Tag Archives: Justin Holiday

A Seattle Sports Fan: The Dawgs’ dance continues… in my heart

So I’m sluffin on my blog posting. I actually have a blog that I want to post about idiotic doormen at clubs/bars, which is really a comment on idiots in general. But first I MUST type a blog which should’ve been posted on Thursday. I ended up playing poker instead. Then I proceeded to find myself drinking Absinthe on Friday. I sluffed around some more on Saturday only to play more poker that night. My excuse for not writing this blog yesterday is minimal, except that I was actually able to watch college basketball again… That being said, here it goes.

I’m starting this blog with these lyrics from MGMT’s Flash Delirium. How does it fit in with this blog? I don’t know but I’m really digging this song, and really I’m just trying to stay composed after this U-Dub loss. Deal with it.

… plants, as far as I know are still / still bendin toward the light / and if we dance / until the heart explodes / it’ll make this place ignite / and even if this hall collapses / I can stand by my pillar of hope / it’s just / a case of flash delirium / here’s a growing culture / deep inside a corpse / ages stuck together / takin it to the source / timeless desperation / pictures on a screen scream / “Hey people, what does it mean?” …

And it would be logical to post this song for you to listen to while you read along, but I already have in a previous post. Instead I encourage you to listen to the new Black Keys single, “Tighten Up,” (click the link to listen to the song while reading) produced by Danger Mouse. I’ve had a chance to listen to some of the songs off of the new Black Keys album Brothers, it’ll be a good one.

That Seattle Sports Guy

I’m one of THOSE guys. You know those guys who are a lifelong fan of the home teams. This becomes difficult when your home teams are from Seattle.

I don’t want to talk about Super Bowl XL, but my Seahawks were robbed. Yes, I realize we had plenty of opportunities and yes I realize it was years ago. But that’s what happens when you are a Seattle fan who gets a taste of the big prize, and in the end remains a hungry fan.

Then there was the 2001 record tying 116 regular season wins of the Mariners, you know when we flubbed like fish out of water in the postseason. Since it’s the Lenten season and I’m Catholic, I gotta say I like the taste of fish, but if I were a fish I’d rather be in water.

Don’t get me started on that one team that used to be here. You know that one basketball team, The Seattle SuperSonics. Yea those guys, who now are in Podunk Oklahoma City with one of the best young stars of the game and about to be in the playoffs. Screw you David Stern and fuck you Howard Schultz. I mean I have stock in Starbucks, a local commodity, but whenever I see Starbucks (every 22 seconds in Seattle) I imagine the old yellow and green Sonic uniforms and want to puke a little bit.

Purple and Gold in My Veins

I’d have to say that the Seahawks are my favorite sports team. But my passion for purple and gold runs even deeper. So deep that if you cut me, the bloodshed would be purple and my tears would be gold (maybe I should collect them and sell them as a side gig). Moms is a U-Dub alum. The colors of the high school, in the town where I was raised, were purple and gold (though the fight song was taken from WSU, jerks). Not to mention I myself am a Husky alum and swam on the now defunct U-Dub swim team. Damn, don’t get me started on that one either.

So if you’re trying to get to know me. You’ll need to know the above and that I’m pretty much a sports fanatic. No, I AM a sports fanatic. You wanna get me riled up? Talk sports to me (you can also talk dirty to me, but that’s for another blog). Further you need to understand that I have a lot of gamble in me, and in my degenerate ways I’ll pretty much bet on anything sports related. This includes a bet on how long you can keep a ping-pong ball floating above your head by blowing on it. Or how long I could do it for.

It should now be obvious that my love for Seattle sports especially that of the purple and gold variety is slightly obsessive. This brings me to the rest of this inevitable blog.

*Sigh* The Dawgs’ Final Dance of 2010

At Least I Got a Dope Shirt

The very first thing I noticed was that West Virginia is HUGE. If there’s one thing U-Dub needs to recruit in the off-season is size. And screw you Enes Kanter, I hope you enjoy cheater ass coach John Calipari in Kentucky. Kentucky? Are you serious? They don’t even have cool colors. And it’s in Kentucky. Weak sauce.

So the first half was like a Sloppy Joe sandwich, gooeing all over the damn place, from both teams. U-Dub couldn’t get a rebound to save their life. Somewhere between leaving San Jose and arriving in Syracuse, the Huskies forgot to take of the ball while at the same time forgetting how to pass. This brain fart extended to shot selection. Now I’m all about gambling, but really a double crossover while you’re being stuck by a defender and then shoot a three? I still love you Elston Turner, but damn.

I’m not going to bash the referees for bad calls. But refs, you made too many bad calls. The thing about U-Dub’s aggressive style is that if the refs don’t let the teams play, the Dawgs become tentative. And that’s pretty much what happened. Quincy Pondexter had 3 fouls by the 4:30 mark, limiting his playing time. All of which were questionable, 2 came on offense. Isaiah Thomas eventually fouled out of the game. Dammit, now I’m just getting upset again.

One good thing about the first half, and quite frankly the rest of the game, was U-Dub’s defense. Justin Holiday and crew were all up in the passing lanes. Like I said in my previous blog, teams often overlook the Huskies’ defense and I think WVU was one of those teams. It was a horrendous first half though as both teams were off rhythm. Although U-Dub had a one-point lead at half, I was thoroughly nervous. It seemed as though the Dawgs reverted back to the first half of the season, where it turned into one-on-one ball instead of team ball.

Coach Romar praised the Dawgs for coming together at the end of the season, using a “fist” analogy. Essentially a fist is only as strong as all its fingers. Each of the five players represents a finger of the fist. If one of the fingers gets loose, the fist is weak. The fingers were straying, and the panda was worried.

Unlike the previous NCAA Tournament games the outside was not falling. Because of the lack of penetration, the outside shots were not open. And when they were open, U-Dub was connecting. Outside shooting is not our game, but it helps to ease that zone. Like I said in the last blog, U-Dub is not an outside shooting team, but it helped previously to loosen up the zone.

Seriously the stress level during halftime was not good. I even decided to change my pants (no it wasn’t because of a I peed myself feeling like after the Marquette game) and belt to get some new mojo going. My friend Alyssa came by at half to watch the rest of the game for me. I warned her that I was mildly freaking out and that a bunch of yelling is sure to come. She assured me that it was fine. Little did she know a lot of yelling was about to come (from both of us). Little did I know, that thank goodness she was there to provide a calming effect because I was about to enter a throwing things at the TV, walls and my own face type of mood.

The Second Half

The second half pretty much started the same as the first half ended, a loose fist. I’d like to give an objective breakdown of the second half, but I really can’t. I don’t know how to make a puke emoticon (and quite frankly after writing this, I’m not the mood to figure it out). Yea it was that bad. But the worst part is that U-Dub’s defense was tremendous. The Dawgs had 14 steals to WVU’s 11 and led 8 to 4 in blocks. WVU had 23 turnovers unfortunately U-Dub had 21. Worse is that the transition offense was there for the Dawgs, but ill-advised passes combined with forgetting how to pass made all the turnovers a wash.

The fist became an open hand. An open hand that which U-Dub couldn’t even slap in a shot if they wanted to. The lack of attention to the little things was also becoming evident. Apparently U-Dub forgot to box-out and crash the boards, yet another thing I implored the Dawgs to do. The Huskies were outrebounded a heartless 41 to 25 and an embarrassing 19 to 9 on the offensive glass. 9 for 14 from the line, showed that the Dawgs were not penetrating on offense (no I refuse to go further into the ineptitude of the refs).

Seriously Dawgs, where was the focus and heart? This was going to be a tough game; there was no doubt about that. I just wonder if the Huskies themselves believed it. Instead of playing like a fist, they crumbled under the adversity. Something I had been worried about before the Tournament, but after the Marquette game I felt they had under control. Nothing against WVU, but U-Dub beat themselves. With all the WVU turnovers, if U-Dub made half the shots in their transition offense as well as free throws down the stretch it would’ve been a victory for the Dawgs and I’d still be dancin with them.

Hats off to the Neers and further good job beating Kentucky in the next round (a little justification for the loss). I’m going to become a WVU fan this week. Two reasons, they beat my Dawgs and secondly there are only two sports teams I can honestly say I despise the Yankees and Duke basketball. Speaking of the Final Four, a huge round of applause to Butler and a bigger cheer to Tom Izzo keeping his Michigan State Spartans together after losing star player Kalin Lucas. The Butler v. Michigan State game will be a doozy. Butler is the hometown team and you can NEVER count out a T-to-the-Izzo team. All I know is that my friends think I have an obsession with Tom Izzo, and called me crazy when I said they were the second best team in the Midwest Region… yup totally crazy. Who wants to check out my wallet on Michigan State bets alone in this tournament?

Still Have Love For My Dawgs

I said at the beginning of the season that if the Huskies made it to the Sweet 16, I’d be happy. When the brackets came out, I believed that WVU was the best team in the tournament. I plotted out my picks and had U-Dub v. WVU in the Sweet 16. And yes, an objective sports better came out and I had WVU beating UW. Which for all intensive purposes, juiced my wallet, but squeezed my heart in the end. I just wished that the last game of 2010, the Dawgs played well. I wished that Q-Pon’s last game in a Husky uniform wasn’t marred by stupid ass calls. Maybe, just maybe I wouldn’t be so upset with the loss.

That being said, I must look at all things in a positive light. The first is that Alyssa came by to watch the game with me and prevented me from an ultimate breakdown (I saved that for the poker table, but thank goodness I composed myself there to come out on top). Like I said making it to the Sweet 16 was awesome, especially after this roller coaster of a season where the Dawgs were not even assured a ticket to the Dance until they won the PAC-10 tournament.

Also U-Dub is a young team, 9 freshmen and sophomores. This 2010 ride has given them much needed experience for next year. Elston Turner, Matthew Bryan-Amaning and to an extent Abdul Gaddy grew up. Isaiah Thomas (until the last game) learned that doing the little things other than just scoring would help the team more. Justin Holliday has turned into a defensive machine. Venoy Overton, I was totally going to rip you about your seemingly selfish decisions in the WVU game, next year just channel it into the team game. There are a lot of positives to take from this season, I only hope Coach Romar can ensure that he projects those lessons learned for the 2011 season. Hit the weight room Dawgs (Tyreese Breshers, hit the treadmill). Don’t forget what happened in that last game, don’t dwell on it, but don’t forget this nasty taste in your mouth. We play with chips on our shoulders, let’s come out next season and prove that we are fist to contend with.

HELL OF A SEASON DAWGS!

And to the University of Washington Huskies Men’s Basketball Teams, we true Dawg fans courteously Bow Down to Washington.

Well that blog was a struggle to write…

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The Dawgs Dancin’ Into the Sweet 16 UW-eekend That Was: Pt. 2

Welcome to Part 2 of the Dawgs Dancin’ Into the Sweet 16 UW-eekend That Was blog.

Fast Paced Destruction and the Dawgs are Dancin’ in the Sweet 16

Dancin into the Sweet 16

Well staying up until 7 a.m. assured that I’d probably be sleeping until the U-Dub game at 2:50 p.m…. and sure enough. Well I actually got up at noon, but the hours I was awake from noon until the game started pretty much didn’t count for life. But what it did was get me mentally prepared for the ensuing game. Let’s face it, I almost peed in my pants in the game against Marquette, and the only reason I didn’t is because I was doing some crazy version of meditative deep breathing so my heart didn’t fall out of my chest. I wasn’t really sure if I could handle another one of those games, especially with the heartburn from the 12 eggs crammed with chili I had mere hours ago. Thankfully I didn’t have to keep my heart in check.

In reality the game (if you could call it that) between the University of Washington and New Mexico could be summed up in two words: DAWG DOMINATION! But I’ll still give a quick recap and opinions on it.

Sideline Lovin it, Holiday Hovering

The Lobos started pretty much where Marquette left off, draining 3s. That lasted all but five minutes. After that the throttle was down and the Dawgs were run-ning (said in a Forrest Gump tone). What New Mexico, Marquette, hopefully the rest of the teams the Dawgs face, and announcers have failed to realize is that we run. We run well. As evidenced by this statement during the game, “If you like teams that run. Watch Lorenzo Romar’s Huskies.” But the boat they really miss is that it all stems from our sticky defense. Announcers and commentators are quick to dismiss that fact, and you know what I’m happy for it. Yes, Romar recruits athletic offensive weapons but he prides himself on his team’s defense. We’ve been doubted all season. Don’t stop now haters, keep doubting… A trait from someone from Washington is that we collect the chips on our shoulders and turn it into a fortified castle.

On to the game. The first half saw Isaiah Thomas again lighting it up from beyond the arc. I’ve been so impressed with IT’s first halves this tournament, mostly because he’s a second half player. He’s not known for his outside shooting, but once he feels it, all bets are off (unless you’re betting on the Huskies, then your bet is on).

I was also proud of Abdul Gaddy getting in some good shots early. A lot of people crack on Gaddy for not living up to the hype. One thing I should reinforce is that he was 17 coming in. Gaddy’s ceiling is unlimited if he chooses to adhere to Coach Romar’s tutelage and works for it. I’ve been talking a lot about how the Huskies haven’t reached their potential yet. It would be hard for people to believe that with their run the past month and a half. But seeing how Gaddy is their starting point guard and I know he’s yet to hit his frosh peak, there is still more this club can achieve.

I don’t know what else to say about Elston Turner, other than, he is my DUDE. The way this guy has grown up in the past three games is perfect timing. Defenses love to play zone against the Huskies, daring them to shoot the three. While I’m tentative to give IT the green light, the green light is solidly on for Turner. His clutch outside shooting is making teams rethink their zone.

Elston Turner Says, "Deez!"

And as soon as that zone breaks down the penetration from Quincy Pondexter, IT, and Venoy Overton (still makes me nervous when he drives) becomes overwhelming. Not to mention the middle presence Matthew Bryan-Amaning is displaying these days. The first half of the New Mexico game was the first half that us die-hard Husky fans knew they were capable of.

Another Day for Q-Pon

MBA Monster Dunkin

The sick D was on display with monster blocks (which even Justin Holiday got in the action of), thieving steals, and guarding the 3. The Dawgs made their open shots and did not forget about driving to the hoop and posting up in the paint. Are there still any doubters left? I believe so… but like I said, you’d be ill advised to think so.

Holiday Says, "Welcome to the Block Party."

All I have to say about the second half is that the Dawgs displayed a killer instinct they were lacking in the PAC-10 championship game. The game against Marquette the Dawgs showed heart. The game against New Mexico, the Dawgs showed that even lovers have a killer instinct. Instead of relaxing (though they did slightly at the beginning of the first half), they smelled blood and went in for the kill. These tournament games are justifying the pre-season polls having U-Dub in the top 15. Also justifying that although the PAC-10 was down, the top team is not to be taken lightly. Postgame commentary, “The Huskies are repping the PAC-10.” The Dawgs are winners of 9 straight and on a serious tear right now. I’m not going to be a complete Husky Homer, but 4 more wins would have this guy in tears. Seriously.

There was only one thing I really wanted to see in the New Mexico game. This may come off as a bit racist, but it’s plain truth. U-Dub has one white guy on their bench, Brendan Sherrer. Not to take anything away from Sherrer, but when he’s on the floor the game is on lock. The game was on lock pretty much after the first ten minutes of the game, meaning a Sherrer appearance at the end of the game. He had a great look at the hoop and was fouled… Icing on the cake would’ve been for Sherrer to hit one of his free throws. Sadly, that was not the case, and my perfect game was spoiled.

Sunday it was realized that U-Dub would play a very formidable West Virginia University Mountaineer team. In my opinion WVU is the best team remaining in the tournament. I’m not going to make any bold predictions, but should the Huskies do what I stated in the previous paragraph, be on notice Elite 8; the Dawgs are going to seriously be dancing.

Some things that must be addressed going into the WVU game. The outside shoots may or may not be there, the truth is that the outside shooting hasn’t been great all season. But the fact remains that Turner and Scott Suggs are designated assassins. If they get open looks and do their jobs, throats will be slashed. The Dawgs MUST keep penetrating on offense and posting up, if anything that will allow the outside shooters to get open looks. So when WVU’s vaunted D and zone comes hopefully it’s there, but the perimeter guys must work to find the openings. WVU is no joke. All my talk of U-Dub’s sticky D is easily challenged by WVU’s stymie defense. It will be a battle of the defenses, the Dawgs MUST keep up their D. The Dawgs MUST nab boards on both sides of the floor. Too many times against New Mexico the Lobos had easy access to the rebound. Too many times the closest Dawg to the ball was just standing there. Look if you’re not gonna snag the board, at least box out.

I hate to see anyone get injured in sports, even if it’s an opponent. But one thing that is going to help U-Dub is that WVU’s starting point guard Tuck Bryant is out for the rest of the season with a broken foot he sustained in practice. With the way the Dawgs play D, it’s essential for the opponent to have a solid ball handler, which Bryant is. The backup Joe Mazzula is solid in his own right, and I’m sure Coach Huggins will have him dialed in by the game tomorrow. But Mazzula doesn’t have the offensive game that Bryant has. Devin Ebanks and Butler will remain beastly, but the point guard play of WVU will be something worth noting.

And this is the last and most important thing for the Dawgs. Keep your heart. West Virginia is no joke. It would be easy to keep your swagga on blast after the New Mexico game, but there’s a reason 80% of this country (myself included) and WVU themselves believed they should have had a number one seed. There is undoubtedly going to be times during the game where the Mountaineers will be up and possibly up big or if the outside shot is not raining like it has been… But Dawgs remember you were 15 down with 13:30 left against Marquette. Marquette is no West Virginia, but they are a scrappy team. Show heart Dawgs. On the same token, if you find yourselves up, go for the kill like you did against New Mexico… I’m just saying if De’Sean Butler has an opportunity for a buzzer beater, he’s probably going to make it.

Back To College

This weekend was apparently filled with too many instances of college life. My friend was having a birthday party at her house (the same house I found myself at on St. Patrick’s Day) in a place that we can only describe as a mythical oasis. I swear Parkland exists only if you want it to, you travel on a highway heading East, but the name says 512 West. I also told my friend, the only way that I was going to go to this party was that if U-Dub won. U-Dub Dawgy styled the Lobos, so… Sky, the hommie Jr, and I found ourselves heading to a birthday party… a birthday party with a bunch of college kids.

So what do you do as an experienced college party vet, you bring a bottle of Crown Royal with every intention to down it so you either feel like a college kid or if a college kid tries to puke on you, you can puke back even stronger. I’m not going to get too far into detail about the party, it was a typical college party though. And I found myself actually enjoying it (apparently I haven’t grown up yet). I mean there was food, generally nice kids, music… and I finished the bottle of Crown in 45 minutes.

You know time was a blur at this point. Between encouraging these kids to partake in a few U-Dub chants (this was not a U-Dub college party), making fun of some “serious” dialogs, learning and subsequently forgetting people’s names, and laughing with Jr. at the randomness around us… the old age kicked in and it was time to bust out. Probably at the right time for the Panda, as I probably said, “I’m gonna puke” about 40 times (but being the pro that I am never did). And yes, this time a stop at Jack in the Box was in order.

Lazy Ass Sunday

As if I had not ruined my insides enough this weekend. After being an absolute sloth on the couch and watching yet another round of NCAA tournament games, the hommies and I had the brilliant idea to order Chinese food. Actually it was brilliant at the time, because apparently I was on a schedule of eating once a day during the weekend and 12 eggs, a Jack in the Box run, and a solid breakfast at Endoylne Joe’s I was hungry. When the food finally arrived, it came in a large cardboard box. Damn… and that’s pretty much how this college infused weekend went. And the consequences of it, I got a lot of reading done in the bathroom on Monday.

And there you have it… The Dawgs Dancin’ Into the Sweet 16 UW-eekend That Was.