Miscellany

Weekly Conversation: Baylor

The dad olympics and your NBA favorites to watch.

Last Week’s Game

Seth: Where in the hell do we go from here?

Travis: All the way up?

I don’t know man. We all have them I guess but Saturday was one of those turning points for me. Cade had a basketball game at noon, so I was listening to the game on my ear buds and watching him play. They came from behind to beat a team they had previously lost to, and Cade made a free throw with a minute left to tie it up. We went to lunch to celebrate and I watched the missed field goal, the KSU TD drive, the 2-point conversion, the knee with 42 seconds left and the awful overtime that culminated with a corner fade thrown toward Muleshoe.

So instead of celebrating on a nice Saturday afternoon, I was just mad. And I’m tired of being mad about a stupid sport that I really have no affiliation with beyond my degree. I don’t know a single person involved in the program, but yet their successes and failures control my emotions. It’s just annoying.

And I know most of us have gone through something similar at different times this season (or even sooner). I texted my super secret Mensa group that I wanted everyone gone. Kliff, Whitt, Level, everyone on the radio, RRS, the gorilla lawyer, all of ‘em. That’s probably not possible, but I’m at the point now where I think I’m ready to just clean house and get rid of everything we identify with Tech football and start from scratch. How about you?

Seth: I was thinking about the NBA, particularly the Spurs, the Mavs, and the Rockets. I had read somewhere that the Spurs have less than 50 days with a losing record since 1997 and of all things the Mavs were second with over 700 days with a losing record since 1997 and Rockets were third with over 800 days (I can’t remember the exact numbers, but this is the general idea). I got me thinking about how the two teams that I think you and I follow the most have been so successful over that period of time. You’ve gone 20 years with having a losing Spurs record for more than 2 days per year. That’s just stupid.

So here we sit with a program that just can’t seem to get out of it’s own way. There’s part of me that wonders what’s really wrong, it’s been so long since we’ve had that sustained fun success and it’s not for lack of fan participation. We go to the games, third in the Big 12. It’s not for lack of facilities, those are constantly being upgraded. It’s not for lack of paying the head coach, he’d paid very well.

This was a quote from a Les Miles AMA on Reddit and I thought it was pretty good:

“You’re making a change based on a coach that has left you for a better job, or you’re making a change because the coach you brought in two years ago hasn’t made ta connection with the team and doesn’t appear to be the right fit. Change is necessary in many cases, but sometimes it’s treating the wrong problem.

“I think there are reasons to look for another coach, but a coach needs to have his style of players to be truly successful. That coach who has been let go so soon might have a number of things occur outside his control, whether its injury or a rough schedule. But beyond that, it’s hard to connect with players who already have relationships that you weren’t part of during the recruiting process. And when you fire that coach because he wasn’t successful in making that connection, you’re taking a gamble that the next coach will. If you end up firing the next coach for the same reasons, it becomes clear your program’s problems aren’t all related to coaching.”

This interesting for two reasons and maybe you will think of more, but here are my two: 1) If there is a next coach, that next coach has to be the guy that can make those connections because there really cannot be a downtime to what has already been what’s felt like a down program; and 2) do you think that this is a coaching situation or are there other problems with this program that aren’t related to coaching?

It’s the second question that really has me going for a spin. Is there something else, something that I haven’t really even thought of that has pushed this program back to the point that it’s unsuccessful because of something else?

Travis: I know this sounds like I’m backtracking but I’m in almost the same place. Sure, Tech is probably going to fire Kliff, but then what? Will the program be in a better place next year? There are going to be a ton of high profile jobs opening up this winter, so who will Tech be able to attract? Will the new staff be a significant step up over the current staff, who if nothing else has the advantages of personal relationships built that you mention below. I just don’t know. There are just so many unknowns that I don’t want to even try to wrap my head around.

Seth: To clarify, I think that the only way that you hire a new coach is if Hocutt really thinks outside the box. You can’t just hire someone that does the same thing that Kingsbury does with the same salary restrictions. Hire someone that is going to change the way things are done, perhaps for the better/worse.

Suburban Gangsters

Travis: So Keith and I have talked about starting up the Dad Olympics for a couple of years. There are several events that could be used to measure a man’s dadness. Here are a few that we’ve come up with:

1. Remote Control Mastery. How many favorites can you get to by memory? How close can you get to stopping the FF/rewind to the exact start of the show or end of a commercial?

2. Thermostat Control. How long can you keep the thermostat to your desired setting? How well do you deal with a shivering wife or complaining kids?

3. How many eggs can you break with one hand without getting any shell in the bowl?

4. How long can you play the Eagles on Bluetooth without anyone complaining?

Those are just a few of the events we’ve kicked around. Anything going on in your circle of dads that you could think of to enhance?

Seth: I’m totally with you on the thermostat. I would also suggest the following:

1. Number of complaints for just wearing your dress socks out in public (you know, to go to Whataburger or Walmart for a quick trip).

2. Number of times you have to say, “Buddy, Dad doesn’t ever get to watch TV and all I want to do is watch this game.” (sobs uncontrollably because it is Texas Tech playing).

I was going to mention one other thing, and this is sort of a “wisdom of the crowd” sort of thing, but Youssouf has started playing with a club team. We’ve been going to practices for about a month and he’s playing with the 2010 birthday kids even though he is a 2011 birthday. Most of the kids he is playing are in the 2nd grade and he’s still in kindergarten. We have our first tournament next weekend. It’s for the whole weekend, we’re in Granbury, which is about 100 miles away from where I stay.

My wife and I sort of stress about this because he’s still just a kid, even moreso than the other kids because he’s at least a year younger, but he has an October birthday, so in some cases it’s more. Anyway we’re nervous about how he’s going to react and if it’s too much. Is this too much for this kid. I told him last night before we got out of the car for practice that at the tournament, there were probably going to be some kids who were very good, probably better than him.

That son of a gun was completely undeterred. “You think they’re better than me?” “Well, maybe.” /Yo shakes head/ “They maybe as good as me, but not better than me.”

Travis: The “begging to watch one game,” event will be lit. There’s some ultra tough competition in that category.

This Week’s Game

Seth: We’re just going to skip this right here because I’m pretty sure we both want to whip the tar out of Baylor.

The Best Thing Ever

Seth: I don’t know how I found this, but this Duke Cannon Aftershave Balm feels like you’re dumping an ice bucket on your face after a shave and I pretty much love it. It’s expensive, but that bottle will last a long time.

Travis: My best thing ever is along the same lines and they’ve been around for a while, but I’m a loyal customer of The Dollar Shave Club. Now the title is a little misleading because it costs more like six bucks, but it’s still a helluva deal and the razors are the best I’ve ever used. They also have great shave butter that reduces irritation, which comes in handy this time of year when our skin dries out.

Random Top Five

Seth: Top NBA players to watch that are not on the Spurs (or the Mavs for me). Keep in mind, this is not best players, but ones you enjoy watching the most.

1. Steph Curry.
2. Giannis Antetokounmpo.
3. Nikola Jokic.
4. Kawhi Leonard.
5. Karl Anthony Towns.

Travis: My favorite:

1. Durant
2. Russ
3. LeBron (especially in the playoffs)
4. Kyrie
5. Giannis

Game Predictions

Seth: I’m predicting a pretty good Texas Tech win and I know that all reason should tell me otherwise to go the other way. But I think Texas Tech has more talent, on offense alone it will be tough for Baylor to keep pace (although they’ve done a really good job of keeping games close). I’ll go Texas Tech 42, Baylor 33.

Travis: And I’m not even tryna pick this week. Maybe that’ll switch things up. C’mon, Red Raiders.

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