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April 29, 2007

It was a good day yesterday.  Wake up, watch the Browns draft not only a "franchise" left tackle, but a franchise quarterback as well (even if he did go to Notre Dame).  How do you cap off the evening?  Easy -- see Times New Viking do a rockin' cover of "Box Elder" to end their set.

Because I care, here's some videos for your personal edification:

 

Are things finally gonna change?

 

Even though it may not be "Box Elder," "Allegory Gets Me Hot" rocks.

 

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April 27, 2007

The hits keep coming

It wasn't enough for the Knights of Infinite Resignation to go on iTunes this week, but Lee Wadlinger's got two records up on Apple's service now.  That's right, the 2000 classic What's Wrong With Me album and the brand-new Twentieth Century Apprenticeship EP are now live on iTunes.  Links to the albums?  You got 'em:

The version of Twentieth Century Apprenticeship is the same as the CD release from earlier this month.  What's Wrong With Me, however is completely remixed and remastered (it's actually in stereo now -- how's that for getting with the times?), and so even though the songs are the same, it's a slightly different version than the CD that came out in 2000 on Irving Avenue Records.

Needless to say, it's been a big week for us, and we're totally psyched.  Stay tuned . . . .

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April 26, 2007

I hope she doesn't play "My Country 'Tis of Thee"

Pitchfork announced today that Yoko Ono will be playing at this summer's music fest.  They'd better also announce that Ono will guarantee that she won't play the brown note.  Otherwise I might have to leave early (as much as I want to hear her do "Death of Samantha").
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April 25, 2007

More updates

I did some more searching, and found Lee Wadlinger music on two more online music services:

I don't know much at all about either of these.  It looks like Sony Connect's prices are comparable to iTunes ($0.99/song, or $9.99 for a full album with more than 11 songs).  For Yahoo! Music Unlimited, if you pay the monthly subscription fee you can download songs for $0.79/song.  The problem with both of these services (and, I believe, Napster) that jumps out at me is that you can't put music you've downloaded from them onto your iPod (but you can put it on other portable music devices).

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We're rollin'

Alright, as Wads noted yesterday, we've got exciting things going on here at NBR.

  • The new Knights EP, Peace and Rest is out on iTunes now (I've handily created a link for you to follow to the record so you don't have to search for it).  Check Lee's post below for links to the EP web page and liner notes.  It's really a cool five songs, and obviously you should check it out.
  • As Roger Brown would say, our spies (actually Bone Fresh -- thanks for the tip, Sam!) have informed us that Lee Wadlinger music is now on Napster for those of you who are anti-iTunes (just so you know, if you are you're absurd).  The two records on Napster are 2000's What's Wrong With Me album and the new Twentieth Century Apprenticeship EP.  So, in case you've ever wanted to download the song ("Picture of Me") that is the soundtrack to Ohio State Law Professor Lee's famous YouTube video, Napster's the place to go for now.
  • We're told that What's Wrong With Me and Twentieth Century Apprenticeship will be on iTunes within the next two weeks.  Stay tuned to this space for updates.
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April 24, 2007

Did you know "peace" is a dirty word in Belgium?

Don't you ever say "Next Best Records is always late."  Previous projections had the new Knights of Infinite Resignation EP, Peace and Rest, hitting iTunes on May 22.  Well, we proved 'em wrong.

That's right, Peace and Rest is available now!  I can't remember if Ian mentioned this ever, but we're only going to do this one on iTunes.  The good news is that it only costs $4.95 to download the whole thing.  The bad news is that technophobes and Apple-haters won't be able to get hard copies in their hands (maybe one day, but don't hold your breath).  But really, though, if I have an iPod, isn't it time you got with the times?  The way I see it, if it's too expensive to press to vinyl, we might as well just move on to the 21st century and pretend CD's and tapes never existed.

the Knights of Infinite Resignation: Peace and Rest 

Anyways, all you gotta do is go on iTunes and search for the Knights of Infinite Resignation.  I tried just typing in "knights" but we don't come up that way.  You can, however, type in "infinite knights" or "knights infinite" or "infinite resignation."  I tried all three of those and they worked.  (Side note: If you type in Kierkegaard, you get something different.  I don't know what it has to do with Kierkegaard, but maybe it's still cool.)  I haven't figured out how to post a link to iTunes here yet.  I leave it for techno-genius Ian to do that.

Oh yeah, the label was prescient enough to put up a Peace and Rest page and my online liner notes.  They're available here and here, respectively.

By my unofficial count, we're available now in 21 countries.  You have no excuse, especially if you live in Canada, Germany, Japan, Norway, New Zealand, the U.K., or the U.S.

One last thing: Belgians really don't think "peace" is dirty.  It's just that the Belgian iTunes actually censored the word "peace" in the EP title.  I don't understand why they needed to call it P***e and Rest.  Maybe "peace" means something obscene in Flemish.  Either way, a few years ago I spent a month in Belgium and really had a nice time.

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April 23, 2007

The Final Four Diary will be completed

I've been getting a lot of heat from all directions lately about not finishing the Final Four Diary.  I said I was busy.  People said they don't care.  So, I'm going to finish it, slowly but surely.  Since I think this post will bump the diary from the main page, here's a link to it.  I'll also put a link on the right side of the page as well.

I hope you're happy now.

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April 17, 2007

Times New Viking Ruined Music for an Entire Evening

I made the trek from Columbus southward to see Times New Viking open for Yo La Tengo last night at the Southgate House in Newport, Kentucky.  It was actually the first time I'd been to the Southgate House in about five years--the last time was to see Guided By Voices.  Walking into the place last night, I was struck by how little I remember of that snowy December 2001 evening.  I swear it wasn't because I drank any of the band's beer--seriously, I didn't (even though GBV did have their typical giant trashcan full of Budweiser in full effect in the upstairs "party room").  The scenes that still stick out in my mind:

  1. My friend Dan not knowing where we should park and accidentally getting on the bridge back to Cincy.
  2. GBV's version of "Baba O'Riley" (vaguely remembered)
  3. Bryan Pollard getting ragged on by his grandmother in the aforementioned party room.
  4. Getting a copy of Gem's new album (Sunglare Serenades) from Doug Gillard.
  5. Picking up an extra passenger (one of the Flyer News A&E writers whose name I forget, even though he was really cool and was singlehandedly responsible for getting the Knights of Infinite Resignation airtime and a gig) for the ride back to Dayton.

Anyway, enough of the teary-eyed reminiscences.  Onto the important thing: Times New Viking was fantastic.  So fantastic, in fact, that Yo La Tengo bored the hell out of me.  I say this while noting my great love for Yo La Tengo, whose Painful LP is one of my top-ten favorite albums of all time, and who I really enjoyed seeing the other time I saw them (a long time ago at ye olde Grog Shop in Cleveland Heights).  It was just a bad pairing--the worst I'd witnessed since I saw Sonic Youth open for Wilco in Cleveland in 2003.  Yo La Tengo might have played a good set.  Times New Viking was just so outtasight that I wasn't able to pay attention to the gang from Hoboken.

I promised myself I'd avoid hyperbole here, so I'm just going to post a few bullet points about the show:

  • I showed up early, so I stood directly in the center a few rows from the stage.  There was a good number of kids their with X's on their hands.  I felt old.  Is 25 old?  I did some quick math and determined that some of these kids had to be 10 or 11 when I first saw Yo La Tengo.  I felt old again.
  • I was really psyched to see TNV.  I've been wanting to catch them for a while, but a variety of reasons ("priorities," ice storms, general inertia, etc.) always held me back.  Regardless, I would have no problem panning them if they had sucked.
  • Much like another Ohio band whose records once received the Mike Hummel treatment (Guided By Voices, again), TNV's live show emphasized a side of the band you don't get on the record.  They rock.  Not that the records don't rock--but to my ears they use the lo-fi technique in a manner similar to GBV--i.e., production as another instrument and source of inimitable ambience, or something.  Anyway, the records are great.  The live show is sneaky great--something that must be witnessed.  This is in keeping with Brian Wilson's theory of how a record should be something more than just a performance of the song, but I won't get into that . . . .
  • They're a really versatile band.  One minute they're throwing a retro noise-jam at you, and the next they're starting out the next song with a bluesy Prisonshake riff.  The vocal interplay is cool as well, but I can't think of anything to compare it to right now (bear in mind I'm forcing this Ohio theme here . . . listen to the records again or go to a show to dig what I mean).
  • Even though I was thoroughly uninterested in Yo La Tengo's set, my ears did perk up for two songs that alone may have been worth the price of admission.  First, they did a great version of "Tom Courtenay," a song which I've always dug.  Second, their cover of the Beach Boys' "How She Boogalooed It" was nifty and swell.  The dude next to me noticed my positive reaction to the song (maybe it was the fact I was singing along, loudly) and asked me what the song was.  I said, "The Beach Boys' 'How She Boogalooed It To Me" off of the Wildflower album."  It's really off the Wild Honey album.  Somehow I transposed Wild Honey with Sunflower.  I kinda feel bad about it, so, dude, if you're reading this, my bad.  Buy both albums.  They're really good.  (I have a problem with names after a few beers.  Last week at my band's show I mistakenly said my new EP's title is Twenty-First Century Apprenticeship.  It's really Twentieth Century Apprenticeship (but you knew that already).  Then, my friend asked me where the picture from the cover was taken.  I said Gay Street between Fourth and Third.  It's really Long Street between Fourth and Third.  My bad again.) 

Yo La Tengo rocking

Yo La Tengo did their best.

  • Times New Viking is the best band from Columbus since vintage-era Thomas Jefferson Slave Apartments.  Ok, this may or may not be hyperbole, but I'm saying it because it gives me occasion to tell you about my all-time favorite bit of stage banter.  During a TJSA show (coincidentally Gem opened) at Pat's in the Flats in . . . well, the flats in Cleveland . . . Ron House said, "This next song is called 'Let's Blow Up the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Like We Did Last Summer.'"  This also reminds me that it may be time for me to renew my campaign to make Great Plains' "Rutherford B. Hayes" the new official rock song of the state of Ohio.

Ok, I'm babbling.  I'll stop. 

(Postscript: In the interests of fair and balanced reporting (I was a journalism major at one time, you know), I'll alert you to the fact that this guy (who has stellar credentials as a "full-time law student/part-time rock singer"--sounds like . . . um . . . me) called TNV "lackluster amateur openers."  He did, however also mention that YLT is his favorite band, so maybe he was suffering from a case of the dreaded anticipation bias.  Maybe TNV didn't play as well in Houston as they did in Newport.  Maybe his bottle of Shiner Bock wasn't agreeing with him at that moment.  Really, though, I think he was too worried about his law school paper.  Who worries about papers in law school? (Judge S.--if you're reading this, sorry.)  Anyway, is the Truth regarding TNV's live brilliance, as they say, somewhere in the middle?  No.  I'm right.)

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April 15, 2007

GBV GBV

I was at Novak's yesterday with friends.  As we were getting ready to leave, someone put Guided By Voices' "Everybody Thinks I'm A Raincloud (When I'm Not Looking)" on the jukebox.  It made my weekend.

That is all for now.  (I'm working on finishing the Final Four diary.  Priorities, priorities, priorities, blah blah blah . . . .)

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April 13, 2007

Photos from last night's Fourth Street Only show

Photos courtesy of Sam. 

Guy sits in on keyboard while Kristen holds my broken mic stand.

 

Multi-instumentalist Guy takes over guitar duties for a song.  People were confused by the wireless hookup I had on my guitar.  "Is he really playing?" they would ask as I wandered into the audience mid-song.  You never know what will happen at a Fourth Street Only show (see, e.g., our impromptu version of "As Tears Go By").

The Next Fourth Street Only show is on April 27 at Cafe Bourbon Street.

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April 10, 2007

Why is this man so sad?

Lee Wadlinger is a sad panda.

It's not because the Polish Sausage didn't win the Sausage Race during the Cleveland Indians home game in Milwaukee tonight.  (By the way--how awesome is it that the Tribe was able to draw roughly 20,000 fans to a game between them and the Brewers in Milwaukee?  Keep in mind, that's 6,000 more people than were present at the Reds home game in Cincinnati Sunday.  Citizens of Milwaukee, you rule.)

Seriously, folks, it's because his Twentieth Century Apprenticeship and Guide To Dating CD's (pictured, with Lee, above) were released today, and you haven't bought a copy of either yet!  How do I know that, you ask?  Well, I run this record label.  It's my job to know these things.

They're really swell.  You should check them out.  They're available right now at the convenient online store.  Lee will also have an ample supply available at the Fourth Street Only show Thursday night (see below for more details).

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April 09, 2007

Another Fourth Street Only show

  • Who?  Fourth Street Only.
  • What?  Live music.
  • When?  Thursday, April 12.
  • Where?  Apparently there's a new Adobe Gilas where the Blues Station used to be: 147 Vine St., Columbus, OH 43215 (next to Lodge Bar).
  • Why?  Because we like you.
  • How?  Avonte knows this guy.  One thing lead to another. 
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I am confused . . . speechless . . . a little scared . . . .

What does this mean?

Paris and the Captain???

What is Paris Hilton doing with a copy of Trout Mask Replica?

Does this mean she knows who Captain Beefheart is?

 Is "Frownland" her new ringtone?

Does Paris Hilton still use ringtones?

(I think I need to lay down for a bit.)

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April 07, 2007

Updates

I'm slowly, but surely, updating the Final Four diary.  Rest assured, even though the championship game didn't go Ohio State's way, I will post the entire diary.  So, for those of you who keep checking back to see if I've added to it . . . well, um . . . keep checking back.

In other news, the CD's for Twentieth Century Apprenticeship and the Guide To Dating are finally in and ready to ship.  Accordingly, they're now up in the Online Store.  Tonight we also posted "online liner notes" for both CD's.  I wanted to keep the packaging minimal for both releases, which meant that there wasn't really any room for any sort of extended liner notes.  So, thanks to the magic of the internet, we've got extended liner notes online (for whatever they're worth).  Liner notes for Twentieth Century Apprenticeship are available here, and liner notes for the Guide To Dating are available here.

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April 01, 2007

The OSU Final Four Diary

By popular demand, here's the second (official) installment in what will hopefully continue to be an ongoing series of Bill Simmons-esque sporting event running diaries.  This past year, I've had the opporunity to witness four NCAA #1 versus #2 games (Football:  OSU vs. Texas , OSU vs. Michigan, OSU vs. Florida; Basketball:  OSU v. Wisconsin).  In September, I posted the diary for the OSU-UT game (the first installment of which is available here).  I made atempts to put together running diaries for the Michigan game and the BCS National Championship game, but never published either of them (too pumped to finish the UM one, too bummed to finish the BCS one).  I'm determined to finish this one, though, win or lose.

First, a quick introduction of the cast of characters.  I made the trip to Atlanta with four buddies, all of whom are third year students at The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law (we were required to swear that we will always refer to our law school in print by its proper, full name).  We're season ticket holders to the OSU men's basketball games, so you can guess where our loyalties lie (even if, as a University of Dayton alum, I still can't stand Thad Matta because of his time spent as egg-Xavier's head coach).  Here's a brief synopsis of the major players (other than myself):

  • Double-B:  A loveable, huggable guy who is the self-proclaimed Jewish Santa Claus.  Double-B (B for short) is proud of his low-sodium diet and his legal analysis skills.  He's a native of the Chicagoland area.
  • Tortoise:  A Penn State alum and Ravens fan (I've forgiven him on both counts long ago).  Him and Guy also made the trip to Arizona with me.  He lived in Jamaica for a while, roots for Maryland basketball, and takes an unbelievably long time to gather his books up and leave the room after class (hence the name Tortoise).
  • Guy:  (Prounounced GEE, not guy.)  A Cleveland native and a Browns fan (so he has a natural advantage over Tortoise).  He is the consistent peanut gallery, always standing to the side and throwing fuel on the various fires burning around him.  He enjoys long walks on the beach and eating pasta in his sleeping bag.
  • Tok:  A loveable, but unhuggable guy who is the self-proclaimed toughest man in any bar he happens to be in.  Tok is a Steelers fan, so his presence completes the AFC North theme among the group (the Bengals don't count as a real NFL team).

Without further ado, here's the diary (I'll be updating it periodically until it's complete):

March 31, 2007

  • 2:15 a.m.: My band, Fourth Street Only, finishes its set at the Ugly Tuna, across the street from the OSU campus.  During the set, I dedicated our version of "Hang On Sloopy" to Matt Terwilliger (#42 in your program, but #1 in your heart).
  • 2:45 a.m.: After Tok helps me to load up my equipment into my car, I'm back at my house.  I unload the car, and start packing for the trip.
  • 3:20 a.m.: Tok and I are on the road.  As we begin making our way south on 71, Tok comes through with the clutch move of the trip--hooking up his satellite radio.  Thank God for technology--otherwise, we'd be stuck listening to alien enounter shows and evangelical talk radio all night.
  • 5:35 a.m.: We're making good time.  After getting on to 75 in Cincinnati, we're cruising through Kentucky.  After we pass the first sign for Lexington, I comment, "Just so you know, if we get into Lexington and see Ashley Judd standing on the side of the road with a 'Final Four or Bust' sign, I'm picking her up."

* * *

  • 12:45 p.m.: We arrive in Atlanta, where we meet up with B, Tortoise, and Guy.  I have to admit, the trip wasn't too bad.  I got about three hours of sleep, and Tok slept for about two hours (we spent about 45 minutes at a rest stop--the rest of the time we drove in shifts).
  • 1:30 p.m.: After quick showers and a few minutes to catch our collective breaths, we head toward the Georgia dome.  We get our passes for the MARTA (Mid-Atlanta Regional Transportation Authority, I'm guessing) train.  Just after we get to the bottom of the stairs, Guy goes to throw something in the trash and completely wipes out.  He gets up undaunted, but we're all laughing.  Physical comedy--men love it.
  • 2:30 p.m.: We make it to the Georgia Dome and pick up our tickets.  There's four will-call lines, one for each school.  There's about 300 people in line for the OSU window, while there's about 30 for Florida.  There's no line for Georgetown and UCLA.  We think it might be an indication of the Buckeye presence in Atlanta.  Our tickets are sweet--Section 119 (the student section behind the basket), Row 3.  It turns out that there's about ten rows in a section in front of us, but we'll take seats within the 15th row.
  • 3:15 p.m.: After leaving the Georgia Dome, we've begun a search for food.  We walk through Centennial Park and then through downtown, but we can't find anywhere that strikes our fancy.  Guy's been leading the way, and when he makes the executive decision to head into a downtown mall to eat at the foodcourt, it all starts to make sense:  Guy's been relentlessly talking up Chick-fil-a, and he's used his "Chick-fil-a-dar" to scope out the closest one.  It ends up being a good move, though--the chicken sandwhich I get hits the spot.
  • 4:11 p.m.: After our late lunch, we head over to the Irish pub located in the mall for a few pre-game drinks.  It's packed.  I had heard there's an NCAA coaches' conference of some sort going on, which explains why there's all these guys wearing random schools' sweatsuits in the bar.  Our first order?  A round of Irish Carbombs.  The bartender hands us our Guinnesses, but they're kind of small.  "That's the weakest carbomb I've ever seen," Guy says.
  • 4:13 p.m.: As usual, Guy wins the race to down the carbomb.  Tortoise, who traditionally has been one of Guy's bigger rivals, is distraught.  A fight ensues when Tok claims that Tortoise started early.  Tortoise counters that Tok improperly started the round.  "You threw off my rhythm," Tortoise says.  Guy doesn't care, dismissing us all by just saying, "Whatever, I'm sick."
  • 4:39 p.m.: We see a husband and wife walking down the sidewalk outside the bar.  The husband's wearing one of those front-loaded baby harnesses.  We all rip on him a bit.  After all, if you're in town for the Final Four, it's bad enough to be accompanied by your wife, but your baby as well?  Says Guy, "You've got to peace that baby."  (This guy is only topped by the woman at the game itself who was carrying her baby, which was fitted with giant air traffic controller headphones.)
  • 5:04 p.m.: The B tries to befriend the bar's employees, who have asked us if they could move the chairs we've been sitting on.  "Are you trying to clear the floor?" B asks.  The employees ignore him.
  • 5:10 p.m.: We leave the bar to walk back to the Georgia Dome.  Game time is at 6, and we hope to make it to our seats a little early to soak in the atmosphere.  Tour Guide Guy takes the lead, but he leads us in the wrong way.  We relieve him of his duty, and Tok sets us in the right direction.
  • 5:33 p.m.: We make it back to the stadium.  There's a huge line (numbering in the thousands of people) to get into Gate C, however.  The Georgia Dome people are on the loudspeakers telling everyone walking up to go to Gate B, where there's "No wait."  We walk to Gate B, only to find out that there's more people in line.  I'm beginning to worry we won't make it in in time.  To make matters worse, the Georgetown fans are getting rowdy.  They're chanting something that sounds like, "Hoya!  Sack up!"  It doesn't make sense to any non-Jesuits in the crowd, so someone finally asks a girl wearing a Georgetown shirt what they're saying.  "It's Hoya Saxa," she says.  "It's a Greek phrase.  There's a shirt that explains it if you want to know what it means."  I question what Jesuits are doing using Greek.  (Later, I look it all up on Wikipedia.  It turns out that Hoya is a bastardization of Hoia, which is Greek.  Saxa, however, is Latin.  Either way, the phrase means, "What rocks!"  The kicker is that Hoya actually means what.  So, basically, they're the Georgetown Whats.  If only I had known all this when the Georgetown fans were dismissively asking, "What the hell is a buckeye?")
  • 5:55 p.m.: We're finally in our seats, thanks to some clutch maneuvering by Guy and Tortoise.  So far, the atmosphere hasn't been as fraught with anticipation as the Michigan or BCS games, but it's still pretty good to be here.
  • 6:04 p.m.: It's game time!  Greg Oden easily wins the tip.
  • 6:15 p.m.: Oden is called for his second foul.  We're only 2 minues and 41 seconds into the game.  This is ridiculous--so much for letting them play.  Georgetown's up 5-3.  We're gonna have to play really well while Oden's on the bench to stay in the game until halftime.
  • 6:53 p.m.: Well, we have played really well, at least on the defensive end.  It's halftime, and the Buckeyes are up 27-23.  I'll take this, especially with Oden being on the bench for 17 minutes.
  • 6:58 p.m.: We spot Bob Ryan chatting with some dudes in press row.  We're pretty excited about our first "celebrity" siting, but Guy isn't.  He uses the occasion for expressing his distaste for Dan Shaughnessy.  (Guy worked in Boston for a few years, so he got a good taste of the Boston media and didn't like it, I guess.)
  • 7:02 p.m.: We spot John Thompson, Jr. (the II, maybe?  I dunno--JT III's dad) in press row.  A few moments later, we see Bill Raftery.  I like Bill Raftery (I suppose he's kind of the anti-Billy Packer).
  • 7:08 p.m.: Tok and Tortoise make a good point--David Lighty is OSU's unsung hero tonight.
  • 7:12 p.m.: The parade begins!  The sportswriters march back into the stands after the buffet.
  • 7:18 p.m.: Oden gets his third fould with 11:50 to go.  OSU's up 42-38.  This next stretch (until Oden comes back in) will determine whether we're able to stay in this and win it.
  • 7:29 p.m.: We have our first Tressel sighting.  The coach is in the OSU section on the sideline, sitting next to Anthony Gonzalez.  The students (who are behind the basket), shout "O-H" across to Tressel, who dutifully responds with an "I-O" (along with the proper arm signals).  They repeat the call-and-response with Gonzalez.
  • 7:36 p.m.: With 8:50 to go, the score is tied at 44 and Oden is back in the game.  Roy Hibbert heads out at the same time after being called for his fouth foul.  He's got 14 points and has been a force.  This could be a turning point.
  • 7:39 p.m.: 7:24 left in the game.  We're up 50-44.  After Oden came in, he hit a layup, followed by field goals from Lighty and Jamar Butler.  We've got some momentum now.
  • 7:45 p.m.: We spot Jason Whitlock in press row.  Meanwhile, there's 6:37 left in the game, and Hibbert is coming back in.  Oden makes one of two free throws to put us up 51-44.  Hopefully Hibbert lost some steam while he was out with foul trouble.
  • 7:50 p.m.: Oden gets his fourth foul with 2:36 remaining.  We're up by four, 56-52.  At this point, the team's played enough with out Oden that hopefully we're able to hold off the Whats.
  • 7:56 p.m.: 1:14 left, and we're up 61-52.  This game seems like it's ours now....
  • 7:58 p.m.: Jeff Green hits a layup (surprisingly, he's only got 9 points), and Georgetown calls a timeout with 44.8 seconds left.  We're still up by 7.  They're not coming back.
  • 8:01 p.m.: A missed over the back call allows Jonathan Wallace to hit a three for the Whats and make it 63-57.  Georgetown calls a timeout.  They're still not gonna win it--there's only 21.8 seconds left.
  • 8:06 p.m.: We win!  The final score is 67-61, but you'd never know it because the Georgia Dome people took the score down the second the game was over.  We have no idea why they did this.
  • 8:11 p.m.: We go over to the tunnel to boo Florida as the team runs out.  Well, most of the team runs out.  Joakim Noah skips out.  I'm serious.  He skips.  The Florida fans are going crazy.  UCLA has no chance--the final is going to be us and Florida.
  • 8:14 p.m.: Oden and Michael Conley, Jr. run back to the locker room after finishing their post-game interviews.  The OSU student section (which is still standing by the tunnel) is giving them a huge ovation.  Conley's loving it, and he runs over to greet the fans.  Oden simply walks into the locker room like a stoic giant.
  • 8:17 p.m.: Guy: "This game blew away the BCS game."  That qualifies as the understatement of the century.
  • 8:28 p.m.: Tok and I walk into the concourse in search of food.  It's a madhouse.  Tok decides to settle for some Dippin' Dots, which are still being marketed as "The Ice Cream of the Future."  They've been doing this for at least 15 years.  Seriously, how long can you be the ice cream of the future?  Is 15 years long enough?  Don't you become the ice cream of the present at some point?  Am I the only person in the world who cares about this?
  • 8:30 p.m.: I break down and decide to grab one of the nasty looking mini-pizzas.  Who's in line behind me?  John Chaney.  As I've detailed before, I love John Chaney.  It's too bad my camera batteries are dead, or I'd get a picture with him.  Well, maybe I'd get a picture with him.  People keep coming up to him to say hi, and I feel bad adding to the avalanche.  The thing that strikes me most is that Chaney looks old.  He asks what toppings they have for the pizzas, and someone tells him just pepperoni.  Chaney is disappointed, and he walks away.
  • 8:54 p.m.: The Florida-UCLA game has just tipped off.  Two minutes and 47 seconds in, the score is tied at 2.  Is this going to be a low scoring game?
  • 8:57 p.m.: With 15:44 remaining in the first half, UCLA's up 4-2.  Maybe this is going to be low scoring.
  • 8:59 p.m.: During a timeout, the UCLA cheerleaders run onto the floor to do a routine.  They are HOT.  Hot enough to distract most of the remaining OSU student section from realizing that a few of the Buckeyes (lead by Terwilliger) have taken their seats to watch a bit of the game.
  • 9:05 p.m.: Florida hits their first field goal of the game.  They've only played seven and a half minutes.  The crowd goes wild.
  • 9:06 p.m.: Things are picking up now. It's 6-5 UCLA with 11:52 left in the half.  Looks like this game will be the typically anticlimactic Final Four game.  At least our game was good.
  • 9:10 p.m.: UCLA's dance team takes the floor during another time out.  Their dance team is hot too, but what gets our attention is the fact that they have a male juggler in their troupe.  A juggler???  I dunno....  In other news, it's still 6-5 with 11:26 to go.  Things are looking bleak for UCLA, though--Arron Afflalo has just gotten his third foul.  Meanwhile, we've spotted Thad Matta and Jim Tressel chatting it up in the stands.  This prompts me to imagine their conversation:  Matta: "So, Jim, do you have any advice if we're playing Florida?"  Tressel: "Keep Roy Hall away from Oden and Conley."
  • 9:17 p.m.: Florida's taken the lead.  It's 11-10, with 8:51 remaining.  A veritable offensive explosion!
  • 9:26 p.m.: Double-B and I discuss whether Gonzo brought the bubble to Atlanta.
  • 9:28 p.m.: Florida hits its second straight three to go up by 8.  The building is as loud as it's been all night.  Man, it's going to be tough to play Florida here.  Guy agrees:  "It's like they're playing at home."
  • 9:35 p.m.: Noah hits one of two free throws.  I realize that he has the ugliest free throw shooting stroke in the history of college basketball.  (Later, someone tells me that Billy Packer confirmed this on the CBS broadcast.  I don't know if that's good or bad.)
  • 9:40 p.m.: Horford gets whistled for his second foul.  Florida is whining.  They're the whiniest team I've seen since--gasp--Thad Matta's 2002-03 Xavier squad.
  • 9:42 p.m.: It's halftime!  Florida's up 29-23.  Let's see if UCLA can make a game out of it in the second half.
  • 9:45 p.m.: There's a cool halftime ceremony honoring Oscar Robertson, Bill Russell, and Dean Smith.  You gotta admit, it's pretty special to see those three guys on the floor at the same time.
  • 10:05 p.m.: Florida comes out raining threes in the second half.  After two and a half minutes, they're up 37-28.
  • 10:13 p.m.: Now it's 39-28 Florida.  I realize that the reason UCLA is losing is that Bill Walton isn't here (he was stuck doing the Cavs-Bulls game in Chicago earlier today).
  • 10:20 p.m.: Florida goes up 49-32 with 12:25 left in the game.  The Gator fans are starting to get rowdy.  We're making plans to leave.
  • 10:21 p.m.: The refs are debating a charging call on Chris Richard.  Billy Donovan is whining.  I realize that I can't stand his widow's peak.
  • 10:27 p.m.: The Florida contingent continues to get louder.  Guy: "I hate them."
  • 10:30 p.m.: Luc Richard Mbah a Moute fouls out for UCLA with 9:02 remaining.  I had to put his name in the diary somehow.  Anyway, things are really getting ridiculous now, and Guy and I are pleading with the rest of the guys to let us go ahead and head out.
  • 10:33 p.m.: With 8:24 to go, it's now 54-40.  The B thinks there's something wrong with the floor.  "There's too many guys slipping and the ball keeps hitting dead spots," he says.  He does have a point.
  • 10:35 p.m.: I think I see a dude across the arena wearing a vintage (i.e., 1999) University of Dayton "Sixth Man" t-shirt.  He's leaving.  In all likelihood, he can't stand the Florida fans, who are going wild during a timeout.
  • 10:40 p.m.: Afflalo has no points and four fouls, which is pretty unbelievable.  Of course, now that I made a point of noting this he finally scores with 6:16 to go.  The Florida fans continue to get more rowdy.  This is really bad, considering that there are no alcohol sales in the Georgia Dome.
  • 10:41 p.m.: Tressel and Gonzo are still here.  "I wonder if they're having flashbacks," I say.  No one laughs.  On this note, we decide to leave with 4:44 left in the game and the score at 65-50.
  • 11:12 p.m.: After realizing we took the wrong Marta train, we get off to wait for the right one.  While we're waiting, a ... how should I put this ... fabulous guy wearing Buckeye gear starts chatting up Tortoise.  In the middle of a conversation with us about Buckeyes in Atlanta, he answers his cell phone with an enthusiastic, "Hey!"  Our train finally arrives.  As we're boarding, Tortoise's friend asks us where we're staying.
  • 11:40 p.m.: We did get one good tip from Tortoise's friend--beer sales in Atlanta stop at midnight.  Luckily, we were able to book it over to a Kroger.  We grab our beers, then decide we're hungry.  The B waits near the checkout lines with our cases, while the rest of us check out the prepared food section.
  • 11:52 p.m.: After waiting in line for five minutes, we're ready to check out.  The only problem is, our friendly cashier tells us beer sales stop at 11:45.  The B starts making overtures about a contract being formed the moment we picked up the cases (which was well before 11:45).  Our cashier isn't hearing any of it, and he takes the cases and sets them behind the register.  Oh well.

 

 April 1, 2007

  • 12:10 a.m.: We decide to forgo heading back to the place where we're crashing and go straight for the bars.  On the advice of some friends, we head toward Buckhead and settle in for the evening at Locos.  The B and Tok go outside to grab us a patio.  I turn around to tell Tortoise and Guy, only to see that they're being chatted up by another dude, and Guy already has a beer in his hand.  I don't want to get involved, so I head outside.
  • 12:17 a.m.: After ordering a few pitchers, we're talking with our waitress.  The B has been telling us that Buckhead is a big hangout for Emory students.  B asks the waitress, "So, you get a lot of Emory kids here?"  "No," she says, "Emory is about 20 miles away from here."
  • 12:23 a.m.: Guy and Tortoise finally join us outside.  Guy tells us about the guy he was drinking with.  He was an OSU grad, who's been living in Atlanta.  Perhaps predictably, he was completely trashed.  His cell phone was broken, and since he was planning on getting arrested, he had three emergency phone numbers written on his left hand.  This way, when he arrived at the station, he would be able to tell the officers, "Uncuff me, I need to make a phone call."  Tortoise tells us that the dude took Guy over to the bar to buy him a shot.  The dude ordered a "Buckeye" shot.  "What's a Buckeye shot," Guy asked.  "The cheapest thing they have," the dude answered.  The bartender proceeded to pour a shot of the cheapest well whiskey they had.  Guy took the shot, and immediately spit it back out.  As Tortoise is telling the story, the dude comes outside and makes us all swear to propogate the practice of ordering Buckeye shots.  Consider it done, dude.
  • 12:37 a.m.: Drunken Florida fans have been walking by and heckling us.  We begin to start firing back when a guy passes us and says, "Look at you Buckeye fans, sitting there like you're going to win."  "Oh yeah," Tok shouts back.  "You watch Nascar."  The guy runs back to our table:  "We beat you in basketball and we beat you in football!  You can't touch us!"  Without missing a beat, Tok fires back, "You want to talk about the past?  Who won the Civil War?"  This really gets them fired up.  Our heckler's buddy runs over and starts shouting:  "Welcome to the real America!"
  • 1:45 a.m.: As more and more pitchers arrive at and depart from our table, things start getting interesting.  The B is really starting to get out of control, and so Will grabs a coaster and fires it directly at B's head, hitting him squarely between the eyes.  The B just laughs.  More Flordia fans walk by, prompting the assembled OSU fans to deliver the first official "Florida's got the clap!" chant.  For those of you who aren't in the know, the "Florida's got the clap!" chant consists of OSU fans mimicing the Gators' famous aligator chomp handclap motion, while shouting "Florida's got the clap!"  It made its first appearance during the BCS Championship game, and now it's back with a vengance.
  • 1: 52 a.m.: A girl walks up to us and asks the B for a cigarette.  He gives her one, and she walks over to the head of the table to talk with us.  It turns out that there is a national sorority conference in town for the weekend, and this girl is one of the organizers.  She tells us which sorority she's in, then proudly notes that it's the #2 sorority in the country.  "Yeah," Guy says, "I've read about that."  Tortoise tells her that they should go for number one, but she's a bit reluctant.  Tortoise and his friend from Atlanta (who joined us an hour or so ago) won't hear any of it, and start giving her a pep talk.  "Do you really think we could be #1?" she asks.  "Hell yeah," says Tortoise.  A few minutes later in the conversation, she tells us that her brother plays football at Davidson.  "Wow," the B says.  "That's awesome that your brother goes to school in Ohio."  I hate to do it, but I burst the B's bubble by telling him that Davidson is in North Carolina.  Paying minimal attention to UD's football squad has it's perks.  Hey, Pioneer League Football--catch the fever!
  • 2:20 a.m.: Out of nowhere, a girl walks up to our table and grab's Tortoise's beer.  "I need this for a moment," she says.  Perplexed, we watch as she leans forward so that her head is upside down, then drink beer from the glass.  Her friend explains, "She's got the hiccups."  After a half-minute or so, she puts the glass back on the table and tells Tortoise thanks.  The B can't resist the urge to chime in, giggling, "Now your beer has herpes."  The girl recoils in horror, and we start exploding laughing.  "You can't take that," Guy yells at the girl.  "Beat him up!"  The rest of the crew starts joining in the call for her to exact retribution on the B.  Within a few seconds, she leans over me and starts smacking the B's arm.  A good time is had by all.
  • 2:28 a.m.: Some dudes drive by the bar's patio with a car that has a huge spoiler.  They see someone they know, so they stop and get out of the car to chat for a moment.  A girl walks by and is in awe of the spoiler.  She hands a camera to someone sitting at the patio, and says, "Get a picture of this."  Immediately, she crawls under the spoiler and starts posing for pictures.  Flashbulbs begin to go off all over the patio.  Meanwhile, I'm beginning to feel sleep deprived.
  • 2:50 a.m.: The street we're on is becoming a mess.  College kids are all over the place, just hanging around (the bars closed at 2:30).  I finally convince the guys it's time to go.  After losing the B momentarily, we pile in to my car.  I have to be careful pulling out of the parking lot and into the street, as there are people crowding around everywhere.  "This is just like Nassau," Guy says repeatedly.
  • 3:20 a.m.: We're back at the Colonel's house, where we're staying for the weekend.  We carry in the bag of groceries, and everyone starts tearing in to the meals we bought at Kroger.  Guy is particularly tired, and so he decides it's a good idea to eat his meal while he's laying on the floor in his sleeping bag.  A content Guy downs his meal, getting a healthy amount of it on his shirt.  One by one, we assume our respective spots on the floor or couch and pass out.  Apparently, Guy wakes up in the middle of the night and feels guilty about staining his shirt, and so he pours a bunch of laundry detergent on it.

 

Early Sunday morning, Guy proudly displays the spoils of his 3:00 a.m. snack and subsequent laundry duty.
  • Noon: Everyone has woken up.  The inevitable recap of the previous evening's events has begun in full swing.  Needless to say, it's going to be hard to top yesterday.
  • 1:03 p.m.: While watching the Real World, we decide that Guy should be a producer for the show.  After all, his speciality is prodding people (e.g., last night's Guy-inspired assault on Double-B).
  • 1:11 p.m.: A commercial comes on showing a computer image of a pregnancy test flying through the air.  It's high-tech, like a Star Wars preview.  "This can't be serious," Guy says.  A few seconds later, a stream of urine begins to fall on the device.  Suddenly, the announcer says, "The Clearblue Pregnancy Test: The most sophisticated piece of equipment you'll ever pee on."  I guess it is real.  Only on MTV.
  • 1:50 p.m.: We head over to the Colonel's restaurant.  Colonel is a totally clutch dude: Not only has he let us stay at his place for 3+ days, but he's also hooking us up at his restaurant.  Before we left, I was a little worried about being underdressed, given my sneakers, khaki shorts, and scarlet-and-gray polo shirt.  I shouldn't have worried though.  Waiting in the entrance area of the restaurant are some Florida fans.  Two of the dudes have identical attire: mesh gym shorts, t-shirts, and Florida ball caps.  Actually, for Florida fans, that is dressing up.
  • 4:29 p.m.: After a fantastic lunch (big-ups to the Colonel) and a trip to pick up the Double-B's car at the dealership, we're back to tv mode.  Guy, Tortoise, B, and I are having a converstaion on some random topic prompted by the television.  Suddenly, the B, who had been perusing the Colonel's DVD collection turns around in mid sentence to face us.  For whatever reason, the B's belt is undone and his pants are wide open.  The three of us crack up for a solid three minutes while the B goes upstairs.  He comes back down wearing shorts.
  • 5:45 p.m.: Still chilling in front of the tv.  I'm entering the diary online, and we're once again recounting the previous evening's events.  Tortoise is on the phone, and we're not being very polite during his conversation, going on and on about the guy at the Marta station and the dude at Loco's.  After Matt's conversation is done, Tortoise clarifies things.  "By the way," he says, "Guy picked up those dudes."  I think he's right.
  • 5:50 p.m.: I continue reading excerpts from the diary.  Guy is concerned that he's the apparent star of the crew.  "This is all about me," he says.  This should be a call to action, I respond, noting, "This is because no one else does anything."
  • 6:50 p.m.: We're still watching tv (you have to rest up during these off days, you know).  The running conversation turns toward our analysis of tomorrow's game.  Guy is now on the phone.  While he's talking, he's stretched out on the couch and playing with the Colonel's stereo with his foot.  On two separate occasions, he accidentally hits the power button, blasting the radio at ear-splitting volume.  Tok asks Guy, "What are you doing?"  Guy responds, "I'm just playing with it."  Tortoise motions toward me and says, "Put that in the diary."  Without missing a beat (while he's still on the phone), Guy reiterates, "It's just a diary about me."  Tortosie responds with, "Yeah, it's the Guy diaries."
  • 6:54 p.m.: After the Guy stereo diversion dies down, we go back to analyzing the game.  The consensus is that OSU has to play its best game, and that Oden needs to be fired up to play inspired ball.  Tortoise says that our best bet is to try and foul out Noah and Horford.  It's going to be tough, given that we weren't able to foul out Hibbert last night, even though he played the last 6:37 with four fouls.
  • 7:05 p.m.: Guy takes over the laptop to check out the Chick-fil-a website.  Tortoise asks, "What could you possibly be looking at on the Chick-fil-a website?"  Guy responds, "Health information."  We laugh, but Guy doesn't think it's a laughing matter.  "No, it's not funny," he says.  "You need to know what you're eating.  Honestly, it's not that funny."  The conclusion?  The healthiest thing to get on the Chick-fil-a menu is the char-grilled sandwich, without buns, pickles, or condiments.  Who said this diary didn't have useful information in it?
  • 7:10 p.m.: After the B turns on UFC, we recount the various times he's been hit by women.  Guy points out the irony.  "That's why you're watching this," he tells Double-B.  "You need to learn how to defend yourself."
  • 7:58 p.m.: We're watching the Friday Night Lights movie.  I go on to imdb.com to confirm that the coach's wife and Buddy Garrity from the television series play similar roles in the film.
  • 8:04 p.m.: The B walks downstairs and sees the wife.  "Woah," he says, "That's his wife."  Tok bursts his bubble: "Yeah, you're five minutes too late."
  • 8:37 p.m.: On the advice from a friend from Atlanta who goes to OSU (who shall remain nameless), we decide it's time to head out to the Little Five Points area to hit the bars.  THe only problem is, we just found out that bars close at midnight on Sunday nights.  Undaunted, we call a cab, which ends up being a Chevy Suburban.
  • 9:41 p.m.: We're less than impressed with Little Five Points.  Put simply, the whole area is dead tonight.  We head into a bar to grab a bite to eat and a beer. They have the UNC-Tennessee women's game on.  It takes UNC five and a half minutes to score.
  • 10:14 p.m.: We head to our second bar in the Little Five Points area and have our second carbomb race of the weekend.  After significant debate about the rules, Tok finally wins in a huge upset over Guy.  Everyone tells me to make a note of how weak the carbombs have been in Atlanta.
  • 10:16 p.m.: The consensus is that our nameless friend from OSU really dropped the ball on the Little Five Points suggestion.  We've called a cab to head back.  Meanwhile, two dudes walk by with babies in front-loaded baby harnesses.  This trend is getting scary.
  • 10:24 p.m.: The cab arrives, and Guy cunningly takes the front seat, leaving the four of us to sit on top of each other in the back.  The cab driver is listening to some dating advice program on the radio.  Dennis, one of the show's co-hosts, is comparing a caller's current dating troubles with his own troubles with a previous boyfriend.  "That dude's name is Dennis," Tortoise says.  For some inexplicable reason, we explode laughing -- this is the funniest thing I've heard all day.
  • 10:35 p.m.: The cab passes a Chick-fil-a with a sign that says, "The Original Chick-fil-a," prompting us to ponder whether this is, in fact, the first actual Chick-fil-a restaurant.  We ask the driver if he knows where the first Chick-fil-a is.  He doesn't know.  Any cab driver in Columbus would know where the Original Wendy's (RIP) was (on Broad a few blocks east of High).
  • 10:48 p.m.: The Colonel shows up to the bar and gets an ovation, not only from us, but from the rest of the bar.  He's the man.
  • 11:16 p.m.: The B asks whether the 19 year-old OSU undergrads who drove down for the game are staying at Emory.  He's really obsessed with Emory.  We ask him if he applied there.  No, the B says, "You know how much I sweat."

 

After escaping from the monotony of a Sunday night in Little High Points, Double-B entertains the group with his endless pool of trivia about Emory University.

 

April 2, 2007

  • 12:01 a.m.: Just after last call, a guy in the bar comes over to me and Guy, asking whether we watch Nascar.  You see, we had been trying to come up with chants to heckle the Florida fans, and one suggestion was "You watch Nascar (clap-clap-clapclapclap)."  It seemed like a good idea, so we tried it out in the bar.  It turns out, this guy thought we were chanting, "We like Nascar."  Why a group of six guys would chant "We like Nascar" in a bar, I'll never know.  Anyway, Guy, who's moving to the South in the summer, has been pondering becoming a Nascar fan, and takes the opportunity to ask our newfound friend to explain the intricacies of the sport to us.  During the conversation, a misguided Guy compares Nascar to Indy car racing, much to our friend's dismay.  He explains the distinction to us:  "Indy car is like this: (moves his finger in the shape of an oval) 'Whhhhhhhhheeeeeeeeeeeerrrrrrrrrrrrr.'  Nascar is like this: (moves his finger in the shape of an oval) 'Wher-wher-wher-wher.'"  Point well taken.
  • 12:45 a.m.: While waiting for a cab, we decide that we don't like cabs in Atlanta.  This isn't a problem for Tok, though, because he thinks Atlanta is a small city.  Guy decides that Jimmie Johnson will be his favorite Nascar driver.
  • 12:54 a.m.: I make an official proclamation:  "It is what it is" is now the most overused, cliched phrase in the English language.  Tortoise agrees: "It's a cop-out phrase."  From here on, let it be known that "It is what it is" is, in fact, something you shouldn't say.
  • 1:12 a.m.: We're back and watching a little Sportscenter before crashing.  They're replaying the portion of the press conference where Noah responds to a reporter's question about Ron Lewis's "good/great" distinction with an exaggerated, "Oh my God!  He didn't!  He's a bad person!"  This is outrageous.  I can't stand Florida.
  • 1:25 a.m.: Dukie V, Bilas, and "Sit down" Digger all pick Florida.  This game has major "no one expected us to win" potential for OSU.  Too bad Florida is loaded and the reigning champs.

* * *

  • 12:02 p.m.: With less than 10 hours until gametime, we're getting lunch at a classic Atlanta-area institution, Mellow Mushroom.  The pizza is great -- highly recommended.
  • 12:47 p.m.: We're discussing whether college basketball should go the NBA route and give players a sixth foul.  Guy is a passionate proponent.  "Make it seven," he says.
  • 1:23 p.m.: We hop on the MARTA train.  On the ride down, we talk with a few of the other people on the train, mostly an assortment of locals.  The feelings are pretty clear -- a lot of people in Atlanta can't stand the SEC, and so they're rooting for the Buckeyes.  I'll take it.
  • 2:10 p.m.: We're finally downtown, and we've walked over to the Convention Center to check out Hoop City, which we're guessing is NCAA version of the NBA Jamfest.
  • 2:15 p.m.: We're still walking down the long and winding road that leads to Hoop City's door.  The Atlanta convention center is huge.  After winding through what seemed like a quarter-mile of hallway, we make it to the entrance.  There's one problem, though: Tok is trying to bring in the coffee he bought when we entered the convention center.  When Tok tries to enter, the helpful ticket taker guy gives him the "Ich don't think so."  Tok takes a swig and throws away the rest of the coffee--nothing is going to stop us from enjoying Hoop City RIGHT NOW!
  • 2:18 p.m.: Hoop City is actually kind of lame.  It's really just a big basketball-oriented playground geared toward kids.  There's a lot of courts set up where kids are playing basketball, and there's a lot of video games systems set up where kids are . . . playing video games.  I think of one way to make it more fun for us adults: sell beer. 

The Double-B

The B takes part in the #1 source of entertainment at Hoop City: watching some seven-year old play NCAA 2k6.

  • 2:23 p.m.: We wander over to the "main court" where there's a kids' three-point shooting competition going on.  We watch in wonder as a little dude drains 9 of 15 threes, which I think was from the NCAA three-point line.  The kid had to be 10 years old.  I'm not sure, but I think I see Thad Matta offering the little guy's AAU coach an assistant position on the OSU men's team.

Restlessness

Tok and Double-B watch intently as a kid dunks on a 6-foot hoop.  Says Guy: "Get me out of Hoop City!"

  • 2:46 p.m.: We escape Hoop City.  Some Florida fans in the line to get in whisper loudly to each other as we walk by, saying stuff like, "They know they're going to lose, right?"  The Buckeyes might lose tonight, but these poor dudes have no idea that by walking into Hoop City, they're losing as well.
  • 3:00 p.m.: Since there was no beer at Hoop City, we're making up for lost time at Jocks & Jills across the street from the convention center.  The trash talking is starting to heat up between the assembled Florida and OSU fans at the bar.  Sensing there needs to be more fuel for the fire, the bar plays "Hang On Sloopy."
  • 3:10 p.m.: Predictably, "Sloopy" only made things rowdier.  During the song, Florida fans started doing their "It's great -- to be -- a Florida Gator fan."  It doesn't take long for the Buckeye contingent to respond: "It's gay -- to be -- a Florida Gator fan."
  • 3:19 p.m.: The good thing about Jocks & Jills is that they've got baseball on (it is Opening Day, after all).  Tortoise makes the bold prediction that the Orioles will win it all this year.  No one knows what to say.  The silence is broken when Tortoise tells me, "I really don't care."  Apparently he wanted me to put that in the diary so our boy Bone Fresh would read it.
  • 3:20 p.m.: You know that guy who is seemingly at every Ohio State of any consequence?  By which I mean, at the OSU-UT game in Austin, at the BCS National Championship game, and at Eddie George's bar for every key men's basketball road game?  I mean the guy who wears the cowboy hat and the OSU cape.  The dude who was on that goofy Channel 10 commercial shot with Mayor Coleman at the Horseshoe.  Still don't know who he is?  Anyway, he shows up outside of Jocks and Jills and starts rallying the OSU troops.  Then, he comes in for photos.  I swear, this guy and the Woody Hayes look-alike could pay for their trips by charging for pictures.  Anyway, we have to get our picture taken with him.

Us and That Guy

  • 3:21 p.m.: We must be particularly interesting, because as soon as we finish getting our picture taken with the OSU cowboy hat/cape guy, a lady asks if she can get a picture, not of her and OSU cowboy hat/cape guy, but of us and him.  I'm confused, but we oblige her.
  • 3:22 p.m.: After reflecting on our photo session with OSU cowboy hat/cape guy, Matt and I agree that it was fun, but nowhere near as epic as our time in Tempe with Captain Ohio.  Captain Ohio is truly about what OSU is all about.  We met him in this dueling piano bar in Tempe the night before the National Championship game.  He walks in wearing an OSU helmet-style baseball cap, a #1 OSU jersey, and what can best be described as OSU-themed skin-tight-Zubaz (remember, those things from the early 90's that only Bengals fans still wear?)-inspired pants.  His jersey was autographed, so we asked him who had signed it.  "Gary Berry," he said.  When the piano guys played "Hang On Sloopy," he pulled a kazoo out of his pocket and started jamming.  Anyway, we really liked Captain Ohio.  In fact, I really don't care what happens in the game tonight.  I really just want the Buckeyes to win for Captain Ohio and Scarf Guy.  Either way, I'll take this opportunity to publish some Captain Ohio photos (since the BCS diary is locked in a vault).

Captain Ohio says, the Buckeyes are Number One!

Tortoise, Guy, and Ramathorn pose for a perfectly symmetrical photo with the great Captain Ohio.

Sing us a song, Kazoo man

Nobody rocks the kazoo like Captain Ohio.

  • 3:24 p.m.: In an effort to see the city, we decide to finish our beers and take a walk.  On our way out of Jocks and Jills, we see Florida fans wearing iron-on t-shirts with the Noah-inspired quote "Ron Lewis is a bad person."
  • 3:30 p.m.: In an effort to pace ourselves, we decide to stop off at Centennial Olympic Park.  The B and I spot a tent where they're giving out free samples of Coke Zero.  We make a dash toward it.  The verdict?  It doesn't taste like Coke.  Maybe they put something in the Coke Zero, but I really think I just heard the B say, "Looks like they have a solid claim for taste infringement.  I'd represent them."
  • 3:35 p.m.: It really doesn't get better than this: chilling in the park with a beer while we're waiting to watch the last NCAA men's basketball game of the year.  It's a freakin' beautiful day.
  • 4:00 p.m.: The B and I have spotted the giant video boards set up to display text messages that the fans in the park send in.  The race is on to send in the most ridiculous message.
  • 4:10 p.m.: We're yet to see any of our messages appear on the board.  They're repeating all the same old boring messages.  Looks like the censors got to us.  I blame everything on Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake.
  • 4:25 p.m.: Finally!  The video board tells Centennial Olympic Park: "Tok, I love your muscles.  --Tortoise."  Look's like the B finally crafted a family-friendly message.

The Crew in Olympic Park

The crew chillin' in Centennial Olympic Park.

  • 4:28 p.m.: My message comes up: "Oden Rulzzz! From Guy."  I admit it: I dropped the ball.
  • 5:15 p.m.: Marc Cohn and his band has taken the stage in Centennial Park.  Who's Marc Cohn, you ask?  Don't worry, I just asked the same question.  The B knows.  He says, "You know, the guy who sings 'Walking in Memphis.'"  I call my buddy T-Sizzle back in Columbus to let him know that Cohn is on, since he really likes that song.  "Marc Cohn is playing right now in the park," I tell Sizzle, who responds with, "Who's Marc Cohn?"  I say, "You know, the dude who sings 'Walking in Memphis.'"  "Oh yeah," Sizzle says, "I love that song."
  • 5:22 p.m.: Cohn is boring me.  It looks like people are starting to fall asleep.  Why couldn't we get Lil John?  I seriously am blaming this on Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake.

The stage at Centennial Park

Marc Cohn slowly sedates the crowd at Olympic Park.

  • 5:25 p.m.: Double-B comes through with another great text on the video board.  Unfortunately, I can't print it here.  Have to protect the innocent (there are two of them left, after all).
  • 5:33 p.m.: Cohn breaks out "Walking in Memphis."  I call T-Sizzle, who doesn't pick up.  I leave him a voicemail of the B accompanying Cohn.
  • 5:46 p.m.: With even more of the crowd seeming to fall asleep, Tok makes a great point.  "It's really a good idea for them to have this Cohn dude on stage," he says.  "It would be brutal hostile if it weren't for him."  I look around and seel a see of scarlet and blue sleeping on the grass in the park.  Tok is definitely right.
  • 5:47 p.m.: The Mellow Mush' is starting to have its revenge on the B.  "I think I need to go get an antacid," he says.  A moment later, he's disappeared.
  • 5:49 p.m.: A group of Georgetown fans sits down behind us, prompting Tok to make another great point: "We have to realize the fact at some point -- Georgetwon girls are ugly."  Let's hear it for the girls at Catholic univeristies!
  • 5:52 p.m.: Guy tells Tortoise, "Text B to get some dip."  The thing is, Guy is the world's most notorious anti-text messaging advocate.  Tortoise shoots back, "That's how you roll.  Get people to do your texting for you."
  • 6:22 p.m.: The crowd's woken up now, thanks to the second band of the afternoon: Robert Randolph and the Family Band.  Who's Robert Randolph and the Family Band you ask?  The band that did the theme song for the NBA on ABC last year.  In other words, last year's Pussycat Dolls.  Sort of.  Anyway, Robert's band is a little more upbeat, and as a bonus, they cover every Michael Jackson song known to man.
  • 7:45 p.m.: After another beer or two, we're ready to roll to the Georgia Dome.  The streets are packed, but not so packed that police can't get around on horses.  There's only one problem, meticulously noted by Guy, who points toward one horse and says, "That horse is deucing everywhere."
  • 7:48 p.m.: The crew gets separated when Tok decides it's a good idea to find beer in the Phillips Center.  Maybe it really is a good idea, but the Phillips Center is jammed with people.  We push our way to the back of the beer line, which is about 100 people long.
  • 8:17 p.m.: After finally getting our beers (I was low on cash and paid with quarters), we're back outside.  We locate the B, who needed to find me because I have his ticket.  Tok says he needs to find a bathroom.  The B and I decide it's time to head to the line.  Hopefully it's not as bad as Saturday.
  • 8:24 p.m.: We're in line.  It doesn't seem as bad, which is good.  The Florida fans are ready, though, and they're loving the "It's great -- to be . . . " chant.  Showing some creativity, the Buckeye fans counter back with a non-offensive "It's great -- to be -- a Kentucky Wildcat."  Good job handling this Kentucky situation, Billy Donovan.
  • 8:26 p.m.: The B and I engage in a bit more of today's favorite pastime: making fun of Noah.  The dudes behind us say, "They're making fun of him, but he could be their worst nightmare."
  • 8:35 p.m.: Finally -- in the stadium!  It's a crazy atmosphere, but not quite as crazy as the BCS game.  Tok has met up with us.  He speaks for us all when he says, "I'm not going to lie.  If we win, I will chirp more than any Florida fan."  Man, if only we win.
  • 8:45 p.m.: Florida runs out of the tunnel.  Noah's not skipping out tonight.  He must mean business.

The View

The view from my seat in the Georgia Dome is actually pretty decent.

  • 8:49 p.m.: Florida fans start doing their gator chomp thing.  In an effort to counter, the entire OSU student section starts up the "Florida's got the clap" chant.  OSU is outnumbered by Florida fans 3 to 1 in the Dome, but the "clap" chant is actually pretty impressive.  Across the way, Tressel and OSU President Karen Holbrook are visibly pissed.  I can almost hear them saying, "We spent how many thousands of dollars on that 'best fans in the land' campaign, and now we've got the entire student section chanting "Florida's got the clap.'"  Oh well.
  • 8:50 p.m.: OSU runs out of the tunnel.  It's almost gametime!
  • 8:58 p.m.: The Color Guard comes out.  It's here!
  • 9:02 p.m.: A bunch of dudes in the student section start a futile attempt to get the "O-H-I-O" chant going around the stadium.  It looks ridiculous.  I mean, this was ok at the BCS game, where we outnumbered the Florida fans, but all we can muster is an "O."  Dudes seriously have to get off the "O-H-I-O" chant on the road.

OSU fan getting crazy!

The dude in front of us stretches before leading the "O -H -I -O" chant: I guess it's good to have good fans.

  • 9:24 p.m.: Time for tip-off!  We may be outnumbered, but the OSU fans here are hearty.  It's gonna be a fun game.
  • 9:25 p.m.: A foul is called on Horford about a minute into the game, and Donovan takes him out.  Then, Ivan Harris hits a three to put us up 5-3.  Good start for us.
  • 9:28 p.m.: 16:24 to go in the half, and we're up 7-5.  Still good, except Conley just got whistled for a foul.
  • 9:30 p.m.: With 15:11 to go, we're up 9-7.  Taurean Green is looking particularly good for the Gators right now.
  • 9:40 p.m.: Here comes trouble -- Conley's just gotten his second foul.  After three free throws, Florida's up 14-11 with 12:16 to go.  These next few minutes are going to be key for us to stay in the game.
  • 9:43 p.m.: There's a timeout with 10:51 to play in the half.  Florida's up 17-13.  The whole Gators team is fired up.  We're beginning to look outclassed.  "We've got to stop Hodge and Green's penetration," Tortoise says.  "That's our way to stay in the game."  It's gonna be tough without Conley in there.
  • 9:51 p.m.: During a another timeout, they announce that OSU won the Pontiac Game Changing Performance of the tourney.  At least we're going to win something this year.
  • 9:55 p.m.: Terwilliger dunks and gets the foul!  'Atta way, big Matt!  Oden comes in the game, and Noah goes out.  It's 24-19 Florida with 6:18 left in the half.  It'd be nice if we could make a run and tie it up here.
  • 9:59 p.m.: Well, so much for that run.  With 3:41 to go, it's 33-22 Florida.  We call a timeout, and the Flordia fans are going insane.  This is the loudest the building's been during the Final Four.  Florida's hitting a lot of threes, and it seems like all we're doing is countering by taking (and missing) threes.  Whey Oden's not getting the ball more is a mystery to me.  Wait -- it's not: Thad Matta is our coach.
  • 10:04 p.m.: Noah came back in the game, and now he's gotten his second foul.  Not that he's made much of a difference this half.  Looks like he won't be our "worst nightmare."  Either way, Florida's still up by 10.  2:06 to go in the half.
  • 10:10 p.m.: Halftime mercifully comes.  Florida's up 40-29.  We can't stop them.  Brewer and Green both have 11.  The Gators hit a crazy number of threes that half.  Oden's got 11, but every time he scores a field goal it seems like Florida answers with a three.  It's gonna be tough to come back.
  • 10:26 p.m.: The scoreboard shows that Florida was 6 of 9 from three in the half.  That's pretty much the difference.  Thad needs to come up with a new game plan -- the one he's got isn't working.
  • 10:35 p.m.: So we come out for the second half, and Noah ends up on the bench again.  So what do we do?  Fire up more threes!  Good job, Thad.  I guess this is the best we can expect from the world's most famous Corn Jerker.
  • 10:37 p.m.: Florida calls a timeout with 15:16 to go in the game.  They're still up, though, 49-40.  Oden's dominating (he's up to 17 points now), but Florida's still hitting threes.  Tortoise makes a prediction: "If Oden gets 30, we win."  Here's hoping Oden ends his college career on a high note.
  • 10:50 p.m.: With 11:49 to go, Florida's still up 9, 53-44.  This is getting frustrating -- we can't put a run together.  If we keep chucking 3's, we're finished.  The worst part is that Noah's been sitting on the bench forever.  That basically makes it a lock for him to provide a huge spark when he finally does come back.  We're really in trouble.
  • 10:55 p.m.: Noah's coming back in with 10:52 remaining.  We haven't been able to get it within 7 all half.
  • 11:00 p.m.: 8:23 remaining.  61-50.  We must make a run, seeing as Noah just went back to the bench with his fourth foul.
  • 11:14 p.m.: 2:31 remaining.  73-62.  Looks like we can't make a run.  Florida just has too many weapons and a better coach.  All we're doing is firing up 3's.  As they say, "You live by the 3, you die by the 3."
  • 11:30 p.m.: Game over.  For the second time in less than three months, Florida has silenced the Buckeye contingent.  We watch the Buckeyes walk off the court, then head for the exits in silence.  We wait for the train in silence.
  • 11:52 p.m.: On the train ride back, we're sitting next to an older couple who go to the Final Four every year.  They said they paid $1,500 a piece for lower bowl seats.  At least we got a good deal on tickets.  After talking for a few more minutes, it comes out that they're Michigan fans.  They're really nice, though, and it's kind of funny that for once OSU and Michigan fans can bask in collective sorrows -- they can't even make the Tournament, and we can't beat Florida.
  • 1:32 a.m.: We couldn't find anywhere to eat on the way back, so we kept driving until we finally found a restaurant that was open.  Our waiter is from Australia.  I feel like you should know these things.  Anyway, one final semi-funny anecdote before I sign off on the diary.  Tortoise got a baked potato with his order.  After everyone has finished eating, the B grabs the leftover baked potato skin and starts chowing it down.  "It's cold and kind of gross," Tortoise says.  The B doesn't care.  "Whatever," he says.  "I like the skin.  Besides, that's where all the nutrients are."  Suddenly, a black-out drunken OSU fan sits down at our table.  He can't even keep his eyes open, but he somehow manages to say, "That game.  It sucked."  We don't know what to say, so the table is silent for a few minutes until the dude leaves.  After he's safely out of earshot, Double-B says, "That's the best potato skin I've ever had."

 

So, there you have it.  The complete diary.  As you can tell by my game summary, I was none to happy with the coaching, and, looking back on it a few weeks later, I still pin the loss on Thad Matta.  We had the best player in the game in Greg Oden.  I know that there was no way we were going to beat Florida that night -- they were clearly the best team in the nation.  The problem was that ever since Oden came back from his injury just before Christmas, we followed the same game plan: chuck 3's and let Oden clean up the scraps.  I guess I can't blame Matta for his most glaring weakness: He had no idea what to do with Oden.  How many college coaches are equipped to handle and develop a once-in-a-generation talent like Oden's?  Not many.  Oden made the right decision in going pro.  It's only at the pro level that he's going to play players as good as him and get the coaching he needs to develop into a true low-post presence.  He wasn't getting that from Thad.

On the other hand, you'll notice that Daequan Cook's name is absent from the diary.  That's because he didn't do anything.  Daequan better get back to school, because as it stands now he's a poor man's version of Dajuan Wagner.  And we all know that the highlight of Dajuan's career was scoring 100 points in high school.

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