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Sports Saturday on TUS – Mailbag and MSU vs. Oakland Game Thread
Dec 16th, 2017 by Jeffrey Lubeck

It is Saturday in mid December.  For sports this means the middle section of games acting as preparation for the conference season; except if you are a member of the B1G Conference.  It also means College Football Bowl Games start in earnest!

In honor of Disney having taken the next step in its quest to own and control all programming all the time, I thought I would note that on the TUS Movie Channel Beach Blanket Bingo is playing at 6PM tonight.  The movie stars Rick Pitino (as Frankie Avelon) and Annette Funicello.  The fun and frolicking of this start-studded- flick, starts in the dorms at the University of Louisville before moving to the beach scenes.

Mailbag

Q “Can we get any lower in the barrel with announcers Clay Matvick and Brook Weisbrod calling the game?” – from Tommy H in Florida.  At first glance likely not.  However if I remember correctly these two called the game last year and were hot as bad as you fear.  Matvick and Weisbrod are not new to calling games, but both have bumped around quite a bit and worked on almost every sports network.  If I were to pull a Marine I would label them as “Utility 2x.”

Q “Why did I not get a bigger role in the movie Beach Blanket Bingo?” –  from Ben Green.  You bumped up against the Dixon Line and “could not go north” so-to-speak.

Q “Why does Ricky P. get all the spicy and saucy gigs?” – from an Irish Lad.  It is the hair!

 

Go Green!

Words and Phrases for Use in December 2017
Dec 14th, 2017 by Jeffrey Lubeck

Optimism usually (but not always) gives way as reality sets like cement in Eeyore’s driveway.

Dumping, unloading, clearing,  shedding = Detroit Tigers, once a member of Major League Baseball’s American League.

Slumping, fading, skidding = Detroit Piston’s, once an icon and proud representative for the city of Ft. Wayne, Indiana.

Dollar-short-period – late, Fold Artists = Detroit Red Wings, once a long standing member of the Post-Season Playoffs in the National Hockey League.

#@ZXR$ = Detroit Lions, once the proud Portsmouth Spartans who won 4 NFL titles before an embarking on a 60 year title drought.  Only team in NFC to have never played in Super Bowl.

Worth Supporting, Worth following, Worth Cheering [sic., for] = Michigan State University Athletics.  Go Green!

Note:  GoSt8Go requires that the words: Level, Classification and Categorization not be used on this site.

 

For Sale
Dec 12th, 2017 by Ghost Of Biggie

For Sale:

Douglas A-4 ‘Skyhawk’ Developed by McDonnell Douglas, this single seat attack aircraft has a vicious past. Though it was also capable of carrying missiles and other munitions, the A-4 has the unique distinction of also being capable of carrying nukes. For obvious reasons decommissioned A-4s don’t have this ability however, you can still expect to travel at speeds of nearly 600MPH. Price $3,000,000.

Read more: 23 Military Designed Aircraft The Rich Enough Civilian Can Legally Own! http://americaloveshorsepower.com/23-military-aircraft-civilians-can-legally-own/17/?v=2<img

Is TH interested?

Time on the Pine or its 21st Century Version
Dec 6th, 2017 by Jeffrey Lubeck

Nick Ward.

Michigan State University Basketball Head Coach Tom Izzo is a passionate man who wears his emotion on his sleeve.  Do you want to know Tom’s current position on the immediate subject in question?  Simply take a look at him.  And if you are within a quarter-mile shouting distance the vocal narrative is additive.  Add the Italian linage of vibrant body posture and the picture before you can be one of brutal honesty and full-color.

Izzo like some of the true greats in the basketball coaching realm (i.e., John Wooden), are teachers and instructors who believe that basketball coaching is only a part of their overall role.  Their style may be different, but these kind of coaches believe they are instructors guiding young men into the next stage of adult life.  Izzo is human and therefore not perfect in the execution of his role. TUS Membership is constantly pointing out this fact.  However, step back and think about all of the players that have come through MSU under Izzo.  How many visibly grew as players and adults under his leadership – and openly thank him to this day.  I think the answer is many, many more than not.

Tom Izzo believes great defense creates the equal result on offense.  And the teams with superior defense and good or better offense ultimately win over lesser’s.  To play a material long-term role on a Tom Izzo team you have to be (or become) skilled in your defensive role.  Who was the player Izzo said could not guard the opposition even if the game was being performed in a Phone Booth?

So now we come to the current crew at MSU,  The 2017-18 Spartans appear to be the deepest and most balanced team in years – perhaps ever.

A couple of key players on the team, Nick Ward and Cassius Winston have a tendency to take time off (while on the court) losing focus – especially on defense.  This style does not work for Tom Izzo and the last I heard he makes the call on playing lineup and playing time.

In last night’s Rutgers game – Winston and Ward were off their game.  Actually after 6 games in 12 days the whole team was off. A better than expected and fully motivated Rutgers team took advantage of the situation – making for a close game.  Izzo chose to play lineups that could deliver the defense needed to win the game.  The result? MSU held Rutgers to 25.8% shooting from the field and won the game. The implication?  Winston and Ward sat on the bench for long stretches.  On this night they did not answer the defensive bell.  Kenny Goins earned 19 minutes of playing time and as almost always was superb on defense.  Jaren Jackson earned 26 minutes and was stellar with 8 blocked shots.  Jackson was the offensive difference in the 2nd half with 11 points.

As is well documented Ward showed his emotion on the bench and let loose on his feelings after the game.  He wants to play and was frustrated.  Izzo said Ward simply had a bad game and not to read anything more into the situation.  No one can tell a person “how they feel.”  Therefore, I believe both Izzo and Ward are being honest and open with their feelings. Both effectively declared this night was in the rear-view mirror.

The ground rules for playing time at MSU are known and well established.  Do you want the opportunity for more playing time?  You know what to do.  It is that simple.

Is there a growing controversy or conspiracy?  If you are thinking one is growing at MSU look no further than the Ball Family Clan and U.C.L.A. for comparison.  Perhaps the Ball Family Clan can team up with Rick Pitino, and propose to MSU it drain the basketball swamp and they will come in and make MSU great again.  Some times change is needed.  In my opinion, Ward and Winston need to make the change.  If they do – they will be grateful in the end.

Note: MSU is now pushing their defensive field goal shooting for the season down towards 30%.  I have been told, no team to College basketball is within 3% of this number.

Thoughts?

The Reality and NE at MSU Gamethread
Dec 3rd, 2017 by Jeffrey Lubeck

Being Alabama and scUM matters if you follow the money – at least in open to choose outside on-field merit Bowl selections.  Luckily it does not always buy victories or titles and in the 21st Century – and in the case of scUM – rare if ever.

So in the New Years Bowls it will be Alabama playing for the CFP.  Two Four-loss and unranked teams (with large non-alumni Walmart fan bases); scUM (8-4) and South Carolina (8-4) will be playing in the Outback Bowl on January 1st.  The Outback picked scUM over #16 MSU.  It is the OBB’s choice.

Meanwhile ranked teams #16 MSU (9-3) will play #18 Washington State (9-3) in the Holiday Bowl on Thursday December 28th in San Diego.  Such is life!  All I know is MSU effectively owns UofM in the decade under Dantonio.  scUM is also a distant also-ran in B1G with zero conference or division titles during the same time. I predicted this outcome and configuration early this week.  I can sleep easy with the result.

Nebraska at MSU.  B1G Games in December and Conference Championship in NYC one week earlier than normal.  Again, follow the money!  However in BBall,  Duke, MSU, Kansas and Kentucky are The Money and The Brands.  The nice thing is we have a non-sell out HC and the name recognition as well.

IDIT. IIIT. IHIT. ITUSIT.  Go Green!

New Nickname?
Nov 21st, 2017 by Jeffrey Lubeck

 

In my book, Flip is a cool name.  Originally to call someone “flip” was meant as a slur or disrespect.  But then came Flip Wilson  and Flipper – cool… extremely cool.  The late Flip Saunders was a winner and a good man!  It is fascinating (to me at-least) how names and phrases change meaning over time.  Yet, for example, the original meaning for Dakich ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ is “one who is insightful, and brilliant in mind and word.”  This definition appears to remain true today as well.  Would not everyone agree?

If the MSU Spartans beat Rutgers in football this weekend the team will have flipped its record from last year 3-9 to 9-3.  The leader of the effort is a guy named Mark Dantonio.  If MSU wins, should MD get a new nickname of “Flip”?  And if Mark’s counter-part in Ann Arbor loses to the Acorns should he be knicknamed “Flip-flop.” ?

In the end I will defer to TUS resident Knicknameologist; USMC(retired).  However I thought general membership might want to weigh on the matter?

Note: Wilson was misnamed Nelson in an earlier version.  All printed editions of this post are to be burned.

Visitors Representing Mary’s Land Travel to East Lansing – Spartan Football Gamethread
Nov 18th, 2017 by Jeffrey Lubeck

Henrietta Maria of France – Queen Consort of England and Ireland. Mother of the Maryland Terrapins.

The up and down and highly unpredictable Terrapins of Maryland (4-6) are in East Lansing take on the Spartans of Michigan State (7-3) in college football.  The Terrapins need to win both games in order to become Bowl Elegibile.  That is unless there are not enough eligible teams and Maryland is at the top of the losers bracket (best 5-7 record and best graduation rate).  The Spartans are playing for bigger prizes.

Schooled Again! MSU Retains its Also-ran Status Against Duke
Nov 14th, 2017 by Jeffrey Lubeck

Two of the very best, if not The Best two teams in college basketball for 2017-18 collided on the court tonight in Chicago in the Champions Classic.  What a great game for basketball followers.

However, for the 11th out of 12 times Coach K. and Duke beat Coach I and Michigan State.  The score this time: 88-81.

Why?  Because I believe Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski (the 70 year-old Chicago native) continues learn and adapt like few others. The Blue Devils presented a Zone Defense that MSU could not figure-out how to overcome. How many times over the years has this situation presented itself?  Too many!

Coach Izzo – who we love to no end – at age 62 – simply has never figured out to beat an average zone defense – let alone a great one.  Add to the fact that MSU does not possess a lock-down perimeter defender (e.g., Mateen Cleeves or Travis Walton) and you have a loss on the schedule.

Ironically I think MSU has the player personnel to win a national title. However, I do not think MSU has the coaching personnel to establish a [sic., game plan] that offers MSU a chance to run-the-table at tournament time.

MSU has a wonderful basketball program, a Hall-of-Fame Head Coach, and a great team for the 2017-18 season. However, MSU will ultimately remain an also-ran in the NCAA Tourney until it learns to adapt its game-plan through some new blood and line of thinking from the coaching staff.

Harsh?  Yes.  Accurate? I think so.

 

#1 vs. #2 Yes… But This Is No National Title Game
Nov 13th, 2017 by Jeffrey Lubeck

 

College Basketball in the United States has a bevy of problems. If Vin Scully were making the call he would likely announce “College Basketball has a varietal cornucopia of opportunities for improvement – let the 1964-65 season begin – first shot by Skip Thoren wide right off the rim and into the hands of UCLA’s Goodrich who forwards the ball towards Keith Erickson but it is intercepted by Tai Brody of Illinois.” If you disagree I have a hotel room in China to discuss with you the finer details of this line of thinking.

On Tuesday Night (11/14/2017) in Chicago at the United Center #1 Duke faces #2 Michigan State in the Champions Classic.  Four years ago – almost to the day – the #2 Spartans defeated the #1 Kentucky Wildcats 78-74 in the same arena in the same sporting contest.  Is there a statistical correlation of high probability to discuss? It think not, but I will leave it to 89 Chemistry for analysis and comment.

Duke is the AP Preseason #1 in 2017.  The Blue Devils have received this distinction 8 times previously and it has it has won the national title one time – 1991-92, and made the final twice.  It should be noted that the #1 Wildcats of Kentucky (of 2013) finished the regular season un-ranked, but advanced to the National Semi-Final as an at-large team.  So much for the Rankings.

The Spartans under Tom Izzo are 1-10 against Coach K. and Duke.  Will the Spartans defeat the Blue Devils?  Does it matter?  The answer to both questions (in early November) is: I do not know and who cares!

What does matter (from an entertainment and competitive sport value) is that two of the top college basketball programs in the United States can meet and go toe-to-toe during the regular season and the result does not single-handedly establish success or failure for the season.

Bus Driver Identified
Nov 11th, 2017 by Jeffrey Lubeck

November 11,2017

Columbus, Ohio (TUS Breaking News)

Urban Meyer, Head Coach of the Ohio State University Football team was released Saturday night on his own recognizance by Franklin County Public Safety Officials after being charged with Hit-and-run of an opposing football team.  A review of the video replay by game officials have confirmed the ruling. The complaint includes the naming of 107 OSU players as accomplices. Meyer was also charged with a number of other offenses which include (but are not limited to):

Driving a state vehicle (a bus) with intent to harm.

Driving a state vehicle (a bus) beyond its seating capacity (84).

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