It's early Friday morning and I'm still licking my wounds from an evening of recreational dodgeball. I'm sure we all have fond memories of dodgeball from gym class in elementary school. Some of us used the sport to flex our muscles while others used it to pick up the girl of their dreams. I couldn't have been the only person to peg the woman he most wanted to go out with. Surely someone else thought when they were little that it was the way to a woman's heart.
Dodgeball hasn't changed much despite the fact that our age has. One would think the older we got, the more mature and refined the game would be. Unfortunately, that's not the case. There's still rampant cheating and the same problems we had when we were little. The only difference was the throws were faster and harder and the taunts were more then "nanny nanny boo boo." Tonight, we played a team of guys who were trying to impress someone yet I don't know who. Patches O'Houlihan wasn't there to sign us up for the Ocho ((pictured, thanks blogs.seattleweekly.com)).
One player on the other team was THAT guy who wanted to make sure you knew he got you out. The only problem with that is he became our personal target and was someone we all wanted to get out.
The rules for adult dodgeball are rough in certain places. There are out of bounds lines and places you can't get hit at all. There's also two referees who attempt to keep order. Only problem with that is that it's hard to do. No one is honest...even yours truly stayed in longer for a game or two then he should have. Why should I be truthful when the team we played wasn't? In the end, we lost more games then we won and now I'm home licking my wounds over a game that never seemed to hurt this much when I was little. Oh yeah, I still didn't get the girl even though I didn't try to hit her.
The Wednesday gospel went 3-1 for the readers. Let's hope I can continue the good vibes with these winners. Oh yeah, we'll return to basketball in the next blog post although Friday's usually aren't the best for gambling.
Florida International -2 -- It seems like Vegas cannot give the Golden Panthers much credit especially at home. They continue to give short lines for arguably the most talented team in the Sun Belt. FIU welcomes Arkansas-Little Rock to town on Thursday. Florida International is 7-2 at home this season with their losses coming to Sam Houston and Florida State. They are coming off a pair of tough road losses to North Texas and Denver, but they were in both contests. They average almost 73 points per contest while giving up 75. If this team played even a little bit of defense, they'd be a whole more deadly. Eric Frederick (15.2 ppg), DeJuan Wright (14.3 ppg), Alex Legion (12.1 ppg), Marvin Roberts (10.9 ppg) and Phil Gary (10.4 ppg) are deadly weapons right now. That doesn't even account for freshman Dominique Ferguson who has been a nice guy to bring off the bench. The Trojans are 11-9, 3-2 in the Sun Belt. They have a weaker offense scoring just 68.2 points per contest. UALR relies an awful lot on Solomon Bozeman who averages 15.7 points per contest. They have five other guys who average six points or more per game. The Trojans have lost seven straight road games with most of them coming by double digits. To me, I will continue to play FIU at home until they give me a reason not to.
Denver University -2.5 -- The Pioneers are 5-0 and atop the Sun Belt west conference. They host Arkansas State on Thursday. Denver isn't going to wow you on offense scoring just 61.8 points per game. They play good defense allowing 64.2 points. After a 2-9 start to the season, the Pioneers have won seven straight including five straight home games. Denver is led by Brian Stafford (13 ppg), Chase Hallam (12.9 ppg) and Travis Hallam (9.4 ppg). Arkansas State is 10-10, 4-2 in the Sun Belt. They score a little more putting up 71.4 points while giving up 66. The Red Wolves lean on Martavius Adams (13 ppg) and Donald Boone (10.6 ppg). Arkansas State is 1-9 on the road losing five straight away from home. They haven't been blown out in any of those games, but we don't need a victory by much. I'll take the Pioneers who are playing the better basketball at home.
USC -6.5 -- The Trojans return home after a rough trip thru Oregon against the Ducks and Beavers. They now welcome Stanford to LA for a late tip on Thursday. USC has been a tough team at home knocking off Texas and Washington State while losing to the Huskies by six points. USC lives and dies by their defense which gives up only 63.3 points per game. The team is deeper now that they've added Jio Fontan who has played eight games and averaged 13.1 points per contest. He complements Nikola Vucevic (16.4 ppg) and Maurice Jones (10.3 ppg). That doesn't even take into account Alex Stepheson (9.9 ppg) and Donte Smith (9.7 ppg) who also contribute heavily. Stanford is an inconsistent bunch. They have lost two of their last three in conference and have put up some real eggs on the road this season. They lost by 33 at Butler, 11 at Oklahoma State and 10 at Arizona. The Cardinal are another defense first team as they have given up just 59.8 points per contest this season. I think in this defensive struggle, the Trojans will come out on top.