The Green Room

After the game last night I started watching the first episode of Angie Tribeca, a new show staring Rashida Jones. It’s police comedy with very broad and silly jokes. It’s very much in the vein of Police Squad. Throughout the first episode every time she and her partner, J. Geils, got into their car a giant Ford logo appeared across the screen with www.ford.com behind it. The repetitive, blatant, product placement was funny, and it got funnier the more often they did, until at the end, the logo just appeared across a scene inside the squad room far away from their Ford vehicle.

The Ford logo gag happened with more subtlety and less frequency that ESPN’s mentions of “Green Room Guys” during the Wisconsin v. Indiana game. I know you noticed it. It happened so much you could actually hear Dan Dakich’s eyes rolling every time it came up.

But, rather than be annoyed by it, I think it’s worth doing something that no one else will do. Use it to draw connections between this game and Beverly Hills, 90210.

You see, the second episode of 90210 was called “The Green Room.” It marks the first appearance of Dylan McKay and it focuses pretty heavily on the theme of things not being what they seem on the surface.

I’m not in a good mood today. In fact, I’m feeling a little hostile.

This is how we first meet Dylan, stepping up to defend Scott Scanlon in computer class against two bullies. And I’d imagine it’s how some IU fans are feeling this morning. It sucks to lose a game like that. A game that we could have, and maybe should have, won.

But I’m not feeling terribly hostile today. This may be due to my not checking in on any message boards or going carefully through the #IUBB mentions on Twitter; I’m not gonna lie, that definitely helps. But mostly, I think it’s because it was really fun to watch a tough road game that really matters, to get emotionally invested in the game in a way that it’s pretty hard to do in a 30-point blow out.

I’m pretty happy with a lot of what I saw. Yogi has become a real leader and a guy who refuses to lose. He sees what the team needs and tries to make it happen. And on a night where an open three-pointer was hard to come by, he still managed to find a few for himself and for his teammates and after a while even managed to get an assist when no one else on the team was making shots.

I’m less thrilled with our complete inability to stop Happ and Hayes no matter who we put on them. Colin, usually a good to very good defender, couldn’t keep Hayes in front of him at all, and OG, and Juwan were no better off the bench. He did what he wanted when he wanted and when we did the only thing we could do, try to prevent either Happ or Hayes from getting the ball where they wanted it, we got called for a foul.

Speaking of which…

I don’t believe in winning through intimidation, unless I’m the one doing the intimidating

This is what Dylan told Brandon after he, Brandon, told Dylan that what he’d done to those two bullies was pretty cool. And it reminded me of Nigel Hayes blocking Troy’s shot and then turning around to stare him down, something that I noticed, and Crean noticed, but based on their reactions, neither the officials nor Troy noticed.

Crean complained about it to the ref, who then went and talked to both Hayes and Troy, and Troy looked legitimately confused by the conversation. He did? Oh, Ok. Well, let’s not do that anymore? Cool.

I don’t think this worked as intimidation, but I didn’t like that Hayes was feeling so good about himself. We had allowed him an entire game of doing whatever he wanted, so that by the end he felt pretty unstoppable. And maybe the fact that Troy didn’t seem to notice how chesty Hayes had gotten wasn’t such a great thing. It could speak to Troy’s unflappability. Or it could indicate that Troy didn’t really see what was going on with Hayes and how it had gotten there.

I don’t know. I just know I didn’t like it very much.

That being said, this team was not intimidated by their surroundings or their opponent. This IU team came to do work and win a game. And in a place where we haven’t won since (I don’t know if you knew this or not seeing as how it only came up as often as comments about The Green Room) 1998 they got ahead, they got behind, they came back, they had a chance to win the game on the last possession of regulation. This team seems to have a great deal of fight in them. This bodes incredibly well for the rest of the season.

Mad, bad, and dangerous to know. That was him and that’s me.

Dylan was such a badass that he carried a copy of Byron: The Collected Works in his Porsche and when Brandon asked him about it, that was Dylan’s response.

And it’s pretty much how I’m feeling about Yogi right now.

Through talent, drive, and shear tyranny of will, Yogi kept this team fighting and finding a way to score. The entire team shot a grand total of 45%. Yogi shot 60%. He out-rebounded every Hoosier except Thomas Bryant, and they tied.

In a game where only Troy, Thomas, and Yogi managed to score more than 5 points, where no one else was able to step up and fill in the offensive void created by Blackmon’s absence, the team still scored 79 points on the road in Madison.

The ocean is our house. And the Green Room is the gnarliest place in it.

This is how Sarah described catching the tastiest waves to Brandon. In the early 90s, “gnarly” meant super cool.

We never got into the green room last night, despite constant mention of it. But we didn’t end up floating face down in the surf with our stick tied to our ankles either. That was a very good effort in a tough place to play. We get that in every road game for the rest of this year, combined with maybe one other person who can get an open shot and maybe 7 fewer turnovers, and, just like Brandon and Brenda after they saved Sarah from drowning, we’re going to be heroes.

Too much?

 

Jeff Taylor