From an early age, I loved the sport of basketball. I spent hours and hours, days and days playing the game in my parents driveway just outside of Flint. It was a joke amongst the neighbors that they “always knew what Matt was up to” because they could hear the bouncing of my basketball. It was something I shared with my dad, as he coached me throughout my young years. I loved that he always scheduled games against the best talent Flint had to offer, and there was a lot from which to choose. We were 12 year old white kids from Swartz Creek when we walked into Cook Elementary and first learned what the bunny hop was, as Mateen Cleaves ran us all over the court. Every time he took it to the basket, we were screaming “travel!” Now, the bunny hop is a staple in basketball. In my freshman year of high school I got to know a skinny kid from Northwestern named Morris Peterson because our school always kicked off the season against N-dub. I was shocked when, as a senior, it was a short kid named Jody Allen who lit us up for 30 and 12 assists. You know Morris, but it was Jody, the son of former NBA player Craig Tucker (an absolute legend) who dominated. I was saddened at the news in 2012 when he was shot on his front porch. And then it wasn’t until my senior year that I witnessed the all time leading scorer in the history of Flint ball, Charlie Bell. We strolled to center court of Jordan College, home of the Flint Pro Am League where anybody who’s anybody has played, against a team supposed to have Southwestern’s own , Charlie Bell. But no one on the court had the body to possibly be this freshman putting up 40 a game. Until I realized he didn’t need size to still hit us for 40. My high school team had a pretty successful run as we won a really competitive league championship my senior year, after being predicted to finish 8th, with not a single all league player on the team. My dad stopped coaching me as I entered high school, but he remained my biggest supporter.
Once I stopped playing organized basketball, I began to become more of a student of the game and I now watch it through those eyes. I am a huge MSU fan and, along with a few of my Spartan alums, have seen close to every MSU basketball game since 2000.
The game is the perfect mixture of athleticism, smarts, and execution. It offers what no other game does (except maybe football) in that it takes a team to play at each end, but a single player to execute properly. It can be broken down into different parts of the court, different strategies, and different match ups. It’s a thinking man’s sport. And I love it.
What I don’t love is that I have to watch games and struggle through commentators who don’t really understand how to break down the game, they don’t really know the intricacies of either team, and they don’t have a rooting interest.
So Keith and I thought, why don’t we give it a try? If radio is really on demand, then we should be able to stream our voices over the internets while you watch the game.
SO! MSU played at 1:30 today and Keith and I live streamed some commentary. We had some technical glitches, but once we got going it was a bunch of fun, and we got some great feedback from the 7 people (!) listening. We’ll be doing it again Wednesday when the Spartans take on Nebraska at 6:30pm on BTN. Click through to our livestream page and we’ll be kicking off a few minutes before tip off. Mute your tv, pause your tv for 8 seconds due to the delay (you have dvr, don’t sweat it), and hang out with us. We’ll offer three things:
1. Better analysis of the intricacies of the game.
2. Laughter and friendship, not beholden to advertisers wishes.
3. Unabashed fandom. Every call against MSU is obvious bullshit.