Showing posts from March, 2013

It was a Hike of a Trip

I am a visual learner – I need to experience things before I really feel comfortable doing it again. If someone shows me how to do something, I am pretty capable of repeating it. Of course, sometimes I have to be thrown into the deep end. And a lot of those times, I feel pretty rotten because of how badly I do. The only real comfort is that when I do it again, I know what to expect. I have a feeling that mountain hiking is going to be a lot like that. I’m not saying that I had a terrible time hiking up Mt. Bierstadt in the middle of March in the snow. But now, I know what to expect, what to pack, and how I’m going to feel after 11 hours of hiking. There was a lot of “experience” going on for me that day. I’m here to tell you all about it! Pre-hike drive playlist: The King is Dead by the Decemberists, Fleet Foxes by Fleet Foxes. I have a group of friends around the area who are quite the adventurers. Not extreme, but they hike, climb, ski, showshoe, and d

Michigan Clinic: How to Break a Press

I really can't believe it's been 19 years since Michigan reached a Sweet Sixteen. They have either been out of the tournament completely, or eliminated in the first weekend, for nineteen years. "Havoc" is what they call Virginia Commonwealth's defense, but to me it looked a lot like a high-intense 3/4 press. And I've learned, ever since grade school basketball, that the best way to break a press is to pass. And boy, I sure saw some great passing by Michigan! It was clear that head coach John Beilein prepared this team for what it was going to face today against VCU. They ran up and down the court, spreading out the floor and finding the open man when VCU tried to trap. It didn't help that VCU shot less than 40% from the floor for the game. More important than that, Mitch McGary was out of his mind today, scoring a career high 21 points and grabbing 14 rebounds. The Michigan offense had to prevent turnovers from VCU, and they "only" gave u

Bracket Pointers

68 teams, and you can only pick one? But in the process you have to narrow down 67 different games? No problem! I have been doing brackets for over 15 years, and each time I do them badly. I follow the same pattern, and each time the result is less than ideal. But I'm here to give you some pointers - rather, I'm here to tell you the stuff I used to do, and tell you not to do it that way! Step 1: Take Your Time I always was so eager to get to my bracket, I would fill them out right away Sunday night or Monday morning. I even managed to draw out my own brackets so I could fill it out right away! But that was always a mistake. I never wanted to change my picks after I made them ("first instinct" rule), but as the week went on, players would get hurt, shots would be tossed around by a player or coach, and sometimes even momentum would shift from the power team to the underdog. Then I'd look back at my schedule on Thursday morning and go, "Man, I wish I

News Flash...

Kentucky is NOT on the bubble. No matter how much the media freaks out that the defending national champions won't make the NCAA Tournament, it won't happen. Kentucky is too much of a basketball stalwart to be shut out of a 68-team field. Yes, they had a rough year, but their victory over Florida last weekend assured them of a spot. Don't be fooled - Kentucky will make the Tournament.

Time to Hike a Mountain

Next weekend, I take the plunge...or, to be more appropriate, the climb. I am climbing one of Colorado's 53 mountains that have a summit of over 14,000 feet, Mt. Bierstadt. It is one of the "easier" mountains to hike, or so they tell me. There is a significant amount of snow on the ground, which means climbing this mountain in mid March is waaaay different than climbing it in July. I am taking the hike with several experienced winter hikers - that is a good thing. They have already suggested what to wear, what to bring, and what to expect when climbing in the winter. But it's also intimidating, since they are going to have to look out for me as I trudge up the mountain. I am doing my best to train my body for the 10/11-mile round-trip hike that I'm going to endure. I'm breaking in my new boots. I'm going on the treadmill and walking with a steep grade. I'm expanding my regular walks. I'm also investing in some new clothing that is non-cotton, b