NIL “r” Us: Money Talks Nobody Walks

Back in the glory daze of Cardinal hoops — 70s to mid 80s — such was illegal.

Giving money to secure the services of a desired high schooler. Who even thought much about transfers then?

Nonetheless, a pal who was connected with the program asked if I’d contribute to secure the services of a wannaget? I threw in a Benjamin, which was all I could afford at the time. A score of those in the pot, the kid came to the Ville.

A Top 10 All-Timer, it turned out.

Lots of success and smiles ensued.

Best return on an investment I ever made.

A Card baller from the late 60s has told me that once a week during the season, there’d be an envelope in his campus mailbox with a few crumpled twenties.

How quaint. Continue reading NIL “r” Us: Money Talks Nobody Walks

Hoopaholic’s Gazette: A Cardinal to Cheer For

Was Monday’s gray soggy weather a perfect metaphor for the annual post Derby (post JazzFest) malaise?

For the hoopaholics among us, as for basketball played by the male of the species, we must turn our yearning eyes toward the play for pay league.

Oops, silly me, got to say which one now. (Do not worry. I shan’t utter a word further here about you know what. Today’s post is a nil on NIL zone.)

I’m talking about hoops where the teams have a salary cap they must adhere to.

There is however a rooting interest remaining in the playdowns for U of L fans.

One Donovan Mitchell.

Now a Cleveland Cavalier, he was around the Yum! just when the shit hit the fan for Cardinal men’s basketball.

Two and done he was. No surprise. Continue reading Hoopaholic’s Gazette: A Cardinal to Cheer For

Seedy K’s Hoopaholic Hiatus Warning

So, yeah, you loyal readers, especially the ones at the Chron, you won’t have me to kick around for the next couple weeks.

Which one hopes you might have already discerned from the photo up top, an image of you now know where I’ll be if you didn’t already know.

So, say, next Thursday morning at 11:30 when you are at work, or you’re lookin’ for some bloggoid type to vent your spleen toward, I’ll be sipping on a frozen latte, perhaps not being able to wait also savoring a crawfish strudel, and be either at Gentilly Stage listening to the New Orleans Suspects, or in the Blues Tent with Tin Men, or in the Gospel Tent where I often start the Fest, along with more fellow Hebrews than you’d imagine, praying along with Melvin “Maestro” Winfield Jr and The Glory Chorale Community Choir.

Just a way of saying thanks to the Lord for the blessing of JazzFest. This, my 35th.

Maybe at the Lagniappe Stage.

But before I go . . . Continue reading Seedy K’s Hoopaholic Hiatus Warning

Back to the Jim

Saturday dawned like the first true day of printemps.

(I know, too precious. But there are times when invocation of French is simply called for, the language is so resonant and lyrical. I gotta work the word for grapefruit in sometime soon.)

My immediate thought when seeing the sun glowing through my window: It’s time to get back to the ballyard.

I am a child of Willie, Mickey and the Duke. (As NY-centric as that may be. I mean, I recall asking my baseball-loving dad what the deal was when the Giants and Indians were in the ’54 Series. Still very young I thought it was just the Dodgers and Yankees every year.)

There were actual toys in boxes of Cracker Jack.

Baseball’s were the sounds of my youth.

The crack of ball against ash. The thwack of horsehide into leather.

The lingo. Continue reading Back to the Jim

Hoopaholic’s Gazette: Got My Fix

So, as previously reported, your inveterate Cardinal-loving wag awakened Thursday morn jonesing for a college hoops fix.

The withdrawal was severe.

And then, like manna from heaven, like back in the day my man would actually answer the phone when I needed to connect right then, the day unfolded.

It was like that day in ’70 in a field in Byron, Ga when I heard Duane and Dickey for the first time.

Or, more appropriately, let’s jump in the time machine back to January 28, 1956. It was like that blissful evening.

My obsession with U of L hoops was already four years on, though I was only 11.

That night is, to the best of my memory, the first time there was hoops on TV here. Television was still pretty rudimentary, the Milton Berle phase, just getting its sea legs.

A doubleheader no less.

My parents, from whom I am genetically disposed to hoopaholism, allowed me to stay up to the end beyond my bedtime. Continue reading Hoopaholic’s Gazette: Got My Fix

Hoopaholic’s Gazette: I Need a Fix

Where have you gone Trilly Donovan, a hoopaholic nation turns its lonely eyes to you?

Donovan, this one, not the Bullish one who said no to the school down the road, is the fictitious nom de plume of one or more insiders who seem to be tapped in to every upcoming change in the landscape a day or two before it happens. Or doesn’t.

Like Nolan Smith to the G League.

Or, at least used to be.

I am an unrecovered hoopaholic, who continues to need news in this depressing time right after Final Monday. Plus I need to take a break from handicapping the cubes, the quaint name for the daily time schedules of JazzFest, which acts play on which of the 13 stages at what time.

So, yes, I shall admit before the Lord Above and my readers, most of whom bleed red & black, that I can’t get enough of the this and that about the coaching change at that school about which I/we couldn’t care less.

Soooooooooo, this morning I went for the first time in a long while to Trilly’s site

It is dormant. Nothing posted for over a month.

What da fazook?

Has Trilly met his unfortunate demise?

So, I did what any unrecovered addict does, I went searching for a fix. Continue reading Hoopaholic’s Gazette: I Need a Fix

Hoopaholic’s Gazette: The Real Eclipse

When we woke this morning, who among us, the members of the Bermuda Triangle chapter of Hoopaholics Anonymous, knew we’d need those special protective glasses we bought off the interweb from Jeff Bezos . . .

. . . to listen to sports talk radio.

Sure, there’s the game tonight, but the Truth: That’s not as important in my neck o’ the woods than the reports that You Know Whom who used to coach up the road at You Know Where is now Winner Winner Chicken Dinner.

Thanks to Mr. Tyson.

In Tiffin, Ohio, where the solar blot is a 100% thing, and so many visitors were expected the police chief was advising locals to fill their tanks with gas over the weekend, they will be talking Buckeye football again before the more natural sundown.

As it is in Bessemer, Alabama. And Steeler Town.

But here in what I once attempted to designate Hoopsylvania — to literally no avail, I seemed to be the only one who found it cute — we talk hoops on the Fourth of July. And the 3d, 5th, 6th and the rest of the time.

In HoosierLand, the Bluegrass and Derbytown, we all got roundball eyes. Continue reading Hoopaholic’s Gazette: The Real Eclipse

Hoopaholic’s Gazette: Days Dwindle with Controversy

No I’m not going to talk about the plane snafus of Hurley’s Huskies.

Flying sucks.

But shall comment briefly on the UConn women’s situation, exclamation-pointed by Geno Auriemma’s every pissy, passive aggressive postgame take.

As someone whose team’s fortunes went south this season after a ref’s untoward call cost them an important game against a league rival, I understand the frustration and resulting ire of UConn fans.

A blocking call against Aaliyah Edwards cost her team, down one with seconds to go, a shot at winning the national semi.

To my eyes, it was a legit foul. She moved to her left, spread her feet outside her shoulders, raised her forearms to her chest, and leaned into the defender.

It happens.

I’m of the belief that refs should not let the game play out amidst physical chaos if fouls are committed. An infraction of the rules in the 1st is also one with three tics on the clock.

That said, let’s hope this increases the focus on the egregiously less than acceptable officiating generally in the women’s game. It’s been a problem for years. Now that the sport has emerged into the nation’s consciousness, it’s time to fix it. Continue reading Hoopaholic’s Gazette: Days Dwindle with Controversy

Hoopaholic’s Gazette: Musings of Title Week

Terrance Edwards Jr., star of 30+ win James Madison, Sun Belt POY, Transfer Portal Top 10, has announced his commitment to Pal Kelsey and the University of Louisville.

And there was evening, and there was morning, a the sixth day.

Yes, fellow hoopaholics of the Cardinal persuasion, it’s been about as invigorating week as a diehard could possibly hope for.

Three recruits. Most of the staff. A million simolien gift to the 502Circle.

Be still my beating heart.

And, loyal readers, be grateful I didn’t morph full biblical on ya. I did pull out The Holy Scriptures presented me at my Bar Mitzvah to see if I could somehow fashion a lengthier lede. But, since it is a sacred time of year — Easter, Passover, Ramadan — thought I’d be respectful. I do have a filter on occasion.

U of L Hoops is a matter of faith, but, ya know, not quite the same.

A new coach is not exactly the Second Coming, but . . . hope springs.

 * * * * *

Chris Mack to College of Charleston.

How symmetrical. Continue reading Hoopaholic’s Gazette: Musings of Title Week

Hoopaholic’s Gazette: Frosh, Final Four & the Portal

How many conversations did I have with my bestie hoopaholic pals — Smarts and Doc — over the weekend?

Correct answer: A whole lot.

During one with Doc, he asked rhetorically how many freshman were playing significant roles for the teams still alive?

The only name that immediately came to mind was UConn’s Stephon Castle.

We agreed that college hoops success is now — and possibly always has been frankly — predicated on experience. Among other factors, like, oh, talent and a great guard running the show, etc.

So, looking for some anecdotal evidence, I actually did some research on the squads of the Final Four survivors.

Of the players on UConn, Alabama, NC State and Purdue who have averaged double digit minutes over the course of the season, exactly four are rookies. Castle, one kid balling for the Boilermakers, and a couple rolling for the Tide. Continue reading Hoopaholic’s Gazette: Frosh, Final Four & the Portal