This weekend brought me two exquisite examples of the dd. The first, which made contact at the end of dinner on Friday night, came from the American Northwest. Its author, Patrick Muir, was celebrating his birthday and -- I'm honored -- thought to call me. Pat, his voice rough with drink, was foul-mouthed, loud, brash, bordering on inappropriate. In other words, pure Pat (Matt Pure?) and pure dd. Pat received an assist from his girlfriend, Adriana (sp?), which gave the call the touch of class it needed to reach legendary status. Well done, my friends.
Dd No. 2 came Saturday night from the East, its author originating from the even farther East. Ilya Perchikovsky, global citizen, lover, environmental soldier, philosopher, conversationalist, called me while he was getting some (cold) air at a party somewhere in the Metropolis. Where Pat's dd was a Mailer brawl, Ilya's was an O. Henry embrace. Emboldened by strong New York air and a few libations, he summed up our entire friendship in a single, clean paragraph, and I love him for it. Making dd co-pilots a weekend trend, Ilya passed the mic to some kid from Brooklyn who freestyled for about a minute and then signed off with "one love."
Let's transition to the world of sport:
1. I watched five minutes of the All-Star Game, and couldn't have cared less.
2. The Winter Olympics has been a bore save for two exceptions:
- Snowboard cross, which is easily the most exciting thing about the WO. Speed, physicality, and strategy make an addictive combination. This will be the sport that brings snowboarding to the masses. There isn't as much room for the slacker aesthetic, and Lindsay Jacobellis' fumbling away of the gold will be looked back upon as a watershed moment for the sport. She's getting slammed right now, but it shows that people in this country -- not just the X Game minority -- care about snowboarding. It's an uncomfortable time for Jacobellis and her colleagues, but, hey, welcome to the bigs, as Bill Joyce would say.
- Curling, which is fascinating, and I'm not just saying that to be cool. Are you a true sports fan? Do you really care about strategy and mental competition? Curling will be your test. Combine elements of bowling and chess with the brainpower of baseball, and you have curling. It doesn't hurt that the Americans, with the cute Johnson girls and the lovable pizza maker Pete Fenson, have performed admirably. It's no snowboard cross, but it's a damn fine sport. NBC's announcers, Don Chevrier and Don Duguid, are also perfect ambassadors.
3. Michigan State's win over Michigan on Saturday was very satisfying, for a few reasons. First, Maurice Ager put it all together for the first game in quite a while. Second, Shannon Brown had no fewer than three -- and I may be forgetting one -- amazing highlight plays. The topper was the best alley-oop I've ever seen. Here's the breakdown:
- Brown, with the ball at the top of the perimeter, passes to Drew Neitzel
- Using a Marquise Gray screen, Brown loses his defender, freshman guard Jerret Smith, as he drives to the right
- Neitzel lofts the ball two steps before Brown leaves his feet
- Brown, jumping from his left foot, pivots 180 degrees in the air to catch the ball with both hands as he continues to ascend
- With his back still to the hoop, Brown dunks with the ball with his left hand
Paul Davis played with confidence the whole game, and Drew Neitzel formally inducted himself into MSU's new Big Four, earning his first career double-double. I think Neitzel, and specifically his shooting, will be huge in the tournament. Losing Matt Trannon is important, but let's just hope that it'll make for Gray's coronation. Or Goran Suton's ...
In polling news, I can't believe mayo is beating Miracle Whip.