This morning, surrounded by several inches of snow and several feet of IU basketball sorrow, I put out calls on Twitter for mailbag questions. Less than a minute later, this came through:
@crimsonquarry can I blame this late season collapse on east coasters like Ben?— IU Bonko (@ElBonko) March 5, 2015
Little did you know it was me who would be doing this mailbag, bwahaha. And yes. This collapse is entirely my fault. You're welcome.
Onto the real questions. Let's start with BREAKFAST FOOD.
@crimsonquarry pancakes or waffles?— HPT (@JackSaxonburg) March 5, 2015
Waffles. They are more filling and can have cooler designs than pancakes, and using a waffle iron makes them easy to cook and gives them a consistency that pancakes don't always have. Plus Leslie Knope loves waffles, and she is going to have a library named after her at IU in a decade, so who am I to go up against Leslie Knope? Unless you get those giant pancakes they have at Runcible Spoon. Those are delicious.
But really, the champion of sweet breakfast food has to be FRENCH TOAST. Especially with copious amounts of vanilla, nutmeg, and cinnamon in the batter, and all the powdered sugar on top.
@crimsonquarry If Tom Crean is a 90's band, who is he? Has to be Weezer, right?— Nate Williams (@NSJWilliams) March 5, 2015
Ooh, good question. I'm not sure if Crean's glasses are thick enough to rival Rivers Cuomo, and he looks nothing like Buddy Holly. Also, I don't see Tom Crean as the type to have a crush on a Japanese girl that ends up being a lesbian. So let's see. We need a band whose songs are more well-known than their albums (i.e. players more well-known than teams), had some down years, and also has a touch of piety. I think I got it.
When I asked a friend this question, he said that Tom Crean is Liam Gallagher to Dwyane Wade's Noel.
@crimsonquarry To what degree can we attribute the Iowa loss to the fact that Tim Noble shaved his beard?— Greg Ingram (@IngramGreg) March 5, 2015
@crimsonquarry why does no one on the roster have a mustache?— Amish (@notjessesmith) March 5, 2015
We got a couple facial hair questions today I see.
Here's my theory: Adam Morrison represented the death of facial fair in college hoops. All year during the 2005-06 season, Morrison and his stache were a great story. The stache swept the nation. My friends and I loved it. And then, this happened (sorry, Zags fans):
UCLA's comeback over Gonzaga, Adam Morrison breaking down at center court, and Gus Johnson screaming all killed facial hair in college hoops and it has yet to return.
@crimsonquarry over/under 8,736 fans in attendance at the first home game of the NIT?— Alex Robbins (@awrobbins) March 5, 2015
Look, it's not a done deal that IU will be relegated to the NIT. But considering the downward trend of this team in the past few weeks, who knows? So what's the significance of our site's baseball writer saying 8,736? Well, it's exactly 50% of Assembly Hall's capacity of 17,472. So can Assembly Hall be half-full for an NIT game? Or half-empty depending on your perspective?
I'll take the UNDER without hesitation. First of all, considering that this team was projected to make the tourney for most of the season, it would be a disappointment were the Hoosiers to slip into the NIT at the end of the year, which would make fans less excited about the prospect. This is unlike a team such as Northwestern, who is clawing their way toward an NIT berth at this point and would be excited to get in. In addition, the first week of NCAA and NIT games happens to be the week of IU's Spring Break, so a lot of students would likely not be on campus either. Finally, I've heard that it wasn't well attended the last time the Hoosiers hosted an NIT game over a decade ago:
@crimsonquarry If Diamont was an Avenger, which one would he be?— Crimson Guard (@iucrimsonguard) March 5, 2015
CAPTAIN AMERICA, of course. You gonna disagree with this very amateur photoshop I put together? I didn't think so.
Okay, one more.
@crimsonquarry how come Crean isn't Bob Knight? I'll hang up & listen.— Tony Adragna (@tonyadragna) March 5, 2015
How is Crean not Knight? Well for one, he has never been accused of physically assaulting his own player.
But were the fans as disgruntled as they seem to be now?
From a Sports Illustrated article after the Neil Reed incident in 1997:
Bart Kaufman, 56, who graduated from Indiana in 1962 before
getting his law degree there in '65, is another die-hard
Hoosiers fan--and a generous donor to the university--who was
unafraid to share his views on Knight. A successful investor and
financial strategist from Carmel, Ind., whose family has held
season tickets to Indiana basketball games since 1946, Kaufman
says, "A significant number of people are unhappy with Coach
Knight at this point. I think all that yelling and screaming at
kids just doesn't work anymore."
That's the same Bart Kaufman who the new ballpark on campus is named after. And the article was written over three years before Knight was axed.
The long and short of it is this: The disgruntled IU fanbase isn't a new concept. It's been going on for almost 20 years now. And aside from 2002 and 2012, the Hoosiers have suffered disappointing ends to their seasons under quite a few different coaches. So when people wax nostalgic about Bob Knight, direct them to this article. And remind them that it wasn't all unicorns and BANNERZ.