Rain Man Rants: Sister Jean vs. Father Rob, Bazley to G-League, Chicago’s Emergency Goalie

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EL BARRIO, EL FALLS – Welcome to the Good Easter edition of the Rain Man Rants. Good Easter because it is after Good Friday but before Easter Sunday so, I call it Good Easter Saturday. So after paying attention to everyone elses articles, I decided to take a chance and not talk about Baseball or football but rather the NCAA tournament and NHL Hockey. Adding them to the formula of Song of the Week – followed by Sports Stuff – here is today’s mix: Sister Jean vs. Father Rob, Bazley to G-League, Chicago’s Emergency Goalie.

Song of the Week: I have been thinking about this song for a few weeks. It played a lot in my head in college (insert wisecrack here). The thing is it is not about the weather but the hook makes it feel like it is. The artist is singing about a dark time in their lives – in a Shakespearean style  – by using winter or December to replace sad or depressing. But when I go outside and see the snow or the clouds and rain, this is all I think about. So this week’s Song of the Week is A Long December by The Counting Crows.

Sister Jean vs. Father Rob: I brought up Loyola-Chicago last week and their adorable Nun and team Chaplin, Sister Jean Dolores Schmidt. Sister Jean is a media darling because she is a sweet old lady who loves her basketball. She actually said she thinks “God prefers NCAA Basketball to the NBA.” However, she has a rival of sorts who has a much more polished resume but isn’t such a darling. It is likely because his team is a powerhouse and he is not a 98-yearold lady that reminds people of their Grandma. He is a middle-aged priest, Father Rob Hagan of Villanova. He has been with the Wildcats since 2004. That is almost as long as Head Coach Jay Wright has been there. Now, Wright deserves the vast majority of the plaudits for helping resurrect (its Easter weekend, had to slip that one in) ‘Nova’s program. But nobody can really judge the importance of a team Chaplin and the spiritual guidance they provide, but after seeing Nova hit a last-second buzzer in 2016, I was pretty sure they had divine intervention, so maybe Father Rob is doing his job.

Bazley to G-League: Who is Darius Bazley? He may just be a game-changer. Like lots of Syracuse fans, I was upset that he backed out of a commitment to go to ‘Cuse. However, his decision to enter the NBA G-league, which has decided to allow 18-yearolds while the NBA stays with its 19-yearold entrance minimum, could change the college basketball landscape. Is the NBA talking out of both sides of their mouth? Yes. They are but I am okay with it in this instance. These kids want to get paid and want to go pro. They often don’t care about college, so why should they be made to pretend to be students for a year? The NBA is a tough league to learn to be a pro in and much like the NFL, for a long time the only bridge between HS ball and Pro ball was College. That has become and exploitative practice, so now that the NBA has a viable minor league, the kid should spend a year getting the proper seasoning against grown men and veterans. If the league is smart, they will open up a rule allowing a kid to be drafted by a team but have to be assigned to the D-League for a year. This way the kid gets the joy of being drafted and the big contract and then the team has the option of deciding if the kid is ready to be promoted.    

Chicago’s Emergency Goalie: Every sport has a quirky story about bench players playing big parts for odd reason. Baseball has Wally Pip, football has Vince Papale, and hockey has the emergency goalie option. Vince Papale, Mark Wahlberg, Meet_The_MattsIn the NHL, every team has a starter a back-up. Then usually have a minor leaguer on-call they can fly in for a game, as well. However, in the most desperate of situations teams have the emergency goalie. The emergency goalie is guy on a list the franchise has that in case it all fails, you ring him up and throw him between the pipes. In Chicago, their starter hurt himself in the pregame warm. During the game the back-up caught cramps, so in comes the emergency goalie, a 36-year-old accountant, who attends 12-15 games a year and usually enjoys dining in the press-box. This time, Scott Foster was not an observer, he was a real-deal player and made seven saves for Chicago in an NHL game, as Chi-Town won 6-2. Flawless record and impressive act for a guy who was hours earlier deep in spreadsheets.

Leave your thoughts below and come back tomorrow for another gem of a column by Cheesy Bruin. You can also find us on Twitter – @JunoirBlaber, @MeetTheMatts & @Matt_McCarthy00, Instagram – @MeetTheMatts – and Facebook Meet The Matts.

P.s… Its’ coming. Professional Rugby – in Mets colors!

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Junoir Blaber is from Ghana but was transplanted to the Bronx as a young lion chaser. Blaber is the Rain Man of Meet The Matts and is a featured contributor on MTM global partner, Rugby Wrap Up. The name "Junoir" is not a cool African name. Instead, Blaber mis-typed "Junoir" on his Facebook page. But proving that two wrongs indeed do make a right, he embraced his new persona - [June-noire]... Manute Bol is his uncle and his teams are the Mets, Jets, Knicks & NY Rangers... And Manchester United. He knows soccer. [Vomit]. P.s... He has webbed toes and came be followed on Twitter here: @JunoirBlaber

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