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Girmindl's Ghost

A diary of Shaker High School's 2005-2006 basketball season, a retelling of Shaker's fabled 1979-1980 season, and general commentary on high school hoops, updated daily...


"I like sitting in the back row. I found that sitting against the wall is just easier on your back." -Dean Smith, on the comfort of the H-gym bleachers

In the mailbag

Checking the mailbag: I get about 2 or 3 emails a day about Girmindl's Ghost. I try to promptly answer all of them, but since a lot of people are asking the same questions I figured I'd publicly respond to a few of them right here. Keep in mind that I received multiple emails with each of the following questions in the last week. It turns out my readers are as goofy as I am. Without further ado:
When are you going to come sit in the student section? We're running out of home games.
By far the most common email of the last week. First off, please note that we're not really running out of home games. We'll (almost) definitely have a home game in the first round of sectionals, and I think the first round of Suburbans is played at home locations (although I could be wrong about that). Add in the two regular season games, and that's four home games right there. Plenty of time to join the students for a game...

...which I'll do on Friday, February 3rd against Saratoga. That's the last game of the regular season, it's senior night, and from what I gather, it's also Brad's birthday. Should make for some great chants. And yes, I'll wear a 6th man t-shirt. And no, I won't be painting my chest. I'm already starting to feel like Jim Caple over at ESPN.com, who spent the last NCAA tournament living with students at various schools. Moving on...
Isn't it ridiculous that Shaker is only ranked #5 in the TU Class AA rankings? They lost at the buzzer to both AP and Maginn after leading the whole game, and they blew one bad game to Lasalle. Explanation?
Yup, I think it's a raw deal for Shaker, although I'm pretty sure I understand what is going on. It's a combination of two things:

1) legitimate concerns about the relative strength of the Suburban / Big 10
2) illegitimate bias in favor of the big 10, a fact of life in section 2 for 40 years.

Ultimately, it only matters for the seeding in sectionals, and you pretty much have to beat the best teams no matter where you are seeded. But let's hold all these thoughts, I'm going to write an entire essay about this later today.

P.S. CBA whipped Maginn last night by 46 points. That really throws a wrench into the Class AA leaderboard. But more on all this later.
You're wrong about the '79-80 memorabila. It's not just in the far right end of the glass case, you can also find the team pictures from '78-79 and '79-80 on the bottom row of the glass case over toward the left side.
Turns out that's true, although it's not as exciting as you might think. Both pictures are framed 8' x 10" shots, and both of them are partially obscured by other memorabilia. But I'll admit that I've never noticed them, or if I had I forgot about them a long time ago. Good find.

While we're on this topic, I think I made a startling discovery during the Mohon game. I was going to wait until next Tuesday's home game to confirm, but I might as well write it now: I'm pretty sure that the new Boy's basketball banner hanging on the far end of the gym is incorrect in it's listing of our sectional titles. I never went over for a close examination on Friday, but I'm pretty sure it says that we won the section in: 1978 (wrong), 1979 (correct), 1981 (wrong), and 1992 (correct). At first I thought that maybe it was referring to the fall seasons, making the years '78-79, '79-80, '81-82, and '92-93, but that would still be very incorrect.

Maybe I've gone crazy or maybe I was just reading the banner wrong, but I'm pretty sure Shaker has only won the section twice: 1978-79 and 1991-92. They definitely didn't win in 1981 - they were the #1 seed and lost, just like in 1980. I know that for sure. Screw it, I'm going over to Shaker today to settle this, it's annoying me too much. And finally...
I think you should know that I paid 75 cents for a Twix at Shaker during the Mohon game.
This actually deserves it's own essay. But here's the short version: As I've written extensively before, a Twix has cost 50 cents at Shaker home games since at least 1991. Everywhere else, it's a dollar. Everywhere. It's like they don't want to make money. But here's the twist: early in the season (I think at the Guilderland game), I bought a Twix and only got a quarter back in change. I politely told the cashier that they cost 50 cents, and I was immediately given another quarter. Not a big deal. I figured the worker was just in disbelief when they were first told Twix was 50 cents. Perfectly reasonable. I then bought a Twix at several subsequent games and only paid 50 cents. The world made sense again. Then, at the Mohon game I was getting a Twix with Matt Rucinski prior to our interview and it was 75 cents again. I didn't bother to question it - I'm actually in favor of a price incresase, maybe we could spend the extra profits on a new sound system in the gym - but I also didn't get the sense it was a mistake this time. Maybe the person who sets the concession prices reads Girmindl's Ghost? Or maybe they just woke up from a 10-year nap. I don't know.
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