March Madness, the Final Four showdown

As New Orleans prepares for the 2012 Final Four this weekend, many are tipping that the University of Kentucky will continue its decisive march to a national championship – and rightfully so.  The Wildcats are a machine comprised of four soon-to-be first round drafts picks, one of which, Anthony Davis, will be the first player selected.

So how dominant is Davis? Throughout the regular season and first four games of the NCAA tournament, Davis is averaging five blocks a game.  Don’t focus too much on the 15 points and 10 rebounds he is also putting up; but rather, consider how demoralizing it is to know that before stepping onto the court, Kentucky’s opposition already knows that Davis will single-handedly deny them of at least 10 points.  ‘The Big Blue’ – as they are referred to – do not simply beat teams, they back teams into a corner and make them submit.  It is almost fitting that the University of Kentucky had to play their Sweet 16 and Elite 8 games in Atlanta, a city that once saw such physical destruction as the Wildcats are putting on their opponents.

Atlanta, set for another devastating showdown

For those of you who are not students of the American Civil War – and I will assume that most of you are not considering the majority of you are Australian – Ulysses S. Grant, General of the Union (the winners)* forces, decided that the only way to beat the Confederacy (the losers)* was to physically destroy everything that remained.  In doing so, according to Grant’s theory, the Union would crush the resolve of the Confederacy. This theory took shape as Major General William Sherman marched from Atlanta to Savannah in late November and early December of 1864.  Sherman burned everything in site.  When Sherman reached the sea six weeks after he had left Atlanta, there was literally nothing but ash and rubble in his wake.  Sherman, himself, estimated the damage at $100 million in 1864 – in today’s dollars that’s well over $1 billion.  The Confederacy surrendered in the spring of 1865.

But while Kentucky is not leaving any physical damage or a body count in its wake, its opponents are left simply stunned at the team’s sheer military-esque domination.  In their most recent game, an Elite 8 match up against Baylor University – a team that boasts two future first-round draft picks – the two teams were tied 10-10 after seven-and-a-half minutes of play.  Over the next two minutes, Kentucky scored 11 unanswered points to lead 21-10 with 11 minutes remaining in the first half.  By half time, the score was 42-22 and Baylor was left dumbfounded by what had just occurred.  Kentucky would go on to win by a comfortable 12 point margin, leaving many resigned to the fact that coach John Calipari would have to wait only seven days for his first national championship.

Calipari, grooming tomorrow's NBA stars

Calipari, a man who admittedly takes more pride in seeing his players go pro than winning national championships, is the University of Kentucky’s ‘General Sherman’ – proudly watching his team dismantle anything that stands between them and New Orleans.  By understanding that an 18 year-old wants to be in the NBA as opposed to staying in college to win a national titles, Calipari is able to hand-pick the country’s best talent.  Calipari’s unique understanding of the role of NCAA basketball, more of a means to an end as opposed to the end that many other coaches see it as, has created one of the most dominant forces ever seen at this level.

By R.J. Karas

* I say ‘winners’ and ‘losers’ because depending on who you ask you will get a different answer for who the ‘good guys’ and the ‘bad guys’ are, regarding the Civil War. Seriously, to this day some Americans refer to the Civil War as the ‘War of North Aggression’.

 

Music Review: GWS theme song

Not being one to spruik an oft repeated tune, I think this will be sung before round seven and then regularly throughout the year – but then again I’ve been saying the Bombers are premiership certainties the last decade, so what do I know?

Penned by Cat Empire member and self-appointed lecher Harry Angus, the Greater Western Sydney AFL theme song ticks all the boxes necessary for a successful club song:

  • A child could sing it
  • A child could have written it
  • Children could die to the sound of perverts humming it
Herbert, heard humming the GWS song in recent episodes

It also provides an interesting insight into the workings of the Cat Empire song machine. Long have I thought that they were puppets controlled by some powers that be – like a record label, or the Freemasons – but now I know there are in fact Oompa Loompas hidden under their ridiculous straw hats, massaging their skulls and sending orange finger tipped impulses deep into the synapses of their jazz-hipster brains.

“You feel the ground A-SHAKING
The other teams are quaking
In their boots before the GIANTS”

Genius.

The scruffy hipsters charged with revolutionising AFL team songs

“We take the longest strides
And the highest leap
We’re stronger than the rest”

Fucking brilliant!

Only a green haired, overall wearing Demi-God could have come up with such seductive verse.

Folau will fly to this. Scully will mislead a country and his teammates for this. Sheedy will intricately carve the sheet music into a wooden spoon and send it to Phil Gould at the end of the season.

Sheedy and Gould – a greased up oiled sex fest waiting to happen.

Gould, becoming more amphibious with age

A battle for the West has begun and the boys in short shorts have begun their cry.

How will the Panthers respond? Are there enough bogan sheilas to meet the extra demand on vaguely consentual gang bangs in our West?

Who knows?

The Oompa Loompa doompadee do.

By Al McClintock

Americans love soccer… Every four years

Very few things can bring out the most rabid jingoist in the United States.  Until the other week, I was unaware that the U.S. Women’s National Team was on that list.  Prior to this month, I knew more participants in the annual 4th of July Hot Dog Eating Contest than I knew the ladies of the U.S. National Team. Last Saturday, if you were to tell me the name of America’s head coach – Pia Sundhage – I would have assumed that she was the new President of the International Monetary Fund before guessing that she was the leader of my nation’s finest female soccer players.  Before the U.S. stunned Brazil in a heart-pounding thriller, I thought the U.S. Women’s National Team was where Freddy Adu had been playing for the past few years.

Since the World Cup ended (in a heart-wrenching loss to Japan), I have a new first and third ex-wife (Hope Solo and Alex Morgan in that order).  After the quarter final victory over Brazil, Oklahoma City Thunder superstar Kevin Durant tweeted that he was going to name his first daughter Hope Solo after her stunning performance in the penalty shoot-out, (imagine the athletic freak show that those two could create… I think it could look a little something like this). With their victory over Brazil, the U.S. Women’s National Team were able to redeem the Men’s National Team for losing to a country — Ghana — who’s GDP is less than that of Wyoming … seriously GHANA?!?!?!

US goalkeeper Hope Solo

For three beautiful weeks in July, my Facebook feed was overwhelmed with YouTube reaction videos; Sportscenter had something to talk about other than the NFL and NBA lockouts; people were googling ‘Megan Rapinoe lesbian?’ and American women felt a sense of empowerment only matched by the feeling they had when they won the right to vote.

One week on though, as Michael Phelps will tell you, Americans will find more interest in whether or not there will be a sequel to Kevin James’ The Zookeeper. What’s the moral of this story, one might ask? Hope Solo and Kevin Durant better hook up SOON!!!

 By RJ Karas