The Beatle…

VCU Basketball

It’s simple, really.

Shaka Smart won 163 games at VCU in six seasons, shattering the school’s alltime wins mark. It’s the second-most wins for a D1 coach in his first six seasons in the history of college basketball. He never won fewer than 26 games in any single season. He won the only tournament VCU played in that was not an NCAA tournament.

There’s that Final Four business that was, uh, significant. Wins. Hardware. T-shirts. Banners.

There are banners, lots of them, that hang in That Animal.

But here’s the truth: basketball coaches are replaceable. VCU won before Shaka Smart, and it will win long after Shaka Smart is gone.  Smart may have been the figurative can of spinach, but VCUs success on the court is the Popeye. From a basketball perspective there are other cans of spinach.

Here’s the second truth: to appreciate what Shaka Smart accomplished at VCU, you have to…

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A Baltimore doctor did a three-year study in which he determined that men will put off emergency room visits until the end of a sporting event. At first I scoffed, but then I thought to myself: Suppose the Jayhawks were about to win the NCAA championship? And suppose I had severed my thumb on a beer can pull-tab? I’d probably pack that sucker on ice and watch the last five minutes, is what.

If you look at the pictures below, you’ll see that this has been an issue for longer than we might have guessed:

General: “My lord, you’ve lost a great deal of blood! We must get you to the palace physician!”

Rasputin: “Whoa, whoa, dude. The Bills are in scoring position! I swear, if Norwood misses this kick, I’m going to jump in the damn river, I don’t care how cold it is.”

Arthur: I told you I had no quarrel with you, good Sir Knight! I fear you will die now. Is there anything I can do to make your final moments more comfortable?

Black Knight: Yeah, move ovah and let me watch Game 6, you retahd!
Ah, for tha love of christ, Bucknah! I ain’t got no arms or legs and I still could have made that catch!
Go ahead and lop my head off, ya limey bastid – it can’t hurt any worse!

Cop: I can’t hear very well with all this blood in my ear canal. Why does he keep repeating “The Giants blend the tenant! The Giants blend the tenant!”?

Soldier: Oy, sir! That lig wound looks pyneful! Shall we get you to a midic?

Officer: Yes, Sergeant, let’s. The Shark is up six strokes on Faldo – he’s got it in the bag now! Only the most epic collapse in golf history could stop Grig from winning this one!

Soldier: As if, mate, as if! Haw haw!

On second thought, if I sustain an injury during any KU first-round NCAA game against a lightly-regarded mid-major opponent, perhaps a quick trip to the ER would save me a lot of grief.

I know what you’re thinking… this is news?

As you may know by now, we have a few contacts at ESPN: the Magazine HQ. Heck, one of them even writes a conference report for me at Storming the Floor. Fortunately, that road runs both ways, as they occasionally give us a chance to pursue our unique… idiom for a wider audience.

Today they’re running the first in what hopefully will become a series of articles about sports memorabilia collecting, starting with current eBay auctions.


I don’t know why they do headlines in all-caps. But they do.

More importantly, if you or someone you know collects or sells unusual crap, drop me a line, and you might be in a future edition. I think a post about hilarious minor-league memorabilia would be aces.

Email your tips about odd stuff or people to collectespn@gmail.com. This could be tons of fun.


We have our first appearance of Voodoo Sabermetrics over at Babes Love Baseball. It’s in good hands, let me tell you. Our first victim is Miguel Tejada.

Also going very strong right now is my collaboration with Brian from One More Dying Quail – we talk minor league baseball at Bus Leagues Baseball right here on WordPress.

Quick Content Update:

Two of our favorite features from baseball season will live on this season, though I still have no plans to re-start this site any time soon.

Voodoo Sabermetrics will now run on the far superior baseball site Babes Love Baseball.

Smells Like Pujols will be rejiggered a bit to determine the potential of minor league prospects to make the bigs, and run on my more focused sister site Bus League Baseball.


High Ate Us


I’m starting to feel stupid about updating once a week if even that, so I’m going to make it official – the Extrapolater is going on hiatus for a while. I’m currently writing 2-3 posts a day at Storming the Floor, and trying to keep my freelancing going, and I don’t really have any creative juice left for general sports monkeyshines in this space.

I appreciate those of you who visited here often, and I won’t flatter myself by apologizing for shutting things down – there are plenty of other fish in the sea, and if you miss my particular style, I’ve simply chosen to focus it on college basketball – my favorite sport.

I’ve really enjoyed some of the debates we’ve had here, and the hilarity involved in bringing other great writers into the fold from time to time. Some of that may still go on, but it’s obviously not going to happen until early April at this point. It makes me a little sad, but like a waning romantic relationship, it hurts less to put the kibosh on it now than to zombie-walk through another few months.

Thanks again, and don’t forget to visit Storming the Floor, where Marco (who shut down Just Call Me Juice for the same reason) and I are examining the orange sphere with everything we have.

mcandersonsharp.jpgLast week, I previewed the Orange Bowl by comparing passing stats for the Kansas Jayhawks and the Virginia Tech Hokies. I am doing this to occupy my mind in the lengthy interval between the last game of Kansas’ season and the bowl. And also, hopefully, to give myself some evidence of equality, if not superiority, on Kansas’ part, to keep me from worrying too much.

So today, we check out the running game for each team:


The Jayhawks were good for 2,359 yards on the ground this year, with 29 TDs. The vast bulk of those scores came from two men – Big Brandon McAnderson put in 1,050 and 16, and speedy Jake Sharp got another 788 and 7. Reesing can run, but nobody’s going to need to put a spy on him. It’s all in the rhythm of Thunder and Lightning for Kansas.

Virginia Tech

brandon-ore.jpgSophomore Branden Ore went for 876 yards and 8 TDs, almost exactly half of what he managed as a Freshman. His only 100+ yard game came against in-state rival Virginia. QB Tyrod Taylor got his Vick on (sans dogs) and managed 431 yards with 6 TDs, but he’s not on the field for every offensive snap. VTech’s overall numbers on the ground were underwhelming: 1,736 yards, 21 TDs.

Again, this is a surprise to me. Tech averaged nearly 33 points per game, so who’s doing all of that scoring? I’m guessing the defensive comparison will be an eye-opener.

Advantage, Kansas.