Editor’s Note: Welcome to a new feature here at Hoyo’s Revenge, THURSDAY’S WITH RAIDER. Bill Simmons and the late Ralph Wiley used to do this piece where one would email the other with a question and they would respond back and forth, with where ever they went. We’re essentially stealing that. As for Raider, he and I share the special bond of being the only two Utah fans who were born in Wyoming and as such we share a special bond. We’ve been great friends for a very long time despite sharing opposite views on so many things, I mean he’s a Raider and I’m a Bronco fan for God Sakes. So we hope you enjoy our rantings and if you have a topic you’d like us to address on Thursdays with Raider, contact one of us in all the usual places. And now without further delay, Thursdays with Raider. BTW I know today is Wednesday, I just could wait.
1. Five years ago, ‘Dre was 31 years old, which is ordinarily the beginning of the end of the typical NBA career, but his has been solid enough that I think it would mean he would be at least 40 before he even entered into the college coaching ranks.
2. Five years ago, Jim Boylen was hired, which seemed like a good idea at the time.
3. The Van Horn/Dre/Doleac and certainly the Bogut mini-era were still fresh enough in people’s minds that one would be forgiven for thinking that the Runnin’ Utes could be a solid basketball program for the foreseeable future.
And at the risk of looking like an idiot on these series of tubes, back then I thought “hey, Luke Nevill will get us another few runs in the NCAAs, Boylen will be here for a good decade” and all was hunky dory. While I am thinking out loud, do you think the biggest indictment of the Boylen era is that it took basically until his senior year for Nevill to become the type of player a lot of fans (myself included) thought he should have been? Your readers and followers will bring up other things to denigrate Boylen, which I don’t invalidate. But I often go back to the career of Nevill as the most glaring disappointment of that era. Yes, I’m fully aware that he’s the best shot blocker we have had in a long time, but like most of my adventures in dating, I was left wanting more. Sue me.
You also may not know this either, but I swear it is required under Utah law that every able bodied citizen must discuss the Jazz in at least every 15 conversations until one either dies or relocates. This naturally drifted into a random drunken conversation I had recently where we discussed whether the Jazz should have drafted Andre. I completely understand that they may not have needed Dre anymore than they would have needed Jimmer. But it did get me to thinking about that vis a vis Brian Johnson being too young to rent a car, but old enough to be the OC.
I don’t need to convince you or anyone else not in a vegetative state that the basketball program needs a shot in the arm, and Larry to me isn’t the guy that can do that. Does it not bother you that Boise State–a never was in basketball–wanted nothing to do with him? Not surprisingly, I have a hard time getting past that little factoid. But why not see what happens by bringing him on? I mean, the Warriors brought in Mark Jackson as their he—oh, wait, that might not be the best example.
All that having been said, it doesn’t mean that I would be dead set against seeing what, say, Tommy Connor has up his sleeve as a head coach in a few years. But anything shiny that the athletic department can use to distract people into showing up and giving a damn about basketball I’m all for.
Well, it is the U and for the time being, football is the shiny, big titted thing that distracts us all. But I get the feeling that I just may be the one grouch in the fan base that is expecting only 8 wins again this year. Yes, it’s easy for me to look at it that way, but I would be lying if I didn’t get discouraged by this: so I took a quick glance at the recruiting class of 2016 the other day (which would be current HS freshmen) and read that not only is there a commit already, but he’s going to USC. Of course he’s going to USC, if you were a 15 year old kid, the promise of having the finest casual sex outside of a European backpacking trip would have to appeal to you.
So I don’t know about you, but I’m going into the spring game this year w/ an open mind ready to be talked into the prospect of a season that was better than last year. Jordan Wynn can’t possibly get hurt again can he? He would make Darnell Arcenaux look durable by comparison.
Anyway, I never know when or where these emails will end up going, because I also don’t know how to approach the question of whether Benny Dees or Al Kincaid is more reviled to you. So I’m willing to take this project to whatever its eventual conclusion happens to be.
And Shannon Sharpe was no Clarence Kay. Just sayin’.
2002 doesn’t seem to sting quite as bad as it used to (Thank you, Edgar!), but I never could quite wrap my head around why Dusty used Livan Hernandez as the focal point of the starting rotation in that series. Why you don’t have Jason Schmidt start games 1, 4, and 7 and let the chips fall where they may is one I will never understand. It took until the Mitchell Report came out for me to also discover certain bits of hilarity that stemmed from that series. Take Benito Santiago for example, who was named in the Mitchell Report. When he did his juice (allegedly), he was 39 years old. Hell, if it wasn’t anabolic steroids, it would have been Viagra or Rogaine or something else elderly people take anyway. Maybe I’m old fashioned, but if you’re getting to be that old and still playing, you might as well take whatever you want.
(There’s also the fact that Marvin Benard was named, which is sort of a punch line that I really don’t have to write).
Someone used the joke already that 2 Broke Girls was a better when it was called Laverne & Shirley. However, I do feel as though I must answer your question regarding 2 Broke Girls with a very simple and blunt “no”. You didn’t notice this several years ago, but ABC tried to pull a fast one on the American television viewer with a show called “Hot Properties”. Adapted I believe from a German television series, it starred 3 women who work as realtors in Manhattan that embark upon…well, whatever it is that three hot women that work together might embark upon. Who were the three actresses, you ask? I will mention the names of Sofia Vergara (who doesn’t require further explanation), Gail O’Grady (who if you check out her IMDb page, you will immediately understand why I consider her spouse material), and Nicole Sullivan (perfectly fine to me, your results may vary). Perhaps I shouldn’t have this bit of knowledge, but I’m also single with no kids and no girlfriend. I have plenty of time on my hands to dispense this obscure broadcasting footnote, arousing though it may be.
I suppose I should be more optimistic about football this year, but truth be told, the CU game last year leaves me wondering if the cool-aid got watered down at some point. Let me go back to that point in time for a minute. As Coleman Peterson is lining up for the game tying field goal, the single thought that hit my brain was “how the hell did this happen? CU was really this tough of a matchup for us?” Peterson kicks the ball toward my seat in the NEZ and I knew just about from the moment it hit his foot “that’s not going in”. And sadly, I was right. Pessimism is a comfortable thing for a lot of Ute fans, even if it is a reaction toward BYU fans and the fact that they believe glory is inevitable. So if I conveniently ignore the fact that Wynn getting hurt made the offense hella one-dimensional and that the defense was put in some bad positions due to turnovers, I apologize to your readers and followers. I will do 20 Urban Meyer’s when I finish writing this reply.
One would also have to forgive me for going out of my way to make yet another hyperbolic point regarding Larry, but I expected two wins this past season. We got six. So I guess in a way, that’s progress. But whether or not one thinks Larry is capable of turning the basketball program around, the fact that UCLA got Shabazz Muhammad makes his job a hell of a lot harder. You have said it yourself recently when you wrote that we aren’t the type of program that gets “big” recruits like that. Now that we’ve seen the first indicator that UCLA might be “back” themselves, I keep asking myself the rhetorical question of whether Larry can display something resembling improvement. I saw none of that this year, but for now, I’ll chalk it up to a small sample size.
Before some of your readers get mad at me for unfairly picking on Larry (according to them anyway), I will explicate what cognitively motivates me about The Great Larry Debate. I like seeing the Utes in the NCAA tournament. Most people do. Okay, Zoobs don’t and Makhtar N’Diaye might not, but I’m talking about most people and those aren’t most people. The fact that over the course of about 10 years, if not the last 5 or 6, this became something that was nearly impossible to achieve. Lynn Archibald did it once, so it can’t be this insurmountable of a task. If the retort I keep getting is “oh, you’ll be eating your own bodily fluids when we make the NCAAs in two years”, well, I can only say that “he damn sure better”. Clearly, I’m not asking for much.
I had a similar mindset when the Raiders hired Norv Turner. I developed a pretty good instinct with Al’s head coaching hires up until he died, and Norval (as Al liked to call him) was one I knew from moment one wouldn’t work out. Going into the 2004 season there was all this hype around Kerry Collins (!) and Randy Moss potentially scoring 40 points a game that year. Well, we barely got half of that total and I ended up being proven correct.
But hey, I am a pessimistic Ute fan and I’ve perfected that pessimism over the years, so what do I know?