Jim Ross – @JRsBBQ WWE RAW Thoughts + More

Thanks for stopping by…many of you are regulars of which we appreciate. I’d like your help in building more traffic. Perhaps I need to write more DIRT.  Nonetheless..Let’s get started…

Overall, I enjoyed the Greensboro RAW.

WWE being in Greensboro brought back many memories including the first, TBS Clash of Champions highlighted by the 45 minute draw between Rick Flair and Sting that really put Sting on the wrestling map. It was also, I think, the first time that I worked with Tony Schiavone live on a prime time broadcast. Funny, in the old days we broadcast the entire show and only heard the producer count us in and out of the segments and the rest of the time we were on our own. We did our own, pre show prep and let ’er rip…for better or for worse. Sort of like marriage.

Without question, at one point in time, Greensboro, North Carolina was one of the true Mecca’s in the world of Pro Wrestling.

Enjoying the evolution of The Shield. They are getting valuable TV time and seem to be maximizing their minutes smartly with aggression and physicality. All three men have a viable shot of becoming ‘special’ but it won’t happen over night nor will it happen at all if they don’t keep their foot on the pedal. I think that they will but there’s always the chance of human error IE stupid, immature, unprofessional mishaps that can curtail one’s progression in a competitive business.

I’ve spent ample time in NXT with all three talents and I have every confidence that @TheDeanAmbrose, @RomanReigns, and @WWERollins will not disappoint and will do all that they can to live their dreams. I’ve certainly lived mine and I love to see others do likewise.

Good night for @TheDamienSandow especially on the mic. Sandow isn’t a finesse antagonist and brings aggression in a timely fashion. I remember one day in Tampa him looking at old, Dick Beyer aka The Destroyer, videos from Japan for most of one day studying the subtleties of one of the great, wrestling villains who ever lived. Guys that invest in study of that type of the greats seem to always benefit from it.

Loved Vickie Guerrero’s, @ExcuseMeWWE,  work on the mic. Great facial expressions and body English. I wish more WWE stars who need it were carrying Vickie’s noticeable, villainous angst. I’m sure Eddie is looking down on his best friend with a smile. I’m very proud of Vickie as the road to success in WWE hasn’t been easy for her. It’s taken a great deal of courage and conviction for her to ascend to the level that she’s earned.

The return of @TamikaSnuka has my attention. She has an impressive look and feels marketable to me. I don’t think that being the daughter of Hall of Famer Jimmy Snuka is a bad thing whatsoever but she needs to begin to cast her own shadow.

@AntonioCesaro and @WadeBarrett are gaining momentum, as usual not as quick as some fans demand, but these two are going places or so it seems to me. Love their in ring presence, constant physicality and their effort plus their desire to get to the top. Just keep shoving others aside to get to your desired destination. The more one invests the more one earns and it’s not necessarily a popularity contest in the locker room on the road to main event status including headlining future WrestleMania’s.

Thought the Cena,Sheamus, Ziggler, and Big Show tag team bout delivered. Some will criticize the outcome but I rarely keep track of wins and loses as I’m not one that feels that a win/loss record is the deciding factor in a pro wrestler’s success. Of course winning helps but losing never kills a skilled talent.

Is @MichaelCole coping an attitude with @JerryLawler or just expressing an opinion? I’m thinking the latter. Any broadcast needs contrast and compelling dialog especially one of the three hour variety. I’d expect to see more talents sitting in on commentary in the future. It’s a great way to get noticed and to stand out.

The Brad Maddox saga looks to be continuing as one would simply assume that he will continue to try and get a ‘roster spot.’ Maddox is another hard working, NXT kid who reminds me of the late, Eddie Gilbert at times.

Why is the talented, IC Champion Kofi Kingston now a ‘Wildcat?’ Is Kofi a K-State football fan? just asking.

@Ryback22 made a memorable impact in a quick, drive by manner as RAW ended Monday night. Plus, it sounded to me like the fans in Greensboro were into “Feed Me More” in a significant way. Anytime Ryback wants to do a JR’s endorsement deal, I’m ready. FEED ME MORE JR’S BBQ!!

@HeymanHustle and @CMPunk had good nights from my spot on the La-Z-Boy. Both are great, old school talkers who are natural extensions of their own personalities while on WWE TV. Key word…they are NATURAL.

Heyman’s value to enhancing Punk’s persona and perhaps others down the road is invaluable…somewhat Heenan-esque. That’s about as high a praise as I can bestow.

The Punk and @mikethemiz verbal jousting was entertaining and at times reminded me somewhat of the Attitude Era where it was commonplace for talents to employ oneupsmanship and to adlib a competitor into submission. Competition, where it be verbal or physical, makes every talent better.

There are great deals on JR’s goods just in time for the holidays at http://www.wweshop.com as we speak. WWEShop.com is rocking our complete line of products and we hope that you will allow our family to become a small part of your holidays.

@americansoda in Manchester, England is doing a bang up job too distributing JR’s and they have another, big order in route now to replenish their inventory of which is selling famously. Thanks UK and beyond!

I’ll soon be headed to Orlando for Thursday night’s NXT TV tapings at Full Sail University in Winter Haven. Show starts at 6:30 with @KevinNash and @TheShield all in attendance. I’ll likely call a main event or two with @RealKingRegal…TBD. I’m expecting a great night overall and will be disappointed if I’m wrong.

With having a little more non travel time on my hands, this is NOT a complaint, I’m planning on doing more appearances IE Q&A’s, Meet and Greets, etc in 2013. Still working on the England dates for June and looking at doing three shows there. These will not be ‘stand up comedy’ shows even though I’m sure that we will have a laugh or two. More info to come on some potentially, fun gigs.

If you want to stay connected, please follow me on Twitter @JRsBBQ.

Boomer Sooner!

J.R.  

Brad Kurtzberg (TheSTN) – Barry Bonds Still Doesn’t Get It

It’s been five years since Barry Bonds last played in a Major League game but it’s clear from his recent comments to the media regarding his chances of making the Hall of Fame that he still doesn’t get why he won’t be inducted in Cooperstown any time soon.

Here is a quote from Bonds in a recent interview with MLB.com when asked about the Hall of Fame:

“It’s tough when you have so many people out there who don’t want to turn the page and want to be angry at you forever. I don’t understand why it continues on. What am I doing wrong?”

“I can sit here and say, ‘You know what? Baseball is great. I love it.’ I can sit here and say in a very kind way that I’m sorry about the way things ended. I can sit here and say that I respect the Hall of Fame, which I do. But I don’t understand all the controversy we’re having about it. For what reason? What’s there to be gained by all of this? What’s the point?”

Honestly, Barry? After all these years you still have no idea why people think you don’t belong in Cooperstown? After the entire BALCO investigation? After “Game of Shadows,” the book that thoroughly documents your use of performance enhancing drugs? After your former trainer Greg Anderson went to jail for refusing to testify against you more than once? You really have no clue why people are angry?

Sports fans tend to be a forgiving bunch as long as people are honestly contrite. Everyone makes mistakes and America loves a good underdog/comeback story.

Andy Pettitte admitted to using PEDs, came clean, apologized and fans have forgiven him. Heck, Michael Vick tortured and killed dogs and many (but certainly not all) fans have forgiven him. Vick got a second chance to play in the NFL, has made millions of dollars in contracts and even got some of his endorsement deals back.

Barry, the one thing you’ve never done is admit you did anything wrong. You’ve never admitted the obvious: that you cheated. You cheated your fellow players, cheated the game and cheated the fans by using illegal drugs to improve your performance.

Barry, you’re a fraud. Sure, you technically own the league’s all-time home run record, but it’s like saying you won the marathon when everybody else was running on foot and you drove a car for the first 15 miles, reached the finish line first and then said you won fair and square.

Unless you’re willing to admit your mistakes, Barry and sincerely ask for forgiveness, then no, the public won’t forget and you won’t be able to move on.

The instructions for voters at the Baseball Hall of Fame are brief and perhaps a bit ambiguous, but it’s clear you don’t meet most of the criteria. They read:

“Voting shall be based on a player’s record, playing ability, integrity, sportsmanship, character and contributions to the team(s) on which he played.”

While your record (at least statistically) is impressive and you clearly had excellent playing ability, your lack of integrity, sportsmanship and character is so great that you cannot in good conscious, be considered for the Hall of Fame.

If you really want peace and really respect the game and the Hall, the time to speak out is now. If you remain aloof and arrogant and honestly think you did nothing wrong, then neither forgiveness or acceptance are forthcoming.

I’m sorry, Barry. I always thought you were an intelligent man. It’s hard for me to believe that after all these years, you still don’t get it.

Jim Ross – @JRsBBQ 7 Points To Ponder – Oklahoma vs. TCU

1) TCB. Taking care of business. Please stop all the premature bowl talk, the scheduling of Nebraska a life time away, and the never ending coaching carousel. What does any of this mean if the Sooners lose Saturday in Ft. Worth?

2) Long and winding road. Stoops Troops have played superbly on the road this year. Winning on the road was a media story when that wasn’t the case but now it’s overlooked by most of the scribes. Winning at TCU will be a chore.

3) Johnson and Thompson. As in offensive tackles Lane Johnson and Tyrus Thompson who must continue to have stellar days against speedy, aggressive Horned Frog defensive ends/play makers. Obviously, TCU will rush QB Landry Jones like scalded dogs come Saturday. The answer…run the ball ala OSU…when it counts.

4) The clock. Easiest way to defend OU is to keep Oklahoma’s offense seated. TCU’s running game and play action passing attack cannot be allow to stay on the field and significantly reduce the number of snaps for the Sooners. Can Sooner D create ample three and outs?

5) History. In the past, the Oklahoma defense has been susceptible to running, athletic QB’s and crossing patterns in the passing game. Both will be prevalent on Saturday. Expect the manhood of OU’s interior defense to be challenged. Tackling, especially, on the edge is another key.

6) The Environment. Has nothing with ‘going green’ and everything about not ‘going purple.’ TCU expects their biggest crowd ever Saturday on Senior Day in their final home game of the year. What does TCU have to lose? Nothing. Coach Gary Patterson, one of the best game day coaches in the business, will have his freshman and sophomore laden team jacked to the max. Beating Texas and OU in consecutive game is amazing motivation. Big plays and causing a timely turnover keeps TCU in the game.

7) Landry Jones. It’s only fitting that the football Gods facilitate one of Oklahoma’s greatest signal callers ever to again put this team on his shoulders and exploit the young, TCU secondary. A timely running game helps that agenda. Can OU get one more great outing from their MASH unit offensive line?

The endless talk of bowl games, bowl trading, the Huskers back on the schedule seemingly along with a plethora of non TCU issues have dotted the headlines and social media this week. I know OU’s coaches have worked over time to point out the importance and added significance of Saturday’s game to their players. One can only hope that the kids have bought in to the truth which is that OU vs. TCU is, without argument, the biggest game of the year.

OU by 5 in an emotionally charged, physical, Slobber-Knocker of a Big 12 finale.

Boomer Sooner!

J.R.

(Support WWE Hall of Famer and Oklahoma native Jim Ross and his selection of JR’s BBQ Sauces, Chipotle Ketchup, Main Event Mustard(Jalapeño Honey Mustard), All Purpose Seasoning/Dry Rub, and five flavors of 97% Fat Free Beef Jerky…all made in Oklahoma and sold exclusively in Norman at the four, Homeland Stores and on line at http://www.wweshop.com. Great gift ideas for the holidays for family, friends, and business associates.)              

Jim Ross – @JRsBBQ Remembers Freebird Buddy Roberts + More (VIDEO)

Greetings and welcome back…here we go…

Random Thoughts…

@wwesheamus has many qualities as did Stone Cold…physically and mentally tough and loves to perform at a physical level that some opponents don’t embrace. Both were great examples of not accepting being denied stardom and continued to work through career challenge no matter what hand was dealt them.

When online pundits blame others for a talent’s lack of upward mobility they usually miss the point. Cliche or not, the cream rises to the top and day in and day out hard work generally conquers all. Being a high maintenance, under achiever usually spells dome for the best of prospects.

The often used term “Push” misused by many outside the business in a variety of ways and as an overriding excuse for a wrestler’s failures is laughable. I can count dozens of talented men and women who created their “Push” through perseverance and by maximizing their minutes. I can also count on numerous bottom feeders who blame their lack of “Push” as the reason for their lack of success instead of gazing into the mirror and doing some soul searching.

TLC in Brooklyn is going to be cool. First WWE event in that awesome, new facility. These are the moments that I miss most as a broadcaster. I will be content to watch the PPV from home but it would be cool to be a part of the first ever event for WWE in that much ballyhooed arena. Plus, I’ve never been to Brooklyn.

I hope the talents feel the same way and bring a little extra JR’s BBQ Sauce to the party.

Happy birthday to both @JerryLawler and @JCLayfield. Both are approximately ’39.’ Two entirely different personalties but two amazingly talented men.

I still maintain that Lawler is one of the top ten best performers of all time when it comes to multiple skills. King belongs in the Heenan Category as all around best ever when it comes to wrestling, promos and broadcasting. If Jerry had a career where he had managed over time he would easily ascend to the Bobby Heenan level of which there is only one member. Arguably, when it comes to ring psychology, timing and natural instincts, Jerry Lawler still has few peers in the business today. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Jerry wrestle again some day although I am not endorsing such. Our partnership goes beyond the ropes and arenas of which I am thankful.

When we hired JBL aka Justin Hawk Bradshaw we thought we were getting a big, athletic villain along the lines of Bobby Duncam, Stan Hansen and Dick Murdoch. We got so much more. John used his intellect and work ethic to reinvent himself multiple times from Justin Hawk, to Bradshaw the Acolyte, to the Texas version of the Million Dollar Man.

John is still evolving with his career on Fox News, the only reason that I watch that network, and as a broadcaster in WWE. John at the announce table makes the product better and more interesting.

Of all the men that my group helped hire in WWE back in the day, few can say that they over achieved more through perseverance and plain, old hard work than JBL. John possesses what every wrestling star MUST have…an entrepreneurial spirit and a burning desire to be the best at what he does.

Our next NXT taping will be interesting now that @WWERollins, the NXT Champion, is a member of The Shield. About a week out from traveling to Orlando I start looking forward to the trip as I truly enjoy working with the next wave of WWE Superstars.

Don’t kid yourself, the future of WWE depends on the productivity in WWE’s Developmental Program. WWE has no more important department in the entire company then Talent Development.

Our next taping @FullSail will be Thursday night December 6 starting at 6:30. Should be an eye opening, three hour affair. (Sounds like one of King’s past romances.)

THIS JUST IN…Very sad to hear of the passing…just heard seconds ago that  Freebird Buddy Roberts has died. Buddy was the third member of the trio that revolutionized the three man faction/tag team scene back in the late 70′s and 80′s. Bill Watts attached the veteran Buddy to the much younger, free spirits, Michael Hayes and Terry Gordy to comprise one of the greatest entities ever in the business. At one time, there were no competitors who had more ‘heat’ than did the Fabulous Freebirds especially with their issues with JYD in Mid South and the Von Erich’s in World Class in Dallas, among others.

At the time Watts inserted Buddy with Michael and Terry, Bill considered Buddy Roberts to be one of the best performers in the business. Buddy was a skilled ’mechanic’ who elevated everyone’s game, could sell for Gordy and Hayes and no matter how many times that Buddy was beaten he had the ability to retain his villain angst. Fans loved to boo Buddy Roberts…he was that good.

I recall calling a match once in Dallas where Buddy wrestled referee David Manning with one armed tied behind him against the referee. Buddy had just lost his hair in an on gong storyline and was wrestling in a head gear which made the entire presentation even more entertaining. Bottom line, with one hand tied behind his back, Buddy Roberts was better than many wrestlers who were earning a living inside the squared circle at that time.

The ‘Birds were free spirits to say the very least and could be a handful to manage as they lived their in ring personas. Hell, their in ring personas were them. The name Buddy ‘Jack’ Roberts came from one of the group’s favorite, recreational beverages…old, #7 Jack Daniels.

Michael Hayes had a birthday party at a bowling alley in Atlanta one year for Budrow and I hadn’t seen Buddy in a good while. I arrived at the party a little later than planned and the first thing that Buddy did when he saw I was there was to walk straight up to me, no hugs or greetings, and kick the hell out of my shin. Then he hugged me. That was Buddy….unpredictable out of the ring and he always had the mischievous twinkle in his eye.

I first met Buddy Roberts when he was a tag partner with Jerry Brown as they comprised the Hollywood Blondes. I’ve said it before, the original Hollywood Blondes of Roberts and Brown were one of the most underrated tag teams ever in the business. They had being bad guys down to a science and their teamwork, timing, and believability were uncanny.

Buddy had battled, I believe, throat cancer in recent years, while living in the Chicago area and doing construction work there. He only recently fell ill again and I’d know over the past several days that things were touch and go.

Buddy Roberts, real name Dale Hey, was one of the true characters that I ever worked with in the business. He was as close to being himself in the ring as he was outside the ring. Buddy did not play a role. Buddy Roberts did not assume the role of being a pro wrestler. He was what you saw…a character who many of us will never forget.

RIP Budrow…may you rest in peace and thanks for providing me with some of the most memorable moments of my career. Buddy was real. Buddy was Buddy. Our condolences to his family and his many friends especially my long time friend and Buddy’s beloved, former tag team partner, Michael Hayes.

I personally invite you to follow me on Twitter @JRsBBQ,

Boomer Sooner!

J.R.

TheSTN – NBA: Players of the Week Announced

The Atlanta Hawks’ Al Horford and the San Antonio Spurs’ Tim Duncan today were named Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week, respectively, for games played Monday, Nov. 19, through Sunday, Nov. 25.

Horford led the Hawks to a 4-0 week, averaging 16.5 points, 9.8 rebounds and 4.5 assists. He recorded a career-high 10 assists on Nov. 21 as Atlanta topped the Washington Wizards 101-100. Horford’s 26-point, 13-rebound double-double in a 101-91 win over the Charlotte Bobcats on Nov. 23 helped the Hawks to improve their road record to 4-2, tops in the conference.

Duncan helped the Spurs to a 3-1 week with averages of 22.0 points, 12.8 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.3 blocks. He posted three consecutive point-rebound double-doubles in games against the Los Angeles Clippers, Boston Celtics and Indiana Pacers. Duncan’s lone game last week without a double-double still showed a balanced stat line of 26 points, six assists, five rebounds and three blocks as the Spurs bested the Raptors 111-106 on Nov. 25 – a game in which Duncan recorded his 2,500th career block.

Here is a recap of the week for Horford and Duncan:

Al Horford, Atlanta Hawks

Nov. 19 vs. Orlando: Posted 15 points, nine rebounds and three assists in an 81-72 win over the Magic.

Nov. 21 vs. Washington: Tallied 15 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds in a 101-100 overtime victory over the Wizards.

Nov. 23 @ Charlotte: Collected 26 points, 13 rebounds and three blocks in a 101-91 win against the Bobcats.

Nov. 24 vs. L.A. Clippers: Contributed 10 points, eight rebounds and three assists in a 104-93 win over the Clippers.


Tim Duncan, San Antonio Spurs

Nov. 19 vs. L.A. Clippers: Notched 20 points and 14 rebounds in a 92-87 loss to the Clippers.

Nov. 21 @ Boston: Totaled 20 points, 15 rebounds and four assists in a 112-100 win over the Celtics.

Nov. 23 @ Indiana: Tallied 22 points and 17 rebounds in a 104-97 win over the Pacers.

Nov. 25 @ Toronto: Posted 26 points, six assists, five rebounds and three blocks as San Antonio collected its’ third consecutive road win, 111-106 over the Raptors.

Other nominees for the Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week were Atlanta’s Jeff Teague, Boston’s Rajon Rondo, Charlotte’s Ramon Sessions, Denver’s Andre Iguodala, Houston’s Chandler Parsons, Memphis’ Rudy Gay, Miami’s Chris Bosh and LeBron James, Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, and Sacramento’s Tyreke Evans.

 

 

Steve Kallas (TheSTN) – Part II: Jack Taylor’s Record Performance Misses The Point

 

(Author’s Note:  This column is long.  Please stick with it.  It gets better at the end.) 

 

Well, a lot of new information has come out since the initial this-is-wonderful reaction to Jack Taylor, a 22-year-old sophomore, scoring 138 points in a college basketball game against non-NCAA school Faith Baptist Bible College on November 20, 2012 (final score, Grinnell 179, Faith Baptist 104).

 

PRELUDE TO A “RECORD”

 

With the full game now up on You Tube (courtesy of Grinell Pioneers Athletics, by the way), much can be learned by watching the game and listening to the announcers.  The most interesting thing?  Well, it is submitted that this is the most interesting thing discussed during the game by the announcers:

 

“An interesting note here, Grinnell, this game will count for their season wins and losses but for Faith Baptist this will be counted as an exhibition game for their record.  Today I’ve been told that our athletic director and head coach were confirming to make sure that, although this will not be going on Faith Baptist’s record, it can still count for Grinnell and IT IS CONFIRMED THAT IT WILL STILL COUNT FOR GRINNELL.” (emphasis added).

 

Hard to believe, but, obviously, the coach and AD, realizing that they could script the game against a very weak opponent, actually called somebody (presumably at the NCAA) to make sure that this shooting-fish-in-a-barrel game, DESPITE being an exhibition game for the opposition, would still count in terms of wins, points, and oh yes, records, for Grinnell.

 

WHO IS THE NCAA DOPE WHO ALLOWED THIS TO BE A “REAL” GAME?

 

Well, hopefully, one of these major institutions (you know, ESPN, The New York Times, Sports Illustrated, etc.) with big “investigative reporting” budgets and/or great access can delve into this question.

 

While there are many other things to discuss (including, see below, did Jack Taylor start believing his press clippings?), this main question (how is this even a real basketball game against a college team that, in their mind, is playing an exhibition game and is a college that plays in the NCCAA (that is, the National Christian College Athletics Association – not to be confused with the NCAA)) should be answered.

 

A FEW OTHER QUOTES FROM THE GAME

 

Special thanks to Deadspin, Tyler Burns and @Busted Video for being on the downside of this game from the get-go.  Before the game, when asked what Grinnell fans should look forward to in this game, the color commentator (named Dan) said: “Tonight, Rob [the play-by-play guy], we are looking for records, we want to see points scored and a lot of them.”  Rob then said: “Tonight that record [89 points in a D III game held by Grinnell senior Griffin Lentsch] was going to be attempted possibly to be broken by another Grinnell member, not Griffin Lentsch, but new transfer sophomore Jack Taylor,”

 

Clearly, everybody on the Grinnell side knew this was a joke game and they were going to shoot for many records, Bible College or no Bible College.

 

But wait, there’s more.  Early in the game (and forgive the grammar or lack thereof), an announcer said, “The plan would be to try and see how as much as he [Taylor] can score.”  And this gem: “This is a game that the [Grinnell] Pioneers scheduled.  They’ll try and look for those records.”

 

Anybody getting disturbed yet?

 

The first time an announcer mentioned the word “blowout” was with about 8:30 left – in the first half (Grinnell was up about 33 at the time).  Shortly thereafter, the announcer mentioned that there were “bone-chilling chants of GC pride”  (Grinnell College pride).

 

There were some (unintentionally, it is assumed) comical statements during the game.  About 9:30 into the game, Grinnell called timeout because, according to an announcer, “Grinnell’s coaches not appreciating the recent lack of defense.” Well, it’s part of the plan, apparently, to try to press and steal and, it seems, to NOT play defense if the other team breaks the press.  The score when this timeout was called was 33-12.  Late in the game, an announcer said, “At this point, Grinnell’s not even playing defense,” which, one would guess, was a downtick from their prior barely playing defense.

 

When Taylor scored his 100th point, an announcer said, “Wilt Chamberlain, what do you gotta say.”

 

Seriously.  As you may know, Wilt was not available for comment.

 

When the game ended, announcer Rob said that he was “speechless.”  Shortly thereafter, however, he said, “All I have to say is GC pride, GC pride, GC pride.”

 

It would have been better if he had remained speechless.

 

One other comical note: when the game ended, announcer Rob said, “and the fans are mildly storming the court – more like walking out there.”  The view on You Tube of a little more than half of the court showed two students on the court.

 

Hey, maybe some of the intelligent Grinnell students (Grinnell, a fantastic liberal arts college) actually understood that maybe, just maybe, this was unsportsmanlike?

 

Here’s hoping.

 

WHAT ABOUT THE FAITH BAPTIST COACH?

 

Interviewed by the New York Times, Faith Baptist coach Brian Finchum said “we tried” and “I’m proud of my guys and the effort they put in.”  He also said that they double and triple-teamed Jack Taylor at times.

 

But a review of the game tape shows that, of Jack Taylor’s 108 shots, he was double or triple-teamed less than 10 times (it’s probably six, but some of the You Tube video seemed to freeze in certain spots (despite multiple viewings on two different computers), so it’s not perfectly clear).  Finchum apparently was never asked things like, why didn’t you go box-and-one or why didn’t you run the shot clock down at least once in the entire game or why didn’t you just throw two or even three guys at Jack Taylor to make him give up the ball (hey, he might have gotten one assist that way).

 

None of the above suggestions (that a rec league coach probably would have tried) was tried by Faith Baptist.

 

Hey, maybe the Faith Baptist coach was playing the game like an exhibition (or is that half an exhibition; it’s still not clear).

 

WHAT ABOUT GRIFFIN LENTSCH?

 

Lentsch, the previous record-holder in D III (89 points in a game last year against Principia), was actually announced as the team’s “shooting guard.”  Lentsch shot 2-3 from the field and made two foul shots for seven points against Faith Baptist.

 

In another unintentional comedic comment, one announcer said that Lentsch “has been uncharacteristically quiet this game.”

 

You think?

 

WHAT ABOUT DAVID LARSON?

 

As pointed out by Derek C in a comment to my first article last week, Larson was the recipient and beneficiary of Grinnell’s “system.”  You know, essentially no defense.  So, while Larson did make 34-44 from the field, the overwhelming majority of them were lay-ups.  Despite my thoughts originally that this could be a debate (who had the better game), Jack Taylor clearly had a better game than Larson.

 

WHAT ABOUT THE GRINNELL COACH?

 

Well, he had some shaky comments after the game.  He told the Times he was going to take Taylor out with about five minutes left but he was on a hot shooting streak.  He told the Times, “I wasn’t going to take a guy out who was in the zone.  I’ve never been in a zone like that, and if I was I certainly wouldn’t want my coach to end it for me.  So we just let him go.”

 

Gee, coach, even if he already had over 100 and your team was up 60 or more?

 

Actually, a look at the play-by-play shows that this is simply untrue.  At the five-minutes left in the game mark, Taylor had been just 2-6 in the previous 1:43.  Under no definition of “in the zone” was Taylor in the zone at that time.  Indeed, he would make SEVEN threes in a row from 3:54 left in the game until 1:57 left in the game (by the way, for the record, Grinnell kept its full-court press on after all seven threes; hey, that’s just how they play).  Given his New York Times comments, it’s surprising that the coach took Taylor out of the game with 1:33 left because THAT was when he was REALLY in the zone.

 

WHAT ABOUT GRINNELL COLLEGE?

 

Well, they wrapped themselves around this “achievement.”  Grinnell posted videos, etc. to publicize the achievement.  But wait, there’s more.  Grinnell’s media relations department put out a press release entitled “Grinnell College by the Numbers – 138 and More.”  It explains some of the greatness of Grinnell academically, presumably to get the word out on what a fine academic institution it is (and it is).

 

Maybe Grinnell should have put out a copy of its “Mission Statement” instead.  Originally chartered in Iowa in 1846, that original statement set forth a mission to educate its students “for the different professions and for the honorable discharge of the duties of life.”  The 2002 statement, up at Grinnell’s website, concludes with “The College aims to graduate men and women … who are prepared in life and work to use their knowledge and their abilities to serve the common good.”

 

By the way, did anybody notice that the New York Times reported that, the day after the event, Jack Taylor had to take a two-hour break from doing interviews to attend two college classes, one of which was “Introduction to Christianity.”

 

Is there a conflict there, between scoring 108 points against a Bible College, taking all of the accolades and then, the next day, going to Intro to Christianity.

 

Was that really the “Christian thing to do?”

 

Just asking.

 

FINALLY, WHAT ABOUT JACK TAYLOR?

 

Well, on Rick Wolff’s Sports Edge show this past weekend, virtually all of the callers were disgusted with the record, one even suggesting that his team would have gone after Jack Taylor, maybe even hurt him.  While that happens in the schoolyards of New York City on a not-infrequent basis, hard to believe that Faith Baptist Bible College would do that.

 

But Jack Taylor seemed to start believing his press clippings.  Interviewed by ESPN a few days after the game, Taylor actually said the following:  “I think I was just in that mental state to where it really didn’t matter what the defense did.”

 

Come back to us, Jack.  You were pretty cool before that statement.  And as we said repeatedly on Rick Wolff’s Sports Edge show (up under Rick Wolff’s picture at wfan.com), nobody could blame Jack Taylor.  He did what the coaches wanted him to do.

 

But after that statement, he should take a step back.  The defense (and the Faith Baptist coach) did virtually NOTHING to stop Jack Taylor.  Very few double teams (less than 10 on 108 shots), no box-and-one, no 30-35 second possessions (NONE), no run two guys at him to make him give up the ball.

 

Frankly, the fish in a barrel had a better chance.

 

CONCLUSION?

 

A basketball team with 10 kids of 275-300 enrolled in a Bible College, playing an exhibition game, was torched by a very good shooter whose coach and AD called in advance to “confirm” that any records set that night would be valid.  They were inexplicably told that they would be valid (real game for one team, exhibition game for another).  So, Grinnell College, apparently, reached the goals they wanted to attain by winning 179-104 and having one player score 138 points.

 

Just as Part I concluded, draw your own conclusions.

 

POSTSCRIPT

 

The goal of letting Jack Taylor take a ton of shots against Faith Baptist Bible College was, according to many, to let Jack Taylor “shoot himself out of” his shooting slump.  It apparently did not work.  Taylor shot just 6-21 (29%), 3-13 on threes (23%), against a good William Penn (Iowa) team as Grinnell lost it’s next game, 131-116.

 

Does Grinnell play Faith Baptist Bible College again this season?

 

That’s a rhetorical question.

 

COPYRIGHT 2012 BY STEVE KALLAS      ALL RIGHTS RESERVED