222 Full Clips
First, let me clear this up. Despite having spent the first eighteen years of my life within earshot of UNC, and still technically being a student at UT, I've always been a Georgia Tech fan. I know the secret handshakes. I know fresh nicknames for my team that some of you might not, like Jah-TEK 9, GATTACA, and FUC (Fucked-Up Car). I earned my journalistic stripes covering the case of Syed Haris Ahmed, a student there who sold his soul to jihad. I did my wedding vows to the tune of a certain Budweiser jingle, won't tell you shit about my ANAK fam, and can show you the exact spot where Lady Atlanta gave up her honor to the Devil Sherman. And since Nov. 12, 1998, I have devoted my trust fund to the most worthy of causes:
But these last few trimesters, I've lost track of my beloved Pointy Yellow Bugs. Imagine my embarassment when one of our own, Chris Bosh, crashed through the league as the Class of '03's forgotten man. Somewhere in between the Ismail Muhammaed era and the B.J. Elder millenium, my eye wandered. I had planned to spend this tournament like I do all others: waiting to claim UNC if they go deep, and hoping that Kevin Durant burns someone alive.
That was all before my esteemed FanHouse colleague Tom Ziller wrote the following paragraph about one Thaddeus Young, currently the toast of my former colleagues in Georgia Tech fever:
Young is one of those players you have to watch to understand. Best athlete since the 2004 draft, probably. Death-defying leaper, explosive, atomic, radioactive, all that jazz. Can't shoot, but has Ron Artest Syndrome -- he thinks he's Fred Hoiberg. Under the right coach, he could become the wing edition of Amare Stoudemire. I'd doubt it, though. The world just isn't that fun.
Right then and there, I knew I had go back to my roots, rekindle the flames of passion, and prepare myself for a Georgia Tech Championship. Rather than actually watch video of Young, I did what any right-thinking FreeDarko-ite would do: I hit the Recluse up and picked his brain about this most final of matters.
Brown Recluse: Chad Ford says T. Young is like Al Harrington. That should sober you up.
Bethlehem Shoals: Fuck that. I am on a mission. I WANT TO BELIEVE.
What's the other guy's name?
BR: (this is the last time) Javaris Crittendon.
The best comparison i could come up with for Young was a slightly shorter non-doucebaggy Tim Thomas. Although he doesn't currently have his range.
BS: How about a retarded Josh Smith?
BR: He's not retarded, though. He's like a less explosive, smarter Josh Smith.
BS: That sounds okay. So like a competent Tony Allen?
BR: Longer than Tony Allen, but maybe.
BS: How about a Spanish-speaking Pat Garrity?
BR: No. More like a less ethnic Trevor Ariza.
BS: Is Ariza ethnic? Or just black?
BR: I don't know, what kind of name is Ariza? He's kind of like a poor man's Gerald Wallace.
BS: Ariza? I thought you said Young wasn't like Gerald Wallace. And now Young is supposedly a less ethnic Ariza, who is a poor man's Gerald Wallace.
BR: You got me.
So finally, I had to resort to watching this footage, and finding that only TZ was right: you do have to watch Young to understand him. I'm partly reminded of my world's famous assessment of Caron Butler—least athletic athletic player, or most athletic uathletic player? In my limited experience with Young, though, the confusion is even more confusing. It seems to take him forever to do things we'd usually refer to as "explosive," and he rises up to the hoop instead of being propelled. T-Mac plays a ferocious game but projects woozy calm; these Young clips make it seem like his innermost circuits have been slurred, an enthusiastically pitched-down version of [your choice from above].
Even if the Thaddeus Young mystery has cooled, there still remains one absolutely essential reason for me to ride with my Jackets this March. As if ordained by a priestly class of sad animals, Georgia Tech is the natural enemy of every other school my FreeDarko cohorts have taken as theirs. Hold on.
THE BROWN RECLUSE AND HIS FILTHY AGGIES: Those Aggies and their cadets are totally basic. Plus I hear one of them is assigned to guard a dog, and that this dog is the de facto president of the university. Anyway, here's some Wikipedia knowledge:
During the second world war, as an engineering school with strong military ties through its ROTC program, Georgia Tech was swiftly enlisted for the war effort. In early 1942 the traditional nine-month semester system was replaced by a year-round trimester year, enabling students to complete their degrees a year earlier. Under the plan, students were allowed to complete their engineering degrees while on active duty. During World War II, Georgia Tech was one of only five U.S. colleges feeding the U.S. Navy's officer program.
Also, I work with this Korean lady who lived in Atlanta while her husband was in grad school at GT. They loved it there. Then they moved to College Station for her to get a PhD at A&M, and were totally miserable. The Recluse is half-Japanese. The Japanese and Korean people are sworn foes. Ergo, Georgia Tech is the antithesis of Texas A&M.
DR. LIC'S AND HIS PATHETIC HOYAS: GEORGEtown, GEORGia Tech. Both are named for a monarch of Britain. But while his school stays stuck in the provincial "town," which is to say, the colonial nightmare that was, GEORGIA TECH has taken the name of the master and subverted it. We embrace the future, in which the king is dead, America rules, and technology allows us to prosper. Dr. LIC would like nothing more than to return to the 17th century.
BILLUPS AND THAT DISGUSTING BUNCH OF TIGERS: I've read that Thaddeus Young is from Memphis, and was an exceptional student. Oddly enough, he did not choose to attend the University of Memphis. Maybe that's because it has no interest in the long-term well-being of its student-athletes, often brokering shady deals to attain academic eligibility or recruiting from the juco underworld. Consistently ranked as one of the ten best public universities, Georgia Tech can offer a valuable education to Young Thad, while Memphis would see this native son as nothing but raw, leaping meat.
Progress and service, motherfuckers.