but not forgotten. "The Gazelle" lives on.
To Jarrid Famous's father, it was a pleasure meeting you in the Ice lounge. If we had schollie, we would give it to you.
Well, I think that's it. As you can see, Dave and I may be the "faces" of this blog, but there are many people behind the scenes who you never read about.
Thanks everyone!! Happy 100th!
Sunday, February 1, 2009
An odd combination of St. Augustine Okosun and Greg Oden, Famous lived up to much of the hype he has received. Physically gifted, Famous is a tall, but muscular, imposing figure on the court. While he can definitely stand to put on a good 20 pounds of muscle, he was not as "Sticky" as I thought he was going to be. With good post moves and confidence in his outside shot (he still needs to work on going left, but Im sure Brandon Walters will be able to help him with that), Jarrid's offensive game is BIG EAST ready. Also, on another positive note, Famous must have those hand incubators cranked up to the highest level as his mitts are as soft as a she-mouses's belly! Oh, and did I mention that he can rebound!?!?
All in all it was a great way to spend a Saturday afernoon and I think the 15 people or so we had donned in their favorite blue and white apparel sent a powerful message to Jarrid and the original Famous, Amos. Too bad we werent able to get a trip out to watch Okosun in Nigeria...