Posted: Tuesday March 1, 2005 4:27PM; Updated: Tuesday March 1, 2005 5:24PM
Eight in the Box
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1. Our SI On Campus stringer from Yale, Mac Caplan, reports a pretty heady weekend in New Haven recently. The Yale men swept perennial Ivy League hoops powers Princeton and Penn on consecutive nights. The Elis beat the Tigers 56-43 on Feb. 18 and the Quakers 78-60 the following night. Penn, this year's Ivy League champ, and Princeton have combined to win or tie for the league championship 41 of the past 43 seasons.
Which is to say that the Bulldogs (who finished in a three-way tie for the title with Penn and Princeton in 2002 and last won the title outright in '62) were doing some postgame celebrating at Toad's Place that Saturday night (no word on whether Rory Gilmore showed). In an interview with the Yale Herald last week, 5-7 (see, it's the Ivy League, after all) backup Eli point guard Josh Greenberg is quoted as saying, "On a more serious note, I'd like to apologize to anyone that I may have grabbed, groped or licked last Saturday night. Unless of course you are a good-looking co-ed who happened to like it; then give me a call."
Larry Eustachy must be thinking: Sure, it's funny when he says it.
2. If you, along with Barry Bonds, think all the media do is bust on athletes and coaches, read this from our Illinois stringer, Lisa Koulias: "Last week senior [Illini basketball] forward Roger Powell Jr. went into LaBamba to buy some dinner. When he walked out, he ended up walking past two homeless people asking for money. [Powell] gave them the food he had just bought for dinner."
Powell is a rare gem, by the way (if that story did not already convince you). A former four-year honor roll member at Joliet (Ill.) High, homecoming king and star of the school musical in both his junior and senior years, he is now an ordained minister. I think I'm most impressed that a guy who earns no money (besides a scholarship and NCAA stipend) playing for the No. 1 team in the nation can afford to feed strangers while Latrell Sprewell, who pockets $14 million a year, is having trouble feeding his family.
3. I walked past the Lincoln Plaza Cinemas in my neighborhood this morning and noticed that two of the five films on the marquee are Sideways and Up and Down. I can't recall the names of the other three films, but I'd love to see the LPC sub them out for three revivals so that the marquee would look like this:
Sideways Up and Down In and Out 2 Fast 2 Furious Every Which Way But Loose
That might get the opera crowd strolling over to The Met across the street buzzing.
3. Spotted a great T-shirt at LaGuardia Airport the other day. It was red and printed on the front were the words: BOSTON RED SOX, WORLD SERIES CHAMPS. Underneath were the years 1918, 2004 and 2090. Then, beneath that were the words BACK TO BACK TO BACK.
And I'm just wondering, When is Bill Simmons' birthday?
4. Am I the only one who watched the John Chaney/Nehemiah Ingram fiasco last week and thought, Bull Meechum/Ben Meechum (i.e., Robert Duvall and Michael O'Keefe) in The Great Santini? Remember? Ben plays on the high school team and Col. Meechum ("Now here it is, sportsfans, Beaufort, S.C."), his dad, orders him to take out a player who has a breakaway layup opportunity? (And Bull wasn't even the coach.) I even think that Ben's foul also resulted in a broken arm.
It's been awhile since I saw that flick, but as I recall Ben got booted from the team. It all turned out okay, though, because the following year he resurfaced as Danny Noonan in Caddyshack.
5. Did you see Today on Monday morning, during which Katie Couric showed off the "purse camera" that she'd snuggled into Oscar parties the night before? That segment belongs in the Great Moments in Awkwardness wing of the Pop Culture Museum. Couric would reveal the hidden camera to the likes of Halle Berry or Don Cheadle, who would then react with an uncomfortable but polite, "You're kidding." Even Larry King said, "You're kidding, right?"
Translation, Couric: "You're kidding" means "What the #%& are you doing?" And if Larry King is having to tell you to be cool, well, you need to reassess.
6. Speaking of the Oscars, here's an excerpt from an article in Tuesday's USA Today about the after-parties:
Tom Cruise rode up on his motorcycle in full leather. He entered the party from the back entrance (as usual) ...
7. You'll be hearing a lot of courtside cognoscenti opining on whether it's better if undefeated Illinois loses a game before the NCAA tournament. All that blather is just a waste of oxygen. It's one of those arguments for which only the result will prove the argument (I imagine legal scholars have an arcane Latin phrase for such an argument, but I don't know it). In other words, there's no evidence beforehand to support or disavow such a position. It's like arguing about whether a coin will turn up heads or tails and why you know the answer. All I do know is that teams don't step onto a court to lose.
8. Spent the weekend in New Orleans to run the Mardi Gras Marathon. The strangest part was running alongside the female leader for about four miles late in the race on the up-and-back course. For about 30 minutes I heard nothing but "You go, girl!" and "Way to go, woman!" I suppose it's the closest I'll ever come to being in Oprah's studio audience.
Also: As for cheesy libations, the Hurricane, it seems, has been usurped on Bourbon Street by the Hand Grenade. And, it was almost cliché, but my friends Dave Fink, John McGinn and I did spot Lindsey Lohan and her mom walking down Bourbon Street on Saturday afternoon. Bourbon Street, the ideal spot to evade the husband/father who has sworn to kill you.