The Rules of Pacers Digest

Hello everyone,

Whether your are a long standing forum member or whether you have just registered today, it's a good idea to read and review the rules below so that you have a very good idea of what to expect when you come to Pacers Digest.

A quick note to new members: Your posts will not immediately show up when you make them. An administrator has to approve at least your first post before the forum software will later upgrade your account to the status of a fully-registered member. This usually happens within a couple of hours or so after your post(s) is/are approved, so you may need to be a little patient at first.

Why do we do this? So that it's more difficult for spammers (be they human or robot) to post, and so users who are banned cannot immediately re-register and start dousing people with verbal flames.

Below are the rules of Pacers Digest. After you have read them, you will have a very good sense of where we are coming from, what we expect, what we don't want to see, and how we react to things.

Rule #1

Pacers Digest is intended to be a place to discuss basketball without having to deal with the kinds of behaviors or attitudes that distract people from sticking with the discussion of the topics at hand. These unwanted distractions can come in many forms, and admittedly it can sometimes be tricky to pin down each and every kind that can rear its ugly head, but we feel that the following examples and explanations cover at least a good portion of that ground and should at least give people a pretty good idea of the kinds of things we actively discourage:

"Anyone who __________ is a liar / a fool / an idiot / a blind homer / has their head buried in the sand / a blind hater / doesn't know basketball / doesn't watch the games"

"People with intelligence will agree with me when I say that __________"

"Only stupid people think / believe / do ___________"

"I can't wait to hear something from PosterX when he/she sees that **insert a given incident or current event that will have probably upset or disappointed PosterX here**"

"He/she is just delusional"

"This thread is stupid / worthless / embarrassing"

"I'm going to take a moment to point and / laugh at PosterX / GroupOfPeopleY who thought / believed *insert though/belief here*"

"Remember when PosterX said OldCommentY that no longer looks good? "

In general, if a comment goes from purely on topic to something 'ad hominem' (personal jabs, personal shots, attacks, flames, however you want to call it, towards a person, or a group of people, or a given city/state/country of people), those are most likely going to be found intolerable.

We also dissuade passive aggressive behavior. This can be various things, but common examples include statements that are basically meant to imply someone is either stupid or otherwise incapable of holding a rational conversation. This can include (but is not limited to) laughing at someone's conclusions rather than offering an honest rebuttal, asking people what game they were watching, or another common problem is Poster X will say "that player isn't that bad" and then Poster Y will say something akin to "LOL you think that player is good". We're not going to tolerate those kinds of comments out of respect for the community at large and for the sake of trying to just have an honest conversation.

Now, does the above cover absolutely every single kind of distraction that is unwanted? Probably not, but you should by now have a good idea of the general types of things we will be discouraging. The above examples are meant to give you a good feel for / idea of what we're looking for. If something new or different than the above happens to come along and results in the same problem (that being, any other attitude or behavior that ultimately distracts from actually just discussing the topic at hand, or that is otherwise disrespectful to other posters), we can and we will take action to curb this as well, so please don't take this to mean that if you managed to technically avoid saying something exactly like one of the above examples that you are then somehow off the hook.

That all having been said, our goal is to do so in a generally kind and respectful way, and that doesn't mean the moment we see something we don't like that somebody is going to be suspended or banned, either. It just means that at the very least we will probably say something about it, quite possibly snipping out the distracting parts of the post in question while leaving alone the parts that are actually just discussing the topics, and in the event of a repeating or excessive problem, then we will start issuing infractions to try to further discourage further repeat problems, and if it just never seems to improve, then finally suspensions or bans will come into play. We would prefer it never went that far, and most of the time for most of our posters, it won't ever have to.

A slip up every once and a while is pretty normal, but, again, when it becomes repetitive or excessive, something will be done. Something occasional is probably going to be let go (within reason), but when it starts to become habitual or otherwise a pattern, odds are very good that we will step in.

There's always a small minority that like to push people's buttons and/or test their own boundaries with regards to the administrators, and in the case of someone acting like that, please be aware that this is not a court of law, but a private website run by people who are simply trying to do the right thing as they see it. If we feel that you are a special case that needs to be dealt with in an exceptional way because your behavior isn't explicitly mirroring one of our above examples of what we generally discourage, we can and we will take atypical action to prevent this from continuing if you are not cooperative with us.

Also please be aware that you will not be given a pass simply by claiming that you were 'only joking,' because quite honestly, when someone really is just joking, for one thing most people tend to pick up on the joke, including the person or group that is the target of the joke, and for another thing, in the event where an honest joke gets taken seriously and it upsets or angers someone, the person who is truly 'only joking' will quite commonly go out of his / her way to apologize and will try to mend fences. People who are dishonest about their statements being 'jokes' do not do so, and in turn that becomes a clear sign of what is really going on. It's nothing new.

In any case, quite frankly, the overall quality and health of the entire forum's community is more important than any one troublesome user will ever be, regardless of exactly how a problem is exhibiting itself, and if it comes down to us having to make a choice between you versus the greater health and happiness of the entire community, the community of this forum will win every time.

Lastly, there are also some posters, who are generally great contributors and do not otherwise cause any problems, who sometimes feel it's their place to provoke or to otherwise 'mess with' that small minority of people described in the last paragraph, and while we possibly might understand why you might feel you WANT to do something like that, the truth is we can't actually tolerate that kind of behavior from you any more than we can tolerate the behavior from them. So if we feel that you are trying to provoke those other posters into doing or saying something that will get themselves into trouble, then we will start to view you as a problem as well, because of the same reason as before: The overall health of the forum comes first, and trying to stir the pot with someone like that doesn't help, it just makes it worse. Some will simply disagree with this philosophy, but if so, then so be it because ultimately we have to do what we think is best so long as it's up to us.

If you see a problem that we haven't addressed, the best and most appropriate course for a forum member to take here is to look over to the left of the post in question. See underneath that poster's name, avatar, and other info, down where there's a little triangle with an exclamation point (!) in it? Click that. That allows you to report the post to the admins so we can definitely notice it and give it a look to see what we feel we should do about it. Beyond that, obviously it's human nature sometimes to want to speak up to the poster in question who has bothered you, but we would ask that you try to refrain from doing so because quite often what happens is two or more posters all start going back and forth about the original offending post, and suddenly the entire thread is off topic or otherwise derailed. So while the urge to police it yourself is understandable, it's best to just report it to us and let us handle it. Thank you!

All of the above is going to be subject to a case by case basis, but generally and broadly speaking, this should give everyone a pretty good idea of how things will typically / most often be handled.

Rule #2

If the actions of an administrator inspire you to make a comment, criticism, or express a concern about it, there is a wrong place and a couple of right places to do so.

The wrong place is to do so in the original thread in which the administrator took action. For example, if a post gets an infraction, or a post gets deleted, or a comment within a larger post gets clipped out, in a thread discussing Paul George, the wrong thing to do is to distract from the discussion of Paul George by adding your off topic thoughts on what the administrator did.

The right places to do so are:

A) Start a thread about the specific incident you want to talk about on the Feedback board. This way you are able to express yourself in an area that doesn't throw another thread off topic, and this way others can add their two cents as well if they wish, and additionally if there's something that needs to be said by the administrators, that is where they will respond to it.

B) Send a private message to the administrators, and they can respond to you that way.

If this is done the wrong way, those comments will be deleted, and if it's a repeating problem then it may also receive an infraction as well.

Rule #3

If a poster is bothering you, and an administrator has not or will not deal with that poster to the extent that you would prefer, you have a powerful tool at your disposal, one that has recently been upgraded and is now better than ever: The ability to ignore a user.

When you ignore a user, you will unfortunately still see some hints of their existence (nothing we can do about that), however, it does the following key things:

A) Any post they make will be completely invisible as you scroll through a thread.

B) The new addition to this feature: If someone QUOTES a user you are ignoring, you do not have to read who it was, or what that poster said, unless you go out of your way to click on a link to find out who it is and what they said.

To utilize this feature, from any page on Pacers Digest, scroll to the top of the page, look to the top right where it says 'Settings' and click that. From the settings page, look to the left side of the page where it says 'My Settings', and look down from there until you see 'Edit Ignore List' and click that. From here, it will say 'Add a Member to Your List...' Beneath that, click in the text box to the right of 'User Name', type in or copy & paste the username of the poster you are ignoring, and once their name is in the box, look over to the far right and click the 'Okay' button. All done!

Rule #4

Regarding infractions, currently they carry a value of one point each, and that point will expire in 31 days. If at any point a poster is carrying three points at the same time, that poster will be suspended until the oldest of the three points expires.

Rule #5

When you share or paste content or articles from another website, you must include the URL/link back to where you found it, who wrote it, and what website it's from. Said content will be removed if this doesn't happen.

An example:

If I copy and paste an article from the Indianapolis Star website, I would post something like this:
Title of the Article
Author's Name
Indianapolis Star

Rule #6

We cannot tolerate illegal videos on Pacers Digest. This means do not share any links to them, do not mention any websites that host them or link to them, do not describe how to find them in any way, and do not ask about them. Posts doing anything of the sort will be removed, the offenders will be contacted privately, and if the problem becomes habitual, you will be suspended, and if it still persists, you will probably be banned.

The legal means of watching or listening to NBA games are NBA League Pass Broadband (for US, or for International; both cost money) and NBA Audio League Pass (which is free). Look for them on

Rule #7

Provocative statements in a signature, or as an avatar, or as the 'tagline' beneath a poster's username (where it says 'Member' or 'Administrator' by default, if it is not altered) are an unwanted distraction that will more than likely be removed on sight. There can be shades of gray to this, but in general this could be something political or religious that is likely going to provoke or upset people, or otherwise something that is mean-spirited at the expense of a poster, a group of people, or a population.

It may or may not go without saying, but this goes for threads and posts as well, particularly when it's not made on the off-topic board (Market Square).

We do make exceptions if we feel the content is both innocuous and unlikely to cause social problems on the forum (such as wishing someone a Merry Christmas or a Happy Easter), and we also also make exceptions if such topics come up with regards to a sports figure (such as the Lance Stephenson situation bringing up discussions of domestic abuse and the law, or when Jason Collins came out as gay and how that lead to some discussion about gay rights).

However, once the discussion seems to be more/mostly about the political issues instead of the sports figure or his specific situation, the thread is usually closed.

Rule #8

We prefer self-restraint and/or modesty when making jokes or off topic comments in a sports discussion thread. They can be fun, but sometimes they derail or distract from a topic, and we don't want to see that happen. If we feel it is a problem, we will either delete or move those posts from the thread.

Rule #9

Generally speaking, we try to be a "PG-13" rated board, and we don't want to see sexual content or similarly suggestive content. Vulgarity is a more muddled issue, though again we prefer things to lean more towards "PG-13" than "R". If we feel things have gone too far, we will step in.

Rule #10

We like small signatures, not big signatures. The bigger the signature, the more likely it is an annoying or distracting signature.

Rule #11

Do not advertise anything without talking about it with the administrators first. This includes advertising with your signature, with your avatar, through private messaging, and/or by making a thread or post.
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The all new 2012/13 Area 55, G2 Zone & PTO thread....

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  • #46
    Re: The all new 2012/13 Area 55, G2 Zone & PTO thread....

    Originally posted by kielbeze View Post
    Let's keep our Hombre El Pacero in our thoughts tonight as he is venturing to Chicago to sit behind the Bulls bench.
    If he does not make it home there will be an auction held at his place next week for some sweet Pacers Swag!
    So, let me make sure I'm clear - are we hoping for him to be safe or are we hoping to score some swag?

    A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.
    Or throw in a first-round pick and flip it for a max-level point guard...


    • #47
      Re: The all new 2012/13 Area 55, G2 Zone & PTO thread....

      Uhmm I want him home safe of course.......Dibbs on the MSA Chair!


      • #48
        Re: The all new 2012/13 Area 55, G2 Zone & PTO thread....


        Greetings 55ers!

        As I park my butt here at my keyboard, a renewed flood of optimism overwhelms my normally cynical nature. My heart is happy; my spirits are lifted; my step is lighter. Maybe my December won’t be as bleak as previously anticipated.

        No, holiday alcohol is not the reason for my buoyancy. It’s the Pacers!

        Tonight, our boys return to the friendly bosom of Bankers Life Fieldhouse fresh from a four game Western road trip and a one-night stopover in The City of the Big Shoulders (That’s Chicago, for you who don’t read Carl Sandburg). These protracted foreign jaunts are always fraught with danger. But this time, the storm was weathered.

        The Pacers return home from the road after going 3-1 against some highly respectable competition. The Lakers, Kings, and Chicago each met us on their home floors and we left each of them dismayed and disappointed. Only a very good Golden State team resisted our mettle -- and that game was an anomaly (Let’s face it, Paul George going scoreless doesn’t happen all that often). Consequently, the Pacers now stand 9-9, tied with the Bucks (8-8) and the Bulls (8-8) for leadership in the Central Division.

        Tonight we face the 8-10 Portland Trailblazers; Friday, Denver comes to town; and Sunday we hit the road again to take on Oklahoma City. No rest for the weary.

        About Tonight’s Foe Portland arrives to play the last game of a 7-game road swing. They’re playing pretty well too. Two days after a double overtime118-117 win at Cleveland, they came back from 18 down and upended Charlotte in overtime 118-112. Portland’s got a formidable crew, featuring the likes of LaMarcus Aldridge, Nicolas Batum, Wesley Matthews and a rookie sensation we haven’t seen before named Damian Lillard. Aldridge, in particular, is always dangerous. He’s averaging 23+ points per game and 9+ rebounds. Our defense, among the NBA’s best, will be tested by Portland, particularly on the perimeter. Portland likes to chuck 3s.

        Kudos Well-deserved pats on the back to Area 55 members Shelley Prickel and El Pacero for making the West Coast trek to cheer on the Pacers. Both caught some mentions in the Fox Midwest game telecasts. That’s devotion people.

        Some Friendly Advice to Tyler Hansbrough Faithful readers of this Newsletter may remember that Tyler Hansbrough recently gave us to understand that our well-worn “Psycho T” chant for him was not one of his favorites. Tyler, you see, doesn’t want people thinking he’s psychotic. He indicated that he would prefer that his on-court efforts be rewarded with another chant -- “Guuuuuuuuuucci.” – that said nothing about his mental state.

        Like “Psycho T”, the “Gucci” moniker was apparently another sarcastic term of endearment given Tyler by North Carolina students during his college days at Chapel Hill. It supposedly stemmed from his rather nondescript fashion habits. It is said that Tyler then had a reputation for being the worst-dressed of all the Tarheel B-Ballers then populating the UNC campus.
        Wishing to accommodate Tyler, for the past few games Area 55 has attempted to do his requested “Gucci” chant. It has been performed, but without much notable success. Some members have grumbled that “Tyler doesn’t get to choose his nickname” and flat-out refused to do “Gucci.” Others, like me, have complied, but without much conviction. For me, anyway, chanting “Gucci” to reward Tyler’s regular bursts of frenzied on-court activity is just ---well, it’s just hard.

        Happily, I have learned that even one of Tyler’s most loyal and diehard NC supporters has urged him to embrace – and not reject – his “Psycho T” brand. I give you the following “Open Letter to Tyler Hansbrough” posted by an anonymous UNC female graduate who goes by the Twitter handle of MissBumptious. Listen to Bumptious, Tyler! She has your best interests at heart!

        “Tyler, Dumping “Psycho-T” Would Actually Mean You’re Crazy!
        Don’t get me wrong. I know this is a done deal. Tyler Hansbrough has asked people to stop referring to him as Psycho-T and fans - even those fire-breathing lunatics in Area 55 - have agreed to respect that.

        I don’t.

        I can’t respect that, since it’s a silly decision that people who are paid to rep him should have talked him out of. And I say that as a longtime admirer of the boy, as many if not all of you are aware.

        Some people have asked me why I hold this position so I’m putting it in writing. Plus, I’m drunk and also think I know everything about everything or, barring that, at least the worlds of marketing and PR., so here we go again. In self-defense, I will say that I’ve worked in marketing, communications and PR since roughly 1997. I do know a few things about a lot of things, for sure.

        So here’s why “Psycho-T” is so perfect: it’s the ultimate differentiator. Take every player within 20 spots of Tyler on the ESPN 500 Best List and see what he’s got that they don’t. Yes, he’s white, but that’s irrelevant to this discussion.

        The other thing is the ferocity. The fire-breathing crazyman who comes out there and blows the doors off every time. Winning or losing, he brings energy and passion and fire and, sorry, near nutjob-level intensity, and that’s what we love about him. That is his thing. That is what makes us scream when he walks onto the court. We love the effort, we love the dedication, and we love that he seems just a little bit out there.

        There are hundreds of players in the NBA. I most love the one who might always surprise me.

        Does this mean that I actually think Tyler is mentally ill? Hell, no! I don’t know the guy. The only person I’ve ever seen (jokingly) suggest that is his UNC roommate Bobby Frasor who, no doubt, has pictures that might make us wonder. But no, this isn’t about Tyler actually being crazy.

        Y’know what it’s about? Effing t-shirts, Gomer! And mugs and posters and whatever-the-hell else marketers market and make money from! Does “Unusually Intense UNC Alum” look good on a t-shirt? Um, no. It’s all about Psycho-T - a quick, clean encapsulation of his differentiator that the little boys (and their money-spending parents) will love. It works, and it would work for him.”


        How the Trail Blazers Got Their Name! The Portland team has actually been known as the "Trail Blazers" throughout its history. Two weeks after being awarded an expansion franchise in 1970, the team’s management held a contest to select the name. Allegedly more than 10,000 entries were submitted. The most popular choice was "Pioneers", but that name was excluded from consideration as it was already used by sports teams at Portland's Lewis and Clark College. The name "Trail Blazers" received 172 entries, and it was selected as the name. Personally I would have gone with a collective name, like the Magic or the Jazz.

        My choice would have been the “Portland Cement.” But I live in Indy and probably my vote would have been discounted for geographic reasons.

        It’s The Jail Blazers! Although management has pretty much cleaned everything up, at one time – not too long ago – Portland’s NBA B-ball squad was a well-known haven for druggies, felons, and other assorted types of bad-boys and miscreants. There was Ruben Patterson, who was signed by the Blazers after having previously pled no contest to a felony sexual assault charge that required him to register as a sex offender. Then there was popular Lithuanian center Arvydas Sabonis, who after having a towel flung in his face by teammate Rashid Wallace, decided to leave the team. Rashid Wallace, Amare Stoudamire, and Qyntel Woods, were all cited for marijuana possession. Woods also blazed a trail for Michael Vick. Among his other convictions, he also pled guilty to first-degree animal abuse due to staging dog fights in his house. Some involved his own loyal pit bull, Hollywood. Both Hollywood and Woods' other pit bull, Sugar, were confiscated at the time of his arrest and Woods was given 80 hours of community service. As part of his plea agreement, he also had to donate $10,000 to the Oregon Humane Society.

        There were other misadventures. Rashid Wallace was suspended for 7 games for threatening a referee. Zach Randolph and Ruben Patterson got in a fight during practice, after Randolph sucker punched Ruben in the eye, an injury which kept Patterson from making a meaningful contribution during the playoffs. Police answering a burglar alarm at Amare Stoudamire's house noticed a distinct marijuana smell, searched the premises, and then found a pound of cannabis located in a crawlspace. Happily, the search was later declared illegal and all charges in the matter were dropped. Guard Bonzi Wells endeared himself to Portland locals by famously telling Sports Illustrated in a 2002 interview:

        "They [fans] really don't matter to us. They can boo us every day, but they're still going to ask for our autographs if they see us on the street."

        Fan discontent thereafter soared and autograph requests dwindled. Despite the team continuing to post a winning record, attendance at the Rose Garden (yeah that’s where Portland plays) started to decline. In the summer of 2003, with attendance dwindling, the team going nowhere on the court, and saddled with an exorbitant payroll, its GM resigned.

        The following year, 2004, was marked by more trouble. The team’s record plummeted to 27–55 record. The bankruptcy of the Oregon Arena corporation, which resulted in the Rose Garden being owned by a consortium of investment firms, further alienated the Portland fan base, as did an incident in which forward Darius Miles (himself African-American) called the coach, Maurice Cheeks, the “N” word. This incident was compounded by what many viewed as inadequate discipline for Miles, following revelation of a secret agreement between the team and Miles that refunded to Miles the amount of his original fine. Cheeks was then fired that season and then replaced on an interim basis by director of player-personnel, the Pacer’s own Kevin Pritchard. That summer the team hired Nate McMillan (who cleaned things up and then was rewarded for his efforts by being fired after the Pacers memorably beat Portland last year).

        The following 2005–06 season wasn’t much better. The Blazers posted a league-worst 21–61 record, attendance was low, and the year was not free of player incidents. Miles, Patterson, Randolph, and Sebastian Telfair were all involved in either on-court bickering or off-court legal incidents. In addition, the team had a poor relationship with the management of the Rose Garden, frequently complaining of a "broken economic model". It was widely speculated by the end of that year that the team’s owner, Paul Allen, would sell the team. Indeed, the team was offered for sale that summer, with several groups expressing interest. However, Allen decided to stick it out, spend some money, and make some draft-day trades. He subsequently took the team off the market. From then on, things got better.

        Ah well, enough arcane NBA lore. It’s time to go to press.

        Let’s be extra loud and rowdy tonight, 55ers. Our guys deserve a well-deserved welcome home and a win tonight would put us over that .500 hump. Let’s get it done!

        GO PACERS! GO AREA 55!
        Last edited by IndyHoya; 12-07-2012, 01:44 PM.


        • #49
          Re: The all new 2012/13 Area 55, G2 Zone & PTO thread....

          I refuse to call our backup Power Forward taint or chode. Psycho T LIVES FOREVER!


          • #50
            Re: The all new 2012/13 Area 55, G2 Zone & PTO thread....

            So I just won tickets in Area 55 for tonight's game against Denver. Anything that I should know in advance besides the fact that I need to be loud the entire game?


            • #51
              Re: The all new 2012/13 Area 55, G2 Zone & PTO thread....

              AREA 55 NEWS YOU CAN TAKE TO THE BANK!!!!!

              Greetings and salutations fellow Area 55 peeps! This is second year veteran and soul patch pro Jon LaFollette writing in place of our beloved Prez Joe, who after slaving over a piping hot keyboard for the better part of three years, deserves a much needed reprieve from the rigors of writing newsletters. I happily volunteered my services so Joe could have more time doing whatever it is fancy lawyer types, such as himself, do.


              The Area 55 Half-Time Critique! OK, campers! With LaFollette and I switching our customary Newsletter roles, it is your beloved Prez that will supply you with LaFollette’s normal curt and spicy review of Wednesday night’s BLF halftime extravaganza. I know I have large shoes to fill, but here goes:

              Halftime attendees at the Portland game were treated to an engaging display of interpretive dance brought to us by a group of mothers and girls whose professional name I sadly cannot supply. As usual, the BLF halftime announcer (an anonymous guy – I don’t think it was Ace McKay - doing his standard imitation of a trapped coal miner) mumbled their actual moniker and left me to speculate as to just whom it was I was viewing. It sounded to me like the announcer called them something like “The Flowers of Spring”. However it might also have been “The Carmel Dance Academy from Hell.” I cannot be sure.

              Anyway the dance gala they supplied was a welcome change from the mass Air Force swearing-in ceremony that The Suits tried to pass off as entertainment at the New Orleans game. I’m as patriotic as the next guy, but I like my bread and circuses. That New Orleans Swearing-in thing left me longing for the more reliably entertaining and certainly less warlike cavortings of our beloved frisbee-catching dogs.

              The Nameless Dance Academy was not warlike. Sporting pink, azure, and pale green spandex, a bevy of mothers (some of whom looked kind of hot to me) and what appeared to be an assortment of their nubile and prepubescent daughters -- took to the BLF hardwood and immediately and energetically began gamboling about.

              The moms of the Academy went first, commendably twisting, gyrating, contorting, and grinding to the accompaniment of Foreigner’s “You’re as Cold as Ice.” I don’t know about other 55ers (who, perhaps seeing what was coming, quickly and wisely left the premises to get beer), but I, for one, was left mute and slackjawed at the wholesome amateurishness and arctic asexuality of the mothers’ dancing. Rapt in the spectacle, I soon felt “cold as ice” myself just watching it all. Perhaps that was the intent. The mom’s number was, indeed, a telling paean to sexual frigidy and after viewing it, I felt pangs of sympathy for the deprivation that their poor husbands were undoubtedly experiencing.

              The “Cold as Ice” moms were followed by their warmer daughters, who, clad in stretchy pink and trying to emulate their maternal forbears, then did a lot of moving about while an invisible sound machine belted out The Capitols old and justifiably forgotten hit, “Cool Jerk”. It was kind of cute. I cannot deny that watching the nymphets twist and turn caused wellsprings of repressed memories and forgotten emotions to bubble up in my heart. Prepubescent dancing to lyrics like “They know I’m the king of the coooool jerks!” invariably has that effect on me.

              There was still more! After the “Cool Jerk” number, more of the nymphets segued into a cheery holiday interpretation of “Baby It’s Cold Outside” Personally, I liked the “Cool Jerk” thing better, but hey, I’m a soul type of guy and kind of a “cool jerk” in my own right.

              After it all ended and The Nameless Dance Academy left the floor I was left to speculate if The Suits had booked The Academy as a crass money-saving measure. Scrooges that they are, I suspect this was so. A hint to The Suits: Psst, sometimes you get better entertainment if you pay for it.

              My rating for The Nameless Dance Academy? Well, unfortunately just a C. But on the upside, I thought they were a lot better than the Air Force Swearing-in Ceremony.

              Back to Basketball with Fighting Jon LaFollette! We're already six weeks into the season, but tonight's match up with the Denver Nuggets at the homey confines of Bankers Life is only the third back-to-back home stand for the Pacers this year, and just their eighth home game overall. In short, our boys in the blue and gold have spent more than half their season on the road (where they have posted a scrappy 5-7 record). Thus, it is extremely important that they make the most of their sporadic returns to the Circle City.

              After dropping four of their first six games, the Pacers have recently rallied to win six of their last eight, including a dramatic last second win in Los Angeles and a pugnacious victory over the ever-resilient Bulls. The team is currently a half game behind Chicago in the Central Division. While the team's offense (Roy's in particular) has at times been stagnant and bereft of baskets, their league-leading defense has been stingy enough to keep the majority of games close and give the team a chance to win. Laying waste to Denver tonight would give the Pacers their first three-game win streak of the season, and push them to a mark of 11-9. Let’s get it done!

              G2? More Like G-Pew! Stating the obvious - Paul George stunk it up over a three-game stretch last week. Against the Lakers, Kings and Warriors, PG shot an abysmal 23 percent from the field on 7-of-31 shooting, (laying an egg in Oakland) while almost completely shirking his abilities as a defender. To be blunt, Paul was a non factor - something he absolutely cannot be in the absence of Danny Granger. But rather than sulk, PG manned up and took to the practice court hard (as he does in those nifty "Gold Swagger" commercials) and lobbed 500 shots in a single practice (proven by a picture he posted on his Instagram account). Whether it was the extra reps, divine province, or some of Michael Jordan's secret stuff (which helped the Looney Tunes thwart the MonStars in Space Jam), PG's shots have markedly improved in the last two games. He has since posted 56 points on 21-of-40 shooting (52 percent). He'll have to keep it up against Denver's Andre Iguodala - a scrappy defender who creates problems for opposing teams with his strength and length (a dangerous duo of rhyming adjectives if I ever heard one).

              Get SWATTED!!! According to Hoop Data's advanced stats, Roy is making just 42 percent of his shots within two feet of the rim, and only 38 percent within three to nine feet. This season has been Double Nickel's worst offensive outing of his career. But where he's been an enigma when it comes to scoring, defensively, he's the biggest component (literally) to the Pacers’ success. Averaging a career high in blocks per game (3.12 - second only to Oklahoma City's Serge Ibaka), and protecting the rim better than he's ever done, Hibbert anchors what the Pacers are best at - getting stops and keeping games tight enough for their stunted and sporadic offense to pull out a win. Roy's objectives tonight will be twofold. Contain Nuggets starting center, and Greek American, Kosta Koufos, whom Roy should have no trouble pushing around, as well as their boneheaded sixth man JaVale McGee, who often finishes games for the Nuggets, and, in actuality poses a far more formidable match up than Koufos for Hibbert.

              More on Moron McGee JaVale McGee (traded to Denver last year from the Washington Wizards) is somewhat similar to Roy as far as their respective style of play goes. Both are more prone to defend than they are to score (although Roy wins out in both categories I believe); both, rebound well given their size, and, despite being seven feet or taller, neither of them is really known for his physical prowess. What separates Roy from JaVale is intellect and basketball IQ. Where Roy graduated with a degree in government from Georgetown and has been named an All-Star, Javale possess the thinking capabilities of a rock. This is highly fitting since he now plays for a team associated with mining.

              Whether it's attempting to dunk from the free throw line (something he tried twice in the same week no less), alley-ooping to himself and then saluting his own efforts while his team is down six, or mistakenly running to the wrong end of the court while his team has the ball, dare I say no other player in the last five years has been more ineptly entertaining than JaVale? He's had so many bloopers, he was given his own countdown on YouTube. Watch them and enjoy!


              Every one of the above highlights (or low-lights) involved McGee in a Wizards uniform. Since moving to Denver, his most laughably bad decisions have virtually disappeared (credit Denver coach George Karl) and McGee's talents (especially his quickness) are beginning to receive attention around the league. He had a breakout series in last season’s playoffs against the Lakers where he averaged 9 points, 10 boards and 3 blocks in 7 games.

              Rocky Mountain Hype Aside from the aforementioned McGee and Iguodala, the Nuggets sport a talented roster that includes point guard Ty Lawson (currently in his fourth year), second year sensation Kenneth Farried who has been dubbed the "mannimal" for his tenacious rebounding abilities (During his last visit here Area 55ers taunted Farried with "Whoopi Goldberg" chants - an homage to his Predator-esque dreads), and Danilo Gallinari (whom I jokingly christened The Italian Stallion). Gallinari was among those traded to Denver in last year’s blockbuster deal that sent Carmelo Anthony to New York and Chauncey Billups ultimately winding up with the Clippers. An unsung, but equally notable player, is Denver’s backup point guard, Andre Miller, currently in his 13th year. While getting long in the tooth, Miller is still capable of posting solid numbers on any given night (He’s had a 17 point and a 19 point effort early this year).

              NBA die-hards might recall many stat-geeks drooling over the Nuggets before the beginning of this season. Indeed, a host of complex math formulas and arcane statistical projections had the Denver making it to the Western Conference Finals - and perhaps the NBA Finals. Former Pacer Reggie Miller, during a TNT broadcast, balked at such notions and the whole idea of "guys in lab coats" predicting the outcome of NBA games.

              Thus far, Reggie seemed to have it right. The Nuggets have been relatively underwhelming given all the pre-season hype that surrounded them. Tonight, they stroll into Naptown on the second game of a five game road trip sporting a 9-10 record (including a 108-104 loss Tuesday night in Atlanta). As an excuse for Denver’s lackluster start, the team’s proponents have pointed to a brutal schedule -- with only 6 of their first 19 games played at home. This is a legitimate point, but I'd be quicker to point out two other factors; shoddy defense, and inconsistent shooting.

              George Karl has long been known as a run-and-gun coach who loves to push tempo and get up and down the court. He adheres to the philosophy that the best defense is a good offense. As a result, in allowing 104 points per 100 possessions, the Nuggets have the seventh worst defense in the league. Much like Phoenix Suns and Dallas Mavericks of yesteryear, the Nuggets simply try to outgun their opponents. In putting up 103 points per 100 possessions, Denver’s point production is good enough to make them the tenth best offensive team in the NBA. But an offense is only as good as its players (duh), and the Nuggets are a team with streaky shooters aplenty. As a team, they shoot just 46% from the field (just 1% better than the league average). True, they have the potential to be potent on any given night. But where there's feast, there's famine.

              For every night that Ty Lawson puts up 32 points on 12-of-16 shooting (as he did against Atlanta), there are other nights where he'll go 0-for-7, 3-for-12 or 4-for-13 and virtually disappear from the game. Ditto for Iguodala and Gallnari, who have also struggled to find their stride this season. But while Denver’s guards and wings are prone to struggle on any given night, the Nuggets’ big men that carry them. The bigs grab a league-leading 35 offensive rebounds per game. With that kind of offensive rebounding occurring, a wayward guard shooting an ill-advised three now and then isn't regarded as a major tragedy. I predict that tonight's game will be won by rebounding, with the Pacers' stiff D looking to slow a fast running offense.

              Well, enough of this! Time to belch this out. Remember to wear some grey tonight for brain cancer awareness. And be feisty and nasty. We want our boys to keep the wins, particularly at home, coming!

              GO PACERS! GO AREA 55!
              Last edited by IndyHoya; 12-07-2012, 02:40 PM.


              • #52
                Re: The all new 2012/13 Area 55, G2 Zone & PTO thread....

                I always look forward to your reviews of the half-time acts, and this one was a classic. It's a rarity when I miss a game, and indeed I missed the last one, but your vivid account of the half-time show was the next best thing to living through it! I especially liked the nod of sympathy to the frustrated husbands!


                • #53
                  Re: The all new 2012/13 Area 55, G2 Zone & PTO thread....

                  AREA 55 NEWS YOU CAN TAKE TO THE BANK!!!!

                  Greetings, 55ers!

                  Tonight our 10-11 Pacers return from a tough road loss to Kevin Durant & Co. to test their mettle against a considerably more inferior foe, the 4-17 Cleveland Cavaliers. While the game against red-hot and high-scoring Oklahoma City (who now have won 8 straight and lead the NBA in scoring) was a loss, no one watching it could come away terribly discouraged. In many ways, it was one of the best games our Granger-less guys have played all year.

                  Against OKC, all 5 of the Pacers starters were in double figures (David West leading the crew with 21, Paul George had 17, and George Hill had 15) and our normally dismal shooting was lots better – upwards of 46%. Indeed, we actually shot 60% in the first half and during the same period pretty much corralled the Durant/Westbrook tandem than lays most other NBA teams low.

                  Unfortunately, our bench continued to be problematic. It couldn’t corral Kevin Martin, who burned it for 21 points Offensively, Gerald Green managed a commendable 8 points, but nobody else coming off the pines garnered more than 4. Our ongoing bench woes have now led Frank to test Ben Hansbrough as our second-string point man, with D. J. Augustin relegated now to third seed Seeing how Psycho B does in his new role will be one of the serious points of interest tonight.

                  In case you’re interested, our loss to OKC now leaves us in 3rd place in the Central, 2 games behind Chicago (11-8) and 1 back of Milwaukee (10-9). A nice home win against the pitiful Cavs might be just the thing to get us back on focus.

                  It’s Holiday Party Time! Always timely with important news, my 5:30 P.M. email box featured this cheery Xmas Card from The Pacers Suits:

                  “Greetings Area 55’ers,

                  Happy holidays from the Area 55 staff. It’s been a great season so far and it’s going to get even better tomorrow after the Cleveland game. As first announced during the preseason meeting, Roy Hibbert is hosting a postgame holiday party exclusively for you.

                  During pre-game and the first half, be sure to find Zac to obtain your wristband which grants you entry into the holiday party that is located on the Practice Court. Immediately following the game, take the elevator down to the Event Level, proceed to the left and you will find the Practice Court. Show both your wristband and game ticket to Zac to gain entry to the party.

                  This will be a great opportunity to get to know one another. There will be treats to devour, basketball to be played (waiver required and casual shooting only), and [nude pictures of Hobert Montgomery to be snatched up – Ha! I joke here. Fill this space in yourselves – The Area 55 Staff’s email left it blank]

                  Only the people that go to the game are eligible for this event. If you can’t make the game, as always, give your ticket to a friend or family member and be sure to tell them about the event planned after the game.

                  2012-13 Area 55 Holiday Party Details:

                  • What: Area 55 Holiday Event
                  • When: Dec 12, 2012 following the game
                  • Where: Bankers Life Fieldhouse Practice Court
                  • Why: Celebration
                  • Who: Area 55 members attending the Dec. 12 game

                  See you tomorrow,
                  Area 55 Staff”

                  Sasha the Stretchy Lady Comes to BLF! In a welcome reprieve from Frisbee-Snatching Dogs, wood-chopping Korean Tae Kwan Do Dojos, and Air Force Swearing-In Ceremonies, the unnamed Suit who passes for the BLF Halftime Entertainment Meister treated Denver-game attendees with a deeply appreciated treat. I refer, of course, to that rarest of rara avises, an actual paid entertainer. In this case It was Alexandra “Sasha” Pivaral, a hand-balancing, one-of-a-kind acrobatic contortionist from New York City.

                  Perched atop what reminded me of three flat-topped wooden bedposts, Sasha (who looked pretty hot to me!) wowed a gob-smacked crowd with a flashy display of double-jointed antics the likes of which had not been seen in Indy for at least two years. Here I segue back to days of yore, back when our arena bore the ancient name “Conseco” and recall another BLF halftime performance I once viewed involving Two Bodies-Painted-White Hungarian Guys whose act was sort of like Sasha's. It featured the Hungarians stretching and climbing over and upon one another’s bodies but little else. I grow wistful. I can only say that that act was a display of homoerotic contortion and pretzeltry that continues to generate nightmares for me even to this day!

                  But back to Sasha!

                  First she dazzled onlookers with a few easy but graceful handstands on the bedposts. She did these while stretching and posing to some of the most dirge-like violin music that has ever assaulted human ears. Sasha must have liked this music, I guess, because it kept droning on, over and over, until finally, at long last, it seemed to come to an end. But no, then it started up all over again!

                  Anyway, while maintaining one of those many clever handstands of hers, and her unseen violins crescendoing into a musical orgasm, Sasha suddenly seized a bedpost with one of her paws and, positioning herself upside-down, then she proceeded to fold her spine downward so that her tush and legs came right over her face! Hell, before it was over her feet were down there too - right around her temples! It looked so weird and unnatural that I nearly choked to death on a nacho watching it all happen! Then in a celebratory masterstroke, Sasha smiled coyly from behind her feet and gave a flirty wink to the crowd. Seeing it brought to mind some of those complex positions from the Kama Sutra that, despite years of begging, I have never been able to persuade my wife to attempt.

                  But Sasha had even more tricks up her spidery-webbed, spandexy leotard!

                  Reinforcing my belief that she was born under the sign of Sagittarius, the balance of supple Sasha’s show consisted mainly of foot archery! Her violin music still blaring, Sasha first balanced upside-down on one hand on one of her bedposts. Next, she treated the audience to a couple more of her epic body folds. Then she adroitly snatched up a petite bow from a nearby table using only her svelte painted toes to do the snatching. This alone was enough to awaken the latent foot-fetishist in many awed onlookers.

                  But there was more!

                  Holding her little bow with one foot, Sasha proceeded to notch an arrow in it using only the toes her other foot. Then, taking careful aim, she sent a rubber tipped Cupid’s dart humming outward toward a circular target positioned a good six or seven feet away.

                  While Sasha's body-bends and arrow-shooting in this fashion was novel and welcome, I must regretfully report that her marksmanship was nothing that would worry Wilhelm Tell. Sadly, there were no bull’s-eyes. Indeed, Sasha actually missed her circular target completely on her first shot and only just managed to hit it a couple of times in following tries.

                  Nevertheless, when all was said and done, Sasha’s was a noble and thrilling effort. She definitely deserved the heartfelt applause that the considerably less limber members of the BLF crowd gave her. Still, as she dismounted from her bedposts and took her leave, I could not help but think that she could have brought the BLF mob watching her to an even more roiling frenzy if she only could have found a way to blast T-shirts, instead of arrows, from that bow of hers. But perhaps that’s for another day.

                  I give Sasha a B. Bring her back again, BLF Entertainment Meisters! She’d have gotten a B+ if her aim had been truer and her violins less obnoxious.


                  What’s the Story on Anderson Varajao? Cavs darling Anderson Varejão got to Cleveland by way of Brazil (his home country). He was originally picked by the Magic in the second round of the 2004 NBA Draft (30th overall) and was then traded to Cleveland along with Drew Gooden and Steven Hunter for Tony Battie and two future second-round picks. On arrival, Varajao quickly became a regular contributor for the Cavs, exciting fans and earning the nickname "Wild Thing" because of his wild hair and energetic and relentless style of play.

                  Anderson has been widely criticized for flopping or overly-dramatizing any physical contact directed against him.. Former teammate LeBron James considered that criticism invalid and asserted "He's taking physical charges." Right, LeBron.

                  Noting the similarities in their hair styles, some pundits have speculated that Anderson Varajao and Joakim Noah might have sprung from the same curly loins and hence could be related. You be the judge!

                  It is also a little known fact, but true, that Anderson ample hair has its own Facebook page. See:


                  A chant about Anderson’s hair – set to the tune of “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands” -- has been employed in the past by Area 55. Some old and suggested new verses are listed below:

                  He’s got a bird’s nest on his head!
                  He’s got a bird’s nest on his head!
                  He’s got a bird’s nest on his head!
                  He’s got a bird’s nest on his head!

                  He’s got steel wool on his head!
                  He’s got steel wool on his head!
                  He’s got steel wool on his head!
                  He’s got steel wool on his head!.

                  He’s got nerve ends on his head!
                  He’s got nerve ends on his head!
                  He’s got nerve ends on his head!
                  He’s got nerve ends on his head!

                  Pick a stanza you like! Invent one of your own! But sing lustily tonight when Anderson toes the Sin Stripe, 55ers. I would so enjoy getting everyone in BLF to sing along and commemorate the Brazilian glory and wonder of Anderson Varajao’s spiraled locks.

                  Ah, the night is late, 55ers. I now tire and must bid you adieu.

                  I’ll leave you with this:

                  Let’s really try to really bring it tonight. And let’s not forget to somewhere along the way sing Roy a Happy Birthday Song! Yesterday he turned the ripe old age of 26!

                  GO PACERS! GO AREA 55!
                  Last edited by IndyHoya; 12-13-2012, 11:50 AM.


                  • #54
                    Re: The all new 2012/13 Area 55, G2 Zone & PTO thread....

                    Joe, it might be prudent to start looking at dates if there is to be an Area55/G2 Zone road trip this season. I took the liberty of looking at the schedule. There are a few road games that take place on weekends or holidays where the driving distance is manageable. To me, the noon Memphis game on Jan. 21 (MLK day) and the 7 PM Detroit game on Saturday, Feb. 23 look like possibilities. I think we would be looking at 5 hour drives similar to the Bucks road trip last year. Of course, if Pacero reported being treated like a gentleman while at the last Chicago road game (or if he can give us the name of a good security team to accompany us), then I suppose the March 23 game in Chicago is also a possibility. For those of us with families and weird occupational schedules, the sooner we plan, the better!


                    • #55
                      Re: The all new 2012/13 Area 55, G2 Zone & PTO thread....

                      AREA 55 NEWS YOU CAN TAKE TO THE BANK!!!!!!

                      Salutations, 55ers!

                      Very happy greetings again to all in the Area 55 family! This is everyone's favorite second-year pro Jon LaFollette writing in place of our hoop-hat-wearing president, Mr. Joe. Mr. Joe is swamped with year-end work and yours truly, always willing to lend a helping hand (and being an otherwise unemployed journalism major– [I will write for food!]) is assuming the fill-in role. Hang in there, buddy!

                      After turning a would-be rout into a satisfying victory over the Cavaliers of Cleveland Wednesday night, the Pacers (11-11) gear up to host the 76ers of Philadelphia (12-10). This is the first of four times the teams will go at each other this season, and marks the 171st game in the series overall (Philly leads the series 92-62).

                      Going back to last year, the 76ers had quite the up and down season. After getting out to an impressive 20-9 mark and pushing for the Eastern Conference's best record, the team stumbled the rest of the year, winning a measly 15 of their last 37 games, and posting a final record of 35-31, squeaking into the postseason as the 8th and the final seed. However, they had a stroke of luck when they played an injury plagued Bulls team and beat them in the series 4-2, before taking Boston (their arch rivals) the full distance in a 7-game series. Coming up one game shy of the Eastern Conference Finals wasn't too bad for a team which essentially had no identity.

                      In the off-season, however, the Sixers revamped and retooled their flavorless roster. Gone, now, is the aging Elton Brand and his enormous contract, as well as Andre Iguodala, the former face of the franchise. The team made a highly publicized trade in the off season to acquire center Andrew Bynum from the Lakers who, according to's David Aldridge, is "at worst, the second best center in the league."

                      The only thing is Bynum has yet to play a game this year and is now out indefinitely with knee issues. He reportedly re-aggravated the knee after a grueling round of bowling (was it a 7-10 split?). So, rather than helping his hometown team get to the next level, Bynum has used his injury-related free time to grow a really impressive Afro. Seriously. That doo ain't no jive turkey. Anyway, for the wheeling and dealing Sixers, it’s all a bit like Shaft getting on human growth hormones and trading his trench coat and rolodex (or binders) of ladies for post up skills and knees purchased from a glass china shop.

                      Bynum's absence will come as a welcome relief for our fearless leader, Roy, who has been prone to struggle against his recently transplanted contemporary. Instead of Bynum, Spencer Hawes will likely start for the Sixers at center tonight. And where Bynum's lustrous 'Fro pays homage to the likes Richard Pryor, Dr. J, and Kobe circa 1999, Hawes' strange mullet-mohawk-mustachioed mix is more contemporary, paying tribute to the likes of Honey-Boo-Boo, Turtle Man and Billy the Exterminator.

                      Aside from Bynum, Philly has also signed a few underrated, yet serviceable, guards in Jason Richardson (an 11-year pro who calls the Sixers his 5th team) and Nick Young (a 5- year pro who goes by the laughably awesome nickname of "Swaggy P," Swaggy P is worth a look on Twitter if you're curious enough). Neither are lights-out scorers, but both are plenty capable of filling up the box score and occasionally hitting shots when called upon.

                      But even with the new faces, Philly’s scrappy success is mostly due to a trio of young players whom the Sixers have drafted over the last few years: Thaddeus Young (PF), Evan Turner (SG/SF) and Jrue Holiday (PG).

                      Young, like the Pacers' own David West, is the workhorse of the Sixers. He's not their go-to offensive guy, but he can post a double double on any given night, be a handful on the glass, and occasionally create turnovers. Turner, in his third year, is averaging a career-best 15 points per game despite just shooting 43% from the field. He's young and streaky, but potent and dangerous - just ask Boston, who let him put up 23 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists and 4 blocks last week. However, it's Jrue Holiday (recently signed to a 4-year $44 million extension) who has been the Sixers best player in the early part of this season. Posting career highs in points per game (18), assists (9) and field goal percentage (45), Holiday is undeniably the biggest reason for the Sixers’ ability to stay above .500 without Bynum, and is on the short list of players to win the NBA’s "Most Improved Player Award." Lucky for us tonight, Holiday's reportedly hurt and probably won't play.

                      Philly's season has played out much like the Pacers', doing the best they can while key players are out with prolonged injuries. And, just like the Blue and Gold, they've succeeded in spurts, while struggling in spurts as well. Right now, they’re in a bit of a tailspin. Despite posting a 12-10 record, they've lost 4 of their last 6 with their most recent wins coming over a terrible Detroit team and a last second win over Boston.

                      Meanwhile, the boys of Naptown are improving, having won 5 of their last 8 and seeming to have recently gained a semblance of momentum. Credit Paul George, who over the last 7 games has averaged 24 points and begun to show signs of becoming the high caliber player many think he can be. Also credit David "And One" West and his continued steady play, pugnaciousness and leadership.

                      Two Hansbroughs Are Better Than One! With a quarter of the season gone and D.J. Augstin still not producing, Coach Vogel promoted Tyler ("Please Call-Me-Gucci-And-Not-Psycho-T") Hansbrough's little brother, Ben, to backup point guard on Wednesday. The results were quite pleasant. His 6 points, lone assist and 2 steals in 17 minutes may seem meager, but his tempo and "eagerness," for lack of a better term, were a breath of fresh air compared to Augustin's ongoing stagnation. Just like his brother, what Ben lacked in productivity at times, he made up for with hustle, spirit and any host of other cliched adjectives. Let's see how Round Two of the Brothers Brough turns out tonight.

                      On a side note, the names Psycho-T and Psycho-B are awfully similar and, when chanted, sound almost indistinguishable. I know we could always revert to calling Tyler "Gucci," but it appears as if this appellation has yet to catch on (mostly because it's stupid!). So... I propose letting more creative minds come up with better nicknames for Mr. Ben (maybe Bensanity?).

                      The Halftime Show Review Extravaganza! First things first. As much as I strain my ears, squint my eyes and focus my attention, I can never, EVER, hear what P.A. announcer Michael Grady is saying when he introduces the half time talent. So it is with much disappointment, that I have to refer here to Wednesday's entertainer as The Fine Gentleman Who Could Juggle Quite Well.

                      Anyway, I loved The Fine Gentleman Who Could Juggle Quite Well. First, I’m always awed by a good juggling act. Second, and more importantly, I'm easily impressed. In fact, lately I’ve been spending a lot of my idle time gazing at videotaped pictures of Darwin the Ikea Monkey. Never heard of Darwin? Here ya go!


                      Anyway, I am even more bemused when I get to watch someone do something that I find incredibly challenging - be it a reverse slam dunk or keeping a bunch of tennis balls suspended in mid-air in twirly fashion. Yup, juggling – any kind of juggling – just fascinates me! But what separates the really expert jugglers from ordinary rank novices is execution. Some can execute and some can’t. Compare that half time show a few games back that featured those off-sync dancing housewives with The Fine Gentleman Who Could Juggle Quite Well. Sadly, the dancing mom’s were blessed more with good intentions than talent, They couldn’t execute! The Fine Gentleman Who Could Juggle Quite Well's performance was, by contrast, crisp, brisk and professional. Actually, its simple and easy going nature belied the challenge. The Fine Gentleman Who Could Juggle Quite Well could execute, making the intricate act juggling seem almost routine.

                      Oh, and did I mention The Fine Gentleman Who Could Juggle Quite Well only had one arm? Hey, I didn't call him handicapped in this review one time, did I?. And neither would he! GRADE: A-

                      The Founding Five The Philadelphia 76ers' name is obvious given the City of Brotherly Love's connections to the founding of this country. But what isn't quite as well known is the Founding Fathers' connection to the great game of basketball. In what has become forgotten history, the seemingly uptight marble men of early America were actually wizards on the hardwood. In fact, when they weren't busy deciding how to run the country, many of our wig-wearing founders played a mean game of 5-on-5 street ball. In an exclusive Area 55 discovery (the perks of being a hard-nosed-lead-digging-journalist) I've discovered a written transcript of the player introductions from one of those very games. Apparently all players were introduced by Frederick Muhlenberg, the nation's first Speaker of the House (irony anyone?).

                      "Ladies and Gentlemen! Welcome to Providence Hall! Get ready to meet your Philadelphia Freedom Fighters!

                      Head coach of the Freedom Fighters, is BEN "ELECTRIC B" FRANKLIN!!!!!!!!!

                      Your starting point guard, from King's College, standing at 5' 7" and wearing Number 0, get loud for ALEXANDER "MONKEY MAKER" HAMILTON!!!!!!!

                      At shooting guard, from Boston Latin School, at 5' 7" and wearing Number 76, give it up for HENRY " FOXY NOXY" KNOX!!!!!!

                      At small forward, from Harvard, at 5' 7" and wearing Number 2, get rowdy for JOHN "THE VP" ADAMS!!!!!!!

                      At power forward, from the University of William and Mary, towering in at 6' 2" and wearing Number 3, make some noise for THOMAS "CHOCOLATE MILK" JEFFERSON!!!!!!!!

                      And at center, from Mount Vernon, standing tall at 6' 2" and wearing Numero Uno, get on your feet for THE ONE! THE ONLY! TEAM CAPTAIN! G-DUB! THE GENERAL! GEORGE. WASHINGTOOOOOOOOOON!!!!!!"

                      From what I've read, John Hancock made for quite the sixth man.

                      That’s enough for now, campers. Remember, the Sixers must be fended off tonight! With Lance out, we’ve gotta step in and be Frank’s extra man.

                      GO PACERS! GO AREA 55!
                      Last edited by IndyHoya; 12-15-2012, 11:22 AM.


                      • #56
                        Re: The all new 2012/13 Area 55, G2 Zone & PTO thread....

                        AREA 55 NEWS YOU CAN TAKE TO THE BANK!!!!!!

                        Salutations, fellow 55ers!

                        Hello Area 55. This is second year vet Jon LaFollette here, composing my third newsletter of the season. President Joe is still rather busy with his ever-important-lawyerly-type-stuff and with me, familiar with all the inside poop on Utah, it was decided that once again that I, rather than Joe, would author the Newsletter.

                        OK. Concedely, we must start on a bit of a down note. So, go on. Take a moment to reflect on last night's loss to the Bucks of Milwaukee.

                        Take some deep breaths. Now exhale. Do it again. OK, here it comes: Acceptance. Inner peace. Move on. Repeat as many times as needed.

                        Still not over it? Well get on with life. Too bad, but its no time to mope over the unchangeable. Besides, the boys in blue and gold do have a game tonight at Bankers Life (their lone home stand for the week) against native son Gordon Hayward and the Utah Jazz.

                        Where the Pacers were burned for 53 points by the Bucks' Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis, a pair of highly potent guards, the team tonight faces an entirely different kind of animal in Utah -- a very BIG animal. Where Milwaukee is quick footed and reliant on undersized wings, the Jazz sport one of the more formidable lineups of big men in the NBA. Al Jefferson, their biggest big, averages 17 points and 10 rebounds a game in his seventh season. While starting power forward Paul Millsap is small for his position (a paltry 6' 8"), he's strong, scrappy, and can stretch the floor with his ability to hit the long ball (he's averaging a career best 46 percent from 3-pt. land). And while he doesn't take too many shots from the behind the arc, he's still someone the Pacers must respect and guard tenaciously - a task which will fall to David West, who is taller and more muscular than Millsap, if a bit slower and less athletic.

                        The Jazz have another duo of bigs coming off the bench in forward Derrick Favors (third year) and Turkish center Enes Kanter (second year), both products of the team's trade with the (now) Brooklyn Nets involving former Jazz point guard, Deron Williams. While these two are still young and learning the ropes of professional basketball, both were highly touted lottery picks who, despite limited minutes, are already showing signs of their true potential. They will pose matchup problems in the paint for Tyler Hansbrough and Ian Mahinmi.

                        All of Utah's bigs mean they're a handful on the glass right? Well, not necessarily. For the Jazz, it's a case of the glass being half-empty and half-full. While they own the fifth best offensive rebounding rate in the league, they're second worst at defensive boards (a category the Pacers are second best in). And while the Jazz post an eighth best 104 points per 100 possessions, they allow their opponents to score just as many points, meaning they have one of the 10 worst defenses in the league. Obviously these things contradict each other, and are reflected in the teams' 14-12 record.

                        Despite their contradictions, the Jazz are the winners of five of their last seven games, including a 92-90 come-from-behind victory in Brooklyn last night. And while I've spent most of this Newsletter pontificating on the rather large nature of the team, their wings are noteworthy in their own regards. Starting PG Mo Williams, a well-traveled veteran and underrated for his efficiency, is averaging 13 points and 7 assists per game. Shooting guard Randye Foye, despite shooting just 40 percent, is also putting up a respectable 11 points per game.

                        Utah’s backup point guards include former Pacers Earl Watson (who is constantly hurt) and Jamaal Tinsley (no explanations needed). Tinsley has found a niche role as a distributor and averages 7 assists per game.

                        It goes without saying that Gordon Hayward is the team's most notable player when it comes to central Indiana. Famous for his days at Brownsburg High School (my alma mater - CLASS OF 2007 REPRESENT!!!!), where he helped the Bulldogs win a state championship in 2008, and Butler University, where he took THOSE Bulldogs to a Final Four and a national championship game. Hence, there will be many in attendance tonight sporting the blue and gold (or green) of Utah with the number 20 on their chest. Try to pay them no mind. They're not Jazz fans, just Gordo fans who are coming to cheer on a hometown boy done good. It may be obnoxious to see Indy residents wearing Jazz gear over Pacers merch, but better a Hayward fan than a Heat or Lakers bandwagoner I say.

                        From what I've read in a few rumor mill sites on the web, former Pacers GM Larry Bird thought long and hard about drafting Hayward in the 2010 NBA Draft. Some articles went so far as to claim that Bird told Hayward he was going to become a Pacer on draft night with the tenth pick should he have been available. However, the Jazz selected him with the ninth, leaving the Pacers to take Paul George. Many, including myself, think the Pacers picked the one with more upside, but Hayward, who currently fills a sixth man role at Utah, has turned into a serviceable player in his own right. At 6' 8", he can guard both the two and the three positions and is the team's best wing defender. He is consistently chosen to guard the opposing team's best player. Last year, he ranked in the top ten in several individual defensive categories - including steals per 36 minutes. However, this year Hayward’s offense has been down. Despite putting up 13 points per game, he's averaging a career low 40 percent from the field.

                        WHAT TO WATCH

                        Tonight's game will be won from the inside out, beginning with Al Jefferson and Roy Hibbert. For Jefferson's 7-foot frame and ability to score, he's a lousy defender. Where Hibbert averages 3 blocks per game, Jefferson barely manages a single block (Rik Smits much?). Jefferson’s known for letting other bigs score almost at will on him for certain stretches of the game. Thus, perhaps this will be a matchup that could give Roy a much needed spark. There’s no better tonic for a center’s offensive woes that a counterpart who can’t play defense..

                        Paul George, who struggled in the second half in Milwaukee last night, will have to rekindle the energy that helped him post Granger-esque numbers (23 points, 7 boards, 4 assists) last week and earned him his Eastern Conference Player of the Week Award.

                        David West has to contain Milsap.
                        Lance Stephenson, who missed two key fastbreak layups last night in his first game back from an ankle injury, has to make better decisions in important moments.

                        The bench played their best game of the season last night, scoring 36 points on 10-of-20 shooting, including 16-of-20 from the charity stripe. They must keep up this energy against Utah, who have one of the deeper bench units in the league.

                        CONFESSIONS OF A CLOSET JAZZ FAN "Wow, Jon. You sure do have a rather deep knowledge of the Utah Jazz,"

                        Why, yes. random inquisitive Area 55 member. That's because, after my Pacers, the Jazz are my second favorite basketball team.

                        "TRAITOR!!!" you'll shout.

                        "NAY!" I reply.

                        Only a handful of my Area 55 buddies know of my secret, and almost every one of them has the same response.

                        "Dude! You can only have ONE team!"

                        Nonsense. Who made up that rule? That's a rather stupid rule if you ask me. My fiercely independent nature refuses to be shackled by such ridiculous constrictions. As much as I love my Pacers, and will bleed blue and gold until my dying breath (and most likely will be buried with some kind of Pacers garb on), I rely on the Jazz to be my lone obsession away from the hoopla and craze of Pacers basketball that I share with my friends and fellow fans.

                        "But why the Jazz?"

                        Well, if you must know, I've had family in the Salt Lake area my entire life. No, my family is not part Mormon. They are transplanted Hoosiers who found employment in Utah several years before I was born. Thus, it was natural for me to adopt Utah as a second team as it were. That's one reason. Another reason is because I found myself cheering for the Jazz at the height of their Stockton-Malone days in the '90s. At that time the Bulls were an insurmountable monolith that the then-Pacers could never hope to topple. I desperately cheered for vengeance for my Number One team whenever the Jazz squared off against Chicago in the Finals – something they did during back-to-back seasons. Never one to be a fair-weather fan, I've stuck by the Jazz in years thereafter through thick and thin. But never, and I mean NEVER will I cheer for them over my Pacers. So don't worry about hearing wayward Utah chants in the confines of Area 55 tonight from my larynx. Tonight, the Jazz will be my enemy.

                        "Still... the Jazz?"

                        Shut up. At least their not the Knicks or Lakers.

                        PTO Fun LaFollette’s gone. It’s Lame Duck Area 55 Prez Joe from here on out. Sadly, we’ve neglected the Pacers Tailgating Organization in the last couple of Newsletter issues. This is largely due to the fact that its normally bubbly and cherubic VP and GM, Casey O’Brien, has not been in attendance. A saturnalia is just not a saturnalia without a nude Casey O’Brien there shivering in a cold parking area.

                        A convicted arsonist, O’Brien has been away dealing with some legal issues stemming from some of his many probation violations. The latest wrinkle in his criminal history arises from a court-ordered Community Service stint that required him to perform work as a Christmas bell-ringer for the Salvation Army. In some sort of mix-up, the funds garnered by O’Brien from the bell-ringing failed to find their way to the Army’s coffers and in a petty act of retribution they refused to sign his Community Service paperwork. Hopefully, O’Brien will still be able to spend Christmas with his wife and kids. We’re all pulling for ya, Casey!

                        Anyway, here’s amends for our neglect of PTO happenings. In another bit of Christmas cheer I’ve selected this video of El Pacero’s encounter with a homeless lady from the vault of “Great Moments in PTO History” to enliven your drab holiday lives. P.S., in case you’re wondering, Pacero did manage to get his Championship Women Wrestling Belt back from the homeless lady – but that’s another story!


                        A-Caroling We’ll Go! Just got this in from irrepressible holiday guy Rob Laycock:


                        What do you think about singing some Christmas Carols again this holiday season? It was fun two years ago. We could even film it at the game tonight. Thoughts?


                        I responded positively. However, we need to sing something. So, put pen to paper quickly, 55ers and come up with some Pacers – oriented Christmas Carols. If all else fails, we can reprise “Roy, Roy, Roy” (sung to the tune of Jingle Bells). If you do come up with something, shoot it to my pronto at so we can distribute copies to all merry carolers wishing to be participatory.

                        Did Gordon Hayward Play the Banjo in “Deliverance”? OK, I gave closet- polygamist, Fighting John LaFollette, his opportunity to bare his soul about his perverse love affair with Utah. But now I’m briefly back briefly from my mundane legal day job to re-align the balance. I did not attend either Brownsburg High or Butler University. Consequently, I have no biased axes to grind and my Utah gloves are off!.

                        First, am I, Joe Murphy, the only NBA fan that has noted the strong facial resemblance between Gordon Hayward and that backwoods, inbred banjo-picker that cameoed so importantly in the movie “Deliverance”? You be the judge:

                        First, some mood music:

                        Now, take a good look at Gordo:

                        Now here’s the “Deliverance” Gordo Look-Alike a-pickin’ and a-grinnin’?


                        I maintain there’s something seriously genetic going on here!

                        Oh, Those Mormon Homiest! Utah’s jazzy B-ballers play their games at the “Energy Solutions Arena,” usually before rabid fans known for their vociferous partisanship. This fact has not gone unnoticed in the nightmare world of “Whoops, I didn’t really mean to say that” NBA punditry where one little slip can end a lucrative broadcasting career.

                        In a 2008 radio broadcast, ESPN's NBA sideline yapper, Ric Bucher, suggested that the reason Utah was one of the toughest places to play was because their fans are so pent-up and frustrated because, you know, well, they're…Mormons. Bucher advanced his thesis thusly:

                        "It is the most intimidating place to play because of the configuration of the arena…and let’s be honest, they are Mormons, they are in Salt Lake, and there is nothing else there. You know, [Mormons] gotta smile and be happy all the time. This is the one opportunity for people to get vicious in a fair arena. And the fans seem to take full advantage of it.”

                        Jazz fans and clean-living polygamists alike were so pissed at Bucher’s remarks that they inundated ESPN with complaints and forced both Bucher and ESPN to apologize.
                        Bucher was thusly contrite:

                        “I knew immediately that I had made an inappropriate connection between Mormons and the harsh reception that opposing teams sometimes experience inside Energy Solutions Arena. I regret making that connection and apologize to anyone of the Mormon faith for having done so. And (I hope) that all citizens of Salt Lake City will find it in their hearts to welcome me as hospitably as they have in the past."

                        Some NBA players have also had occasion to comment on the enthusiasm of the Salt Lake City fan base:

                        Following a 1997 playoff road loss by the Bulls to the Salt Lake City-based Jazz, Dennis Rodman said,

                        “It’s difficult to get in sync because of all the (expletive deleted) Mormons out here. And you can quote me on that.”

                        Many sportswriters did just that. NBA hell ensued. Afterwards, Dennis said that his remarks were brought on by Jazz fans that were making obscene gestures at him. However, according to press reports, Rodman supposedly had also made lewd comments about Mormons on two prior occasions.

                        Like Bucher, Rodman too was quickly and sincerely apologetic:

                        “If I knew it was like a religious-type deal, I would have never said it. I’m sorry about that.”

                        Phil Jackson, Rodman’s protector and coach at the time, tried to explain and enhance Dennis’ act of contrition by noting,

                        “To Dennis, a Mormon may just be a nickname for people from Utah. He may not even know it’s a religious cult or sect or whatever.”

                        Dennis later received a $50,000.00 fine for his intemperate comment, the largest fine up to then ever assessed on a player for his remarks.

                        So it goes.

                        Al Jefferson! Watch Your Back! As we all know, NBA basketball players are human beings. They have lives off-court. Some, however, have livelier lives than others. Back in another December a couple of years ago, Utah Jazz center Al Jefferson made a frantic call to local police. Why? Al, it seems, had been viciously attacked by his girlfriend, Shirley Lewis.

                        According to the probable cause statement filed by police in the case, a verbal argument at Jefferson’s Cottonwood Heights mansion took place between Lewis, 38, and Jefferson, 26. The argument then escalated to violence when Lewis allegedly hit Jefferson and then bit him on his back.

                        Jefferson refused to discuss the incident at Utah’s media day for the 2011-12 season.

                        "It’s a personal matter and I’m done talking about it. I want to discuss basketball. I know you’ve got some good questions about basketball, right?"

                        Reporters gave Jefferson space. But Big Al did take a moment to reflect on a strong seven-year professional career that sometimes has been overshadowed by off-court drama

                        "It’s life, man. Life is full of adjustments, full of changes. It’s life."

                        So true!

                        Hey, Look! It’s Olive Gordon! As my counterpart, Fighting Jon has previously mentioned, former Butler Bulldog standout, Gordon Hayward, is now a millionaire serving as a reliable 6th man at forward off the Utah bench. However, success has not spoiled Gordo. Last year, in a jaunt to New York City, one of America’s culinary capitals, Gordon was found dining not in one of Little Italy’s finest dining spots. Instead, he opted for a $13 meal at a Times Square Olive Garden. The press was intrigued and asked him for a review.

                        Gordon’s assessment of his menu choice (The Olive Garden’s “Original Spaghetti with Meat Sauce”)?

                        “It was good!”

                        When asked where he went for lunch between the Jazz’s morning shoot-around and their game with the Knicks, Gordon’s comment was similarly emphatic and terse:


                        Well, that’s it, 55ers. Be loud, proud, and nasty tonight. But if you are so inclined, make Gordon feel at home. Toss him a can of verbal Spaghetti-Os.

                        GO PACERS! GO AREA 55!


                        • #57
                          Re: The all new 2012/13 Area 55, G2 Zone & PTO thread....

                          I guess I could understand cheering for the home town guy. If he just wasn't, you know, from Brownsburg...

                          Danville native

                          A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.
                          Or throw in a first-round pick and flip it for a max-level point guard...


                          • #58
                            Re: The all new 2012/13 Area 55, G2 Zone & PTO thread....

                            As a Ben Davis grad and rival by proxy to Brownsburg, I concur.

                            The "Drunken Frat Boys" ride again!
                            "Nobody wants to play against Tyler Hansbrough NO BODY!" ~ Frank Vogel

                            "And David put his hand in the bag and took out a stone and slung it. And it struck the Philistine on the head and he fell to the ground. Amen. "


                            • #59
                              Re: The all new 2012/13 Area 55, G2 Zone & PTO thread....

                              The Area 55/G2 Zone Christmas carol video is posted on the Pacers website, for those interested in viewing.


                              • #60
                                Re: The all new 2012/13 Area 55, G2 Zone & PTO thread....

                                Well, The G2/Area55/A VERY SNEAKY BillS Christmas Carol video is posted....

                                "Nobody wants to play against Tyler Hansbrough NO BODY!" ~ Frank Vogel

                                "And David put his hand in the bag and took out a stone and slung it. And it struck the Philistine on the head and he fell to the ground. Amen. "