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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

Let's go Bison

Let's Go Bi-son!: Ok. So it turns out that I lied yesterday. No Holmes interview today. I didn't have time to finish writing it. I'll try to get to it this weekend or early next week. However, there is a buch of other stuff that warrants mentioning:

1) Decent website: Who would have thought the forums at syracuse.com would be a good place to find discussion about section 2 basketball? Definitely not me, until I checked it out yesterday. You get plenty of your run-of-the-mill lunatics on there, but there are also many, many commenters who know a heck of a lot about high school hoops. The search feature works well, and that's vital if you don't want to sift through hundreds of comments arguing about which Class B school is going all the way.

2) State rankings: I neglected to mention that the New York State Sportwriters released the newest state hoops rankings on Wednesday. Still no sign of the Bison, but CBA is now on the list at #22. Schenectady has fallen to #24.

3) Local rankings: Today's print editon of the Times Union has their local rankings. No change this week in Class AA:
1. Schenectday
2. CBA
3. Shaker
4. Albany
5. Bishop Maginn

4) Mailbag: I get about 2 or 3 Girmindl's Ghost emails a day. Yesterday I received this one, which I think merits a public response:
Shouldn't Shaker be considered the best team around right now? They've only lost three games - one by 2, one by 3, and another in overtime. Every other team has been beaten pretty good at some point. I assume they would be the top ranked team if were 16-1 and had beaten Averill Park and Bishop Maginn. So what's the difference that two lucky baskets happened to fall in and they lost? That shouldn't matter.
See, I don't necessarily disagree with that logic, but you have to remember that it rubs both ways. If Shaker had blown out the other team in all 14 of their wins, this might be a legitimate point of contention. But that's not the case. Shaker could easily have 3 or 4 extra losses if single baskets at the ends of games had gone in for other teams. Imagine if Guilderland hadn't rimmed out that three-pointer at the buzzer, or if Niskayuna had dropped that half-court shot that narrowly missed? What if Brad had rimmed out his game-winner against CBA? Ultimately, I think Shaker deserves some credit for never being blown out this year. But it's silly to argue that we shouldn't count the AP and Maginn losses simply because we got beat at the buzzer. And if we did do that, we'd have to acknowledge that a number of our wins shouldn't count either.

5) Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes: From the Times Union high school sports "notes" section, written by Al Hart, today in 1980:
New rage at school basketball games: Players bring tape recorders and play their favorite music in the halls and during warmups. It's kind of nice.
Is it me, or does that solve the mystery of the Shaker H-gym new gym sound system! Because what Al is implying is that prior to the '79-80 season, music wasn't played during warmups or any other time. Thus, we might have a theory here. It would go something like this: The reason the sound systme is so crappy is because:

1) It actually is the original PA system in that gym. Hillarious.
2) No one at the time thought you'd ever want to play music over it
3) Because it would be ridiculous to have a record player at the scorer's table
4) And music didn't come on tapes at the time
5) so they simply got a PA designed for voice, circa 1972
6) and it was never even designed to handle music.

That still doesn't explain why you can't hear the announcer even when it's quiet in the gym, but it goes a long way toward understanding why the national anthem sounds like AM radio static and the team's warmup tape sounds like a bunch of screaming thugs taking a baseball bat to your kitchen.

The silly thing is that it wouldn't take that much to replace it, would it? I'm pretty sure that if the athletic department started a fund drive at the games, they'd raise enough money over the course of a season or two to buy a new system. In fact, I'm betting that Shaker annoucer Erik Elkin would probably match all donations.

6) Request for tonight: I'm going to sit with the 6th man, which means I'll be focusing my attention on cheering and the like. That means I won't be able to accurately remember every little detail of the game (I usually write stuff down). So if you have your own thoughts about the game, email me a recap tonight or tomorrow. Doesn't have to be detailed - the sum total of 5 people's observations is usually better than what I write anyway.

See you tonight at the game! I'll have the teaser recap up when I get home, and sometime over the weekend I'll write up my experience sitting with the 6th man. Send in those recaps!
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