Posted: Thursday February 10, 2005 3:10PM; Updated: Thursday February 10, 2005 3:10PM
Tennessee coach Pat Summitt will need just nine wins to become college basketball's winningest coach if her Lady Vols can top LSU tonight.
I didn't feel like creating original content today, so in the not-so-great tradition of New England beat writers, here are my "Ten Things I Think I Think" ... (you know, like Peter King?)
1. I think the No. 5 Tennessee Lady Vols, winners of 42 consecutive regular-season SEC contests, will upset No. 1 LSU on Thursday night in Baton Rouge, La. Did you know Pat Summitt is 10 wins away from passing Dean Smith as college basketball's all-time winningest coach? Yes, comparing men's and women's hoops is like comparing apples to oranges. Or, as UConn coach Jim Calhoun has been heard to say, "The ball is smaller."
2. I think it's difficult to root against LSU, however, because its head coach is named Pokey. And Pokey is a woman.
3. I think my friends Mike and Katie McCollow have it about right in their recollection of having seen The Aviator last weekend. Here's what Katie wrote to describe its unbearable length:
It was good, although after the first four hours I felt a nap coming on so I slept for a while, then went into the restroom, washed up, went out and had a couple of drinks, did a crossword, spackled the ceiling, went back to sleep and when I woke up, Alan Alda finally came on screen so I watched for a bit more but then we were hungry so we finally left and when we got home there was a note from (my daughter) Meg saying she'd gotten married and had seven children, one of whom was graduating from Georgetown medical school in May and it would be nice if we sent a gift. Ooooooh, the peas are blue. ... SCORCESE.
4. I think Cheap Seats on ESPN Classic has some funny moments, even if it is a direct rip-off of Mystery Science Theater 3000. Have you seen the episode where they wiseass to Keith Jackson covering the 1971 Acapulco cliff diving championships?
5. I think very few people who follow college hoops were surprised Notre Dame upset Boston College on Tuesday night. But I think a win at Syracuse last Saturday, in front of a record-crowd of 33,199 Orange fans -- it looked like the Central Park Cristo exhibit inside the Carrier Dome -- would have been more impressive.
6. I think you'd enjoy reading Ben Mezrich's bestseller, Bringing Down the House, which has nothing to do with a movie starring Steve Martin and Queen Latifah or an album by The Wallflowers. It's about a group of MIT students who outwit Vegas casinos at blackjack.
7. I think Urban Outfitters is a synonym for "hipster doofus."
8. I think Intolerable Cruelty, which is all over the HBO channels this month, featured an incredibly witty script. For example:
Rex Rexroth (Edward Herrmann, in courtroom, to his attorney): "Have you sat before (this judge) before?" Miles Massey (George Clooney): "No. No, the judge sits first, then we sit." Rexroth: "Well, have you sat after her before?"
9. I think I was shocked when I heard the "Chow Fun" era at USC ended Wednesday. What was USC offensive coordinator Norm Chow thinking when he accepted the Tennessee Titans' offer to take the same role with the NFL club? And does this make Titans head coach Jeff Fisher (a USC alum) Trojana non grata at Heritage Hall? All I can say is, "Ciao, Chow ... and thanks!"
10. I think I'll give this conceit back to Peter now.
Eight in the Box
1. Spent the weekend in Gainesville, Fla., in an unofficial immersion course in Texas Hold 'Em. Thanks to the gang at the Greenwich Apts. for treating this novice so gently. ("You're right, John, there really is no way to bluff in poker.") Herewith, my top-10 list of poker terms that sound naughty, and yet they're not:
10. Flop 9. All-in 8. Pocket rockets (pair of aces) 7. Straight flush 6. Pot-limit 5. Nuts 4. Big slick (ace, king pair) 3. Hold 'em 2. Trash hand And, of course, No. 1 ... poker
2. Speaking of Urban Outfitters, the Gator Shop on University Boulevard in Gainesville, just across from Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, is peddling a popular T-shirt for $16.99. The shirt is blue and in bold orange letters across the chest it reads: "GOT URBAN?"... And finally, the University of Florida offers a psychology course called, "Internet Addictions." Students take the class entirely on-line. I'm not making that up.
3. Notes taken while watching the SAG Awards last Saturday night:
9:28 p.m. Teri Hatcher appears onstage. I know she just turned 40, but here's the scouting report: "Still real ... still spectacular."
9:33 p.m. At 74, Clint Eastwood still looks better than any guy I know. Who would win if Eastwood and Paul Newman went head-to-head in a "cool-off?"
9:34 p.m. Glenn Close, two words: bicep curls.
9:37 p.m. Yet another SAG winner tells the audience "the best thing about being an actor is that we get to hang out with other actors." Hey, that's exactly what I say about being a sportswriter. Wait a second. That's exactly the opposite of what I say about being a sportswriter.
9:38 p.m. Yo, is that the "O-face" dude from Office Space in this Verizon commercial?
9:43 p.m. I miss Jim Carrey. He should always get an award because appearing on awards shows is the best thing he does. Nobody tops him.
9:48 Charlize Theron has my permission to dye her locks any color she darn well pleases.
9:53 p.m. Uh, check that note about Jim Carrey. Jamie Foxx just kicked ass on his acceptance speech ("I'm walkin', D ... "). And both those dudes worked together on In Living Color. That cast was like the Montreal Expos of casts.
But now I'm worried about 21st Century Foxx. Does he expect to top that speech at the Oscars later this month? Or, will he assume no one watched the SAG Awards and use the same material? I'm guessing he's writing new stuff, maybe with the help of Bruce Vilanch.
4. I'm watching college hoops highlights Saturday night, and I notice all the coaches are wearing outfits that remind me of David Letterman back in the Late Night days. That is, suits and sneakers. So I phone SI.com colleague and old college buddy, Marty Burns -- the only other guy I know who will be home on a Saturday night.
Me: "What's up with all the college coaches wearing sneakers?" Marty: "They're against cancer." Me: "Who isn't?"
(You ever notice how I always give myself the best lines in these blogs?) Seriously, while it's great coaches are raising money for this cause, but who's pro-cancer? I mean, it's like being anti-Natalie Portman. Why didn't the coaches call it what it really was: casual Saturday?
5. Favorite quote I heard on TV this week, from an old episode of Scooby Doo (don't ask). Freddy, clearly agitated, to Shaggy: "Honestly, Shaggy, sometimes I think you'd rather eat a pizza pie than solve a mystery."
6. I'm worried singer/songwriter Conor Oberst isn't getting enough press. You know what I'm talking about?
7. On Tuesday night I got to do this cool thing: moderate a 90-minute talk with Yankees manager, Joe Torre, that was offered by The Learning Annex here in New York. Two anecdotes Torre shared:
1. Last November he was at a roast in New Jersey. Soon after he checked in to his hotel, he received a phone call. "Yeah, this is the lobby," the voice said. "I think we have the 2004 World Series ring you lost."
2. During spring training -- he couldn't remember when -- Bernie Williams had gone to a dentist and was feeling a little woozy afterward. Torre kept him out of the lineup and allowed him to lie on the couch in the manager's office during the game. Afterward Torre entered the room and gently nudged Williams. "Maybe it's not such a good idea for you to lie on the couch in my office with the door open," the skipper said. "The other players might start thinking you're my favorite."
Williams got up, took a few steps, and then turned around to face the manager. "They already do," he said.
8. So another 20-something female teacher has been arrested for allegedly having sex with a teenage student. If you're scoring at home (as opposed to homeroom), that's a 24-year-old teacher with a 14-year-old boy in Florida, and a 27-year-old teacher with a 13-year-old boy in Tennessee just this year. And both teachers happen to be ... hot! Poison-video hot! (When did Matt Lattanzi flicks become real life?) I hope the cable news networks are sending these women flowers.