Well, readers, it’s the first day of August. That means a few things. Firstly, it means that my boyfriend is officially 33. This is cool, if only because I recently just learned he was turning that age. I’m a great girlfriend. The first day of August also means that Oklahoma City schools are back in session, thus making it a great time to go to the malls or the theaters on school nights. May your excursions to these locations on Monday through Thursday be delightfully child-free. And lastly, I guess today is National Chick-fil-A Day.
Yesterday, the name “Chick-fil-A” appeared on the blog and people immediately jumped to the conclusion that we were part of that liberal media conspiracy to bring down traditional values, whatever those are. And I’m sure that this post will be labeled as that by those retired schoolteachers who like to read headlines and then write comments about how important traditional family is as a foundation for America and how their experiences prove it. But I’m not writing about Chick-fil-A, so all you martyrs can step down off that cross. Seriously, Jesus did it better than you ever will.
Last week, Kelly Crull was unceremoniously released from her duties as the Oklahoma City Thunder sideline reporter. We’re not 100% sure why she was let go, but it probably wasn’t because the color of her eyebrows matched her skin tone, making it look like she lost them in a terrible sorority prank. That would be awful and mean.
“Kelly will not return as the sideline reporter for next season,” Dan Mahoney, vice president of communications and community relations, said in an email. “We are in the process of finding a new sideline reporter.”
Crull could not be immediately reached for comment.
I actually didn’t mind Kelly. Sure, all she had to do was lob meatball questions at the players and spout off the obvious when the camera was on her, but that was her job and she did it well. That’s something Brian Davis struggles with every day.
Anyway, regardless of the “why” she won’t be returning, the pressing question is, “who is going to replace her?” Patrick and I came up with 10 possible future sideline reporters for Berry’s Boomers:
A few weeks back, I was thinking of something fun we could during the usually slow summer months. I came up with the not-so-original idea for an Oklahoma Celebrity Fantasy Draft. The premise is pretty simple. We get some people together, we draft Oklahoma celebrities, and when the draft is completed, TLO readers vote for their favorite team.
Here are the teams along with their managers. For this draft it’s all of our TLO writers. I’ve sorted them in the order they draft players.
Justice League of Oklahoma: Tony Hanadarko
The Nompton Stompers: Marisa
Wayne Payne Experience: Patrick
Rick J. Steinkraus Fan Club: Chad
Pillow Fighters: Chelsea
The Dirty Gingers: Spencer and Clark Matthews
Sounds fun, doesn’t it. Before I begin with the draft, let me go over a couple of important rules.
What counts as an Oklahoma Celebrity? Probably due to our state’s inferiority complex, it seems like it’s Oklahoma nature to count anyone with ties to the state as an “Oklahoman.” So if you were born here, grew up here, currently live here, or play basketball here, we are going to consider you an Oklahoman.
How many celebrities are on a team? Six. Five starters and one alternate in case someone dies, which nearly happened to Kristin Chenoweth.
Are dead people eligible? No, dead people are not eligible. That means you won’t see any mentions of Will Rogers, Woody Guthrie or Ronnie Kaye.
How do you keep score? Well, there’s really not a good way to keep score, so we’re going to have you all vote for the best team when the draft is concluded. The manager of the winning team will receive a gift certificate to Applebee’s that I won in a Dirty Santa game three years ago.
Anything else? Yes, as a bonus to you (and us), our friend and former TLO contributor Royce Young at Daily Thunder will provide grades for each pick along with some instant analysis.
Anyway, I think that’s it. The selections for round one and two are after the jump. Check it out:
When I was a young Clark still at home with my parents, my mother hated basketball. Not the sport, really, but the fact that it never seemed to end, so I was always watching it. Of course, back then it was just hyperbole from someone who was having to battle with her son to watch Law and Order re-runs.
These days, it is absolutely true. Once the NBA season ends, the draft is right around the corner, and once that ends, free agency starts. Even if you don’t get in to the transaction intrigue, the WNBA puts basketball on the floor, and for those who hate women’s sports, there is still international basketball every other Summer (Olympics start in a couple of weeks!). There is also the NBA Summer League which is going on right now.
The NBA sponsors two week long basketball leagues that pits teams sponsored by NBA franchises against each other. Recent draft picks, young bench warmers, and minor league players hoping to draw the attention of scouts generally populate the rosters. For the Thunder, who compete in the Orlando Pro Summer League, the participating players were not even announced until the Saturday before the opener on Monday, so the number of practices the team got to build fluidity could have been counted on one hand…by a guy who had been in an industrial accident.
Play in these games is awful. Ball dominating point guards generally fare well since they look for their own shot and opposing defenses are discombobulated. Post players who rely on the guards sharing the ball tend to get few offensive opportunities and are left out to dry by poor perimeter defense. Despite all of this, every Summer people get overly excited about the results of these games.
Case in point.
Potential is Spanish Fly for basketball fans. It as an aphrodisiac that lures those who love to game to believe that great things are on the horizon for a player. Like Spanish Fly, potential rarely works out.
Back in 2006, Patrick owned an Oklahoma City Hornet themed website and had a good relationship with The Sports Animal. As a result, he and I were occasionally invited to participate in their weekly show about the Hornets including a draft night special recapping the team’s performance.
To briefly rundown what did happen that night, the Hornets had two lottery picks where they selected two identical 6’10″ shot blocking power forwards (Hilton Armstrong from UConn and Cedric Simmons from NC State who I would derisively refer to as Hildric Simmstrong from that point on) then took a Brazillian small forward named Marcus Vinicius Viera de Souza (more succinctly referred to as “Marquinhos”) in the second round. As I called into the show for my segment, “Pork” was leading the show while giving the team general manager credit for taking two players who fit a team need and then just making fun of the Brazilian’s name. I saw it the other way around.
“Marquinhos was projected to be a lottery pick,” I told him. “Being able to draft him in the second round is a steal.”
“He has a skill set that few players possess,” I told him. “If he reaches his potential, there will be a lot of teams that regret passing on him.”
Six years later, the Oklahoma City Thunder selected Perry Jones III out of Baylor. He is a guy of which the same arguments were made, and now I’m on the other side. I have been burned once before.
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