Thursday, February 28, 2008

This and that

There goes another piece of my childhood...
This KC Star article got buried pretty quickly and quietly, but it's worth mention. I grew up listening to Fred and Denny, and was distraught when the team fired White in 1998.

When Ryan LeFebvre made his way into the daily Royals broadcasts, I hated him. He wasn't Fred White, I reasoned, and therefore I was never going to like him. In the almost 10 years since then, my opinion on LeFebvre has shifted considerably, but sometimes I still think back on my (much!) younger days, listening to the inimitable radio duo of White and Matthews, and wishing that I could do their jobs someday too. I think other little girls wanted to be princesses, or ballerinas, or some nonsense like that; I wanted to be the Voice of The Royals.

When I was 16 I got to meet Fred White for the first time. I was really nervous, the way some people get nervous for job interviews. The plan was, Fred was going to come to the radio station at which I worked happily for my whole high school career, and by some magical coincidence, I would also appear in the meeting room. It worked swimmingly, and he even said something about being impressed with my obvious passion for the Royals. I remember being amazed at the way his voice sounded exactly the same in person as it did on the radio, because, well...mine doesn't. (Or does it? I don't know.)

Anyway, I'm sad to know I won't hear his voice carrying over the unmistakable hum of AM radio static and baseball sounds anymore. That sound was a significant chunk of my childhood, and played a huge role in making me the hopelessly devoted Royals fan I am today.

John Buck tells us everything we ever wanted to know about his junk but were afraid to ask... this interview with Sam Mellinger. This interview cracked me up, almost as much as Garfield Minus Garfield does. (Hat tip to the brother for GMG.)

But I'm confused...last week in an interview with Dayton Moore, Mellinger asked the (fantastic!) question about which Royal, after Mike Sweeney's departure, is the "Guy I'd Want My Daughter To Marry". Moore's response: "Oh, boy. Gosh, I love all these guys. I’d trust my daughter with every single one of them."

But John Buck had a very different response to the same question: "Yikes. I don’t know if I’d want any of these guys to marry my daughter."

So which is it? Are they are marry-able, or are none of them proper suitors? Inquiring (read: female) minds are dying to know.

Nebrasketball holds Sooners to 12 points in 1st half
The Husker offense was absolutely horrible in the first 20 minutes of last night's home game against Oklahoma, but 1) OU's was worse, and 2) the Husker defense was beautiful.

Nebraska played a tight man defense for most of the game. Everyone held their assignments admirably, and there were several possessions in which OU didn't get a shot off until the final seconds of the shot clock, if at all. In fact, 14 minutes went by in the game before the Sooners managed a single shot within the first five seconds of a possession, and they missed it.

Once the OU players started getting frustrated, the game got pretty ugly. I think the Sooners were honestly just embarrassed at the way they were playing, but the way they vented was to beat up on Husker players at every opportunity. It was a lot more physical than such an offensively crappy game should have been, but no one was terribly hurt, save Sek Henry's punctured lip and Ryan Andersen's very dislocated pinky. (You know the angle at which your thumb protrudes from your fully-outstretched hand? That is the angle Andersen's pinky took after he dislocated it. It looked gross, but he came back after halftime and played again.)

In other Husker news, the 1-2 baseball team opens home play tomorrow. I'm elated.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Behold! A ton of links!

Spring Training, in case you hadn't noticed, is most certainly upon us. Predictably, many of the stories that are coming out from Surprise each day are pretty fluffy; the usual insistence that each player is in the best shape of his life, some hefty optimism from various coaches and players, and so forth. Usually I think the team sites are a little too fluffy and safe, but Trey Hillman doesn't seem to be the kind of guy to let PR machines get in the way of a refreshing honesty. Last week, he was very upfront about the fact that his players couldn't bunt. I like that...well, I don't like that my team can't bunt, but I like that Hillman was so honest about it. That gave a great point of comparison for this more hopeful look at the bunting situation for this year's Royals. To me, it's good to hear what the team is bad at right now, so that a few years from now when we're all parading in the Plaza together in celebration of a World Series win, we can truly know how far we've come from those Seasons Which Will Not Be Named, and we will have heard it from our fearless leader, Trey Hillman.

This morning when I woke up, I wondered when I would be getting my copy of the Bill James Gold Mine. I pre-ordered it weeks ago, and wasn't sure where it was. After trudging home from class through a bizarre mix of snow, rain, and something in between that felt a lot like freezing glue, I got an e-mail that said the book had been printed and was now shipping. So I was all happy, figuring I'd get the book within the week. Then, I checked my mail, and....there it was! I suppose that means some posts inspired by the Gold Mine will be coming shortly, and I will continue my impressive streak of never opening my Econ book (except to hide a baseball book or Sports Illustrated behind it, to make it look like I'm studying when I'm really just having fun...I never did that with comic books inside my textbooks in middle school like on TV, but it's more fun this way because I think I'm supposed to have grown out of that sort of shenanigans).

Before I go, here's some stuff from other people:
-- Some honest, fluff-free details from Royals Authority on how players are actually doing in Surprise...
-- The love of Brian Bannister's impressive intellect continues at StatSpeak...
-- I'd love to see all 50 of the questions on the baseball test Rusty Kuntz is giving the Royals (also, check out the picture on that page, of a ball getting away from Alex Gordon; where the heck is he looking and why? No wonder that ball missed his glove)...
-- This piece on Billy Butler makes me love him a whole lot more. Terry Francona once said something in Sports Illustrated about how most of his favorite players growing up weren't necessarily the most talented ones, but the ones who were nicest to him and other kids*. Looks like Butler could be both....
-- In the Star, Sam Mellinger catches up with former Royals and current A's Mike Sweeney and Emil Brown. I'll be honest with you folks, because you already know how I feel about Sweeney...I had some tears when I read about him. And seeing him in green and gold instead of Royal blue sucks. ...
-- Speaking of Sam Mellinger, I'm sure you all know by now that he has a blog, and you should read it. You could start by reading this interview with Dayton Moore, because it is awesome. The blog as a whole looks like it will be a great mix of baseball analysis and the human beings who make up the Royals team...
-- Rany on the Royals is another great (and relatively new) one. I'm aware that I'm the last person on the planet to link to Rany, but I love how blogs let people be great writers and great fans at the same time, so he deserves the linkage...
-- If you haven't seen it yet, look at what the Phillies did to poor little Kyle Kendrick. This is the most well-orchestrated prank I've seen in a while. I love watching the other players try not to giggle when they talk to Kendrick about his "trade" to a Japanese team...

*This could be a whole post, because I feel the same way. My opinion of a less-than-average player can still be outrageously positive if that player is nice to me and other fans.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

The wrap, finally: NU-KSU

To be completely and embarrassingly honest here, I did not have much faith in Nebraska's chances against Kansas State last night. I figured Michael Beasley would do his thing, as would Bill Walker, Jacob Pullen, and the rest of the Wildcats. Sure, I was excited about the game, but I didn't expect a win because I didn't want to leave disappointed.

The game
, a Nebraska victory, was more than 24 hours ago, so I'll be brief with my observations:

1) KSU tried to be really aggressive in scoring; Nebraska's defense never made KSU hold on to the ball for more than 18 seconds or so before the Cats got a shot off. On the other hand, the shot clock ran down to its final seconds a ton on Nebraska's end, including one awkward shot clock violation. Don't know what this means, but I'm glad the Huskers were always able to hang on to the ball for that long instead of committing stupid turnovers every time the clock started burning down.

2) As I briefly mentioned in a post last night, Michael Beasley is a huge brat. I can't recall a moment where he wasn't complaining about one thing or another. This was after he promised in a pre-game interview that he was going to put up fifty points against the Huskers. Um...Michael, darling? 17 and 50 are not the same thing. Do they not teach that in Manhattan?

3) Steve Harley was awesome in the first half, dumping in tons of sneaky little baseline layups on his way to 20 points. He said in the postgame press conference that the team worked a lot on backdoor plays during practice this week, and it was obvious that their work paid off.

4) Which is it, coach? K-State coach Frank Martin said both of these things after the game:
"Give them [Nebraska] credit. Doc’s a good basketball coach. I’ve said that before. Doc’s a grinder...they deserved to win."

"In 23 years of coaching it’s the most embarrassing defensive performance of any team I’ve ever coached. And that includes 13-year olds."

So did Nebraska win this, or did K-State lose it for themselves? Does Doc Sadler get credit for his coaching last night, or KSU not show up?

The world could seriously use more coaches like Rutgers women's coach C. Vivian Stringer, who doesn't use any of those stupid coach's cliches in her interviews. Things have gotten to the point where every word from post-game press conferences is meaningless, something we've all heard as recently as the last time we watched a basketball game.

5) Cookie Miller had more steals (5) than points (3). Nothing more to say here.

6) I want you all to know that I was NOT part of the court-storming nonsense.'s K-State. It's not Kansas, nor Texas, nor North Carolina, Duke, or anyone that amazing. As much as I wasn't expecting to win, I wasn't so shocked at the outcome that I thought storming the court was appropriate. What I did think was appropriate was kindly reminding Beasley of how many points he didn't have. Ooh that felt good.

7) Last thing about this game: Why on earth do college students insist on chanting "Overrated"? It makes no sense to me. Don't you want to say that your opponent was a superb team, and your team was better? KSU was #23 going into last night's game. So if they were really overrated, then Nebraska basically beat an unranked team. I'd rather say that KSU really is a Top 25-caliber team, and Nebraska brought enough game to hang right with them.

UPDATE: one more "last" thing:
Doc Sadler's suits and angry yelling aren't fooling me. I know who he really is:

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Beasley? More like... BOOOOOO!sley

I'll write more later, but I really, really hate Michael Beasley.

Laughing in his face after he failed to put up the 50 points he promised against my Huskers tonight? That felt good.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


I'm generally the awkwardest person in whatever room I occupy. I like to think of it as kind of a public service -- I do/say really awkward things, so nobody else has to worry about being the most awkward person around. How nice of me, right?

Like the time we were on our way to the FOCUS national conference, and our bus (one of five traveling together) got out of a rest stop before the rest of them were ready to leave. So the driver goes to the on-ramp to get back on whatever 5 a.m. quiet Interstate we were on before we stopped, but then he decided to wait up for the other buses. He pulls over on to the (soft!) shoulder. In sheer terror, I say "Holy shit!" Of course, the word "shit" fell into that natural lull in everyone else's conversation where everything falls perfectly silent. So there I am, on a bus headed to a church conference, and I've just shattered the silence with "Holy shit!" So I covered my tracks with a brilliant "...I mean, wow."

And then there was the time I jumped off a dugout in front of over 6,000 people and sprained my ankle. The point is, I'm notoriously awkward. But Hunter Pence has now totally out-awkwarded me.
Pence and a friend were about to take a dip in a hot tub outside of the house, and unbeknownst to Pence, his friend had closed the door behind them. Pence got out of the tub to use the restroom and walked into the door, which shattered around him.
Given that Pence used the word "silly" to describe the incident, I'm guessing he was terribly drunk at the time. But how drunk do you have to be to do that?

That said, I love stupid sports injuries. It's not that I ever rejoice in someone else's suffering, but I know from experience that stupid injury stories are much better ice breakers than normal ones. "I broke my nose on a floor once" is a much more interesting anecdote than "I fell at the hockey rink and tore my labrum."

Similarly, "Joel Zumaya was put on the DL once because he played too much Guitar Hero*" or "Hunter Pence will be late to Spring Break because he walked through a glass door" are much more interesting than "Ryan Shealy ran wrong and tore his hamstring."

*I can relate to that, I guess. See, I'm the last college student in the known universe to have played Guitar Hero. But on Saturday, my roommate randomly brought in a PS2 and the game, so I gave it a shot. I have not played before because I have a crazy allegiance to Nintendo, and because I have always known that once I started playing a game like that, I wouldn't want to stop. I have enough things I have to do (full time student, several jobs), and a lot of things I like to do (an actual guitar, my computer, this blog), so I don't need the added distraction of Guitar Hero. Sure enough, a few songs turned into a few hours, and I had somehow developed blisters on my fretting fingers. Blisters. From a video game. Oh, what a sad life.

Anyway, the big point here is that Hunter Pence is awkward. Go read the story about him, get a cheap laugh in, and have a lovely day!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Dear Ticketmaster

Dear Ticketmaster,
I hate everything about you. If you hadn't gained a monopoly (aren't those things illegal anyway?) on the online box office business, I would never give you a cent of my precious income. Everything you do is incomprehensibly inefficient, and your random fees make me want to bash my brain with a sledgehammer. Or better yet, yours.



My ticket order for Phantom of the Opera this coming Tuesday
Placed: February 3
Printed: February 11
Mailed: February 13
Received: Not yet, and possibly never. (Next to baseball, this might be my favorite game. It's called "I give Ticketmaster a ton of my money, and they never actually give me anything in return," or "AARRGH DAMN IT!" for short.)

All right. So let's explain why the fact that I haven't received the tickets is such a problem, and what the heck this numbered map means.
Location #1 is approximately where my billing address is, and thanks to Ticketmaster's outdated policy, it's the one and only place they are willing to ship my ticket (if the ticket actually exists). On any other website, I could have separate shipping address, but that would be too convenient to fit in with TM's policies.

Location #2 is where I actually am. Since I live in a dorm, it's a non-permanent address and I can't tie my bank account to it. Hence, we're back at #1, which is really far from #2. Ticket is shipped to one, I'm sitting in the other. Argh.

Location #3
is Omaha, where the performance actually will be. It's about a 55 mile drive from here.

Location #4 is a different color, because it is a worst-case-scenario location. If my parents (in location #1) get the ticket on Monday, my dad could take it to Location #4 on Tuesday (the day of the performance) because he has to be there anyway, so I could drive allllll the way there, and then alllllll the way back to Omaha, hopefully in time for curtain.

So many locations; my head is spinning! Where does this leave me?

Angry and still ticketless, that's where. Thanks, Ticketmaster!

Thursday, February 14, 2008


I wondered if The Ladies... would do something cool for Pitchers and Catchers Report Day, and they certainly came through. It's perfect; they led with my favorite offseason quote, they wrote poetry to baseball, used someone else's poetry, used MS Paint to convey excitement for the season...for what more could I ask? They even changed the site banner for the special day!

We're only partway through PCR Day here in the Central time zone, and already people are slinging weight-related insults around. With Leather picks on Josh Beckett with the help of a super-unflattering Boston Globe photo, but the way I see it, he can weigh whatever the heck he wants to if he can pitch like that!
From LOLjocks; click image to go to their post.

One further bit of poetry on this day of romance, flowers, candy hearts, and soft-toss exercises...
My computer science book is used, and I opened it for one of the first times today. On one page, penciled in girly, flowy script were the words "Live, Laugh, Love." I thought that was pretty cute, and then I saw what was written under it: "F*** computer class!"

So poetic. If you want to see the message, click here. (Obviously NSFW)

Tigers say RAWR, Nebraska loses.

I'm no expert analyst, nor am I a Division I coach of any sort, but I can tell you one way to NOT win an overtime game:

Don't score in the first four minutes of overtime.

Ouch, Nebraska. I mean, really.

Here's an excerpt from the article about the game:
Despite a 10-of-18 shooting performance, Maric attempted just one shot in overtime as he couldn’t connect on a tip try following a missed free throw.
And here's what that tip attempt actually looked like:
It was a weird game, officiating-wise. In the first half, Nebraska only got to the line for two free throws, but got 27 FT attempts in the 2nd half, and 4 in OT. How in the heck does one team get 27 free throws in 20 minutes of basketball? Anyway, the refereeing was questionable in all areas. At one end of the court, a player could breathe in the general direction of his opponent, and a foul would be called. Then at the other end, a player could punch (bar-fight style, because Missouri was involved) his opponent, put him in a half-nelson, depants him, and say insulting things about his mother...and it wouldn't be a foul. Note that I didn't specify which team was getting things called unfairly, because it sucked both ways at various times in the game. I don't ask for perfection from officials, because I know they have a hard job. I only ask consistency, so that the players and not the refs can decide the outcome of the game. Last night was not consistent officiating. Fans of both teams have a right to hate on the refs from last night.

To me, the turning point in the game was the ridiculous run Missouri went on to close out the first half. In those moments, the Tigers did everything right, and the Huskers had no answer for any of it. It started when Paul Velander came off the bench to try and supply some quick points from beyond the arc. He popped one shot, but it missed, and Missouri took the rebound and responded with a three. Next possession: Velander gets the ball early in the possession and finds himself surrounded by Tigers. There's tons of time left on the shot clock, and someone had to have been open since he was being double-teamed, but he forced an awkward, off-balance shot anyway. It missed too, and Mizzou again responded with points of their own. So it went for the rest of the half, and suddenly Nebraska was the lesser team on the court, the one that looked like it would run out of gas. Missouri took an 11-point lead to the locker room at the half, coming off the strength of that ridiculous 20-2 run.

Nebraska was thrilling in the 2nd half. Aleks Maric played like a true star for one of the first times all season, finishing the game with 32 points and 16 boards. He commanded the 2nd half, with the exception of one dumb no-look hook. (Yes, I'm still on his case about that. Those shots NEVER work, so until they go away, I'll be watching.) Steve Harley nailed two free throws to tie it all up with just over 5 seconds left. Missouri failed to score on the ensuing possession, and then...overtime.

I'm not sure what happened in the huddle after regulation ended. I think the Huskers forgot how they had been playing all night. They looked sloppy and a little bit lost for those first 4 minutes of the 5-minute frame, while Missouri kept doing their thing.
Missouri - 86
Nebraska - 78

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Happy holiday!

You know that song from the end of Sister Act -- I think it's Glen Campbell -- called "O Happy Day"? That's how I feel on this day. My friends and I exchange more Pitchers and Catchers Report Day cards than any other holiday, even Christmas.

I'd gush a little more, but my fever-addled roommate is trying to sleep, and my keyboard is kind of clacky, so I'll hand things over to Statistically Speaking .

Well, except here's a list of cool stuff, in case you missed it:
3 things from StatSpeak...1) The most coherent, level-headed reaction to the Santana deal that I've read yet, 2) the 2007 Royals reviewed sabermetrically, and 3) an interesting look at blaming pitchers as well as crediting batters for homers. Elsewhere, JoePo is hilarious and Clark Fosler weighs Tony F Pena (not with a scale).

Furthermore, a YouTube video featuring a dude with no head helped me learn how to Do The Hustle the other day. It's fun; I can see why it was a craze. Downside: the damn song has been stuck in my head on and off since then. Upside: It beats sitting at my computer all day, right?

Lastly, I should sleep, but I'm watching the Lion King instead. Please don't judge me. I have started to write a number of bloggie dealies, but I'm really great at not finishing things. If I had but one more boring class, I'd get so much more done for this blog...

47 days to go!

UPDATE: As if this post weren't manic, fragmented and disjointed enough, I made y'all a card:

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Sweeney to become an A, and more

Well, the wait is over for Mike Sweeney fans. We know where he's going, and that's to Oakland.

I'm happy he gets to be closer to home. I'm happy that a somewhat likeable team is getting all the things I love about my best friend Michael John Sweeney. I'm happy that he is no longer in limbo, I'm happy that he doesn't have to slip quietly into retirement.

He has spent half his life as a Royal, and now he's not a Royal anymore. Predictably, I am still quite sad despite all the times I used the word "happy" in the preceding paragraph. Kansas City is losing a family who has done an incredible amount of good. Mike never quit being generous and selfless toward the people of KC, even when his seasons started to become severely shortened by injuries and the boos started pouring in from all corners of The K. He never said a negative word about those fans, but kept giving and giving wherever he saw need.

I wrote this open letter on the day Sweeney filed for free agency, with the words "Just in case" scrawled at the top of the page. I was still hoping that Sweeney would be around with that familiar letter 'C' on his uniform, and I wouldn't have to consider anyone else being the Royals' captain. Here we go:

Dear new Royals captain,
You have really big cleats to fill. Michael John Sweeney was known to be a fantastic captain. Are you prepared to follow suit? He liked to take freshly-promoted rookies and other new teammates out to dinner to make sure they felt welcome; in fact, it's likely that he did it for you. Are you ready to do the same for your teammates?
Sweeney showed a fierce loyalty to his team and his city. He knew that the 'C' on his shoulder meant he had to lead more than just his fellow Royals. This year alone, he did things for the KC for which he deserves - but would be reluctant to accept - some great reward. Everything that happened to him, good or bad, was an opportunity to lead, and never to complain.
In the end, it was all about spaces on the roster, and Mike didn't make the cut this time. It's your turn now, so congratulations and good luck.
A little dramatic? Yes it is, I know, but obviously Sweeney meant a lot to me. He gave my faith a jump-start this summer, and followed that up in January by checking up on me at the FOCUS national conference. Were it not for Mike, I might still be a lukewarm Catholic (at best) like I was before. It might not be smart for me, readership-wise to wave that flag here (you know, the whole "don't bring up religion or politics in polite company" thing), but I don't care. One of my biggest personal influences is going to be far away from me now, so I'm a bit upset.

Back to some less emotionally-charged business:
Will the Royals name a new captain this season? If so, who would it be? My guesses:
- David DeJesus: He has a few full seasons under his belt, and has been known to lead by example. He works hard, can play adequately well, and has a few years left on his long-term deal with the team.
- Mark Teahen: He's a good model for never complaining about where the team puts him, even when he was demoted to Omaha in 2006 (kind of an anti-Guillen*). He is coming off a less-than-great season, but will almost certainly be better this season.
- Gil Mehce: I know, a pitcher as captain? I don't see why not in Meche's case. He was such a big piece of the improvements made last year, and even if he ends up not being the staff ace, he still seems to be a good leader.

And the bigger question, does a team even need an official captain? I mean, look at what David Riske contributed to the bullpen without having a title. Meche and DeJesus have both had things written about them relating to their leadership abilities. Does it matter if the title is made official? No matter; moving on:

Miguel Olivo will join Guillen in the naughty corner. On one hand, I tend to celebrate players who keep a cool head (see Sweeney, Mike), but I also kind of like players who have the fire in them to defend themselves when someone offends them in the heat of baseball battle (see Sweeney, Mike). As long as forgiveness is granted when it needs to be (see again Sweeney, Mike and Weaver, Jeff), all is well. looks bad for the Royals, who are generally thought of as a Midwesternly-polite team, to have two players miss a chunk of April's games because of naughty behavior. Oh, I had a Guillen-relted asterisk like 13 paragraphs ago, and now would be a good time to cover that.

* Jose Guillen had better have a monster season for all the negative press he has managed to cook up for himself. The steroids thing and the subsequent suspension that will follow were kind of a bad thing on which to start his KC career, but I was ready to forgive. But then, he used FanFest as an excuse to whine about where Trey Hillman was tentatively thinking about playing him. If he has an issue with Hillman's plans, that is fine, but something like FanFest is supposed to be a happy and optimistic time: photos, autographs, feel-good soundbytes, upbeat forecasts, and nothing else. The more I've thought about Guillen's FF whine party (which was sadly devoid of fine cheeses), the more I think he's going to have to have a ridiculous season to make up for his bitchiness. Cursed be the man who makes me wish for Emil Brown back! On the other hand, Teahen is brilliantly making himself look like the better man and the more adaptable player in response to Guillen's immaturity.

- I have another excuse to write about Matt Wright. (In the same Royals Notes as the Olivo mess) This all makes me miss my O-Royals days madly.

- Check out Part I of JoePo's assessment of the upcoming season. I particularly liked his assessment of Teahen, and even the idea of Teahen leading off.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Happy birthday to me!

OK, it's not actually my birthday; according to the calendar, that celebration is not until July. But this is the greatest thing to happen to my winter*, so it feels like some sort of birthdayish celebration.

*This is an appropriate time to recall my favorite Rogers Hornsby quote, which is identical to what I do in the winter: "People ask me what I do in winter when there's no baseball. I'll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring." 51 days, folks!

So now many of my Royals are in Surprise, while I am freezing up here in Nebraska. Did you know that, in some cities, crews actually do something to the streets and sidewalks after it snows? Here, we get to play games of "see how far you can walk across black ice or re-frozen slush jungles before you fall" or "see how many people will be present when you inevitably fall." The good news is, I haven't fallen. The better news is, I saw two pretty hilarious bicycle wipeouts in one day. The first guy was really theatrical about it, throwing his legs skyward and letting out a massive yell. (He was not physically injured, but he scored at least a 26 in the "how many people are present when you fall" game.)

Wow, that got off track fast. Since I'm in no state to write coherently, I'll leave with the news that the Royals signed Mike Maroth to a minor league deal, and this fun little article about how things are going in Surprise.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

A few quick things

This drama occurred between my new-to-me (aka used) laptop and I this afternoon. The laptop does not have internet access yet, and I finally got the wireless adapter card that would, in theory, allowed me to get online. Here's what happened instead:

Me: [installs drivers for wireless internet card]
Laptop: Hi! OK, thanks for installing that, I'm gonna have to restart now, k?
Me: OK, go for it.
Laptop: [restarts] [Stage goes dark; curtain drops]

Laptop: OKback, what's that? I see some new hardware...looks like a wireless internet card.
Me: Yeah, that's exactly what I just installed drivers for. That's the whole reason you restarted, remember?
Laptop: Let's run a Wizard! Wizards are awesome!
Me: There's no need for that; I already installed the drivers.
Laptop: No seriously, you could not have possibly done that without a Wizard. Wizards are so cool, and they make hardware and software installation so easy! Run the Wizard. Run the Wizard. Run it, run it, runitrunitrunit!
Me: Why the hell would I do that? I ALREADY INSTALLED THE DRIVERS.
Laptop: I don't care. You did something behind the Wizard's back. The Wizard is displeased with your malfeasance. Why don't you connect to the Internet to find a list of drivers you could try to install for this new card thingamabob?
Me: I alrea-- you know what? Connecting to the Internet is a lovely idea; let's try it. [clicks]
Laptop: You know, I can't connect to the Internet without a card or something. Do you have one of those?
Me: Yes. It's plugged in; I installed the drivers like a half hour ago. You're in software denial.
Laptop: Let's connect to the Internet, really! You might be able to find the driver you're missing there! On the internet.
Me: Yes. The internet. To which I can't connect without a functioning wireless adapter card. Which I actually have, and all the required software is ON YOU. It's there. You have it. Let me set up an internet connection PLEASE.
Laptop: Why don't we hop online to configure some settings for you? I have another Wizard you could run!
Me: Forget it. Who needs mobile internet access anyway? [Snaps lid of Laptop closed.]

The Husker basketball game yesterday afternoon was pretty strange. It didn't feel like any Nebrasketball game I had ever been to. I don't know if there has been some bad blood between the Huskers and the 'Clones, but it sure felt like there was. Ryan Andersen, for example, played like a man who had been hurt and needed revenge. He had a couple of steals early in the game that could not be adequately described by the word "steal" -- it's not nearly strong enough a word. Instead, what he did was more like ripping the ball away from the ISU players, and hoping that an arm and some blood came away with it. He looked pissed off, but it made him play some monstrous defense. I liked it.

ISU brought a bunch of fans in chartered buses. They were all tucked high up in one corner of the Devany Center, and I'd like to give them credit for being fairly loud. I'd also like to say that the Red Zoners around me are all idiots. At one point in the game, ISU was ahead 29-27 and a timeout was called. The Clones fans started a chant of "ISU! ISU! ISU!" and the (brilliant) Husker students supplied the word "Sucks!" between each call of "ISU." Yes, ISU sucks, guys. That's why they're ahead of your Huskers at the moment. Anyway, I wasn't yelling back at the ISU fans, because I was glad they were there. It's a lot more fun to have opposing fans around; I've always thought that it would be zero fun to be a Husker fan (or sports fan at all) if no other teams had fans of their own.

For the record, Aleks Maric seems to be learning. He only attempted two (maybe three; one was borderline) stupid no-look hook shots.


I've been wanting to do this for a while, but I think the time is right. SiteMeter tells me a lot of fascinating stuff about where you all come from. My favorite is when people Google stuff to get here. I think I could start a Matt Wright fan club, based on all the people who have Googled him to get here. (I'm up for that, by the way. I've always kind of wanted to be a president of someone's fan club, just to see if it's fun or creepy.) Here are some of the other fun things people have Googled to get to this blog:

craig brazell IS HE MARRIED (Ed. note: I think so, yes.)
gil meche religion
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mike sweeney cried
THINGS NEEDED FOR A BASEBALL COSTUME (Ed. note: Is Google more effective if you yell at it? I should try that. I mean, uh... I SHOULD TRY THAT)
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papelbon "halloween costume idea"
jonathan papelbon alds dance in sliding shorts
baseball things
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justin huber asked
Mike Sweeney get married
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party hats (Ed. note: I've gotten a ridiculous amount of traffic from image searches for party hats, which I used in this post. It makes me giggle a little bit)
Neal Cotts Wedding
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things to now about baseball
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baseball weddings
mike sweeney, nebraska minor league, blog
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"neal cotts" wedding jaime
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things people do because of love
doc sadler, headache, asu
"that did just happen"
minda physical therapy texas
5 thng mostly ask to baseball player
does mark teahen have a girlfriend
i hate sororities (Ed. note: My personal favorite, and the inspiration to give you this list today.)

Happy Super Bowl Sunday!
UPDATE: Why do they do a kickass flyover after the National Anthem in a DOME???