PAWTUCKET, R.I. -- For my money, the greatest movie about rock and roll music ever made is Stop Making Sense
, the 1984 Talking Heads concert film directed by Jonathan Demme. The movie strikes a very personal note for me, because I take a 40 long jacket. Manufacturers don't tend to make that size, so whenever I buy a 42L off the rack, people tend to ask me, "Why a big suit?"
Unlike most concert films that attempt to capture a performance as is, Stop Making Sense
has a sort of narrative structure. Each band member appears, like characters in an actual movie, as the band grows by one every time a new song is played. First, the quirky chameleon professor-type. Then the awkward female bassist who appears as if she'd rather be anywhere else. Each player enters the stage until the stage is filled -- the chatty drummer, twisting African-American background singers, and Bernie "Woo Warrior" Worrell. (Byrne gets all the credit, but Jerry Harrison was the only one with the sense to fuse white new wave and black funk.) When the P-Funk ambassador shows up, that sort of ruins the ending of the movie's plot -- you see, everybody gets down at the end.
By this point, gentle readers, I dearly owe you a segue. As 2008-09 unfolds, we're planning to add pieces to this weekday post, one at a time. There have been a number of complaints from longtime readers having a hard time to adjust to the new daily format, who are under the impression that I'm just going to rant about things all year in 1,000-word increments. I understand the need for quick-hitters in a universe of short-paragraph blogs, but don't worry, we're building to something here. The up/down/across format of the Boubacar had its time and place, but this space called GMHN
is designed to be more fluid, with a structure that can be resized, added to, and subtracted from as the season's stages allow.
Think of it this way: it's like 60 Minutes
on acid.Red Line Upsets
If there's anything that's as "same as it ever was," it's our diligence to report and track all wins by schools in conferences under the Red Line against those from leagues above it. For those just joining us, the apples-to-apples rule we've used for four years is that wins by the lower 22 against the higher 8 count, that Atlantic 14 results are only counted when against the top six, and that Gonzaga's results are thrown out. As of today, we have 25
such victories in 230 possible chances, for a batting average of .109.
Over the weekend, there were eight. Perennial SoCon afterthought Wofford, upenders of Purdue a season ago, pulled off another impressive 74-61
win over Air Force at the Reggie Minton Classic. In the championship game
! There wasn't something for the trophy case last time. Junior Terrier guard Junior Salters
had a career-high 28. The A-14 scored two blows against the Big Six, with Saint Louis nipping Boston College 53-50
at the Billikens' beautiful brand new arena -- the Eagles might blame their 33 percent shooting on "tricky sightlines." In an OT thriller, Saint Bonaventure (3-1!) took out host Rutgers 64-63
in the Garden State Tip-Off. Conference co-rookie of the week Andrew Nicholson
, an instant-impact 6-9 freshman, had his first collegiate double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds.
There were also two relatively big wins for the Valley. Missouri State beat Arkansas of the SEC 62-57
in front of 10,285 Bear fans at another new Show-Me State building, the JQH Center. Illinois State shot 51 percent against C-USA sad sack SMU, beating one of the Mid-Majority's favorite money-league punching bags 84-73
to ruin their "Tip-Off Classic." Minor yet important wins came for the CAA (George Mason's 77-71
win at East Carolina) and Nevada, which beat Oregon State 79-71
. The Wolf Pack allowed the Beavers 26 more points than Howard did
Then, how about this. The Horizon League's participants have had some of the weirdest mood swings of the early going, starting with Loyola's win over Georgia after a loss to a D-II (contest winner announced tomorrow) and continuing with Green Bay's 72-66
Saturday victory over Marshall in sunny Daytona Beach. That wouldn't be shocking on its own, but it did come just a day after a 17-point obliteration
at the hands of Rollins. Not Henry Rollins' new correspondence school, we're talking about the D-II Tars
Not to thrown cold water on anything, but on November 23, 2007, we had 34
. That was due in part to the slightly earlier start to the season, but the winning percentage is down slightly as well, from 11.1 percent. This is all presented as riposte to the "there's parity in college basketball, everything's okay" articles that always come out this time of year. The truth is that there are still haves and have-nots in Our Game, there's a demarcation line above which teams win nine of ten against those below, and taking a few big wins out of context isn't going to change that.Same... as... it ever was
.They Came Close
I had to double-check to see if that was the title of an old John Wayne movie. It wasn't. So I'm free to use the phrase to describe those oh-so-close losses against power-conference competition that usually get swept under the rug of progress, but indicate potential for future noise, or at least hidden strength that will come to the surface once league season starts. There have been, by our database's count, 11 of these so far (IUPUI-Indiana
and Rhode Island-Duke
being the most infamous). There were a couple over the weekend as well.Virginia 68, Radford 66
-- While the John Paul Jones Arena was being built, Virginia took on operating costs that put the school squarely at the bottom of the "cost per win" index for two straight years. On Friday night, Radford nearly crashed the Cavaliers' very expensive party, holding on to a narrow one- or two-bucket lead in the second half before free throws allowed Virginia to escape. Big South fans should get used to pronouncing "Artsiom Parakhouski," the name of a 6-11 Belarus native who came to the Highlanders by way of the College of Southern Idaho. He had 16 points and 12 rebounds against UVA.Wisconsin 60, Iona 58 (OT)
-- The Gaels are loaded with trickle-down transfers and are ready to make a move back to the top of the MAAC, and almost made a big arrival announcement on Friday night at the Paradise Jam. Against a team located at the tail end of the national popularity contest, Iona charged out of halftime with an 8-0 run to erase a deficit. The Gaels would have won in regulation if not for a Badger tip-in
with 39 seconds left, followed by two missed shots as time expired. To quote Wisconsin, "Whew!"