The Hyball: We Are All Patrick McCaffery 1
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The Hyball is a weekly Iowa men’s basketball column.

As sports fans, we are often forced to do a lot of projecting.

Projecting or extrapolating. We do this not only with draft picks, recruiting rankings, or on-field statistics delivered in a small sample sizes, but also with the personalities of our athletes, who we watch at their most physically vulnerable but also entirely — mostly? — in mute.

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Take my beloved Chicago Bulls. I spend a lot of time envisioning the likely deep and brooding personality of Zach LaVine because he’s wonderful at basketball and has beautiful eyes. A Jesse Williams’ character on Grey’s Anatomy-type.

Jackson Avery

But then you watch him get interviewed separated from his on court brilliance, and… he’s just kind of a guy being a dude.

Nothing wrong with that, but… not exactly the tortured artist archetype I once thought.

All of that said, this P-Mac interview is the opposite of everything just described.

I hate Brad Davison. You hate Brad Davison. And Patrick McCaffery hates Brad fucking Davison.

I didn’t foul him. He blew the whistle, but I didn’t foul him.

The venom! Just with that opening statement part alone.

We know who they called it for. He’s a good player, but he does stuff like that, and it’s just frustrating.

Subtext: fuck this shit.

I thought I blocked the shot. I don’t think I touched him. But, uh, I don’t know. Big play in the game.

Subtext: fuck this shit.

He didn’t get hit in the arm. That is a fact.

Subtext: FUCK this shit.

The interview then crests when the subtext moves to the forefront after Chad Leistikow tells P-Mac about Davison saying he got hit in the arm. P-Mac… pushes back.

There was no contact on the arm. Nowhere close. So I don’t know. Maybe the leg. But the arm? Absolutely fuckin’ not.

MY MAN. The way he gets the fuckin’ in there. So subtle, so efficient, so pointed. Got damn, I fucking love this dude. He very much speaks for me.

If he says I hit him in the arm and leg, then I don’t know, he needs to get his sensories checked or whatever, I don’t know.

Chef’s kiss on the ending; the great ones always have a sense for the moment.

The Hyball

“The two worst feelings in the world are having a job and not having a job.”

Last Week

1/6 – No. 23 Wisconsin 87, Iowa 78: Feels like we lost this game by closer to 30 points than 10. Hate hate hate hate hate. The good news is history prepared us.

I mean, really prepared us.

Did audio off for the second half. It helped some.

This Week

1/13 – Iowa vs. Indiana: Kinda surprised to see us favored by 5.5 and am betting against the Hawks for a purely emotional hedge. This would be a real nice bounce back win.

1/16 – Iowa at Minnesota: Minnesota was supposed to be one of the worst teams in the league, and, so far, they are (tied for second to last place).

But they also beat (bad) Michigan by double digits in Ann Arbor, so this game is scaring me more than it should.

1/19 – Iowa at Rutgers: This is gonna be a bear of a game. Rutgers is tough at home, and they’ve got some ballers, man. Everyone knows about Ron Harper Jr., but Paul Mulcahy always does at least three things a game; always.

* * *

Final sidebar: please, please, please no more J-Bo longevity stats.

I am broken.

Eh, one more thing (while I’m putting our dudes on blast).

/nods solemnly

Caitlin Corner

Very much pissed we lost to Northwestern. The Wisconsin game grabbed my attention at halftime, and I blame myself for a more checked out second half. “Do better,” you say. I will, I say. Promise.

The good news is this was cool:

Fran?

Fran.

Brad Davison Is Definitively A Senior.

YOU’RE

THEE

 

WORST

Obligatory Michigan Section

/sigh

in conclusion

The Mini-Hybrid

Random cool play to kick us off:

OK, two real things.

1) Lauren Theisen at Defector ($) on the smaller picture: “Georgia Won Me Over”

More often than not, the hype of the College Football Playoff has been given way to uninteresting blowouts and predictable victors. So when it does unexpectedly, emerge with something as singular as the Mitchell catch and as exciting as the final two quarters of this game, it does feel extra-special for the neutral fan. (It’s always going to feel special for the people actually in the game, of course.) Though Georgia-Alabama was anything but a novel matchup, the action down the stretch helped produce a rare, truly worthwhile edition of one of these CFP games.

The unhappy way I opened this blog sort of invites me to end by saying that, for a brief moment, the drama and athleticism on display caused me forget about the serious problems fundamental to both college football and our country. I didn’t. It’d be silly for me to say that I did, and a lie too. But that catch was still pretty damn cool.

2) Dan Wetzel, bigger picture: “SEC’s chokehold on football will tighten if Rose Bowl sunsets and other trivialities are prioritized over CFP expansion”

First off, holy shit the SEC recruiting dominance:

In the Class of 2022, 37 of the top 101 players per Rivals.com are headed to just three schools – Alabama, Georgia and A&M. (And that number may go up.) Georgia signed 10 of the top 48 recruits in the country, and yet A&M’s class is ranked higher.

This is beyond lopsided. This is unhealthy. And when it’s Aggies vs. Bulldogs for the national title in January of 2024, well, it’ll be no surprise.

Name, image and likeness should help chip away at SEC recruiting dominance. Yes, SEC teams will spend big on talent, but there is money everywhere. Compensation is an economic tool to overcome location, prestige and stability in every job market. It’s what lures workers to oil fields in North Dakota and fishing boats in the Bering Sea and garage start-ups in the Silicon Valley.

It won’t solve the problem, but even just this year, top-five national recruits signed with Jackson State, North Carolina and Missouri. Maybe it’s the start of a trend. If in a few years three schools sign “only” 25 of the top 100 players, well, that’s meaningful.

And the overall thesis:

These are perilous times for those who want a true national sport, where a measure of parity exists. For many, it’s the diversity of the sport that makes it so fun, so rich, so worth the time. College football is a game, but it’s also life to millions. The idea of 60-plus kickoffs each Saturday, or traditions even at losing programs. Of MACtion and Blue Turf and Paul Bunyan’s Axe and a buffalo rumbling pregame across a field in Boulder.

Give more teams a chance to compete for a title, give more recruits more options to play in big playoff games and even contend for national championships, make more conference races and more postseason contests matter.

Or watch the sport wither over obstinance, tribalism and mismanagement.

* * *

Aright, now memes/the natty. It started promising for Alabama:

But then, uh…

I mean really uhhhhh:

All that was left were memes and greatness:

Such a sucker for the Denzel video. Every time. Hate that it cut off before “You motherfuckers will be playing basketball in Pelican Bay!” Oh well.

Kirby haircut jokes are my catnip.

He’s just funny sometimes.

lol who even cares; so good

Things then… got a little outside the box.

But let’s not get lost in the forest. Stetson Bennett IV had his Vince Young moment, and yeah, they stacked the recruiting chips — aka, what all great teams do — but it doesn’t make his journey any less of a story.

One love to the Dawgs. But always remember, in this generally bad sport, even when everything changes, it will still always stay the same.

Bill Walton’s Western Civilization 

No Context College Basketball

Enjoyed the payoff here.

Haha.

Hahaha.

Wrapping It Up…

Bobby Loesch is a weekly contributor to Go Iowa Awesome. Follow him on Twitter @bobbystompy or email to bobbyloesch [at] gmail.com.