Tag Archives: Kyle Singler

The most important man in 20th century sports dies. A Krispy Kreme employee goes above and beyond.. A very cool hoops trick-shot video.

In 1999, ESPN did this very cool “SportsCentury” series, where they counted down the top 100 athletes of the last 100 years.
If they had extended that list to the most important people in sports from 1900-99, one man would definitely have been in the Top 5, if not No. 1.

He didn’t play one down in the NFL, hit one jump shot in the NBA, or drive in any runs on the baseball field.
But I would argue Marvin Miller, who died Tuesday at 95, was more important than any athlete. Miller was the skilled lawyer who, in the late 1960s and early 1970s became a powerful force in baseball, unifying the players and taking on the owners and changing sports forever.

Before Miller, there was no free agency. Players were bound to their teams until the teams traded them, or cut them. Salaries were a joke; ownership had complete control.

Miller changed all that, first with Curt Flood and the reserve clause, then with free agency’s fight.
He made the baseball union so powerful that it was a model for other unions in America, and strengthened core values for America’s working class.

It’s a disgrace that Marvin Miller isn’t in the Baseball Hall of Fame; he fell one vote short of induction in 2010. Obviously the powers that run baseball are still a little angry, or maybe forgetful, at how important Miller was in the sport’s history.

Marvin Miller changed the world, and every sports fan in America today ought to be thankful he did.

Two really well-written appreciations of Miller are here, if you’d like to learn more about him: Jon Wertheim’s piece on SI.com is here, and Joe Posnanski writes about Miller’s achievements, and his feistiness to the end, here.

**Kyle Singler is a former Dukie so of course I love him, and always will be a fan of his.
But even if you hate Duke and all that it stands for, you have to admit this is pretty cool. Singler, now with the Detroit Pistons, put together this terrific trick-shot video shot in and around Detroit.
I don’t know how many tries that last shot took, but it’s different than anything I’ve ever seen.

**Finally, this story just made me smile Tuesday. I love Krispy Kreme donuts, as all red-blooded Americans who have tried one also do. Haven’t had one in years, but this story made me want one. Or at least, made me want to meet one of their employees, Jackie.

The story is this: A Texas man named Jia Jiang has a serious fear of rejection. So he’s trying to overcome that by spending the next 100 days making “crazy requests” of random strangers, so that they’ll say no, and he’ll get used to being rejected.

OK, I agree it’s nuts, but hey, strange people make our world interesting. So anyway, on his third day Jiang walks into a Krispy Kreme store in Austin, Texas and asks for a five-donut combination display that are colored and shaped like Olympic rings.

Ninety-nine store managers out of 100 would tell him no and then call the police or something. But not Jackie; she actually came through and worked her tail off to make Jiang happy.

Check out the video below… Krispy Kreme needs to give this woman a raise.

Lance, Lance, Lance: Impossible to defend Armstrong now. Epic NBA collapse. And Kyle gets Buckets, 2.0

Note: For you tennis fans,  I’m once again doing a daily French Open blog for my newspaper. Check it out here. And follow me on Twitter here.

I’ll admit it. I was a Lance Armstrong believer.
Maybe I’m naive. Through all of the whispered accusations from discredited sources, to the French media hounding him for well over a decade, I thought the 7-time Tour de France winner was basically clean.

No positive drug tests in all these years had me thinking he was a miracle, a cancer survivor who worked so hard to reach the top of his profession, and he did it cleanly.
He was an inspiration to so many people, not just cancer survivors, and I’d say he was maybe the most admired athlete in America.
And I just didn’t believe he was a cheat.
But after watching “60 Minutes” Sunday night, well … I give in. I give up. Given what Tyler Hamilton and other former U.S. Cycling teammates have to say, and what they’ve allegedly said to a grand jury,  I can’t possibly defend Armstrong anymore.
The evidence has gotten overwhelming. Former teammates are testifying to grand juries about testosterone injections and EPO drops and all kinds of filthy, dirty practices they engaged in with Armstrong.
The scariest allegation for me was Hamilton’s claim that Armstrong and his protectors basically had a positive drug test he produced in 2001 disappeared, so it would never come out.

And so now, we wait. We wait for Lance Armstrong to finally stop the lies and obfuscations, and do what Marion Jones and Mark McGwire and so many others finally did: they stopped ducking and ignoring and admit what they’ve done.
This admission by Armstrong, when it comes (and it will come eventually) will crush millions. Here was a guy who positively, absolutely represented all that was good about athletes, and how much can be overcome with talent and dedication.
And it looks like he was just as dirty as so many others.
It’s sad, really. Even sadder if Armstrong continues to lie to all of us, the people who believed he was worthy of admiration.
Watch the “60 Minutes” video and tell me how you can come to any other conclusion: Lance Armstrong is a fraud.
LiveStrong? More like CheatStrong.

**A few minutes ago I just finished watching the Oklahoma City-Dallas NBA playoff game.
And I’m having a hard time believing what I just saw. The Thunder were in total control the entire game, and led by 15 with about five minutes to go.
Then, like Donald Trump’s presidential hopes, it all fell apart. Dallas started scoring, Dirk Nowitzki, who is reaching a new level this playoff season, hit some crazy shots, and soon the game was in overtime and the Thunder were stunned and lost the game.
It was shocking and once again reminded me why sports are SO much better than “reality” TV and scripted shows: Because you never know what’s going to happen.
Looks like we’re headed to a Dallas-Miami NBA Finals. Which would put most of America in the unfamiliar position of rooting for Mark Cuban.

**Finally, a few months ago I linked to a crazy-cool Kyle Singler trick-shot video. Well, he’s back with another. Kyle Gets Buckets, 2.0. The shot from the top of Duke Chapel is just nuts.

Jon Stewart in defense of teachers. A really, really drunk priest. And Duke-Carolina II

This Wisconsin protest thing continues on, and I get more and more transfixed every day. Gov. Scott Walker seems hellbent on destroying unions in his state, pissing on teachers and other public workers.
When I get upset about all this, I turn to Jon Stewart. Who as always, puts things in perspective:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

**Who says priests don’t know how to party? I certainly don’t after reading about this guy.
Meet Rev. Ignatius Kury, a Ukranian Byzantine Catholic Church priest (no, I’ve never heard of that either, although maybe it’s close to Latvian Orthodox, to which George Costanza is a member) from Ohio.
Mr. Kury was arrested for drunk driving last Monday, and afterwards had some of the most bizarre ramblings you’ll ever hear from a priest (or a drunk person, for that matter).
A sample of what you can find here on his arrest report: And oh yeah, there’s video, too.
— To a jailer: “You have fabulous eyebrows. Those don’t come naturally.”
— “I am not going to get on my knees, I am not going to give head. Oral sex, no. I don’t care how long I’m here.”
—  “Thank you. Because I believe in real American democracy. I believe in Sarah Palin. We’re going rogue.”

— * “He’s in shackles, like Uncle Tom. Like I’m an Uncle Tom, don’t you think so, cause I’m black, I’m part black. You understand, sir, what kind of a shit storm you’re going to be under cause I am part black. Ohh, I can’t wait. Oprah Winfrey is going to have her fat ass down here and you are going to have your ass up the wall, and not in a good way.”

So0000 …  yeah. I can’t wait to see what his next sermon will be about. Standing room only tickets for that one.

**So, yeah, it’s Duke-Carolina day again. This time, so much more is on the line than the first meeting a month ago. Both are tied for the lead in the ACC, and today’s 8 p.m. game (live on CBS, first time the Duke-Carolina game has been on broadcast network prime-time, for whatever the hell that’s worth) will determine the regular season champ.

I’m feeling nervous, because my Blue Devils haven’t played great lately, and Carolina is on a serious roll. I think they’re going to be even better than they were in the first meeting, and they were pretty freaking good that night. Duke needed a huge night from Seth Curry to survive at Cameron in that one.
And my Blue Devils, well, they’re not playing so hot. Kyle Singler still isn’t back to his usual self, and K has shrunk his bench again, and the Heels will be at home …
I still think Duke wins. And I think that since I put this video on the blog last time they played, and Duke won, that I need to do so again.

Oh, like you don’t know a superstitious sports fan?

Duke escapes with a win over Carolina. And the senior citizens who make sure athletes go to class

Jesus that was intense.
A fantastic Duke-Carolina game was played at Cameron Indoor Stadium Wednesday night. Really, it was two games: The Tar Heels absolutely dominated the first half, killing Duke inside (Tyler Zeller was phenomenal, as was Plastic-Man John Henson, man that kid is athletic) and going up by 14 at the break.
Then, after I spent most of halftime bitching and moaning about the first half to my friend Tony (who was sky-high because his Georgetown Hoyas beat Syracuse Wednesday), Duke showed great heart and toughness coming back, and pulling away for a six-point win.
Bunch of quick-hit thoughts from the game:
— Carolina is going to be scary good. And soon. Kendall Marshall at the point, the big guys inside, and a whole lot of athleticism coming off the bench. I just don’t think the young Heels were ready to win a game like this.
— Seth Curry, we’ve been waiting. All Duke fans have been waiting for you to explode and show us why you were so hyped as a transfer two years ago. Tonight, you earned your place in Blue Devil lore.
— The Plumlee brothers are destined to frustrate Duke fans for their whole careers. How you guys played in the second half? Do that all the time!
— Nolan Smith, sensational tonite. Just fabulous. Carried Duke for long stretches. He and Jimmer are the Players of the Year.
— Harrison Barnes was rendered invisible by the Duke defense in the second half. Very disappointing effort for the big-time UNC freshman.
— Thought Cameron was as loud as its been in years tonight, and I was just watching on TV. A few others have said it was especially deafening, too. Great job, Crazies.
— What a rivalry. Such intensity. So many incredible games over the year. Every win over Carolina is special. They play again on March 5.
Can. Not. Wait.

**I love this story all kinds of a lot. For decades, college administrators have employed students on their campuses to “check up on” athletes to make sure they were going to class, doing their work, etc.
But Kansas University has taken that process to a whole new level. According to this story in the Wall Street Journal, the school has hired senior citizens to check on their stars.
The Grandmas and Grandpas must be quite a sight strolling around the Lawrence, Kans., campus, and I’m envisioning a septugenarian grabbing a teenager by the ears while muttering “You think you’re getting out of sociology class today, sonny? I don’t think so.”
There are some occupational hazards, one of the senior citizens said; he waited around for hours one time for a kid to show up, until he realized he had the wrong classroom.
Apparently, though, the practice is working; Kansas hasn’t had any players flunk off the basketball team lately.

VH1 gets pathetically over-nostalgic. Duke 1 win away! And a Passover Egg Hunt story

There are very few people in the world more nostalgic than I am.

I idealize my childhood. I idealize my college years. I wax poetic about a grilled cheese sandwich I ate in 1999. (Well, not really. But I lived in Wilmington, N.C. then and there was this awesome sandwich place called Priddyboys and they made kick-ass large grilled cheese sandwiches. But I digress).

Anyway, I love nostalgia, absolutely love it. Which is why a few years ago, I totally devoured all of the episodes of VH1’s “I Love the 80s” show. I watched as they happily recounted life when L.A. Gear was the cool sneaker, Cabbage Patch Kids the cool toy, and iron-on decal T-shirts were all the rage.

I even liked VH1’s “I Love the 90s” shows, even though those were nowhere near as cool and didn’t feature enough Mo Rocca or Michael Ian Black, the two snarky commentators from the 80s specials.

So, yeah, VH1 knows people my age love to look back at stuff. But my goodness, what I saw on VH1 Saturday as I flipped around made me so sad. Apparently the channel did a series in 2008 that they’re re-running now called “I love the New Millenium.”

Yep, they took a year by year look at the decade that just passed! Do they really think people are missing 2007 already? Talk about beating a dead horse. This is beating a dead horse, putting him outside the barn, then smacking him around for a few more hours.

Yeesh. Please, people of television, I know you’re desperate for ideas. But you have to be able to do better than this.

***Never in a hundred years would I have predicted the beatdown Duke gave West Virginia Saturday night in the Final Four. I’m almost afraid to talk too much about it, for fear of jinxing the Blue Devils for Monday night.

But man oh man, Duke dominated that game. I have said for weeks, nay, months to my college hoops friend Tony that as good as Duke has been this year, there have been very few games where Kyle Singler, Nolan Smith and Jon Scheyer all played well offensively.

Saturday was one of those games. They were fantastic. Brian Zoubek, sensational. The defense? Fabulous. If Duke wins Monday, this’ll be by far the most unlikely championship they’ve won.

Couple other thoughts from the Final Four:

— Terrible to see West Virginia’s De’Sean Butler get hurt in the second half, with what looked like a serious knee injury. It looks like it’s just a sprain. And I have to admit Bob Huggins, a man I loathe, had a touching moment with Butler as he lay writhing on the court, cradling his player’s head and comforting him.

— Duke-Butler for the championship game. Who had that in the brackets?

— Very exciting, if not exactly well-played, Butler-Michigan State game in the other semi. What an amazing story Butler is, one game from a title as a mid-major school from a small conference. If they were playing anybody but Duke Monday night, I’d be pulling hard for them.

— Here’s something that probably means nothing but is fun to talk about: Both Duke’s best player and Butler’s best player are white. When’s the last time two white guys were the best players in the NCAA championship game? Gotta be at least 30 years ago, right?

— If Duke wins Monday (and I think it’ll be a good game, very close), Mike Krzyzewski will break a tie with his mentor, Bob Knight, for most national titles, with 4. That would be fantastic, and would likely drive Knight a little nuts.

**And finally, Happy Easter to all who celebrate it. That picture above is my own fond Easter memory. Back when I worked in N.C., my wonderful friends Brian Feagans and Diana D’Abruzzo realized that as a Jew, I never got to go on an Easter egg hunt as a kid. So Easter weekend one year they got a bunch of colored eggs, drew Jewish stars on them, and buried them around Brian and his wife Helena’s house.

They called me over, and for two hours we held the world’s first Passover Egg Hunt. That’s me with two of the treasures. It was awesome.

I love my friends.

And I miss all that hair I used to have.

Swimmin’ with fishes, and drinking like one: A kick-ass cruise to the Bahamas

You know how when you get back from a vacation all you want to do is tell people about it, but don’t know where to start because there’s so much to tell?

That’s kind of how I feel right now. Julie and I got back Friday from a five-day cruise to the Bahamas, my first-ever cruise. It was pretty awesome, even if our cruise director was a Canadian named Drew, and not a perky blonde named Julie the Cruise Director (wasn’t that her actual name?)

I know it can be boring hearing about someone else’s fun time, but hey, it’s my blog. Besides, I’ll try to keep this from running on too long. Plus, I’ve got a Final Four to prepare for, starring my Duke Blue Devils.

Anyhow, herewith, a few things I learned this week, as Royal Caribbean took us on a journey:

**Never snorkeled before Wednesday. Now it’s one of those things, like eating crab cakes and using Cetaphil lotion, that I wished I’d be doing my whole life. I’ve never been a big nature guy, only watched the Discovery Channel when my best friend Clay would force me to in college, and rarely swim in the ocean.

But oh my God, snorkeling was about the coolest thing I’d ever done. If you have done it lots of times before, think back to the first time you actually swam a few feet away from a starfish, or some other colorful one. It was fantastic, especially once I learned to stop instinctively trying to breathe through my nose.

On one of our snorkeling quests we took out these little Sea Scooter things that you hang on to and it pulls you around the water. Very cool.

**Parasailing = skydiving for wimps. Have done both now, and parasailing was way less scary. But extremely fun.

**To paraphrase Marcellus Wallace in Pulp Fiction, Julie and I are pretty freaking far from being big drinkers. We maybe go through 2 bottles of wine a year, and we imbibe only on holidays, pretty much.

But on these cruises, you cannot get away from the alcohol. The staff practically stalks you to order drinks, whether you’re in a bar, in the pool area, or just hanging out. Avoiding alcohol on a ship is like being in a garden and trying to avoid flowers. You just can’t do it.

We ran up a bar bill that astounded us, although it was worth it, since Julie did get to keep the cool glass every time she ordered the Drink of the Day. So it all comes out even.

**Definite No.1 highlight for me was getting to be Couple No.2 on the ship’s game show version of “The Newlywed Game.” Sadly, we didn’t get to use the blue cards Bob Eubanks and Co. used, but we were up on stage in front of, oh, 400-500 people in the main theater. We answered embarrassing questions, argued a little bit, and came in second place behind the actual honeymooning couple. For the next 2 days, we were like mini-celebs on the cruise, as people kept coming up to us and saying “Weren’t you the couple from the show? And you’re still together?”

I loved the attention because I’m a ham (even though I’m Jewish, which would seem ironic).

**My wife’s favorite odd person sighting of the trip: A heavyset white guy walking around shirtless with tattoos on each nipple.

The left one said “Sweet.” The right one said “Sour.”

You can’t make that kind of thing up. I’m not sure how he thought that might make him more attractive to girls.

**Learned a fun new acronym on the game show from a friendly guy named Terrence. Maybe it’s a black thing, but I’d never heard of the term he used for his wife’s derriere. He said she’s an A.F.D. I won’t spell out what it is; this is a family blog. But it brought the house down.

OK, enough trip rambling for now. Happy to be home. Perhaps more trip rambling tomorrow; I still haven’t told you about the kid who was a dead ringer for an “Addams Family” member who kept following us around.

**So Duke’s in the Final Four today, playing West Virginia. Not sure how other Duke fans feel, but for me, with this team, everything is gravy now. Just making the Final Four is the real accomplishment. If the Devils are to win today, they’ve got to shoot well, Kyle Singler’s wrist has to be OK, and Duke must rebound as well as they did against Baylor.

The experts all seem to be split on this game, so I’m figuring it comes down to two or three points. And K absolutely can outcoach Bob Huggins, so I think Duke pulls it out.

And hey, congrats to the UNC Tar Heels, for being the NIT runner-up, and clinching their spot as the 67th best team in America. Go Heels!

An uplifting story of a stranger’s kindness. And Duke survives (barely)

A heartwarming story for your Saturday reading …

A man named Dan Coyne in Chicago had inquired about a cashier at the grocery store he shopped in. The cashier, Myra de la Vega, said she had been ill recently, having been diagnosed with renal failure and in need of a new kidney.

So Coyne offered his, and Friday, this man who only knew her from the grocery store donated his kidney to help save and preserve his life.

It’s a beautiful story of human unselfishness, and it’s just a small reminder of the miracles that happen every day in this world.

***Whew. Still a little drained from that Duke-Purdue game late Friday night. Absolutely brutal first half by my Blue Devils, but they got it together in the second half, shot MUCH better, and slowly pulled away.

Couple thing on this game: 1, This is absolutely a game Duke would’ve lost the last few years. This year’s team is tougher and bigger. 2, Jon Scheyer still couldn’t hit an outside shot, but he found a way to score, driving and willing his way to the basket. Loved Nolan Smith in the second half, and Kyle Singler the whole game.

Still, an atrocious first half. And Baylor looked really, really good in the first game. Duke-Baylor Sunday at 5 p.m. Commence worrying now.

Also, how good is Michigan State? Tremendous win for them over the last Cinderella left in the tournament, Northern Iowa.

“Parenthood” was great. Duke-Carolina tonight? Greater. And a despicable lawyer in Texas

So at first I was prepared to like the new NBC show “Parenthood” when I first heard about it. Peter Krause, who was in two of my favorite shows of the decade (“Six Feet Under” and the criminally unloved and cancelled “Dirty Sexy Money.”) was going to be in it. And Lauren Graham, who I loved loved LOVED in “Gilmore Girls.,” was in it too.

But then NBC ran the promos for “Parenthood” about every five seconds  during the Olympics, so often that I wanted to throw something at my TV and scream “Enough already! You’re making me hate the show!”

But I didn’t throw anything at the TV, mainly because it’s a beautiful flat-screen that I love nearly as much as my wife.

So I figured even though NBC annoyed me with the relentless promo, I’d give “Parenthood” a shot this week. It was pretty great.

Yeah, I’ve been sucked in before by shows whose pilots were great but then went downhill, fast. So I’m cautiously optimistic.

But I really liked it. The writing was sharp, the acting was great, the huge cast confused me at times (wait, who’s related to who again?) but I’m sure that’ll sort itself out soon enough. It’s on my automatic DVR list now, and please, NBC, no more promos!

**So, yeah, Duke-Carolina Part II is tonight. Looking forward to this one almost as much as the first game between them this year, won by Duke, in case you forgot. Yeah, I know the Heels have actually won two straight (hey, a winning streak, congrats UNC!) and Duke is coming off a tough loss at Maryland last week, but no matter: This will be a royal beatdown.

Do you realize it’s been FIVE YEARS since the Blue Devils have beaten Carolina in Cameron? That’s disgusting, and must end. I see Nolan Smith blowing by Larry Drew, Kyle Singler raining threes on Will Graves, and Jon Scheyer going out in style on Senior Night.

I want Roy Williams screaming at his own players tonight. I want Coach K waving his arms furiously for more noise. I want Crazy Towel Guy at full strength. I want a tsunami of noise, and I want the Heels leaving with a loss.

Duke by 15 tonight. Please. Enough losing to the powder blues at Cameron.

**Finally, a lovely little story about an absolute prince of a guy. William Ogletree, a Texas attorney, was at an airport in Houston last Dec. 30 when he stopped at the food court for a meal. While there, he left his $800 black leather coat behind, accidentally, and the coat vanished.

Now Ogletree is threatening to sue the airport, the airline, and the food court owners because they (get this) failed to have “collected the coat, kept it in a secure place and held it for a reasonable time” until he was able to reunite with the garment.

Are you FREAKING kidding me, pal? You lose your expensive coat and it’s the restaurant’s fault, or the airline’s fault? How unbelievably pathetic. With all the money you’ll be spending on a lawsuit, here’s an idea:

Save that money and buy another coat!

Just blows my mind that this guy is going to sue someone else because of his mistake.

Come to think of it, do you have any idea how wealthy I’d be if I sued every time I lost a piece of clothing at a store? Baby, I’d be living in a mansion right now!

Duke beats Carolina, and life is good. And a terrific video story from my old paper

Early in the second half of Wednesday night’s Duke-Carolina slugfest, I had a splitting headache (from yelling at the TV, I think, but I have no professional medical training), grabbed the bottle of Advil, and said to my wife, “If they lose this game, I may have to go for a long, long walk outside.”
Yeah, I was stressing. Yeah, I take these games a little too seriously.

But the Advil helped the headache. And what really helped was that, finally, my Blue Devils hit some outside shots, played some great D, and came away with an absolutely vital 64-54 win.

If you care not a whit about college basketball or the greatest rivalry in sports, you may as well skip to something inspiring, at the end of this post.

But I need to get some of this out, because that was an awesome, awesome victory, only Duke’s second in the last eight against the Chapel Hill boys.

Some thoughts on the game:

— UNC is bad. Really, really bad. And I don’t say that like I’m just trying to put down Duke’s hated rival. I mean, they’re just not any good. I’ve seen the Heels four or five times this season, and with the exception of the win over Michigan State in December, they’ve looked terrible each time. Larry Drew is not a good point guard. Ed Davis is talented but soft. Will Graves disappeared for long stretches. Really, this team isn’t worthy of being in the Tournament.

— That said, they played really hard Wednesday. That was one of the ugliest Duke-Carolina games you’ll see, but it was pretty damn intense.

— Can’t believe how badly Duke shot the ball for most of the game. They had 3 two-point FGs in the first half. THREE! Fortunately, Jon Scheyer wouldn’t let them lose. He hit two enormous 3-pointers in the final minutes, including the dagger that gave Duke the 9-point lead. He’s moving up into my pantheon of all-time Duke greats; needs to lead this team to a Final Four to cement his place in Duke lore, though.

–Lance Thomas better not be out long with that knee injury. He’s a fantastic defender, and if Duke loses him, well, not good.

— Very encouraged by Mason Plumlee. Kid stepped up big-time in the second half, and he may need to play a lot more if Thomas is out. That reverse dunk was sweet.

OK, enough rambling. It wasn’t pretty, but wins over Carolina don’t need to be. It was a beautiful game, and a beautiful win. I’m a happy man tonight.

**OK,  here’s a small example of what some newspapers are now doing so well, transforming great print stories into wonderful video and photo stories. My old friend Erin Coker at the Glens Falls Post-Star has done several of these, and I think this was his best. It’s a 5-minute piece on a high school wrestler, who despite epilepsy and Asperger’s Disease, made the varsity team.

Enjoy.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

The Globetrotters on ice. And welcome back, Kyle Singler

An all-hoops post today, sure to drive away my wife and mother-in-law. But hey, you can’t please everyone.

I’m sure it would surprise a lot of people to know that the Harlem Globetrotters are still around.

It’s not like they’re on TV much anymore, or at all. I remember as a kid being psyched when Jim McKay would come on the beginning of “Wide World of Sports” (go ahead and click, I know you want to see that skier fall) and announce there’d be a Globetrotters game on.

My youthful brain wondered all sorts of things, like “How do the refs miss so much of the Trotters’ tricks?” And “Don’t the Washington Generals players know to look behind them when they’re shooting free throws? There may be a guy sneaking up behind them about to pull down their shorts!”

I saw the Globetrotters once in person, too; I think it was in Glens Falls, N.Y., and I remember, even as a grown-up, laughing pretty hard at all their tricks. There’s just nothing controversial about the Globetrotters, nothing sinister; just fun for the whole family.

Well, I’m happy to report that not only are the boys from Harlem still around, but they’re about to make history: They’re going to play on ice. Yeah, ice. Seriously. On Feb. 9 in Central Park in New York City. The Globetrotters and the Washington Generals will wear special cleats and somehow try to dribble and pass on a sheet of frozen water.

Now, the New York Times wrote about this upcoming game, but left out the best part. Joe Posnanski, however, didn’t, in a recent blog post he called “The Best Quote Ever.”

When asked about his team’s chances for the game, legendary Generals coach Red Klotz, whose team has lost oh, 48,000 games to the ‘Trotters, had a four-word answer.

“We excel on ice.”

How great is that? I’m laughing even as I’m typing it.

God bless Red Klotz. And God bless the Trotters.

**Big-time win by my Duke boys Thursday night. Big. Time. Desperately needed after that humiliating loss to Georgetown last week, when clearly, Barack Obama and Joe Biden sharing popcorn in the front row threw off the Blue Devils’ mojo. (Seriously, couldn’t you see Biden just being the most annoying second banana ever? “I wanna come to the basketball game TOO, Mr. President!” But I love Joe Biden. He’s a Blue Hen. We’re alumni brothers).

Anyway, lost my train of thought there. Oh yeah, Duke. Biggest development Thursday in the crushing of Georgia Tech was Kyle Singler looking like the Kyle of old. The Kyle we know and love. Singler was awesome Thursday, hitting for 30 points, hitting 8 of 10 3-pointers (8 of 10!), and Duke cruised.

I’m having definite doubts about whether this Duke team is good enough to get to the Final Four. They don’t defend well enough, their post guys like the Plumlees are still too raw, and Scheyer and Singler are playing so many minutes they’re going to be dead-tired by the Sweet 16.

But hey, I’m not worrying about all that tonight. Tonight, I’m savoring this win.  And savoring yet ANOTHER Tar Heels loss. Man, what is that, five in a row now? And Matt Doherty can’t be blamed for any of them. So sweet.

And oh yeah, six more days till Duke-Carolina. Hmmm, wonder if I’ll have a blog post about that one next Wednesday.