Every time I get involved in a homestretch of a season it has always been under different circumstances. There is something about the final 10 to 15 games of any season that is interesting. Sometimes you are involved in the playoff races, sometimes you are way ahead and clinched your playoff spot weeks ago and are trying to make sure you are healthy and clicking come playoff time. Other times you are the team on the outside looking in and trying to play the spoiler roll. Then there are sometimes where you are just bad, and have nothing to play for at the end.
We are still in the playoff hunt, but lets face it, the teams that are in front of us are going to have to completely have a tailspin for us to crack the postseason. We are in that spoiler roll and making sure we have the right core of talent to build on for next year. Recruiting will only be that much easier for the Vipers next year because of the core we have assembled for next year.
But I want to get back on the topic of the last few games of any season. It is just odd how everyone and every team will look at these last few games differently. For example in 2004 when I was broadcasting with the Edinburg Roadrunners, we clinched a playoff spot in June and the playoffs weren't until late August. The team didn't let up but the last few days what did Chad Tredaway do? He set up his rotation for the playoffs. Made sure all the bullpen arms got their work in, and tinkered with the line-up to make sure he had the right one come day one of the playoffs. What happened, well the team went 6-0 in the postseason and we hoisted the championship trophy.
Well what about my first year with UTPA. We had a team that had won only 2 D-1 victories the entire season, and frankly just went through the motions the final 10 games. It wasn't fun. Plus the kids had nothing to look forward to. No postseason tournament since they weren't in a conference, and no hope what so ever about being the in NCAA tournament.
This is really my first year in the spoiler roll. Oddly enough our arena mates seem to be in the same boat. Frankly, it has some advantages. There is no pressure, the games are exciting because we are playing hard because our guys are playing for pride and for jobs on either the Vipers or other D-League teams next year. Plus, we are trying to keep the teams we are facing out of the playoffs.
FYI: We aquired Ivan Johnson from Anaheim in a very odd trade. Not because it was the first 3-team trade in D-League history. No. It was because we traded a player that not only never played for us, but we traded a guy who we thought we were going to get assigned to us all season long in Adam Haluska. He was with the Hornets, got hurt. Was wearing a boot for a few months and seemed like a perfect fit for a New Orleans assignment. It never happened, Haluska was then traded, oddly enough to our other affiliate in Houston in the Bonzi Wells trade. So we thought he we will finally get him since there is no way he will be in their rotation. Well he wasn't in Houston's plan at all and was released. He signed a D-League contract and we claimed him and sent him to Iowa. Probably better for Adam, he played college ball at Iowa, he is from Iowa and will help them draw some fans. Plus we needed a big man anyways. So lets hope Ivan make basket.... many of them.
Also Todd had Coach Hoffman on this week on Living the Beat, or Riding the Beat, or Beating the Beat, Or whatever his little videocast is called. Frankly I am a little hurt that I haven't been a guest on the show yet. But, you know what, Todd has his reasons, and I am not going to get all "feelings" like this guy did when I didn't place him on my blogroll. HA HA.. kidding Brian...only kidding. By the way I just found out Brian is a sports genius...How? He Stumped the Schwab!! ... Here is the info
Well I will close this post, I will try to be more frequent here over the course of the weekend. A lot of people ask why I don't post more and why my post's are so long. Frankly it is because I need time to write, something interesting to write about, and the motivation to write. I love to write and when I write, I write long and take a lot of time with posts, because I want my readers to be well informed with the information I present.
By the way, I welcome comments and e-mails. E-mails at firstname.lastname@example.org or comment below. I would love to have a mail-bag every so often to answer your questions. Even if they are for some of the guys, or Coach Hoffman I will be happy to pass the question along and post the answer here.
Until next time...Stay out of the paint...