A few things that I feel I must address, none of which is complex enough to stretch into an entire column. I feel compelled to tell the truth about that since it's Black History Month and George Washington Carver once said, "I cannot tell a lie." (I learned that at a charter school.)
• First off, it is my sincerely held religious belief that I should follow bigoted, redneck, idiotic, gay-bashing Republican state legislators into the men's room and piss all over their shoes. Giving state Rep. John Kavanagh's overpriced pumps a nice acidic-yellow sheen (I don't drink nearly enough water) won't get me into heaven, and failing to do so won't send me to hell, but it probably will bring me nearer, my God, to thee.
As a matter of fact, I spoke to The Man about it just the other day. I knew it was God because he had a big "G" on his sweatshirt. A lot of people mistakenly believe that God would show up in the form of pure intelligence, like those shimmering beings that would pop up on the original Star Trek TV series. But God is kind of a jokester (he did, after all, make the French). Lately, he has been appearing in the form of Ryan Gosling's abs. That way, when Gosling lifts his shirt, people recognize him and say, "Oh, my God!"
Anyway, God is not happy with knuckleheads who use his name to try to advance some narrow-minded and bigoted socio-political agenda. It's in the Ten Commandments, for crying out loud (about taking his name in vain). How about this, fake-ass Christians?: In Jeremiah 14:14, it says, "And the Lord said to me: 'The prophets are prophesying lies in my name. I did not send them, nor did I command them or speak to them. They are prophesying to you a lying vision, worthless divination, and the deceit of their own minds.'"
And then, for their having done so, God said I should piss on their shoes.
• I want Al Melvin to be the Republican nominee for governor. That way, the Democrats can nominate anybody except Raul Grijalva and have a good chance of winning in November.
I had always been cordial to state Sen. Melvin when we would appear on the same radio show. I just figured he was a little bit off, what with his having spent 30 years in the Merchant Marine. I always envisioned him lying in his bunk on long, lonely nights, reading right-wing pamphlets that he had picked up in various crackpot ports of call.
But now, whenever I see Melvin, I think of that scene in Good Morning, Vietnam in which the general (played by Noble Willingham) tells Sgt. Maj. Dickerson (J.T. Walsh), "I've covered for you because I thought you were a little crazy. But, you're not crazy; you're mean ... and this is just radio."
I've come to the conclusion that Melvin is crazy and mean. He swears he can tell whether a neighborhood is mostly Republican or mostly Democrat by the number of flags flown on houses. I find that highly offensive. I fly my flag all the time because I'm an American. Democrats are just as patriotic as Republicans. The only difference is that Democrats generally don't wear their patriotism on their sleeves and/or use it as a club to beat others about the head and neck.
Melvin's latest escapade is to come out strongly against something about which he obviously knows nothing. (That's sort of a theme with the SaddleBrooke Senator.) He voted last week to try to bar Arizona from implementing the Common Core educational standards that the state adopted four years ago. He pretty much admits that he sorta knows of the standards, but not so much what's in them. His vote puts the ostensibly pro-business Melvin in direct opposition to business leaders statewide who believe that Common Core is important in turning out employable graduates. But Melvin doesn't need to actually read the standards; his vibrating tinfoil hat tells him how to vote.
• We've all been bemoaning the Wildcats' generally abysmal performance from the free-throw line this season and it seems reasonable to assume that there is a link between good free-throw shooting and winning percentage. The thinking is that Arizona is so good in other areas (rebounding, especially) that it's been able to be the exception to the rule.
However, as it turns out, there is almost no link between the two. Of the top 25 free-throw shooting teams in America this year, only three (Connecticut, Michigan and Creighton) are certain NCAA Tournament teams. You can go back 50 years and you won't find a correlation. There are certainly individual games in which bad free-throw shooting cost a team a game or good shooting accounted for a win, but there is no overarching statistical link.
(Here's a really weird stat: In every year since 1965, the percentage of made free throws in NCAA men's basketball has been between 67 percent and 69 percent. Every year!)
In Arizona's (statistically insignificant sample of) two losses this season, the Cats were a horrendous 16 of 30 from the line in one game and a perfect 16 of 16 in the other.
However, in general, I recommend that they make as many of them as possible.