Friday, February 04, 2005

A Loser Picking the Super Bowl

The Tarheels won again last night at the Smith Center and now for the season, they're 11-0 at home, and are beating opponents by an average of about 30 points a game. A lot can change in three seasons. Part of that change includes the "rebirth" of Rashad McCants (To hear any announcer doing any UNC game tell it, Rashad has made such a transformation into an unselfish, all-around basketball player -- and person, that he'll now, most-assuredly avoid the life of crime for which he was destined. Or here's a thought: maybe Rashad just matured.).

Well, last night McCants probably took a few steps back in his progress -- at least in the eyes of the armchair psychologists/television commentators. Specifically, McCants gave the old "throat slash" gesture during the NC State game last night and I feel compelled to mention it for a couple of reasons. First, I laid into Taron Downey a few weeks ago for doing the same thing (the one difference being that Downey picked the worst possible time to er, choke. But to his credit, he did apologize after the game); also, it's still not clear why McCants did it. I said last week that my buddy Andy thinks McCants is just a hard foul away from "Falling Down." Well, last night Julius Hodge provided the hard foul, and I'm guessing McCants was just about ready to short-circuit (and I mean "short-circuit" literally).

I've long held the belief that McCants is actually a robot, and maybe some of the things he does that seem weird to us (like goofy facial expressions, equating school to prison, or throat slashes) are all defense mechanisms that keep him from going postal. You know, kind of like in "Iron Giant," whenever the robot would see a gun he'd go berserk, but otherwise, he was a perfect gentleman (well, as much as a robot can be a gentleman). Anyway, like I said before, the "throat slash" thing is tired, and given the circumstances under which McCants used it, not really appropriate to the situation (McCants got fouled while going to the hole; he didn't even get off a shot. Usually you save such gestures for hitting big shots, or if you're Reggie Miller playing the Knicks, you break out the kid-friendlier variation: "the choke"). Whatever the case, I'm pretty sure Roy Williams won't think it's funny, and as a result, neither will McCants.

Update: Well, I came across this story in the Charlotte Observer where McCants explains the whole "throat-slash" thing:
"Coach (Roy) Williams told me it was something that's not appropriate for us as a team, and I made a mistake in doing it," McCants said. "... It wasn't directed at N.C. State -- it was actually directed at one of my friends in the stands."
Um, OK. Usually when you joke around with your friends, it doesn't include pretending to cut your throat, but hey, like I said, McCants is, in all probability, a robot, and consequently, he deals with things a little differently. Incidentally, his friend in the stands turned out to be Rosie.

Speaking of McCants, I've got a great idea for a sitcom. It stars Plaxico Burress, Manny Ramirez and McCants (I've never been a big fan of reality shows, plus you'd be hard-pressed to out-slow-motion-train-wreck the slow-motion train wreck that is the Flavor Flav/Brigitte Nielsen love affair on the Surreal Life). Anyway, my sitcom idea is this century's "Three's Company." Plax plays the modern-day Jack Tripper, but instead of being in the 70's-taboo one guy-two girls-as-roommates triangle, he's instead the only human sharing an apartment with a Martian (played by Manny) and a Robot (yeah, that'd be McCants). I figure Terry Francona can play the part of the nosy landlord, Mr. Roper (I thought about modeling him after Mr. Furley, but that wouldn't be fair to Don Knotts), and Cowher can be Larry Dallas (you know, the neighbor who's popular with the ladies -- at least to hear him tell it). That's as far as I've gotten, but I should have some tentative episode titles soon (and yes, I'm the weirdest guy I know).

Well, apparently it's Super Bowl week, and after 20 weeks of substandard picks, we're down to this -- the Pats and the Eagles. And even though I finished the season above .500 with my picks, I'm still in the hole over six large (yeah, I just watched "Rounders" again last week). Knowing that, I'm implementing my "when all else fails, panic" betting strategy. Which means that with only one game to go, I'm betting the (virtual) house -- that's right (in the voice of Dr. Evil): One million dollars! And if I win, I promise I won't change -- I'll be the exact same person I was before I won the pretend million bucks. On to the pick:
Season: 131 - 125 - 8
Last week: 1 - 1
Earnings to date: - $6,500

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