In case you had not noticed, due to this unprecedented period of economic turmoil, I had suspended my writing on this website. I would have announced it, but then I would have been attempting to score cheap political points. Instead I did nothing, and it seems to have paid off since it now appears that congress will pass some sort of economic rescue package.
However, do not accuse me of being a man of inaction. For instance, during the last several days, I used the phone (call it phoning it in if you like) and somehow avoided breaking any NCAA rules. I hung out in my office for a while. I even joked (or was I joking) about how much easier my life would be if I was had dictatorial powers. Needless to say, I will accept full credit for saving the economy if it is indeed saved. If the economy crashes, I will kindly remind you that I write an occasionally read and rather mediocre blog.
Since I was saving the economy, Tubby Smith has gone a long way toward saving Minnesota sports. The Twins have ended a bad season that some way, some how, almost led to what surely would have been a very brief but very depressing play off appearance ( oh wait, they sort of did that anyway!). The Gopher football team started the Big Ten Season. The Vikings, despite much ballyhoo, are alas, still the Vikings. Then there are the Timberwolves.
But Tubby has closed the borders.
As has been reported every where, the Gophers received a verbal commitment from Rodney Williams. Williams, who still has some eligibility issues to work out, was Minnesota’s top in-state recruit. The Williams commitment is bigger than signing a top 50 or top 100 player (depending on who you ask). The Williams commitment shows that Tubby has what it takes to keep Minnesota player from heading for greener (Isaiah Dahlman, Alan Anderson) pastures (Cole Aldrich, Jordan Taylor). Locking down Minnesota can only lead to future recruiting prominence. Minnesota, of course, produces it fair share of excellent high school player. A team of the best Minnesota high school players, in most years, could compete nationally (assuming the best two or three players in Minnesota joined the Gophers each year. Imagine how improved the Gophers would have been last year if Cole Aldrich provided some bulk in the front court, or how settled the point guard situation would be if Jordan Taylor was not a traitor. (Yes Jordan, while I am grateful that you helped my alma mater win a state championship, you are now the enemy). Coupled with Tubby’s ability to recruit on a national and international level, we are poised to see an unprecedented influx of talent.
And on a side note, and what should be an incentive (because you obviously need one) to come back, I solemnly swear that you will never read the words “Rolls Royce” or “Hot Rod” referring to Minnesota’s forwards of the future. Not only are they incredibly cheese nicknames, but they are don’t make a lick of sense. Maybe if they played football they would be remotely appropriate. I can see how a power running back or line backer could have car-like characteristics. But for the life of me, I have never heard of car that could spontaneously leap in the air, box out, or hit a jump shot. Besides, there is only one “Hot Rod.”