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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

Reader's choice results

Reader's choice results: Thirty-one people bothered to vote in the reader's choice award poll. Not bad. We get about 400 readers a day, so not great either. We had all sorts of voters: adults, kids, Shaker students, non-Shaker students, and even some nominees. Here are the results: each category is reprinted, with the winner in bold and some comments follwoing each category.

And the winners are:

For "best dunk..."

A. Brad Sheehan alley-oop slam against Colonie in SC tourney.
B. Tom Duclos alley-oop slam to open senior night.
C. Brad Sheehan "I'm really pissed we're losing" jam against Guilderland.
D. Tom Duclos breakawy jam against Bishop Maginn.

Comment: This was a runaway, it wasn't even close. The senior night jam got 29 of the 31 votes, and one voter called it "the most exciting dunk I've ever seen."

For "best surprise cameo in the bleachers..."

A. Paul Hewitt shows up against Columbia...
B. Greg Holle shows up against Shen...
C. The Times Union shows up for the SC tourney...
D. The JV team shows up in the student section...

Comment: One voter commented, "Who cares if Greg Holle comes to a game?" Hillarious.

For "most ridiculous reason to hold up a game..."

A. Having a 2-minute speech for all 10 seniors for senior night (at Bethlehem).
B. Opposing player searches for his lost contact at midcourt (at Guilderland.)
C. Coach Holmes and Coach Brehmn mop up spilt water (SC tourney finals).

Comment: Tom Duclos actually emailed to fess up that he caused choice "C". And yes, he did vote for himself for best dunk.

For "best performance by a bench player..."

A. Hooks 18 points (5 threes) against Columbia...
B. Hooks 13 points against Colonie in the SC tourney..
C. Bodgan 3 sweet assists and tough D on Battle in the Maginn game...
D. Vernon 9 points against B. Spa...

Comment: Bodgan got fewer votes than one would think, Hooks ran away with this one.

For "most ridiculous Times Union statement..."

A. printing a 6pm game time agaisnt Columbia...
B. ranking Shaker 7th among big schools in December...
C. writing that Lasalle played a "smothering defense"...
D. miscaptioning this photo (this deserves its own award/column)...

Seriously, what would you caption this photo?

A. "Brad Sheehan takes a hard foul in the lane."

B. "Brad Sheehan powers over two Nisky defenders for a basket."

C. "Shaker's Brad Sheehn elevates above a Nisky player."

D. ""Nisky's Dan Halyako blocks a shot by Shaker's Brad Sheehan."

The Times Union picked "D." I'm not even convinced they know that Brad is wearing white in the photo and Halayko red. Because "Shaker's Brad Sheehn blocks a shot by Nisky's Dan Halayko" might be a more plausible quote for that picture.

Comment: I thought this might be a close vote, but it wasn't. Reader Tim C. wrote, "At least the Times Union captions are on par with the rest of their high school hoops coverage."

For "best performance by a starter (non-Brad)..."

A. Duclos in the Maginn holiday tourney (13 points / 14 points)...
B. Griff against Columbia (13 points, zillion boards)...
C. Hans against Saratoga (17 points, 4 threes)...
D. Eddie against Shen (13 points, clutch foul shooting...)

Comment: This was close. I think the recentness of the Saratoga game helped Hans.

For "best performance by Brad..."

A. Against CBA (triple double / game winning shot)...
B. At Saratoga (25 points in the 2nd half)...
C. Against Columbia (28 points, lots of long jumpers)...
D. At Guilderland (26 points, inspiring 2nd half)...

Comment: Apparently, everyone loves a game-winner. Almost unanimous.

For "thank god that just happened or we mighta lost a bad one..."

A. Hooks takes a charge late in the Bethlehem game...
B. Eddie makes his free throws against Shen...
C. Alex Zampier cools off in the 4th quarter of the Columbia game...
D. The Nisky game didn't go another 45 seconds...

Comment: Here's reader RC on this one: "I think if Nisky ties that game, Shaker loses by 10 or more in overtime. And I know that overtime is only four minutes."

For "worst crowd turnout..."

A. Averill Park game...
B. Shen game...
C. Suburban Council Championship game...
D. Mohon game...

Comment: Definitely gets my vote. Just shocking to watch two unbeaten teams play in front of that small of a crowd.

For "worst officiating..."

A. SC championship (Shaker goes to line just 9 times)...
B. Mohon game (only two fouls total in first half)...
C. Bethlehem game (outrageously inconsistent reffing)...
D. Guilderland game (phantom calls everywhere)...

Comment: I agree.

For "strangest non-game occurance"...

A. Guilderland cheerleaders rock out to the Beatie Boys...
B. Nisky cheerleaders try out for a rap video...
C. Nisky decides to skip the national anthem...
D. Saratoga's 150 person 6th sits there like its a funeral...

Comment: Reader Tom M writes, "what about the cheerleader shooting halfcourt shots at halftime of the Guilderland game, and hitting one?" Yeah, I forgot about that. Should have been on the ballot.

For "scariest 'there-goes-the-season' moment"...

A. Griff limps off against Shen...
B. Brad comes down hard against B. Spa...
C. Eddie limps off against Shen...
D. Hans takes a beating at B. Spa...

Comment: This category was pretty evenly split between Griff and Brad.

For "coolest player interaction with fans during game..."

A. Bodgan nods head to the 6th man agaisnt Nisky...
B. Vernon ackowledges crowd against Guilderland...
C. Brad waves to the opposing fans against BHBL...
D. Seniors carry a running conversation with 6th man against Saratoga...
E. Team wears 6th man shirts to warm up against Saratoga...
F. Holmes urges the 6th man on as seniors depart, agaisnt Saratoga...

Comment: Overwhelming winner. Definitely very cool, got my vote.

For "worst moment of the season..."
A. Maginn fans celebrate after final second victory...
B. AP's coach chest-bumps players after OT victory...
C. Logging into TimesUnion.com and seeing they scored 37 against Lasalle...
D. Receiving several taunting emails from Nisky fans after SC tourney...

Comment: One reader pointed me to this picture of Brad. It must have been taken right after the Maginn game ended. Yikes:



For "closest heart attack that didn't happen..."

A. Guilderland misses a three at the buzzer, Shaker wins 50-48...
B. Nisky rimms out a half-court shot at the buzzer, Shaker wins 53-51...
C. Bethlehem pulls within 3 in the fourth quarter...
D. Shen takes the lead with two minutes to go...

Comment: I agree. I'm 95% sure that if that shot went in and they counted it, I would have actually thrown up.

For "best 6th man chant..."

A. "What is this?" while mimicking wierd motion of CBA students...
B. "You're not worth it!" against Columbia...
C. "Warm up the tractor!" against BHBL...
D. "Brad is legal!" on Brad's 18th birthday...
E. "Gooooooo, VERNON!!", various times...

Comment: Very surprising result. Warm up the tractor was 2nd place.

For "best 6th man showcase..."

A. Home vs. Colonie...
B. Senior night vs. Saratoga...
C. Home vs. CBA...
D. Home vs. Columbia...

Comment: I like to think this was because of my appearance in the 6th man...

For "best concession stand..."

A. Shaker (cheap Twix)...
B. Nisky (good pizza)...
C. Saratoga (good crowd management)...
D. Armory (no line)...

Comment: There were actually a lot of votes for Nisky. But I can't endorse a stand that has no twix. No way.

For "best gym..."

A. Shaker...
B. Saratoga...
C. Guilderland...

Comment: I actually think that's true, although this was obviously a bias poll.

For "worst gym..."

A. Nisky...
B. Bethlehem...

Comment: Can't disagree.

For "best moment of the regular season..."

A. Brad hits the game winner against CBA...
B. Seniors take a 7-0 lead against Saratoga on senior night...
C. Brad blocks Holle on a breakaway dunk against CBA...
D. Seniors exit one by one after whipping Saratoga...

Comment: Voters were split between A and B, but A still won by a healthy margin.

For "best essay on Girmindl's Ghost..."

A. Student section cheering...
B. H-gym photo essay...
C. Ahhh, the H-gym new gym...
D. Interview: Brad Sheehan...

Comment: You know, that's the first essay I wrote for this blog. I guess I got 'em hooked early.

Thanks to everyone who took the time to vote.
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At 1:14 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said:

I have read your blog for quite some time and I have not always agreed with what you have said. But I have accepted the fact that you are a Shaker fan and therefore realized that yes, you will have a bias towards Shaker basketball. This time, however, you have gone too far. The Reader's Choice results and choices, particularly the "best snack stand" category, has made me very, very upset.

I have been to every snackstand in the Suburban council and have realized that there are many different ways to rate a snack stand, that a snack stand's worth does not simply boil down to one single aspect. To choose the best snackstand, you must first evaluate quality of items, choice of items, the presence of unique items, price, and finally atmosphere. To accurately judge a snack stand, all of these must be taken into account. It seems to me, however, that you judge snack stands on only one aspect or no aspects at all. Therefore, I think your choices are completely ridiculous. In fact, I think your choices are possibly some of the worst snack stand choices I have ever seen. Your top four snack stand picks are Shaker, Niskayuna, Saratoga, and the Armory. And you choose Shaker as number one. I realize this is because you are a Shaker fan, but I hope you realize that Shaker has one of the worst snack stands in the capital district. Not only do they over price the pizza (selling it for $1.50 a slice) but there also nowhere to sit and eat. You have to stand around a large crowd of people in an inadequate lobby. It automatically receives a low grade on price and atmosphere. Next, if you evaluate the choice of items, there are very few. Although I have not experienced the snack stand often, I do not remember it having a very good choice of items. There is one unique item which somewhat redeems it and that is the muffin. The shaker snack stand sells some sort of wrapped muffin, which is delicious and therefore gives the snack stand one redeeming quality. However, without this muffin I would have to say that the Shaker snack stand is one of the worst in the league. Sorry, but you got this one wrong.

Next you have Niskayuna, and say they have good pizza. I believe that in my snack stand power rankings, I put Niskayuna fourth. They have a good set up, a nice variety of items, and three different types of skittles. They also sell popcorn and nachos with jalapeno peppers, a rarity for hgih school snack stand items. However, you write the pizza is good. The pizza was most certainly not good. Obviously you are someone who has not had pizza in a very long time or else you would realize that Niskayuna's pizza was extremely weak. Not only was there very little sauce, but the sauce also gave a soapy aftertaste, a sure sign of a weak piece of pizza. Niskayuna is fourth in the Suburban Council, and therefore should not be receiving any votes at all.

The next choice is Saratoga, which I'd have to agree with. I rank Saratoga second. The pizza is great, the hot dogs are great, there are tables to sit at, and there is a good quantity of items. Furthermore, it has a decent price, the same price held by most snack stands in the Suburban Council (except Shaker). But what brings Saratoga to #2 is something that you don't even mention in your nominations or in your blog. Saratoga, for every game, sells a different pasta item. And this pasta item is absolutely amazing. Not only is this aspect completely unique from every other snack stand in the Suburban Council, it also only costs a dollar and fifty cents. How could you not mention this? Furthermore, how could you rank it behind Shaker, an extremely awful snack stand? It would be an understatement to say that this makes me livid, your bias has simply gone too far and has clouded your vision of reality. Congratulations, I feel that you've gone completely insane.

I can't analyze the Armory. I haven't been there. But I'm sure you're wrong on that one too.

Finally, I'm sure you're wondering what my choices are. And I'll tell you them and also give you my reasoning for why they are my favorites (better reasons than yours I may also add).

1.) Guilderland - The Guilderland snack stand was composed of three different tables of candy for exceptionally low prices, a variety of beverages including energy drinks, pizza, nachos, hot dogs, and popcorn which also tasted like a little piece of heaven. Next, there was a large cafeteria to sit after purchasing. And furthermore, after the game they gave away free pizza. All of these aspects make Guilderland the best snack stand in the area, and shame on you for not recognizing this in your blog.

2.) Saratoga - I already stated my reasons above.

3.) Ballston Spa - As you have not realized, the most important aspect to a snack stand is its pizza. Although there is a system in ranking snack stands, without good pizza a snack stand is worthless. Ballston Spa's pizza was delicious. That's all there is to be said about it. It had a decent atmosphere, decent selection, and decent everything else. But it had the best pizza in the Suburban Council, and therefore it is third.

4.) Niskayuna - I have already stated the reasons above.

5.) Columbia - Columbia's snackstand, at first, was an enigma. It was hidden away in a dark corner of the cafeteria and had a very small selection. However, when it was finally found, it was discovered to have delicious pizza, pizza which is second best in the council. Furthermore, the cafeteria where the snackstand was was beautiful. It was exquisite in cleanliness and design, and the best atmosphere anyone could possibly eat in. For that reason, Columbia rounds out the top 5.

6.) Burnt Hills - Decent pizza, decent atmosphere, same price, quality snack stand.

7.) Colonie - The only pizza they had was broccoli pizza. And this was, of course, because they were out, but still, not a very good stand.

8.) Shaker - Over priced, nowhere to sit, horrible, horrible stand

9.) Bethlehem - I give Bethlehem last place in the snackstand rankings, however, they have an excuse. Their gym was flooded and were forced to play at the Junior College of Albany, a place with a very weak gym and inadequate facilities for high school basketball. Therefore, I think Bethlehem could make a resurgence next year with quite possibly one of the best snack stands in the area and a brand new gymnasium.

Unfortunately, this year I did not get to see the snackstands of Shen, Averill Park, or Mohonasen and therefore I cannot rank them. But these are my rankings. In conclusion, I hope you recognize your mistake. I hope you realize that rating snack stands cannot be done with a bias, it has to be done with a desire to know the snack stand, to learn the snack stand, to understand what forms a great snack stand. Rating snack stands comes from a love the snack stand, not the love of a team. For the love of a team does not make a snack stand good, what makes a snack stand good is what comes from it. And that's why you, Girmindl's Ghost, are grossly incorrect.    



At 1:44 PM , Blogger Matt said:

Greatest comment ever! I'm reprinting that, in it's entirety, on the main page. Please email me if you are the author, that's just awesome.    



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