Futon Report: Small problem in big arenaWritten by Matt Sussman | | firstname.lastname@example.org
It’s probably one of those cases where the left brain forgets to tell the right brain what it is doing. Hey, every company experiences brain flatulence. In this case, it seems the builders of Savage Arena and the person in charge of ordering concessions weren’t on the same page.
In the lower bowl of the arena, all the seats have these spiffy new armrests with built-in cup holders. (Believe me, if anyone appreciates a good armrest, it’s someone whose blog is called the Futon Report.) They’re sturdy, handy retractable if they get in one’s way. But here’s the thing. Many of the concession booths sell only 20-ounce plastic pop bottles. As it turns out, the bottle … well, it doesn’t really fit. Hey, they can’t think of everything. They sort of had a scoreboard and suites on their priority list.
I’ve seen some fans purchase paper cups from within Savage, which is probably how God intended Rockets fans to best utilize their armrests. They’ll soon realize — hi, UT department of athletics — that the plastic bottles are a bad idea and switch over fully to cups. But as are most endeavors, ironing out the little bugs take time. (Exception: Vista)
If you position the bottle just right, it almost fits. But it’s very sensitive, and there’s no certainty that an accidental elbow bump won’t knock the bottle off its mortal coil.
And then it hit me like a ton of UT free throw bricks: This struggling team is a lot like this armrest. Maybe I’m looking too much into a simple item, like the creepy guy from “American Beauty” who filmed the bag blowing in the wind, but think about it. This team is, to put it boldly, horrible. They have talent and a bright future, as signified by first year head coach Gene Cross, but their record stinks and, sadly, they have a lot of seniors on the team: Jonathan Amos, Tyrone Kent, Anthony Byrd and Ridley Johnson.
They are good players, much like 20-ounce pop bottles are a wise investment for the thirsty basketball fans, but the university wanted a new coach with a promising future. UT also wanted a new basketball arena. And the collateral damage appears to be that those four seniors just don’t quite fit in the new system.
While all four seniors have started many times this year, their individual results have ranged from good games to poor performances and the record reflects that. While it would be nice to see a team win more than two of their first 15 games, Cross wasn’t hired to win this year. If UT wanted the best chance at a MAC championship in 2009, it would have kept Stan Joplin. Looking at the roster, the number of seniors on the team for the 2009-10 season will equal the number of sports trophies I won as a youngster that don’t have “honorable participant” engraved on them: zero.
To say Cross has a young team next season will be understating the situation. He will be working with stem cells. Now, the honorable UT coach will probably tell you that he wants to win this year, but with turnovers and a team free throw percentage hovering around 60 percent it’s going to take a lot of luck.
Cross’ rosier outlook is this team in future seasons, especially if he can have someone look at the armrests.