Possession Arrow: Badgley->Razook

From: John Razook
To: Shawn Badgley
Time: 10:40pm, Jan. 8

Apologies for only now getting back to you. The sad truth is twofold. One, I got cut off from my free Internet access. The neighbors finally got hip to my freeloading ways. Two, I was waylaid with whatever foul illness is going around these odd first days of 2007. I’ve been basically bedridden since our last communique, suffering from a series of bad sensations. Alas, my days of mainlining Jack Daniel's seem behind me ... at least for the immediate future. We’ll see how I feel come Wednesday.

It’s been rough. And knowing I missed the O-State game on TV doesn’t help. Luckily, I have access to a Sirius Satellite Radio, a fine and noble invention if ever there were one. I like radio. It’s an interesting format, and we are often spared the ignominy of the broadcast teams the networks assail our senses with, à la Fox with their rough team of Emmitt Smith and Eddie George doing this national championship game, and the horrors that await us with CBS’s offering of a Phil Simms-Greg Gumbel Super Bowl – with Dan, Shannon, and Boomer waiting for “analysis” at the half.

So, I was at least fortunate enough to get to listen to the game broadcast of OSU-Baylor, a game that was much closer than it should have been, and one which exposes the weak spot of the Cowboy team: depth. It’s a thin lineup. Now that freshman Obi Muonelo – a player who brought as much excitement to the court as any Sutton-coached player ever has – is out for the season with a fractured leg, this team makes do with a seven-man rotation. Terrel Harris, the pokes’ third-leading scorer after Boggan and Curry, recently suffered a broken eye socket. Injuries are a major concern. As is, foul trouble in the rough and rugged Big 12. We’ll see if the Cowboys can make it through a full league season intact. Let’s just say I’ve got some worries.

Still, no one really expected OSU to be a Top 10 team at this point. The early results speak well to the coaching ability of first-year coach, Sean Sutton. My Cowboy blood boils with joy and goodwill. I am perhaps a bit nervous about this Wednesday’s trip to Lawrence, where the über-talented yet strangely always-underachieving Jayhawks – birds of prey if ever there were – lie in wait. It’s an early-season megagame, and one i won’t miss.

Yes, you will enjoy your time at the Erwin Center. Mike Anderson’s brand of basketball is a vicious and demanding one. The teams that find they are not fit to run up and down the court with his squads are legion. I agree we’ll see the Tigers in the Big Dance. And I, too, think they could do some damage. Not as much as Texas, though. As much as it hurts my Okie pride to admit it, I like what Rick Barnes does with his Longhorn teams. Texas has as talented a group of freshman contributors as any team in the country. It’s too bad Longhorn fans won’t get to enjoy them for very long. For they will soon see the youngsters bolt for the troubled waters of the sea that is the chump league.

Forgive me for the bloated ego I showed in claiming my band was superior in entertainment value to anything the hoops teams from UT or Mizzou could put forth. It was boastful and just plain wrong. You and I both know that you will be in an arena full of 10,000 or so people, while I will be in a bar with around 10 souls. And, in truth, the band is known to make eardrums bleed. Hell, our bass player is called the Leech (though not because he’s primarily responsible for the bleeding, but because he has the odd habit of finding himself covered in leeches no matter what body of water in which he submerges himself). We make panties wet, yes, and girls have been known to spontaneously grow heavy with child, sure ... but we’re really in the business of making folks’ eardrums bleed.

Don’t expect anything out of the Sooners this year. Kelvin Sampson is many things: liar and cheater among them. He’s also a program-wrecker. He left the OU program in shambles, and Capel’s got a year or two’s worth of work ahead of him. I don’t think too many people in the city of Austin will be complaining. And, yes, congratulations to Bob Knight. I’m a Bob Knight fan and won’t be surprised to see the General ambush one or two league heavyweights during the season.

What I’m most interested in this season, and probably next, is following the development of Kansas State under Bob Huggins. The Wildcats are a once-proud and mighty plains power that has laid dormant for the better part of two decades. Like plague, they will be back. Huggins will see to it that more than one ex-con and/or high-school dropout will gravitate to Manhattan, Kan., to hit the hardwood.

If I were a gambling man (and I am), then everything points to Kansas as the team to beat in the league this year, just like most every year. I think they’ll edge out the competition in the end, if only because like football, the teams in the Big 12 South will beat up on each other. I’m not sure what to make of A&M. Are they really a Top 10 team? Are the OSU Cowboys, for that matter? I’m not sure. I think there are any number of teams that could make a serious Final Four run. As things stand, and speaking of defenseless, is anyone really surprised Colorado is 0-1? Not I. No sir. You want a prognostication? The Buffaloes will finish dead last in the Big 12. You heard it here first.

We’ll get this blog thing down to a fine science.


Updates: Thanks to the power of the Internet, a new and fascinating technology, I have recently learned that Kansas State superfrosh Bill Walker is out for the season with a ruptured ACL. There goes my interest in K-State. They're done before they really got started. Maybe next year, Huggins.

The Big 12 needs K-State to be competitive in hoops. Someone must challenge KU – their dominance is ridiculous, and Mizzou has dropped the ball as a worthy competitor. Maybe Mike Anderson can renew that. I think he can. Lord knows Quin "Medicine Woman" Snyder couldn't. Foppish crybabies like Quin never succeed in the heartland.

Fucking-A right, baby America! Yeehaw!

Perhaps you can add something of an editor's note to my contribution: Instead of a lame excuse like "Razook, who was sick and unable to find Internet access," we can claim that I was called away to the service of God and nation as a consultant for a big-game hunt being held by Dick Cheney. Something about my prowess as an Olympic-class sharpshooter and master of firearms, at least back before my Eddie Sutton-influenced bottle with the battle ... er, battle with the bottle.

OK, over and out.

Col. J. Henry Razook, USA People's Army (active).

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