The Rancid Edition

Who doesn't love the East Bay? And if you love the East Bay, then you love the best band ever out of the East Bay. Rancid. They also write the best songs about the East Bay. And they live right in Berkeley. They wrote the seminal East Bay punk smash hit, "Journey To The End Of The East Bay", and they did smash YouTube hit "Another East Bay Night."

Our LSJUMB band even plays Rancid, although most of you old fart Booties wouldn't know which song they were playing if it wasn't written by a hippie.

So fire up the YouTube of "Another East Bay Night" and let's celebrate another. Oh yeah, thank you bartender I will have another Bear Weenie Golden Ale, Pac-12 Conference Championship lost, ripped from their pusillanimous ursine misnomered paws by our virtuosity once more!

The refs may suck, as the weenies properly chanted. But, you know who sucked worse than the refs, the pusillanimous ursine misnomers running around on the floor of Harmon Gymnasium like headless fighting chickens still trying to fight a foe that long ago went backdoor for another lay-in. Oh sure, our Cardinal had nothing to lose but a rivalry game and mediocre 9-9 conference record, so we could play loose. While the weenies had something really important to play for, so they had lots of pressure. You could see the pressure on Allen Crabbe's face from the start—it looked to me like he had eating too many stale hot dogs from the Harmon vendors. Speaking of stale old weenies, it was terrifying how they surrounded my section in Harmon. But I digress.

It was only last year that uber pusillanimous ursine misnomer Jorge Gutierrez boasted that there was no rivalry, only to watch his conference title go down in weenie flames on the Maples hardwood. Well, most of those weenies last year still play this year and they apparently haven't dislodged whatever it was they gagged on last year, because at halftime in Harmon they started coughing again. Maybe it wasn't coughing, maybe it was another rousing half-time speech from the great inspirational orator that is Mike Montgomery, a man whose oratorical splendor hearkens the ghosts of Neville Chamberlain and Adlai Stevenson. Whatever it was, it was great entertainment.

With Harmon a rockin', we just made ourselves home, put our feet up on their furniture, put our arms around their women, and cracked open a cold frosty Heineken mini-keg of Whuppass on those punks. Chasson took advantage of some seriously lousy defense, Aaron was patient, up-tempoing the offense with vision and control, and we held our composure while watching our flailing opponent disintegrate.

Other than the two times my own teams won in Berkeley, a handful of epic Big Games (Tuan Van Lee my brother!!) and the epic 1986 concerts by Love and Rockets and R.E.M. that I saw there, I have never had a better time in Berkeley. I was so proud to be a Cardinal and to be a Cardinal guard watching my Cardinal guards take the weenies apart! And the weenie bought the wine for dinner too.

Chasson Randle, you stupid gabacho, please stop fouling three point shooters. But, way to lock and load, way to play under complete control, and own your opponent. It wasn't that the weenies couldn't guard him; they did a solid job. It's just that Chasson played tough, he took what they gave them, and he stuck the shots and passed the ball to the open teammate. 7-of-10, 4-of-5, 2-of-2, three rebounds, four assists, a help defense steal, and a lot of Rock Island. Chasson has struggled at times this season with his confidence and with his willingness to be physical. Not last night. He was the best guard in the gym and it wasn't close.

Aaron Bright you mercurial little $%^&*@. That was a great second half. Push the ball down the floor, stick your nose in the trouble, start some trouble, take it personally but react unselfishly. Take good shots, get the ball to high post where it needs to go. Just a great overall game. Not a perfect game, but under intense pressure and a miasma of chippiness, Aaron kept his team aggressive. Sunday against Utah I was furious with him for the selfish three point shots he took up when we were up 20, when he should just be taking care of his younger teammates. Not a glimpse of that "me first" and the "gimme gimme" crap last night. Just like Chasson, the focus was on winning and not taking any crap. Zero turnovers for Aaron.

Our starting backcourt went into the weenies' lair and had one turnover. Now the pusillanimous ursine misnomers -- or is it the ursine pusillanimous misnomers -- are not a great pressure defensive club, but 68 minutes with one turnover. Actually, Gabe and Christian didn't have a turnover either. Cobbs had eight by himself. In fact, Stanford had only six, and only two in the second 20 minutes. It's hard to lose when you don't kick the can.

Gabe Harris, what a great senior day. Thank you for that and thank you for fighting the good fight and so obviously being about your teammates. In your last two conference games you go out with a career high of 14 points and a righteous ejection! Damned right you come off the bench, Gabe! It's about your teammates, and no one is taking a swing at your teammates without you there.

Christian Sanders had a very nice little run to finish off the cabin rugs in Harmon. Nailed his free throws, didn't turn the ball over, played defense and didn't allow himself to be physically backed off by the flailing losers. Christian has a nose for that type of situation, and in that environment, it is always interesting to watch how marginalized freshmen perform. The tarot cards look good.

Now for a Bill Walton-Inspired Scatalogical Jackson Pollock Thingy

I was struck by how short and vehement weenie fans are. But they do go to the games and they are loud! No question they care more than our fans do right now.

Pac-12 refs are getting worse, not better. Ticky tacky, no control, inconsistent and what is the point of going to the monitor for 10 minutes if the guys throwing punches (even if they were errant and vainglorious) get to keep playing?

I don't think I have ever seen a good defensive team play such a braindead defensive game as the ursine pusillanimous misnomers just did.

Allen Crabbe can't be the conference player of the year because he was horrific on defense last night.

I love the black road unis last night. Kinda said we were ready to play, but it showed me some playfulness from the guys, which indicated we were loose walking to Harmon.

During the final shooting segment of warmups, our starters couldn't make a thing. Go figure.

We had more made free throws than rebounds last night. Go figure some more.

It has been my impression this conference season that there has been some really puckermonkey coaching going on, from Romar to Howland, from Dawkins to Miller. I didn't watch one minute of UCLA's ineptitude against a zone defense, but there is no coincidence that all the bears in this conference choked on their conference title hopes last night. Stop the overwrought, histrionic, self-important crap, coaches.

I am still embarrassed that last Sunday there were more people at Sunken Diamond for a pre-season baseball game then there were in Maples Pavilion for our last home game and senior day.

So Nike will spend millions reshaping the image every few weeks of the Oregon Ducks, and they give two high school interns the job of remaking the Oregon State Beavers logo and they come up with something that looks a lot like a molding chunk of teriyaki smoked salmon. Another job well done by Phil Knight.

I am not done with that Oregon State Beaver logo yet. It also reminds me of my grandfather's favorite tree wedge, a beautiful well-worn tree wedge. Thank you Phil Knight, that is oddly appropriate.

If you buy courtside seats or give so damned much money to the AD that you get courtside seats, it is incumbent on you at a human decency level to stand and applaud the graduating senior and his parents during the pre-game ceremony. If the shoe were on the other foot, people....

Please don't let me grow up to be the crotchety old fart that sits 15 rows up the expensive seats in my alma mater's gym and yells insults at collegiate athletes. Gawd almighty, I saw a lot of that last night in Harmon. Pathetic! Yell at the refs, idiots. That is what they are actually there for anyway.

Final Thought

Let's start our post-season five-win run a week early this season!! Who is going to go smoke this crack with me?!!! I can hear those German bombers soaring over the Pacific toward Honolulu right now!

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