A Fan’s Notes on Paul Pierce

Dancing With Noah

As a kid in junior high and high school, I was a basketball fanatic. College, pros, high school, didn’t matter. Late summers and early falls were for consuming glossy-covered pre-season hoop publications like Athlon and Lindy’s, and less aesthetically attractive magazine covers like Sporting News and Sports Illustrated, I was source agnostic. Growing up in the not-so-fertile basketball world of Des Moines, Iowa, I was partial towards the hoop prospects my state produced and none had me as giddy as Raef LaFrentz. A 6’11” knee-knocked kid from some foreign outpost of school called MFL Monona-Marmac. The first I’d heard of Raef was in the Des Moines Register when he was named to the all-state team as a junior after averaging 36-points, 16-rebounds, and six blocks. His senior year was waylaid by a bout with mono, but seeing him at the State Tournament that year, I knew he’d be legit…

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The comfort of feeling small

My first story at NBC Sports

NBC SportsWorld

It was a quiet cadence that he continued to repeat, rarely venturing beyond five simple words:

“Uno … dos … tres … quarto … cinto.”

Cade, my 5-year-old son, counted on his small, chunky fingers — often whispering incorrect numbers in Spanish to himself, seated next to me as I watched a San Antonio Spurs game. New to kindergarten this year, he’s been exposed to an entire new world of learning, a big part of which involves immersion in the Spanish language. E-mails from his teacher come in sets  —  one paragraph is written in English and the message is subsequently repeated in Spanish. All communication in his school is delivered similarly. Each directive is relayed verbally or in writing in both languages.

To be completely honest, his educational environment, and the journey he’s only just begun  — one that already looks and feels a lot different than the one I took —  is a bit daunting and occasionally…

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Back With A Massive Show – Hogg Maulies, Kevin Fowler, Fox Sports 1’s John Roberts and Y’all

Some of my favorite things…

THAT DANG OL' SHOW

After taking Labor Day off, we are back with a massive show tonight at six central on The Red Dirt Rebel!

From Texas Country Music to NASCAR, The Southern Cultural Index to cold beer and bbq, we’ve got something for everyone tonight.

Scott Fitzgerald starts it off tonight with his legendary 5-Beer Breakdown of our two songs featured in our Battle Segment. The Hogg Maulies “My Town” squares off against Kevin Fowler’s “Panhandle Poor Boy”. I really dig both songs, they speak to where we come from out here. So, two go in and one comes out. Who you gonna vote for tonight?

Hogg Maulies doing what Hogg Maulies do. Hogg Maulies doing what Hogg Maulies do.

Nick DeGroot from Motorsport.com will be along to recap Brad Keselowski’s dominance at Richmond and the Chase for NASCAR’s Championship. Who y’all got?

After that we welcome back Fox Sports 1’s John Roberts to get his take on NASCAR’s…

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They Did it! The 101st Blow

Such a good recapping of the emotional victory

Indubitably Hoops

“When nothing seems to help, I go look at a stonecutter hammering away at his rock perhaps a hundred times without as much as a crack showing in it. Yet at the hundred and first blow it will split in two, and I know it was not that blow that did it, but all that had gone before. 

-Jacob Riis 

It had been seven years since the stonecutter last split his rock in two to be fitted into an NBA Championship ring for the San Antonio Spurs. Sometimes the rock takes more than 101 blows to do the job, and sometimes the hammer breaks, as it did a year ago in Miami. 

In Game 6 of the 2013 NBA Finals the Spurs were just 5.2 seconds from winning an NBA championship. The Larry O’Brien trophy had already been wheeled out and the Finals MVP ballots cast. The Spurs…

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5 Movies Every Graduate Must See – Cultural Index Thursday

THAT DANG OL' SHOW

It’s important. It’s important to be able to converse intelligently on certain high-level topics. Movies. Yes. Movies are one of those things. You may have gone to college, gained a little knowledge, but did you really learn any thing?

Today we post the question, what are the five movies every graduate should have seen?

You can use any criteria you want to use. They can be serious. They can be funny. They can be obscure. They can be pop-culture icons. Your list, your movies. You tell me.

As for me, here are my five. I’ll do my best to justify them.

1. Saving Private Ryan. If you only see the first fifteen minutes you’ll never be flippant about war again. If you see the last twenty you’ll have a better understanding of how your parents and grandparents have been affected by the battles they fought. If you’ve worn the uniform…

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The Chess Match Between Stotts and Pop Begins

Tremendous analysis prior to Game 2…

fanvana

Editor’s Note: SB Nation’s Pounding the Rock has syndicated this post.

Image Source: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

They say a series doesn’t get interesting until the home team loses, but that doesn’t take into account the moves behind the players — the adjustments that go on during and in between the games. Pop and Stotts are locked in a battle every bit as real as Aldridge and Splitter are, and it’s every bit as compelling.

As we all know, the Trail Blazers were not quite themselves in Tuesday’s blowout game against the Spurs. There is no doubt that the Blazers will make some key adjustments to get themselves back into this series. And, if memory serves well, Pop will find a way to counter them.

How, you ask? Let’s play basketball chess!

Terry Stotts’ Moves

For a team built to wreak havoc on the offensive end, poor offense can often be a catalyst…

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Do you want to see things? Try the backstretch at Talladega

THAT DANG OL' SHOW

By the time 1996 rolled around KP and I were grizzled NASCAR veterans.  We’d been to two races, on opposite ends of the country in 1995 and were ready for more.  As the summer rolled around we gathered our group for another strategy session and decided to head back to Talladega for the July race.  Sure we all should have been hospitalized after the last race and sure it was hotter than curling up in a sleeping bag in a volcano on the sun, but we were going back.

We decided to switch it up a little this time though.  We drank in as much of the experience as we could last time so how could we change it up to keep it exciting?  The Nusser suggested we sit on the backstretch.  Oh hell yeah, what an idea!

Here-comes-the-train-sm

We had no idea what we were getting into.

So we borrowed…

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Road Trip, Volume 1: My First NASCAR Experience Talladega

In celebration of Talladega weekend, revisiting my two trips there almost 20 years ago…

THAT DANG OL' SHOW

The Nusser and I were best friends growing up.  We did everything together.  We can probably still recite every line in Bull Durham and we grew matching mullets. In high school he drove a 1976 black Capri and installed glass packs to make it as obnoxiously loud as possible.  The Nusser also had a notoriously bad temper.  He was my ride to and from school but sometimes he’d get mad at me and stop about a half a mile from my trailer park and make me walk home.  One morning he came to pick me up for football practice way too early.  I was still in bed so he threw a baseball at me.  I’m still not sure why.  We had at least an hour before practice.

But we made it through all the flying baseballs and stopping short and remained friends.  And I’ll always be grateful for one thing…

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Once Bitten Twice Shy: A dissertation

What is the most bad ass song of all time?

The debate has raged for years so I decided it’s time to settle this once and for all.  If you don’t think that Once Bitten Twice Shy is the most bad ass song of all time then you’re just straight up dumb.  Every single American (and some Canadians) older than 30 know every single word to the song.  C’mon, try to tell me you don’t and I’ll tell you how much you lie right to your face.

Halfway home in the parking lot
By the look in her eye

What’s next?  Yeah, that’s what I thought.

Great+White+-+Once+Bitten+Twice+Shy+-+7%22+RECORD-22145

It’s the classic “boy meets girl, boy falls for girl, girl gets her picture on another guys jacket” story.  The song grabs you from the opening line because you can really feel how the times are gettin’ hard for that girl while he’s hummin’ and a strummin’ all over God’s world.  The poor girl can’t even remember the last time she ate.

Then she learned all about rock ‘n roll on a grey tour bus with the drummer but our hero got there in the nick of time before he got his hands across the state line.  Yeah.

Has there ever been a  grouping of words that have been more poignant and painted such a vivid picture? No.

Then all the sudden it gets cold and the heater doesn’t work and her sister gets there and teaches her how rock ‘n roll looks.

And then Jack Russell hits us with that haunting chorus.  How many different ways can you say “babe”?  Well if you’re Jack Russell, you can say it about a hundred different ways, easy.

And finally out of nowhere the song takes a dark turn. There’s blood on his amp and his Les Paul’s beat, and that’s not cool.

Everyone who’s ever been around rock ‘n roll know that’s a huge faux pas.  You can do a lot of things to a rock ‘n roll dude, but if you get blood on his amp, you’re probably done.  Plus, you’re never home and then whoa boy, his best friend said what?

Candles, burning, the haunting chorus again and then Great White rips your heart out.  The genius of the song is that it leaves the door open to a reunion between the two tortured lovers, but Great White slams that door shut when he sees her picture on another guy’s jacket.

You can always hold out hope that love will prevail until you see her picture on another guy’s jacket.  That’s it.  Door slammed.

And then Great White walks away knowing they just rocked your ass with the greatest song ever.