Monday, November 30, 2009
Sunday, November 29, 2009
Been a while since we cranked up the ol’ Time Machine, and with the semester nearly over, I think I can safely say this hasn’t sucked at a high level, like I feared, but that a case of bad timing has made it a less regular feature than I would have preferred.
It’s always easy in August to foresee a day a week when there’s not much going on and I can fool around a little with some non-traditional programming (see, with that sentence, I’m auditioning for a job as a television executive), but November turned out to be a crazy month for Hofstra sports news and there was never a natural time to change gears.
Which doesn’t upset me at all: I’d much rather be digesting games against Kansas and UConn than the alternative, and pondering the future of Flying Dutchmen football is a great meat-and-potatoes topic. In fact, I’ve produced more stories this month than during any other in DD history (pat pat on my own back), and November isn’t even over yet!
But it’s the end of Thanksgiving weekend and the schedule opens up a little more for the next few weeks, so what the hell, let’s revisit the idea and see if we can’t find a day a week every week between now and Christmas to go all Entertainment Weekly on you.
First is Green Day’s “When I Come Around,” which was a ubiquitous presence on MTV back when MTV actually, you know, showed music videos—and, it seemed, especially inescapable on Thursday mornings, when I tried out my latest foolproof plan not to sleep the day away. Spending Wednesday nights laying out The Chronicle during my first year on campus led to many Thursdays in which I went to bed with the sun out and woke up with it long gone. Not the best recipe for a GPA, trust me.
So in addition to scheduling my Tuesday/Thursday classes at a reasonable hour in the fall of ’94, I decided, upon returning to my room after layout to nap with the TV on in hopes of not falling into a day-long deep R.E.M. sleep. It wasn’t a perfect plan, but it worked well enough so that I made more classes that I missed—and continue, even today, to rely on the doze-with-the-TV-on approach whenever I need to get somewhere on little sleep. Hooray me!
Anyway, it seemed I’d either wake up to “When I Come Around” or “hear” it multiple times during my non-deep sleep in the fall of ‘94. It’s a damn good song (albeit not as catchy or irresistible as its predecessor, “Basket Case”), and the meandering and unfocused vibe of the video seemed to summarize what everyone else wanted to think of Generation X (my favorite image is lead singer Billy Joe Armstrong randomly pulling a pay phone off the hook)—at least until we began wasting the prime years of our lives being instructed to do more with less.
But at no point 15 years ago did I think I was hearing anything more than a one- or two-album wonder. Green Day was a band of 20-something punk rockers whose first single off Dookie, “Longview,” was about smoking dope and masturbating. Such opening salvos don’t usually lend themselves to a long, fruitful career, and indeed, when their follow-up album, Insomniac, was released in October 1995 and sold a mere two million copies—a notable figure, to be sure, but also seven million copies fewer than Dookie—it seemed as if Green Day was destined to follow Hootie and the Blowfish into gradual obscurity.
Except, somehow, Green Day hung around the mainstream long enough to emerge as America’s Most Important Rock Band with 2004’s concept album, American Idiot, which sold five million copies, earned the band armfuls of awards and inspired it to deliver another concept album, 21st Century Breakdown, earlier this year. According to Wikipedia—which is never wrong—Armstrong calls the new album a “…snapshot of the era in which we live as we question and try to make sense of the selfish manipulation going on around us whether it be the government, religion, media or frankly any form of authority.”
All well and good, but I do enough of that during the day. Quite frankly, I’d be just as happy to forget the real world for a few minutes by walking around and pulling pay phones—if they all haven’t gone the way of videos on MTV, of course—off the hook.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Monday, November 23, 2009
Friday, November 20, 2009
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
We caught up with Tom Pecora last night after the Flying Dutchmen fell to UConn, 76-67, in the second round of the Preseason NIT in Storrs. Thanks as always to Pecora for taking the time to chat as well as to Jeremy Kniffin for setting up the interview.
On what it was like to coach in such a game:
Yeah, it was wonderful, except for the outcome. I think we lost our way a little bit. Got up nine and [Stanley] Robinson made a three and then we had a couple of empty trips offensively. They picked up their intensity a little bit defensively. That’s where we could have really extended our lead. We weren’t able to do that. We battled ‘til the end, obviously, it was a one-point game with 1:20 to go. But no one’s going to give you those types of wins. We had an opportunity [to win] and we didn’t.
On his thoughts when the Dutchmen took a 54-45 lead more than halfway through the second half:
I knew there was a ton of time. You really want to extend the game and extend your lead [and] get yourself to a point where maybe you can start burning a little bit of clock. We were still a long way off from doing that.
On the Dutchmen driving the lane regularly against the bigger Huskies:
I thought it was great. Early on, I think the first few possessions, we got offensive rebounds on our first three possessions and that set the tone for the night. In the first half we shot the ball so poorly—we shot 22 percent—that there were a lot of offensive rebounds to go around. We had 11 at the half. We outrebounded UConn, we only had 12 turnovers. That was the key for us. We said if they don’t beat us up on the [boards] and we don’t turn the ball over, we’ve got a chance to win. Watching tape, we probably missed six or eight layups, stick back plays. Those were the ones that break your back.
If we shoot the ball as well as we usually do and we rebound and then don’t turn it over like we did tonight, we win the game. We weren’t able to win.
On the environment in Storrs:
For our first three games, we played no. 1 and no. 13. I think the experience at Kansas really prepared us for tonight and allowed us to take care of it.
On Charles Jenkins’ performance (25 points, including 21 in the second half:
Once again, every time we play games like this, it’s a marquee game for the program—but also our chance to show Charles his wares.
On what he takes from the near-upset:
This program is beyond moral victories. I wanted to go play in the Garden next week. And I think we better learn from our mistakes here, because it’ll cost us a game later this year. We’ve got a lot to do and we didn’t finish it.
On the early-season scheduling and how it raises the Dutchmen’s profile:
I think there’s a method to our madness in scheduling these games. I think it’s going to help our RPI tremendously. We have wins over teams that are perennial below 200 teams, our RPI is 100 points lower than it will be Monday with one win and two losses. That could help us during the [season], make us a better team and prepare us.