Jan 292004
Authors: Joshua Pilkington

Fair-weather fans of the world unite! A note your way cometh.

Someone please send out a memo to our dear friend and colleague,

Joe Scott. It appears he has yet to grasp the fact that a team with

no history, no height and no visible talent can start to put

together an 11-game winning streak against quality teams and start

the season 4-0 in conference play. We would call this resurgence in

Air Force hoops, but shouldn’t there be a surgence before there is

a resurgence? We’re not blowing smoke here ladies and gents, since

becoming part of the now defunct Western Athletic Conference in the

1980-81 college hoops season, the Falcons have never had a winning

conference record. In fact, the best our neighbors to the south

have ever finished in conference play (Mountain West included) was

6-10 in 1988-89. That was also the last season Air Force finished

with a non-losing record (14-14). Their secret? Try an offense so

slow and deliberate that it puts opposing players and fans to

sleep, a group of smart players who can execute such an offense and

a team-first attitude. The team now sits at 13-2 and is two

conference wins shy of matching their school-record six conference

wins, but before we start up the band at Clune Arena, let’s keep in

mind this is Air Force. They may be off to a good start now, but as

soon as those 3s stop dropping and opposing teams start taking Jolt

in place of their Gatorade, things will change. They have to, don’t

they? …

Staying in the MWC our focus now turns to Moby Arena and the

impending Border War with the ‘Pokes of Wyoming. Watching Matt

Nelson limp to the training room Thursday night was painful, yet

our confidence is with the Rams even if the 7-foot junior won’t be.

The reason is simple: for to long the Rams have fallen just short

of defeating the ‘Pokes in the regular season. Last season it was

poor free throw shooting that caused a nail-biting 77-79 loss at

home and a late-game collapse that led to a 60-62 loss in Laramie.

Most of the roster remembers those losses and head coach Dale Layer

and his boys will not let it happen again. Count on J-Rack (Jon

Rackieki), D-Boat (Dwight Boatner), the leaping legend (Micheal

Morris) and the Big Sho (Shelton Johnson) taking Wyoming guard Jay

Straight and company out of their game and coming up with a big

win. … Speaking of Nelson it’s unfortunate he goes through what

he does. When asked how his knee felt the center responded: “It

hurts like hell.” Wincing and wobbling in and out of the training

room is not the way Nelly should be remembered after his tenure

here is done. Here’s hoping a happy, healthy end looms for No. 54.

Beyonc� Knowles singing the National Anthem; Janet

Jackson, P-Diddy, Kid Rock and Nelly lip singing at halftime; the

Budweiser twins and the Cat Fight girls; $2.25 million commercials

and a $20 pay-per-view Lingerie Bowl; oh yeah, there might be a

game this week in Houston as well. … The biggest difference

between Super Bowl I and Super Bowl XXXVIII? The outcome of the

game actually mattered.

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