I saw something yesterday that brought together a number of things I view as universal constants in one fantastic 30 second soundbite. Here are those three things
1.) John Calipari is a douche bag.
2.) Billy Packer makes predictions that rarely, if ever, come true.
3.) The Packer Method
As anyone who follows college basketball knows, the Memphis Tigers, coached by one John Calipari, are a number one seed in the NCAA and have had a very successful season. They are also a typical Calipari team, in that they are very athletic and very undisciplined. Oh, and they shoot free throws like retarded middle school children. They are considered by a plurality of people in the country (48% of respondents to the cbssports.com poll when I took it a few hours ago) to be the number one seed most likely to go out first. That assumption is based largely on their free throw shooting ability, and the fact that they are from a horrible conference made up of teams that couldn’t get into a decent conference. Conference USA is like the group of kids in high school who didn’t get invited to the big kegger at the captain of the football team’s house and decided to have their own party and then tell everyone how awesome their party was, while putting a picture of the hottest girl at their party on a facebook page dedicated to their party, which they called Captain Awesome’s Super Party, and claimed that she was the hottest girl in school. For a while everyone kind of agreed, because she was WAY hotter than any girl anyone thought would go Captain Awesome’s Super Party. I mean, as much as they thought about it to begin with, which wasn’t often cause their party was a lot better, plus the girls at the football party putout. And then one day the really cute, but elusive Dylan McKay type had to choose between the popular, Kelly Taylor type and the CASP girl. A lot of people thought he would choose the CASP girl, but he chose the popular girl, adn for a while everyone thought that made her the hottest girl in school, but the next week he dumped her to go out with a girl who was empirically attractive. At that point everyone agreed that neither of those other girls were the hottest. They were both attractive, no argument there, but they weren’t the hottest girl in school. That’s Memphis, in Conference USA.
I think they have an excellent chance of being the first number one seed to lose to a 16. It’s going to happen eventually, and I would love to see it happen to Memphis.
Yesterday on Pardon the Interruption, Mr. Tony and Wilbon asked Calipari if he thought their abysmal freethrow shooting was going to raise up and bite them in the ass. I, of course, am paraphrasing here. Calipari, while giving his answer about making free throw shooting fun for his team did something I never thought I’d hear anyone do. He used someone else’s Packer Method to make his point for him. Which is like citing Wikipedia in your doctoral thesis.
He said, Billy Packer was doing one of our games and said that we (Memphis) will shoot 70% from the free throw line in the tournament because our form is really good, the problem is just between the ears.
Now I will elucidate why that statement is insane.
1.) I didn’t think it was possible to take the Packer Method to new heights, but Calipari did it. He used Billy Packer’s made up numbers to prove his point. He didn’t make up his own numbers. He went right to the Oracle for his made up crazy.
2.) Not only is he sold on Billy Packer’s numbers, but he also believes his prediction. Remember two years ago when Billy Packer made himself look like the biggest horses ass on the planet when he went off on the selection committee for letting in so many mid-majors and the George Mason got to the Final Four? That’s just one example of how when Packer predicts the opposite happens.
3.) The assumption that it is better to have a mental problem shooting free throws than it is a physical one is insane. To assume that kids who have trouble shooting free throws during the course of a regular season game will find calm and comfort on the free throw line in the middle of a close NCAA tournament game is mind bogglingly dumb. That’s the point where mental cracks turn into opening fault lines of doubt that swallow Lois Lane’s car whole.
So, to recap, Billy Packer makes a prediction (a skill he has demonstrated he does not possess) based on a horribly flawed premise, and attaches a made up percentage to it. John Calipari goes on national television and uses this prediction as the basis for his confidence in his team’s ability to make free throws when it matters.
Somedays you eat the bear.