A slice of bacon: I'm still swinging

By Shane Bacon
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Wednesday, November 2, 2005

Writer's block seldom comes to me. I can usually breeze through columns, journalism papers, e-mails to my mom and instant messenger conversations without too much hesitation.

But for some reason, I'm staring at my 12-inch Apple Powerbook G4, and it is doing the same thing - staring back.

I guess I could pump out a column about how our football team hasn't been televised since Watergate but seems to play better when it isn't.

I could go on about the wasted year that is 2005 Arizona football, and how only an upset win against UCLA on Saturday in front of an always enthusiastic Homecoming crowd (and an away victory against the Tempe Underachievers over Thanksgiving) could save the 2005 season (and possibly head coach Mike Stoops).

I could rant about men's basketball head coach Lute Olson's squad, and how the freshman duo of J.P. Prince and Marcus Williams could get this team over that "If I ever hear about the Illinois game again, I might hire a hit man to take out Deron Williams" hump we've been in since that terrible day March 26.

I think that if they had a Procrastinators Hall of Fame, a mandatory rule would have to be that only upperclassmen qualify, because putting stuff off when you're my age takes on a whole new meaning.

I would love to write a complete story about how much I look up to sophomore guard Jawann McClellan and the way he's dealing with the passing of his father.

McClellan stands in front of camera after camera, court decision after heartbreaking court decision, calling his deceased parent "Daddy" and still having the look of a determined champion in his eye.

I think a great story, which I'm sure will be running five times a day in other newspapers, is that of true freshman quarterback/second coming of Christ Willie Tuitama, who was the first Wildcat under center to pass for more than 300 yards since a kid named Jason Johnson did it when I was a freshman in 2002.

I thought about laying out this year's men's hoops roster, adjusted under the condition that nobody could jump to the NBA until he graduated college. That would include the 76ers' Andre Iguodala starting at forward and Ndudi Ebi, who was released by the Timberwolves on Monday, as a force off the bench.

I really wanted to put together a witty, clever piece that included a ton of references to how much fun it is to tailgate on Homecoming Saturday, but local police decided that red tags and the ghetto bird weren't enough to ruin students' fun, so they'll be making the UA Mall a tougher place to party in.

I say for every third checkpoint we have to walk through this weekend, we actually duct-tape our driver's licenses to our foreheads.

I would give a hopeful spin on the UCLA game, but I already did that against Southern California last month, and look where that got us. The problem is I have a great feeling about beating the Bruins this weekend.

The opposite side of the spectrum is the Wildcats' record against national top-10 opponents.

Since 1979, when the NCAA started keeping these records, Arizona has had success against top-10 teams similar to Adam and Eve's against satanic temptations.

Stoops' squad is going to have to look past the Wildcats' 8-30-1 record against top-10 foes and forget the 52-28 beating we took last time UCLA was in the top 10 (No. 5 in 1998).

I could bitch about not getting basketball tickets; about how I only have $33 in my account; about the depression I'm facing with turning 22 (the start of the not-fun-anymore birthdays); and about this writer's block. But I guess I could just take the advice I heard from one of my baseball coaches back some yearsv ago:

"If you don't bring your 'A' game, just keep swinging till you hit something."

Shane Bacon is a journalismsenior. He can be reached at sports@wildcat.arizona.edu.