Me: Poor Junkie — I’m addicted to the Bruins and the Simpsons, so tonight I had split-screen simultaneous smiles, as Lonzo Ball led UCLA to a rout of Long Beach State while Matt Leinart appeared on The Simpsons as a “Chore Monkey,” poking fun at his own failure and at u$c “academics”
It’s simply amazing how one gifted athlete can lift up and change an entire Basketball Team, and Program. Freshman Phenom Lonzo Ball is just getting started, but already he has changed the culture of UCLA Basketball. With Ball running the Offense instead of the out-of-position Bryce Alford, the 2016-17 Bruins are night-and-day from last year’s loooosing team.
Lonzo has energized the whole team, with his unselfish play, quick pace, high energy, and highlight-reel dunks. Lonzo’s Basketball IQ is off the charts. He gets the Offense in gear right from the Rebound, creating transition opportunities galore. And in the halfcourt, he gets the whole team moving and passing around, even making the extra pass, and the extra, extra pass, until a wide-open shot presents itself.
Lonzo’s attitude has been overwhelmingly contagious, as all 7 rotation players have bought in to the new way of playing. Everyone is passing more, breaking down court, and looking for — and making — the unselfish assists. The team obliterated Long Beach State 114-77, marking the 3rd time in 4 games that they have scored in triple digits. Ball had 20 and 11 Assists, only 1 away from Pooh Richardson’s Freshman Assist Record. That record will probably fall within the month.
As I implied, Ball is not doing it alone. Fellow Freshman stud T.J. Leaf is out-performing projections, scoring at will inside over smaller foes. While Ball will continue to shine against any and all competition, it is more of a mystery whether Leaf’s mastery will also continue. As he faces bigger stronger older players, will he be able to dominate? The answer is probably yes and no. He is definitely a great player and he will be successful all year, but maybe not quite as dominant as he has been in the first four games.
The dual-Freshman rampage has opened things up for Alford and Isaac Hamilton, who have also looked very good on Offense so far. Center Thomas Welsh has also been a major factor in the scoring assault, hitting his midrange jumpers that he loves to take. The Bruins also continue to get solid contributions from their (only) two Bench players, Aaron Holiday and Georgy Goloman. Pretty soon, the reserve attack will add Ike Anigbogu and Prince Ali, which should give the Bruins enough talent to compete with the elite of the Pac-12, at least.
Speaking of elite (no, not talking about the UCLA Spirit Squad YET), The Simpsons have been making people roar with laughter for about three decades, with no signs of stopping. And last night during Halftime of the UCLA game, Fox aired one of the funniest episodes in recent memory, right up there with the strip club episode a few weeks ago that included Exotic Dancing establishments called “Tarragon Ocelot,” “Intimate Frustrations,” and “Not Hookers.”
In this Sunday’s episode, Homer doesn’t want to do some things around the house, so he uses an Uber-like smartphone app called “Chore Monkey” to get people to come do his chores for him. When Bart wants to toss a football around with him, he orders another Chore Monkey, and who shows up? No one other than Matt Leinart, former u$c Quarterback and NFL uber-FLOP.
Leinart blames his bad investments for needing the job (what, not his abysmal efforts in the NFL?), plays catch with Bart, and then gives Bart a cardinal and gold football jersey with the #32 on it that says “Simpson” on the back (GET IT?)
Bart asks if Leinart had it specially made for him, but Leinart says, “No, it used to be O.J.’s” (Now you get it). He then calls Bart “Little Juice.” LOL. Later in the episode, Leinart is with Bart in Bart’s bedroom. Milhouse walks in, and Leinart offers him an autographed photo, but Milhouse has no idea who Leinart is. Then Leinart misspells his own name on the photo, but says it makes it worth more. Then, while playing Monopoly with Bart, Leinart offers to trade Boardwalk and Park Place to Bart in return for Ventnor Avenue. Milhouse, who doesn’t realize that Leinart is losing on purpose to be nice, calls the trade proposal “crazy talk,” to which Leinart replies: “Oh yeah? Which ‘History of Board Games’ class did YOU take when YOU were in college?” Ooh, burn! — From the Ballroom Dancing major. He even makes a reference to not being able to throw a perfect spiral. So true.
I have to give him credit — He certainly is being a good sport to read these lines, all at the expense of himself and his “school.” I would say maybe he is desperate and needs the money, but that can’t be true. He has a TV commentator job, and had some NFL contracts, despite hardly ever seeing the field. So I’m sure he just did this because he is a Simpsons fan and has a good sense of humor. Kudos to Matt, for being able to laugh at himself.
Speaking of kudos, it’s time to admire and enjoy 61 more photos of the UCLA Cheerleaders, in action on Saturday…