Yesterday, on way in to school to finish my homework, I caught a snippet of the U. S. Olympic men's basketball team's game against Puerto Rico. Actually, it wasn't so much of a game as it was a debacle. We lost? By nineteen points? To Puerto Rico? That's just awful. Bill Simmons said this team was doomed, but I don't think even he could have expected it to start like this. But as he (and everyone else who has even a marginal knowledge of the situation) has been saying, this isn't a team. It's a collection of NBA All-Stars - and not even the best ones! I know there are many placing the blame for this on those who elected not to play, but even without them, the United States is still the preeminent basketball nation on Earth. Hell, we invented the frickin' game. Even the 15 through 30th best players in the game should be able to beat a squad from our own commonwealth. And as was proven twenty-four years ago in a quaint little town in upstate New York, you don't need the best talent to win - what you need is the right chemistry, confidence (but not cockiness or arrogance), and a belief you can win accompanied with proper respect for the talent level of your opponents. By the way, I watched "Miracle" for the tenth time last night. If there was ever any doubt that we went about the Olympic basketball squad all wrong, watch that movie, and draw comparisons with what the U. S. sent to Athens.
Saturday night was a relatively quiet night, especially compared to Friday. Campbell and I went to see "Collateral", which we both really enjoyed. I was particularly impressed by Jamie Foxx's performance; he did well in what seemed to me to be such a dramatic role change from what we're used to seeing from him.
This week, the challenge will be to stay focused. There are no exams this week, so there might be a tendency to slack off. But we are starting a new subject (Reactor Principles), which will probably be the hardest stuff we've seen so far (and maybe the hardest stuff we'll see in NPS). I expect the pedal to stay firmly pressed to the metal.