Friday, July 23, 2010

Clutch City III

This post is going to be very short.

I would take our current squad up against any team in the entire Association- Heat and Lakers included. I may be an irrational basketball fan, and that's fine.

But - I believe it in my heart that something special is going to happen in Houston early next summer.

We are going to play together.

We are going to play with heart.

We are going to play with ONE common goal.

We are going to be Champions.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Return of The Dos

Loyal Followers of the Chuck Wagon:
It has been too long. I've been lost. Kyle Lowry's ankle injury against the Philadelphia 76ers put me in a tail spin. It turned our season around and obviously spun me into a free fall. After that injury, I had a very tough month or so. I lost the enjoyment that the Rockets gave me on a nightly basis. It was a grind. Every night when we took the floor, I felt pessimistic for the first time ever in regards to the Rockets. I didn't believe. And, make no mistake about it, I ALWAYS believed before. Something happened. I was angry. I was upset. I felt like some nights we took a game off. I felt that Rick Adelman was letting us down and not coaching us up like he did early in the season. I felt like Aaron Brooks grew a big head and an attitude problem. I felt like Battier was over the hill. I didn't see the light at the end of the tunnel- and shame on me for that. Shame on me. I was a disgraceful fan. I watched games sitting on my chair waiting for it to get over instead of standing up and willing a defensive stop, or a nice pass, or an important rebound. Looking back on this, I get embarrassed. I feel worthless. But- in the end I came back, and I promise you that I will never leave again.
When you put in so much to the grind that is the 82 game season in the NBA, it isn't unnatural to fall into a lull. It's not surprising that it happened. But, the rejuvenation was sweet. I can pin-point the exact moment that I got out of my funk and returned to Dos Mode. The night before I was flying to Las Vegas to celebrate my 23rd year on this planet it happened. February 17th-18th. The NBA trade deadline. I went to bed quite early on the 17th- around 9:30 if I recall correctly. I woke up at 2:14 AM on the 18th. I felt it in my bones that we made a move. I jumped out of bed and flipped on the computer and I was up for the rest of the night. Originally, it was said that we were moving Tracy McGrady, Carl Landry, and Joey Dorsey to Sacramento for Kevin Martin and co.. I knew immediately that this wasn't accurate. There was more to the story than what was first reported. I spent the rest of the day, work time included, trying to figure out what we were really doing. When I heard that we were also acquiring Jordan Hill, Jarred Jefferies, and a number one pick from the Knicks, I got down on my knees and I thanked Basketball Jesus for Daryl Morey.
He robbed the NBA. He got a new Carl Landry that is 3 inches taller. He acquired picks that are very valuable. He set us up perfectly to make a huge move this summer by way of trade- instead of free agency. We have a nucleus in tact with AB, Kevin Martin, and Trevor Ariza. That's a damn good young nucleus. Throw a healthy Yao Ming into the mix, as well as Luis Scola possibly, and you got a great team. I say possibly because I am predicting that we acquire Chris Bosh from the Raptors in a sign-and-trade that would send Luis Scola, Shane Battier, a young asset, and maybe a pick to Toronto. If your starting line-up consists of Aaron Brooks, Kevin Martin, Trevor Ariza, Chris Bosh, and Yao Ming, then you got the best team in the entire association. And we would still have a serviceable bench. The foresight that Daryl Morey shows is truly remarkable. He is the best executive in the league, and he has a chance to prove it this off-season by making a huge splash via trade.
The rest of the season was great- especially the final 11 games when we fought hard to finish the season and won 8 of the 11. The highlight of the actual basketball season (more to come later) was beating the Boston Celtics in Boston on the memorable Friday Night. I felt like we were playing for the Larry O'Brian Trophy that night. We got down early. We stormed back. We struggled to start the 4th quarter. AB steps up to the plate. Hits the 3 to send it into overtime. We start out slow in the overtime. We then go on a 10-0 run to end the overtime and steal the victory. I was like a little kid in the candy shop. I couldn't have been happier. I felt it in my heart once again. I shed a man tear. I realized then that it isn't a mistake to put all you got into something like The Rockets. The lows are extremely low, but the highs are incredibly high. The highs are worth banging your head against the wall when things aren't going your way. It's difficult to explain- the euphoria you feel when you win a game in March that means absolutely nothing and you go crazy and feel like your on top of the world. That's how I felt that night.
We saw Chase Budinger expand his game. We saw glimpses of what Jermaine Taylor can become. We saw how serviceable Jared Jefferies can actually be. We saw how rock-solid Chuck Hayes is on the defensive end- pun intended. We also saw how much The Wagon has improved on the offensive end. We saw glimpses of how great Trevor Ariza can be if he has a supporting cast around him and is not one of the top options on the offensive end. When he sets his feet, has his balance, and let's it fly he is an incredible asset to a good basketball team. He will be this next year. Just look at how he played on the Lakers last year in the postseason. I am truely excited to see how he grows next season as a player and as a leader. He can grow so much with this team because we don't have a Kobe Bryant. He was never going to grow in Las Angeles. But, even being the 3rd or 4th option next season, he can grow into a leader and maybe get into that role he talked about growing in to when he signed with us. We saw Aaron Brooks develop into a stud. Easily the most improved player in the league. We saw how dominant Luis Scola really is. We saw how bad our broadcasting team has become. We saw how important Kyle Lowry is to the team. I know I'm missing other things that we saw so please forgive me. In conclusion to this thought- we saw how bright the future is. We saw that this team is capable of competing with the big boys and bringing home some hardware. And for this, I am very thankful and God damned proud to call myself a Rocket fan.
I achieved my goal of watching 80 out of the 82 Rockets' games live. It was a grind. It took some sacrificing. It took me staying in some weekends on both nights because I had my priorities straight and needed to see the Rocks. It seemed like we played an incredible amount of back-to-backs to me. But, anyway, the grind was great. It was a success. I am not a fan of moral victories, but I feel like we won this year. I felt like I won as a fan. We finished 42-40 and faced a lot of adversity along the road. We beat teams that we shouldn't have beaten, but we lost to teams we shouldn't have lost to. It was a young and inexperienced team trying to find its way. And I really believe that we did find our way. Next year is going to be special. We are ready for the next step. With a little luck, and a little health there is no reason to believe that the NBA Finals is a pipe dream- it can become reality. I promise you.
Last Wednesday. April 14th, 2010. Last game of the season. A game that was more about showing appreciation to the guys for all their hard work more so than getting a victory. Obviously, I wanted to win, but on this night, I wanted to show the team appreciation for all that they have done over the last few months. I wanted to thank them for all the joy they really do bring me. When life is tough it is nice to have something to go to and know it will make everything better. The Rockets are this for me and last Wednesday was a special night. Thinking back on what happened really does make me cry. I know I am an overemotional fan. I put too much into the lows and too much into the highs. But that is the only way I know how to do it. I don't know how to be a casual fan. And for this, I am thankful.
We laid a dud against the Hornets on the final contest of the year. We didn't come ready to play. We got beat. The game ended and on the loud speaker they instructed the fans that had stayed until the end to stick around for the players coming back out to show appreciation and throw out prizes. I sit in section 119, row 10, seat 10 which is right behind the Rocket's bench. It is my spot. Chuck Hayes looks up every game and gives me a salute. And every time he does it, it becomes more special. He is, without a doubt, my favorite basketball player of all time- possibly my favorite athlete of all time.
So, when John Paul announced that the players would come back out, I struggled with the decision to stay in the seat that I love, or move down to maybe get to talk to a player or two. In the end, me and my boy Ricky, sneak down to the row right behind the Rockets' bench not having any expectations. And, one by one the players start to trickle out to applause by us true Rocket Fans. The first 8 players all have shoes in their hands and give them to fans that caught a shirt that night that has a coupon to come down to the floor to receive a pair of game worn autographed shoes. I am sitting there jealous as hell to everyone out on the floor. Then, The Wagon comes out. He walks right passed the group of kids/fans standing under the basket. He first takes a glance up section 119 right about row 10 and I am not there. He then glances down directly to where I am standing and he doesn't hesitate. He stays in his stride. As he is walking I know he is headed right for me. I am shaking. I don't know what to do. This moment is so big to me. It is what someone who loved LeBron James, or Kobe Bryant, or Michael Jordan would feel if they got to meet their hero. He came right up. He handed me his pair of size 14 Nike shoes. He grabbed my hand and we went in to the hug. I promise I have never had a hug like this one. I hugged Chuck Hayes so hard for 3 or 4 seconds. I told Chuck that "I love the Rockets, and you're my favorite player ever." And he responded with, "I really appreciate you, and I love your jerseys."
I almost fainted. I had a little tear as he walked away. I held on to those shoes like no one in this world has ever held on to a pair of shoes. It was the moment of a lifetime. It was easily one of the top moments of my life. I can't rank them, but that moment ranks up there with my first trip inside of Doak Campbell, being present at Bobby's last game in Jacksonville, playing golf with my Pop and 2 brothers, winning 22 in a row, taking the Lake Show to 7, going wire-to-wire in '99 and becoming a Nole Season Ticket Holder. Bottom line- it was an incredible moment- a top 5 moment- in my life. I met my hero, my idol. It proved to me once again that all hard work and diligence really does pay off. I thought numerous times that Chuck would never know how much he actually means to me and Rocket Nation. I was scared that I would never get to talk to him. I feared these things. All of this was erased last Wednesday. Chuck knows me. He really does. He cares about me. I know it in my heart.
I really can't describe it. My life is now different. My passion for The Rocks is stronger. I am going to have a really tough time making it to football season and then basketball season. I haven't watched a second of the NBA Playoffs because we aren't in it. In a nut shell- the Rocks and Noles are the 2 most important things in my life. They are my life line. They create every emotion possible. And, for that, I am lucky. I am special. I get to feel things that other people don't- things that other people are scared to feel. The true sports fan makes huge sacrifices. These sacrifices turn in to returns that are unimaginable. The pride of loving something more than you love yourself is an incredible feeling.
With all that being said I want to thank the Rockets for another amazing ride- another amazing grind. I will be back next October giving everything that I have into the season in search of the title that has missed up for 15 years. In closing I want to say two things.....Thy Noles. Thy Rocks.
God Bless.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Happy Friday AROTCW,

It's been a while since I've taken a ride on this-here Wagon so I figured I'd see if we can get this thing rollin again. There have been a couple of things going on in my life that I felt like sharing. All of them are really unimportant, so feel free to stop reading now. Here we go: Farewell
After 5 long years of dominating the Internet, the IOE have made the executive decision to take down Do not be alarmed: This has nothing to do with us "growing up" or anything drastic like that. The IOE will still continue business as usual...which consists of making about 1 song every 3 years.

In all seriousness though, was truly an amazing experience. Skittle and I could have never imagined the support the site would generate. Whether you thought we were two white wiggers with nothing better to do or saw the site for what it really was (a successful joke), over 5 million people from all over the world got to witness what was and still is the IOE. Throughout those 5 years, many people vocalized their opinion on the IOE....a quick google search of "Iced Out Eskimoz" brings these to light. While I have the stage, I'd love to share some of my favorites:

From YouTube:
Posted by: astralninja and others, 2 years ago

"White guys will ALWAYS look stupid when they dress and act like rappers. At least these fools know they are foolin'"
“I used to work at what-a-burger, it’s not A-1 Angus Beef, Its American Beef”
“Tell the tall dude in the maroon hat and pants to hit me up jessica21604 on yahoo messenger.
Reply- “who the f—k uses yahoo messenger????”
Posted by: JuLiO-R-, 01-01-2006 01:31 AM

"These Guys are really gonna make some noise in '06! Check Out their Awsome Website. Check out their Photo Section, these guys are real gangtas! They even got a great Forum. These guys are crazy. I can't wait for their next video! Maybe It'll make it all the way to MTV and BET!
*Sarcasm Was Used In the Making of This Thread. Please Understand that. Some people just can't tell.*"

Yeast: Looks like this guy really blew it out on New Years Eve 2006! A fun-filled night of blogging criticism about obscure white rappers on!
From YouTube:
Posted by: dupomang, 4 months ago


Yeast: Haha. More on this under "Obamanation."
From the Houston Press:

Article written by: John Nova Lomax, 6/29/06

"It started as a joke when they were freshmen at Memorial and continues to be mostly a joke. But they really do love hip-hop, and they aren't that bad at it. In a genre that all too often takes itself way too seriously, guys like these are most welcome additions."


It was a fun ride. RIP


Two nights ago, President Obama gave his State of the Union address. I didn't watch a single second of it, nor did I care to. I've taken a break from politics for the next 3 years (hopefully not 7) while Mr. Obama & Co. spend millions. Wait I mean billions. Wait I mean trillions. But, whatever, it's not his policies that make me dislike him; it's his ignorant, blood-sucking supporters that make me want to move to Canada.

I could give many examples of this ignorance, but I'll give one from two nights ago. After President Obama gave his Union address, Hardball host Chris Matthews was quoted as saying, "I forgot he was black tonight, for an hour...He's gone a long way to become a leader of this country and passed so much history in just a year or two. I mean, it's something we don't even think about. I was watching, I said, 'Wait a minute, he's an African-American guy in front of a bunch of other white people.' And here he is. President of the United States, and we've completely forgotten that tonight." Pretty nice thing to say huh? Nope. A bunch of people are offended again. But for what?

America didn't vote for a man, they voted for an idea: change. "Change" came in the form of President Barack Obama. The first American black president. Fantastic. Truly revolutionary. But, wait a minute, why is that when someone tries to acknowledge that this change is actually taking place, they are considered to be racist? Here are a couple of reasons:

1. The person doing the acknowledging (Chris Matthews in this case) is undoubtedly white. Had an African American person said this of Obama there would be no story...note to self, do not acknowledge the fact that the president has overcome hundreds of years of social inequality.

2. People like Jesse Jackson and Quanell X just to name a few. America will never truly be able to move past issues like slavery and racial inequality as long as these "revolutionaries" are around. People need to realize that individuals like Jesse Jackson would't have a job if racism never existed. It's in their best interest to suppress their own people! These villains purposedly keep outdated issues at the forefront of their campaigns so that they can make a buck or two off of the slave-owner's great, great grandchildren. It's sickening.

It's time to move on. You can't have your cake and eat it too. Either give up the president, or give up the race card.

Jersey Shore:

Jersey Shore is just all-around great television. I see alot of myself in Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino. I read that Snooki is trying to get her own show with MTV: Snookin' for Love. Will someone please tell this girl she's not that hot? And while you're at it you can pass the same message along to about 80% of the girls that run around Uptown Dallas.

Thanks for reading. See yall soon.


Monday, December 21, 2009

The BPE Lives

Dear Most Loyal Denizens of A Ride on the Chuck Wagon:

Rumors of my untimely demise are premature. The BPE lives.

The BPE had to go to the mattresses for a few weeks surrounding the Notre Dame coaching search. In the end, we got our man. The one. The only. The impenetrably awesome Brian Kelly. Bob Stoops was practically begging Jack Swarbrick for the job, and Jack told him to get lost because we had Brian Kelly IN THE BAG. Like Barzini, it was Kelly all along.

Brian Kelly now follows the BPE on Twitter (ndeconprof) and you should too.

Back to the salt mines, you good folk. Peace and hair grease to you and yours this holiday season.

The BPE. Out.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Pick of the Day

There will be no pick of the day. I do not know when it will return. I apologize to my fans and ask for your understanding. It is just not in me today and I don't know when it will return.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Pick of the Day

Dinosaurs +7 @ Miami
Basis: Toronto is playing better with Jarret Jack in the starting line up and Jose Calderon on the bench with an injury. Toronto's inside game will be an advantage and considering Miami's struggling as of late, I like Toronto to possibly even pull this one out. I will not be able to watch because I will be in Church watching us take on the Pistons. Feeling pretty good about this pick- take the Raptors and thank me later.
Tuesday Night Update: Not only did I fail you, I failed myself. I am sorry. Didn't see a second- too busy watching the Rockets Dominate. I will pick a winner tomorrow- I GUARANTEE IT.
Pick of the Day Record: 13-12-1

Monday, December 14, 2009

Pick of the Day

TWolves +13.5 @ Mormons
Basis: I struggled long and hard with this pick. In the end, I had to go with my theory of taking double digit underdoggs. There were a few other games that I certainly liked tonight, highlighted by the Wizards getting 2 points at the Clippers. But, I believe in my strategy and I believe in my knowledge. I like Kevin Love to play big tonight. The thing that scares me about this game is the fact that Minnesota actually beat Utah straight up 9 days ago- so, I hope that revenge isn't on the Jazz mind. I am sticking to my guns- take the double digit doggs. I am also going to start keeping track of my theory and test some other theories that I have regarding NBA gambling. Let's Go Wolves.
Monday Night Update: Minnesota gets it down with the outright W. I didn't watch all of it due to my other NBA interests. I was getting a look at the Nuggets since the Rockets have to travel to Denver on Wednesday. All three double digit doggs covered tonight. I am very curious to see how this works out. I love the big doggs in the NBA. I am really starting to feel comfortable again picking NBA games. Stay tuned for tomorrow's pick.
Pick of the Day Record: 13-11-1