Volume 4

Kyle Whelliston November 1, 2007  4
Dedication

First, this. In mid-August, I was inside a cube-shaped Pilot Travel Center alongside an otherwise barren and remote stretch of northern Pennsylvania. That's where I met someone who might be the tallest truck stop employee in America. He must have been about 6-foot-8, at the very least. The mop he p...                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

Kyle Whelliston November 1, 2007 
Preseason Pickle!

If it were up to Bally, all preseason previews would be big production numbers. ...                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

Kyle Whelliston November 2, 2007  6
Specialness

There's an annual event -- if that's a phrase suitable and grey enough to describe something that doesn't cut it as a tradition -- here in our household. Every year around this time, the satellite television company beams in a solid week of unlimited American professional basketball in a free previe...                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

Kyle Whelliston November 3, 2007  4
The Struggle

Mid-major universities tend to fall in one of three categories. There are the expensive and tiny religious schools in remote and leafy locations, flame-keepers of Christian subsects born out of the Great Schisms. You have your specialized colleges: the teacher's schools, the agriculture and mining i...                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

Kyle Whelliston November 4, 2007  5
Your Opinion Is Important

The New Hampshire boarding school I attended is located on a remote hilltop, in a broadcast television dead-spot and a half-hour's walk from the nearest cash register. Back in the 1980's, before WiFi brought the world together, our only contact points with the real world were the radio and the Bosto...                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

Kyle Whelliston November 5, 2007  6
Hockey and Me

In 1995, five years into my stay out in Oregon, I became homesick for the opposite coast, the one I grew up on. The feeling started as confusion and frustration, which grew into a acute sense of not belonging, culminating in a crystalline realization. I missed hockey. My New York Rangers had won th...                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

Kyle Whelliston November 6, 2007  5
Of 20-Sided Dice, and Quant-Based Analysis

Here's another story we won't have time for later. When I was 12, I went through a phase that most failed child prodigies go through, the fitful burst of youthful creativity and frustration that comes right before the realization that girls are interesting. For me, it manifested itself in a short-li...                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

Kyle Whelliston November 7, 2007  6
Sports Blogs, R.I.P. (2004-07)

Before throwing the switch, he gathered his thoughts in the virtual darkness, choosing his words carefully. He didn't know who was out there on the other side -- who his audience would be, whether or not he would be able to find one. If an audience for someone like him even existed. This was somethi...                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

Kyle Whelliston November 7, 2007 
C-U.T.E.!

Conference USA applies for mid-major membership, with disastrous results for Bally. ...                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

Kyle Whelliston November 8, 2007  6
Living Without Football

It was an easygoing, unassuming late-summer Saturday in Rhode Island. I had completed my weekend house-husband chores (saving the stinky litter boxes for last, as usual), then prepared for a long, languid afternoon of relaxation on the patio. I contemplated the birdfeeder, turning out a few chamber-...                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

Kyle Whelliston November 9, 2007  6
Changes Around Here

Once upon a time there was a tiny little cell, one among a million billion, sloshing and sliding inside a gigantic and vibrant and heaving body. The tiny little cell did its tiny little job as well as it tiny little could, and during its time off it had fun bouncing around with other tiny little lik...                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

Kyle Whelliston November 12, 2007  5
The Boubacar 11/12/2007 (First Edition)

COLUMBUS, Oh. -- Daily roundups have been a Mid-Majority staple over the past three-plus years. They were known as "Daily Dribblings" during the first season, weren't given titles in Year Two -- an open pander to the surrealist Samuel Beckett fans who make up a good portion of my audience. Finally, ...                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

Kyle Whelliston November 12, 2007  2
MMBOW #1: Kyle Hines, North Carolina-Greensboro

One of the most common e-mails I received last year was the repeated question about where the Mid-Majority Baller of the Specified-Time-Period went. I can't even remember why I took a year off from doing it, it was always such a fun part of every Monday. It had become such an honor that school SID's...                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

Kyle Whelliston November 12, 2007 
Game! Of! The! Night! 11/12/2007: Appalachian State at Charlotte

  Appalachian State (Southern) at Charlotte (A-10) Halton Arena -- Charlotte, NC 7:30 PM EST Appalachian State's cagers will open their 2007-08 campaign tonight, and they do so on what some might refer to as "a mission." Sweet memories of San Juan wins in December 2006 (Virginia, Vanderbilt)...                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

Kyle Whelliston November 12, 2007  7
The Travelogue: Chapter 1

Pittsburgh Late Saturday night, in the temporary Saint Louis locker room underneath the University of Pittsburgh's Petersen Events Center, new Billikens head coach Rick Majerus rubbed his face crosswise and lengthwise, trying to invent things to say about a blowout win over Houston Baptist. Failing...                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

Kyle Whelliston November 13, 2007  2
The Boubacar 11/13/2007 (Dance Team Edition)

But, how do we SAY "Boubacar"... is it "BOW buh car", "Boo buh car", or something else?? If we're going to properly use this in the future, we need to know.... Rod, Asheville NC COLUMBUS, Oh. -- "Boubacar," as I've heard it on TV, is "BOO-buh-car." It's a highly exalted name of West African origi...                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

Kyle Whelliston November 13, 2007  1
Game! Of! The! Night! 11/13/2007: Texas A&M-Corpus; Christi vs. Texas-El Paso

  Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (Southland) vs. Texas-El Paso (Conference USA) College Station, TX (Neutral) -- NIT Season Tip-Off 6:00 PM EST A current mid-major darling meets one of our favorite Mid-Majority ex-pats tonight in the early game of the Texas A&M-College Station pod of the P...                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

Kyle Whelliston November 14, 2007  4
The Boubacar 11/14/2007 (P-NIT Edition)

LOUISVILLE -- In our third installment of the Boubacar this year, let's wrap up the sights and sounds (both literally) from the Columbus pod of the NIT Season Tip-Off. Wisconsin-Green Bay. I knew coming in what Columbia was about (and, perhaps, what Columbia's 2016-17 team is going to be about as...                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

Kyle Whelliston November 14, 2007  1
Game! Of! The! Night! 11/14/2007: North Carolina vs. Davidson

  North Carolina (ACC) vs. Davidson (SoCon) Bobcats Arena, Charlotte NC (Neutral) 7:00 PM EST Tonight marks the first of three remarkable opportunities for the SoCon favorite Wildcats: a trio of neutral-court shots at college basketball's elite. Later on, they'll play Duke on this same floor...                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

Kyle Whelliston November 14, 2007  7
The Travelogue: Chapter 2

Kentucky It goes in two directions, separated by painted lines or, in the case of American interstate highways, steel and shrubbery. The two directions are named "coming" and "going," two fluid concepts that depend a lot on which side of the road you happen to be on. Another key travel duality i...