Posted: Thursday June 9, 2005 1:11PM; Updated: Thursday June 9, 2005 4:38PM
Eight in the Box
1. The University of Arizona and the University of Texas staged a softball classic last weekend. The Wildcats sent their ace, Alicia Hollowell, who has broken most of Jennie Finch's school strikeout records, to the hill. The Longhorns countered with National Softball Player of the Year Cat Osterman. Both windmillers pitched gems. Osterman struck out 19 and yielded four hits.
Hollowell was almost as effective. Both pitchers were still in the game at the top of the 11th, when the score was still 0-0. That inning, Texas scored a run on a throw to the plate that struck the back of the Longhorn runner. In the bottom of the 11th, Arizona loaded the bases with one out off Osterman, but Cat ended the Cats' run with a flyout and a strikeout. Texas 1, Arizona 0.
Texas was eliminated the next day by UCLA, but still this was the marquee game of the Women's College World Series.
2. It's annoying that Hollywood (The Longest Yard) and the music business (Baker Street, by Foo Fighters) are remaking semi-classic films and songs. The latter example really steams my tea: If you're between ages 35-50, don't you think of the summer of '78 every time you hear the opening saxophone riff to Baker Street? Giving credit where it is due, the riff itself was performed by Raphel "Raff" Ravenscroft. GerryRafferty, the singer, also had a hit earlier in the '70s with Stuck in the Middle with You, used to maximum effect nearly two decades later in Reservoir Dogs. It's annoying that Hollywood and the music biz do this. It's embarrassing for them that their efforts are so much less than the originals. Finally, it's also downright perfidious. It's as if Adam Sandler and his buds said, "You know, there's a whole generation of kids who don't even remember Burt Reynolds, much less that movie. Let's just re-do it. Cuz that's a helluva lot easier than coming up with an original idea ourselves, and hell, we'll make the same bank either way."
3. Did you see that the University of Tennessee softball team adorns its batting helmets with little JCs? It's like their version of Ohio State's Buckeye decals? Now here's the quiz: Does "JC" stand for:
A. Jiminy Cricket B. Jimmy Chitwood C. Jesus Christ D. James Caan E. Junior-college graduate
Answer on No. 7
4. Maybe I saw this somewhere and forgot, or maybe I thought of it myself. Anyway, here's a slogan I'd like to read on someone's T-shirt: "DOES THIS PLANET MAKE ME LOOK FAT?"
5. In case you were wondering, University of Minnesota junior Chad Flood won the Second Annual College Poker Championship. An economics major with a 3.0 GPA, Flood outplayed approximately 25,000 other college students on-line to earn $41,000 in academic scholarship moolah.
At the finish, Flood went heads up against Patrick Coughlin for 18 hands. The pivotal hand occurred when Coughlin was dealt pocket rockets (pair of Aces) and Flood, in the big blind, was dealt an 8d2d (8 of diamonds, 2 of diamonds). Coughlin called. The flop came 2h8h8s, giving Flood a full freakin' house. Flood went all in (more than $200,000 in chips) on the river and Coughlin went with him. Flood doubled up (more than $400,000 in chips) while Coughlin was left with $137,000.
On the final hand Flood was dealt Kd6s and Coughlin 8c6d. The flop came KsKc3c and Coughlin bluffed, going all in. Flood promptly unholstered his fish-in-a-barrel shooter and ended the match by calling that bet.
6. Now is the time of year when NBA players begin padding their already plush bank accounts by holding summer camps for the kids. Here's hoping that Phoenix Suns' 12th man, Paul Shirley-you-can't-be-serious ("I am serious, and don't call me -- strike that"), the bard of basketball bloggers, is holding one. I'd attend. My blogging needs work.
7. Answer: Jimmy Chitwood. The thinking behind it was that Chitwood wanted to take the last shot, wanted to be The Man. Then again, in softball you really don't have much of a choice, now do you? The batting order is pretty much set. But it's a nice thought.
8. Here's what I want to see in Game 1 of the NBA Finals. Rip Hamilton drives right by Manu Ginobili for an easy deuce early.
At that point Manu, whom by now we all know is really Andy Garcia in lifts, pulls out his best Terry Benedict from Ocean's Eleven: "All right, you proved your point. You broke into my vault. Congratulations, you're a dead man."