Winning at CRFC comes easy to some, but not as easy as it comes to ìThe Local Hero,î Ed Finn or as he is known on Thursday nights, Ed Fizzle. Today, he steps into the Corner and challenges me get a word in.
1. Ed, obviously, everyone knows you reign from the armpit of America (the Dirty Jersz), but what else can you give us about your past highlights, from basketball to professionally.
I was born and effectively raised in a Jersey City (actually grew up in a suburb after fire destroyed our apartment). I went to high school at a Jesuit school in downtown JC where I played bball, soccer and golf. Athletically, I excelled, but it was likely how most CRFC ballers excelled at that level, and there was limited interest out there for me to continue playing in college.
Otherwise, Georgetown was a trip: I walked out with a double major, but I also pushed the discipline envelope (after being suspended freshman year) about as far as one can. Since, itís been an epic saga of finance and accounting, first in the Big Four and an investment bank, and then the past four years as the head of finance for GetConnected, Inc. in the North End. My resume ñ as well as references ñ are available upon requestÖ
ÖwhoaÖhold upÖare you dozing off? Itís the first damn questionÖ
(Wiping the drool off my chin) Sorry, Ed, I just didnít know someone could say so much in one breath.
2. I loved your Momenta team that use to blow teams out by 50 a few years ago. You guys caught a ton of bad PR on the message boards. What was the teamís thoughts in the clubhouse about all of the hate reigned down on you boys?
That first MNTA squad was a classic case of strategic miscalibration. Let me analogize in terms that you wonít yet understand (Son, I actually want to ask you to go into ìear muffî mode for this). The first time youíre with a woman, only the fool finds himself with Ms. Teen Nude USA. You either grab the simple girl just off the bus from band camp, or you just go straight hogginí. Get your feet wet ñ in a matter of speaking ñ in a sandbox that wonít mar your ego for lifeÖas youíre unlikely to make the ìOne Shining Momentî video during that first session. And if you doÖwell good for youÖjump up a level for season 2Öand so on.
Thatís exactly what MNTA did. All praise to Ben Heywood and his Shaq existenceÖbut we were all new to the gym and had no clue what to expect. We tagged everybody (no pun intended), hid behind the ìwell we still need a workout, donít weî excuse, and moved along. We went to B2 the next season and Fritz ended our perfect season in the finals (his name still makes me shutter, OíCal). Then on to B1, where we surprised even ourselves by running the table, ultimately losing to Adamís tribe in the consolidation match (Iím still a little sore on that one).
I think enough time has past and wounds have healed for me to reveal the truth there. And the fact that I couldnít convert a title in the B-leagues for those guys (only got it with Kool Aid) is a life failure for me, truth be told.
3. Is it true the only reason you asked me to play on your A2 team this season was so I couldnít ref any of your games on Wednesday nights?
Thatís pretty much not all that true, I donít think.
Youíve been consistent with the whistle in my experience, which is the theme for most of the refs at CRFC. NowÖyou can often make it into a mad lib whereby itís ìconsistently ___________,î and then you fill in the blank with your favorite adjectiveÖbut at least itís consistent. For you, Iíd complete that with ìconsistently to be found screened from the play with arms obliviously in the air while strategically standing on the half-court logo.î
I think we should start rigging CRFC refs in Mission Impossible-esque harnesses above the floor and have Serge zip them around like the Monday Night Football ìin the actionî camera. Court coverage would improve 8-fold, though GPís rain-maker shot might clip the ref every once in a whileÖcíest la vie.
4. What is the most fascinating aspect of CRFC hoops?
I want to say the Commishís being a master of capitalistic spin. Particularly when he leverages the old, ìsure, head to Basketball CityÖî line, heís got a stronger snare-like grip on our collective soft stuff than Iíve seen since the creation of OPEC.
But let me seriously offer the court itself relative to the talent. I havenít frequented many menís leagues in the area, so perhaps Iím speaking ignorantlyÖbut I canít get over the level of talent that shows up to play on two connected racquetball courts that require the sides to be 4-on-4. Certainly the stats and website and camaraderie are huge drawsÖbut címonÖitís 4-on-4 where the wallís out and you risk jamming your entire body into itself on the baseline (believe me, I know).
It reminds me of White Eagle Hall on Newark Avenue in Jersey City, where the one of the best programs in America over the last few decades (St. Anthonyís) used to practice daily in a bingo hall where a knee high wall bench was out of bounds, lighting took 45 minutes to warm up, and one basket was held steady on a stage by a stack of 7 old radiators. Thatís classic, character-laden basketballÖand it brings me back, Tical.
B. Is there anyone better than you, at CRFC, at drawing a foul call?
Very unclear, but I appreciate you phrasing it the way you did: ìdrawing a foul call.î People can and will not believe it, but I truly donít ìflop.î I believe in going to the basket, and I believe in doing it hard. I use my body, and I do draw contact. I can imagine that I am pretty difficult to officiate, but I try to keep my grievances on foul calls to a minimum in appreciation of that fact (unless I really get fíd up). But once I commit, my Zeus-like frame is at the mercy of Newtonís three laws, and Iíve come to grips with how those translate into what the walls can and have done to me.
5. Would you ever consider shaving your patented hair and donating it to Britney Spears?
Let me quote the aboriginal Indians of Vermont when I say, ìYou can shear a sheep many times, but you can skin him only once.î Vis-‡-vis Britney, I just canít go thereÖso let me avoid what would be a senseless, venting digression.
The answer to your question is 1) the patent on my coif is pending, actually; 2) your question comes in the wake of my semi-annual ear-lowering, so itís very relevant.
6. 10 years ago, would you have believed anyone if they told you Heaven was located at 215 first St in Cambridge?
Allow me to quote Belinda Carlisleís famed exclamation about heaven beingÖoh, never mind.
Sad to say, CRFCís found me playing some of the best ball of my career (not to mention playing at all), so Iíve much to be thankful for from 215 1st St. And the websiteís cut my internet porn habit by 40%…a huge moral benefit. To call it Heaven at this point would be a stretchÖbut to cross religions, Iíd call it one of my Meccas certainlyÖ
7. If you were stranded on a deserted island and you could only bring 3 things with you, be honest, you would bring some water, Buck Hunter and Jeff Hrkack with you.
Thatís the beauty of Dr. EverythingÖI donít need to bring water. Heíll make it. Depending on the locale of the island, Jeffíll sequester himself with four palm leaves full of sand and a boat-load of reeds. Weíll have Brita-esque indoor plumbing and an operational crapper before Iíve gotten my 9th perfect site (in a row of course) on the Buckhunter machine. That type of synergy in a human thereby affords me another choice. And with the 3rd selection in the 2007 Deserted Island draft, Team EDDIE selects Jon Mazzone (sorry, Tory). Jeff, Mazz and I would then play 1-on-1-on-1 with a coconut and rope net in between B-Hunter treks. Then the staff at Porters would come to rescue me for screwing up their cash flow forecast in not having run up a huge tab in a week or two. I figure Iíd be back stateside by Memorial Day with an average tan, two friends for life, and a lucrative book deal. Weíd all be winners. (Would you write the foreword? That E! Hollywood Story article was priceless.)
Only if the Commish allows me to work on some non-CRFC projects. I traded all the rights of my literary production for 2 Vitamin waters and a new Jersey.
8. Sum up your experience with the championship winning Justice League team last Summer. Dave and Rip still give me crap for my ìOffenseî/îDefenseî substitutions.
DMacÖfineÖheís been working this badass Fu Manchu mustache (a.k.a. The Chopper) of late, and it scares meÖso Iíll plead the 5th there.
But Rip is still on you? That mayíve been your best strategic move since you went triangle-and-2 coaching Medford 5th/6th graders in the 2003 CYO playoffs. Rip hit a 185-foot shot to win it at the buzzer in the semis in a gym that was 114 degrees and pure humidity. Thereís no way he wouldíve had the strength had you not toggled him in and out. I say, ìBravoî to you, OíCal. And anything that inspires and doesnít end up with you being dragged out back and clippedÖis leadership in my eyesÖso take their crap.
That was a great squad on paper that would seemingly and only gel for 90-second increments at a timeÖbut what magical increments. And we got it done ñ regardless of how ñ when it counted and took home the belt. Al Smooth screwed us in year 2Öbut Iím over it.
9. Should college football use a tournament form instead of the 8,000 bowl games and national championship controversy that ensues every year?
1000% percent. Iím in favor of a 16-team March Madness-esque tournamentÖcall it December Delirium or something equally bad. Mirror it to the NCAA selection methodology where all teams are at-large selections, or give Big Blue a break from playing chess and use it to select the 16. To accommodate big business and the economics of it all, let the brands then engage in an auction system, whereby the higher bidders get their names on the cooler rounds and the highest bidder pegs their name on the championship game for the year. It would be four weeks, 15 games of great football.
If not that, then throw it through whatever Flex Capacitor Tibbs is creating to handle the playoffs for the three B1 divisions. Rumor has it Kool Aid has to fly to Tallahassee for our opening round game. At what point will enough be enough with Tibbs – someone please check his urine. Sure Serge is grandfathered in vis-‡-vis ìthe policy,î but Tibbs is relatively new and out of control. He was rolling in a grey silk shirt the other night (I suppose full day-job attire for Tibbs) just 90 seconds before the start of his gameÖand he then tore it away to reveal head-to-toe Wannabe Nasty gear. His Aldos were even tear-away. It was bizarre.
10. Leave us with some of your favorites:
Athlete: John Stockton
TV/Movie Character: Keyser Soze
NíSync Song: (Ok this one was just to see if you were paying attention) CímonÖdo I not have two ears and a heart?
As always Ed, it was my pleasure to have you step into the Corner to give the CRFC following a glimpse into the world of Ed Fizzle. Be off and be merry.