Schu Strings: Cats give back to opponents

Is there a program in the land that understands the fuzzy feeling one gets through giving during the holiday season better than Arizona? To all the good folks at LSU, Happy Holidays from your friends on the Arizona Basketball team.

Throughout the course of the basketball season, Arizona does more than its share of taking. Take another Pac-10 title. Take the hearts of rabid fans hoping against hope for that season-making upset. Take that No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament.

Yup, for the UA it's four whole months of take, take, take. But one time every year, this program feels a necessity to give back. It's such a warm gesture. It's a happy tradition that Arizona adopted in 1991 at Arkansas. And then at Providence. And then against Kentucky. And then for the cold folk at Syracuse. Once on the road and once at home. And then at Michigan. And then at Florida State. And then at home against New Mexico. And Saturday at LSU.

Those Wildcats are a friendly bunch just before Christmas.

From the whole team: LSU, please accept our paltry shooting percentage as a token of our holiday cheer. We'll keep it around 25 percent for most of the game, and finish just above 30 to make it look good.

To the LSU fans, the greatest, most upstanding, fair-minded bunch in all the land: We wouldn't want you to experience a lopsided win, so we'll be nice enough to provide a little entertainment. We'll let the game be determined on the final possession, just because we want your holiday experience to be as memorable as possible. You're in our thoughts.

From Will Bynum: Sure I've played well all year. Heck, I'm arguably the most improved player on the team, but tonight, I'll stink up the joint and force really bad shots while not running the offense. It's my gift to you.

From Jason Gardner: I'll hit a couple threes early, then go into a complete funk for the next 30 minutes, only to resurrect my performance for that big rally down the stretch. But just for you, LSU, I'll struggle on that last possession. Because I care.

From Rick Anderson: Well, yeah, I've played as well as any of the three seniors all year long. On this night I'll get some offensive rebounds. But fear not. I'll make sure to miss the follows. And then I'll get into serious foul trouble. Happy Holidays LSU.

From Channing Frye: I like Ricky's idea. I'll get into foul trouble too and be a no-show until late. Then I'll be the catalyst for that Wildcat rally. It'll be exciting. We'll have fun. And this time of year, it's all about fun.

There's a lot of hustle and bustle during the Christmas time frame any more, but thank goodness there are still good souls who can show us the way. Thank you Arizona for yet another heartfelt gesture.

For the Arizona fans: Your gift is scheduled to arrive in April.

I'm just not the most festive holiday person. It's partially because I hate the holiday crowds and partially because I hate to wrap presents. As a result, if I buy something for someone in August, that person is getting it in August. But this year, I struggled mightily just to find a couple items.

It seems Tucson isn't as big as I thought. We got a Krispy Kreme. I thought we were turning the corner. Alas, not so.

Backstory time. About a month ago, my friend Gabe and I visited LA for a friend's traumatic 30th birthday party. At this gathering for the ages, Gabe came across this yummy beer. Some brand called San Miguel. Said beery stuff like it had a smooth quality and a fruity blend. To me, beer is pretty much beer, so I just nodded and suckled my carbonated diet concoction.

But I figured, "Hey, it would be a neat gesture to get Gabe some of this San Miguel Beer," being the rockin' sort I am. So the quest was on. Couldn't find it at my first stop. Nor the second, but the liquor counter guy suggested the good folks at the Beverage House. Alas, it was not to be. The woman at the Beverage House informed me the distributor didn't deliver in Tucson. Lo, the sadness.

But I persevered. After being dragged to Cirque de Soleil (a story perhaps I will share another time), I went on another beer run. Man, I sound like a college kid. Unfortunately, two different places in the Valley said distribution for San Miguel had been discontinued. I was crushed. C'est la vie, I said, largely because I just spent three hours inside a circus tent with French vaudevillian performances, and anybody would speak French after an experience like that. (Is C'est la vie French?)

Thankfully, there's a silver lining to this holiday tragedy. Turns out Gabe's mom found two six packs of San Miguel at a liquor store in Douglas. Happy days are here again. Well, at least 144 ounces worth of happy days.

I wasn't as fortunate in a search for a specific DVD. Seems my friend Joanna is a big fan of this movie called "A Boy and His Dog." Seventies sci-fi nuke feature with Don Johnson regarded as something of a cult classic, largely because the dog talks and Johnson isn't real bright. OK, so one out of two is fiction.

As an aside, Joanna sees something in 1970's Don Johnson that only a woman in her mid-40s could explain. So in addition to having a dog that somehow communicates on a human level, for Joanna it also has beefcake. But beefcake can be expensive if the DVD is out of print. DVDs are bleeping new. How the Hades can they already be out of print? Absurd.

Well, there are some places on ebay that had copies, but they were peaking in the 40-dollar range. And Amazon wants 60 bucks for this puppy. I think Joanna's pretty darn cool and all, despite this thing for Don Johnson—I mean, she painted Jack Lord on velvet--but 40-60 bucks ain't gonna happen. At least not now.

Thankfully, there is a silver lining to this holiday tragedy. Apparently, Anchor Bay will re-release A Boy and His Dog at some point this spring.

I also had to drive all the way to Phoenix to find tangerine Altoids, but that's another boring story entirely.

[Editor's Note: How did they have the beer in Douglas, but nowhere else?—Brad]

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