Thursday, September 29, 2011

Wanna buy a GW Fathead?

Are you familiar with Fatheads? They're the big "wall graphics" -- sticker type things of sports teams and other stuff that you can stick on your wall: a giant football helmet, team logo, athlete, etc. They're actually kind a cool idea for a dudes' room or sports room or something (I refuse to use the term Man Cave.) Could be good for a dorm or frat house too.

And there are now GW ones available! This is pretty awesome. Along with the GW logo, you also get a couple smaller logos, including one that says Colonials and one of George's face. I would like to request a life size (5'4") Shawnta Rogers for next time. Would be a nice way to measure the kids -- little Billy is up to Shawnta's waist!

Kudos to GW for getting this on the site. I'd buy some if I had a wall for it.

Friday, September 23, 2011

The GW Basketball All-Stars, Episode 3: The GW Basketball All-Stars Go Back in Time for Kurtis Blow

Written by Don Pitz.  Illustrations by Seth Melton.  Seth Melton is available for hire.  You can find more of his work at

The George Washington University Men’s College Basketball All Stars work every day to spread the joy of basketball.  They encourage others to live an active lifestyle with proper nutrition.  The League of Bad Guys is dedicated to bring chaos and evil.  They know the power of basketball is the greatest force of good in this world, and could bring us peace and prosperity.  Who will win this struggle?

Last episode, The League of Bad Guys’ Comrade Chaos took over the school system in a city in Slovenia.  She converted the schools into sweatshop factories and made the children work there to ship junk food to the United States.  That matter has since been resolved.

The GW Basketball All Stars are watching the movie “Krush Groove” at the Fortress of Basketball-tude.  Their neighbor Gary enters without knocking on the door.  "Hey, GW All Stars!  It's your crrrazy neighbor!' says Gary.  The All Stars cheer, happy to see their friend again. “Say, Pops.  I’ve been looking all over the place, but I can’t seem to find my nundoo.”

“What’s a nun do?” asks Pops Mensah-Bonsu.

“Teach Catholic school,” says Gary.  They all laugh together.  Gary exits.

The ghost of Yinka Dare appears before them.  “GW All Stars, the world needs your help!  I have a letter from 1984.”

“What’s a 1984?” asks Pops Mensah-Bonsu.

“Oh, Pops” says Mike Hall. “1984 isn’t a thing.  It’s a year.  We received a letter sent to us from back in time.”

“That’s right,” says the ghost of Yinka Dare.  “We’ve had this letter ever since we built the Fortress.  It said on the envelope not to open it until this very date.  Here’s the really strange thing – the letter is written by Shawnta Rogers!”

Shawnta Rogers says, “Hey, I may be capable of some pretty incredible things, but I know I didn’t write a letter to us back in 1984.”

“Not yet!” says the ghost of Yinka Dare.  “I don’t want to bore everyone with all the details, but we need to go back in time to save Kurtis Blow.  The League of Bad Guys will go back in time to try and make Kurtis Blow come out with a song about how he hates basketball.”

“Kurtis Blow’s song, ‘Basketball’ is why basketball became my favorite sport,” says Mike Hall.  “Ever since that song came out, I love it when they dribble up and down the court.  But how are we supposed to be able to travel time?”

“Well, the good news is time travel is the easy part,” says the ghost of Yinka Dare.  “I’ve invited Physics Professor William Briscoe from GW.  He’ll explain how you can travel time.”

Professor William Briscoe enters and teaches them how they can travel time.

Meanwhile, at the lair of the League of Bad Guys, they’re all talking about how they hate basketball.

“I hate slam dunks.  I don’t want to be taken to hoop”, says Mr. Kim.  “My least favorite play is alley-oop.”

“I hate the pick and roll.  I hate the give and go”, says Comrade Chaos, in her thick Soviet accent.  “I hate basketball and I hate Mr. Kurtis Blow.”

“Grongo smash Kurtis Blow”, says the mindless oaf Grongo.

“Yes, well… I think we can stop worrying about Kurtis Blow and his rap song about basketball”, says Number One Bad Guy.  “I’ve got wonderful news.  I’ve discovered how we can travel time.”

"What good that do?" asks Mr. Kim.

"What good WILL that do," corrects Number One Bad Guy.  “We all know that Kurtis Blow’s song about basketball is one of the main reasons why the GW All Stars ever started playing basketball in the first place.  So, we’ll go back in time to convince Kurtis Blow to come out with a song about how he thinks basketball stinks.  Then, the GW All Stars will never start playing basketball.  The world will be ours! It's really a foolproof plan.  The best part is the GW All Stars can't do anything about it."  They all laugh maniacally together.

The GW All Stars arrive in the year 1984.  They all remark on the cultural differences between 1984 and 2011: the hairstyles are different; the fashion is different.  Nobody has cell phones and they carry boom boxes instead of i-pods.  But the strangest thing to all of them is that nobody recognizes them.  In 2011, they’re used to being world-famous.  But in 1984, they haven’t formed as a team yet, so they’re not famous yet.  They go to try and find Kurtis Blow at his studio.

The bad news is that the League of Bad Guys have captured Kurtis Blow and overtaken his studio.  They also captured the Fat Boys.

“Fat Boys!  We demand that you make rap songs about eating lots of junk food and going to buffets”, demands Number One Bad Guy.

“No arguments here,” says Prince Markie Dee.

“Yeah, we love eating junk food and going to buffets.  You’ve got a deal,” says Kool Rock-ski.  The Fat Boys exit.

“Now, onto you, Kurtis Blow,” says Number One Bad Guy.  “We’re here to convince you to make a song about how basketball stinks.”

“I’ll never do that”, says Kurtis Blow, who has been tied to a chair.  “Basketball has always been my thing.  I like Magic, Bird and Bernard King”.

“Well, we have ways to convince you otherwise”, says Mr. Kim.  He sends five of his kung-fu goons to beat up Kurtis Blow.  Just as one of his goons is about to hit Kurtis Blow with a nunchaku, it gets hit out of his hand with a basketball.  The GW All Stars have arrived!

“Step away from Kurtis Blow”, says Mike Brown.  “Mr. Kim, we challenge your goons to a game of basketball.  If they win, we leave and Kurtis Blow can write your song about how basketball stinks.  If we win, you and the League of Bad Guys leave him alone and he can complete his “Ego Trip” album the way he wants to.”  Mr. Kim accepts their challenge.

In the locker room before the game, the GW All Stars discuss their strategy.  They try to decide who will be the fifth player. Former GW basketball player Kwame Evans enters the room.

“Kwame Evans!  What are you doing here?” asks Mike Hall.

“I travel time a lot.  It’s fun!” says Kwame Evans.  “Mind if I play with you guys?”

In Mr. Kim’s locker room, the goons ask him how they could possibly beat the GW All Stars, and they thank him for believing in their skills.  Mr. Kim informs them there won’t be any basketball game.  Instead, he has a plan…

At tip-off, Kwame Evans goes up for the jump ball.  One of Mr. Kim’s goons hits him with a nunchaku.  The other goons reveal that they are carrying kung fu weapons and look like they want to fight the GW All Stars.

“Hey, this isn’t how you play basketball!” says Pops Mensah-Bonsu.

The GW All Stars team up with Kwame Evans and use a combination of their basketball skills and kung fu skills to defeat Mr. Kim’s goons.

“GW All Stars, you may have one the battle, but you won’t win the war!” yells Number One Bad Guy.  The League of Bad Guys retreat and travel time back to 2011.

“Kurtis Blow, it really is an honor to meet you,” says Shawnta Rogers, as he unties him from his chair.

“Hey, the pleasure is all mine.  Thanks so much for saving me,” says Kurtis Blow.  “You guys actually gave me a great idea for my music video.  You think you’d want to stick around and watch me make the video?”  The GW All Stars all agree.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The conference dominos are starting to fall: should we panic?

This weekend the news broke that Pitt and Syracuse were leaving the Big East for the ACC. This raised concerns that other Big East football schools might flee, and now it looks like that may happen, as the rump of the Big 12 and the Big East are talking about merging (or more accurately the Big East getting subsumed into the Big 12).

This is obviously driven by football and by the money schools and conferences get from TV contracts, radio, bowls, etc. That means the basketball-only schools, St. John's, Providence, Marquette, Seton Hall, DePaul, Villanova and Georgetown, and Notre Dame (which is independent in football) would be out of the loop. That's the problem.

Would those remaining schools grab the better non-football schools from other conferences? Would those be only Catholic schools? Who are likely candidates to go to the new Big East? Dayton, Xavier, St. Joe's, SLU, Butler? Could GW go there? What about URI, UMass, Temple? What would happen to GW and the A-10?

The GWHoopsters are hashing it out too. Free Quebec has a couple of scenarios:
The worst case scenario would be that the leftover BCS football schools (like South Florida and maybe Iowa St or Kansas St) will join C-USA and MWC to create solid second tier leagues.   Then, in the worst case, the top A-10 catholic schoolsw will join up with the big east basketball schools to create an all-catholic league. I don't tihnk this is as easy as it sounds, but if it happens, that's the worst case.

That would leave GW along with UMASS, URI, and Richmond to form the core of a new confernece.  That's not that bad.  You could even potentially keep Temple if they don't feel they have to join the MAC or CUSA for all sports.   You might be able to add a school like Butler if they don't go to the new Catholic league, or a good basketball school like Western Kentucky.  BU could possibly jump over to it, and that's a school that could be decent if they wanted to.  Duquesne and the Bonnies could get left out of the big league and stay with us (decent tradition but I could live without the Olean road trip).    Maybe you get some other school like GMU, JMU and/or ODU to jump from the Colonial, or someone like Siena from the MAAC.   Heck, you could even have a school like St. Joe's get vetoed by Villanova.

And that's all just the worst case scenario.  It's no given that schools like st. John's and Villanova will want to travel to Philadelphia or Dayton or even Milwaukee for swim meets without football revenue.   It's just as conceivable that the Big East basketball schools stay together and add no one or add only a couple teams, leaving the A-10 largely intact.  Or that the baskteball schools from the Big East and A-10 split into a midwestern regional league and an eastern regional league, with us in the eastern league. 
There's that stupid saying that the Chinese symbol for "crisis" is made up of the symbols for "danger" and "opportunity." That isn't true, but it's accurate in this case. We could lose the crappy schools and get some better ones, or we could end up with the dregs.

I think we're better positioned now than ever, and that was kind of the idea. New athletic director Patrick Nero is said to have a lot of good connections, and Mike Lonergan has a lot of northeastern experience too. Conference-wise, conference commissioner Bernadette McGlade was associate commissioner of the ACC, and seems a lot better than Linda Bruno.

So, fingers crossed. Hail to the Buff.

Here are two related videos.

Monday, September 19, 2011

New official GW athletics blog: GW Sports Today

The GW sports media world got a little bigger recently, with GW Sports Today, a new blog from GW Today, the university's official news source. And for that I say: get off my turf!!!

Just kidding, it's always good to have another voice out there. Check them out.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The new schedule is out, and it is good

Remember the days of GW versus August State, Coppin State, Sacramento State and other states you haven't heard of? They may be forgotten.

GW announced its 2011 hoops schedule, and it's pretty solid: Cal-Berkeley, Kansas State and Syracuse on the road, VCU at the BB&T, plus UAB at home. There's a total of 16 postseason teams including 7 NCAA tourney teams. 

There's a great interview with Coach Lonergan by GW's David Earl on the GWSports website where they talk about the schedule. 

Lots of good stats on the schedule too: the Washington Times points out that the average RPI for the non-conference schedule is 134, versus 186 last season, and that only 4 teams from this schedule finished above 200 in the RPI, whereas last year there were 14, and GWHoopsters find that there are 12 OOC teams in this year's top 100. A vast improvement.

Of course, part of the debate about Hobbs's crummy schedules was why he did it: some folks thought it was because he wanted to rack up wins and build confidence going into the conference schedule, but that meant nobody wanted to come see GW play crappy teams and it backfired when GW got beat by those crappy teams. I don't really see a negative to this schedule, unless we go 0-14 out of conference or something, which I don't see happening.

Here's the schedule itself. The season opener is November 11th at home against Maryland-Eastern Shore (hey, have to have some high RPI teams in there) and there's also an exhibition against Bowie State at home on the 6th.


Tuesday, September 6, 2011

GW is taking over Columbia Heights -- sort of

Lots of GW stuff for sale at Target
GW stuff at Bed Bath and Beyond

This is nice to see. The other day I was shopping at the DCUSA shopping center in Columbia Heights, DC, at 14th and Irving. Target had a big selection of GW stuff in their back to school section, including t-shirts, kids' shirts, baby clothes, and even cheerleader outfits for little girls. It seemed like there was more GW stuff than any other colleges there.

 Then across the hall in Bed Bath and Beyond I saw this GW mug on a display of sports team mugs.

Good to see this stuff. Let's hope it sells well -- and if you live in the neighborhood, go pick something up!

As Yogurt would say in Spaceballs, moichandising!
You can get college basketball tickets here.