Monday, May 21, 2007

Hoosier Pride, Common Courtesy, And Let's Say An Illinois Fan

So there I was, late at night (or early in the morning?) with one of my friends at a beloved Mexican restaurant of mine. A few cute girls were making it clear they went to Kentucky, and to strike up conversation I playfully gave them a tough time, namely citing my Hoosier fandom, and Kentucky's recent troubles.

Now we were having a good time chatting it up, but alas their food came, I had a friend waiting, and I'm unemployed, so why even bother? Upon sitting back down a early/mid-twenties guy walked up to my table and said to me "Sports fan are ya?" Naturally I replied affirmatively, kindly stating the great pride I have in my beloved Hoosiers and subsequently my love for the Cardinals. Let's just say that this did not go over well...

The stumbling-drunk guy grew agitated and upset with my response. He started talking trash and using some rather unfortunate words of which is Lincoln Park girlfriend promptly mouthed "I'm sorry" to me for. Eventually came the threats of personal violence against me (please note: at this point I had pretty much just said where I went to school and what teams I liked, and restated said preferences, and more or less just wanted to eat my Mexican food). Let's go to the tape:

Guy: So whattaya gonna do if I hit you?
Me: Hey man, I'm cool with you, I just want to chat w/ my friend and eat my food
Guy: What are you gonna do?
Me: Honestly, I'd file a police report, probably resulting in a criminal charge of assault being levied against you. Plus I'd file a civil suit against you, and might as well throw in requests for damages relating to mental anguish and the like. (note: I have no knowledge of how the law in this case works and I'm sure everything I said was BS, but whatever).
Guy: Oh, so you're a P***y you f*****g Indiana fan.

It got to the point where I kept saying that yes I was both (a p***y and an IU fan) after each repeated accusation and it really flustered him. Eventually his food came and his Lincoln Park girlfriend repeatedly mouth "I'm Sorry" to me again. By that point it seemed most people there were expecting a fight (or as I'd like to call it: me getting destroyed), but funny enough all seemed to be on my side.

So what does this have to do with anything? I just think it shows how us Indiana fans should class it up whenever, be it in our own stadiums by treating visiting teams with respect. Be it in away venues by not destroying/vandalizing the place. Or be it in a bar with drunken fans who want to fight. I learned to be a classy fan from my Cardinal roots, I carried it on during my time at Indiana University, and I wish every other IU fan follows in my footsteps.
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Sunday, May 20, 2007

Thoughts On Joey Shaw

It is old news by now, Joey Shaw is transferring to The College of Southern Idaho. It's a smart move on his part, he saw very little playing time this past year and with the ridiculously strong incoming class Indiana has he probably wouldn't see that much next season either.

The fact is though, even in limited playing time he put up some decent numbers. 43% FG shooting for 82 points, 41% 3pt FG shooting for 36 points, and 74% FT shooting for 46 points. What's funny is when I look at those numbers I am surprised, I really don't remember doing that well. I guess it's true, he is a "sneaky scorer" a phrase I oft attributed to him during national telecasts of IU games.

The main thing is my mind is he could have been more aggressive on the court, he often times seemed to settle, not move around, and not trust himself. In addition, he could use to put on some bulk, he was the lankiest 6'6" I have ever seen, having a few more lbs of muscle could allow him to be more than just an occasional nuisance inside.

So Defend The Rock wishes Joey Shaw the best at The College of Southern Idaho, and hopefully he blossoms there.
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Defend The Rock Welcomes J.D. Campbell

All of us here at Defend The Rock would like to give a warm welcome to new Director of Athletic Media Relations at Indiana University. As an alternative media outlet, Defend The Rock is looking forward to the possibility of working with Mr. Campbell to gain more access to Indiana Athletics in order to provide more comprehensive coverage if at all possible.

So once again Mr. Campbell, welcome to the great tradition that is Indiana University Athletics!
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The One Thing You Can Never Say I Am Is Wrong: A Look At Evan Crawford

With the baseball (regular) season wrapping up I want to look back at one of my predictions from earlier in the year. It was my belief that Freshmen Evan Crawford was going to be something special at Second Base. Now, I had never seen him play, but from looking at his High School stats and reading interviews with, and about him it really sounded like #7 was going to give Hoosier fans plenty to cheer about this year.

So let's take a look at how Evan is doing leading into the Big Ten Tourney:

AVG: .333 Runs: 30 Hits: 61 2b: 13 3b: 1 HR: 1 RBI: 30 SB: 18 OPS: .810

Now let's look at the stats of the other starting eight averaged out:

AVG: .278 Runs: 21 Hits: 40 2b: 6 3b: .75 HR: .6 RBI: 17.6 SB: 7.8 OPS: .672 (yes, really)

So basically Evan Crawford is hitting 55 points better than the "average" Hoosier starter, scoring 9 more runs, hitting 21 more hits, numbering 7 more doubles, 12 more RBI, 10 more steals and a significantly higher Onbase+Slugging average.

In terms of his rank on the team in each category:

AVG: 2nd Runs: 2nd Hits: 2nd 2b: 1st 3b: 3rd HR: T-2nd RBI: T-2nd SB: 2nd OPS: 2nd

Across the board Crawford stands out as one of IU's best offensive players this year. In fact he is 2nd to or tied with IU (probable) MVP Sophomore Andrew Means in pretty much every category. Doing all that with the bat while playing second base as a first year college player is something pretty impressive.

Way to go Evan, you deserve something special.

Evan Crawford - Adam Ahlfeld Team Player Award recipient.
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