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Cardiac Spill: The Five Opinions about Pitt Basketball in 2017, Translated

There are only five opinions on Kevin Stallings’ team right now. Here are all of them, and what you really mean when you’re expressing each one.

NCAA Basketball: Florida State at Pittsburgh Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

What You’re Really Saying: Kevin Stallings is bad at his job. Kevin Stallings took a good team and made it bad. He now has a bad team. I do not know what you can do to ruin a bad team, but I will know after this season is over, because that’s what Kevin Stallings will do.

This team is going to lose so, so many games. I’ve always wondered how many games a team could lose in a season. Everyone insists you can only lose as many games as are on your schedule. These are the same people who told me that I couldn’t fit more than a dozen eggs in a carton. I showed them.

Kevin Stallings lives in a house for losers, but he got kicked off the air mattress in the finished part of the basement and now he has to sleep on the non-insulated concrete below the extended kitchen. The house for losers he lives in, by the way, got that kitchen extension done thanks to a grant from Boston College, who also lives in the house and Kevin Stallings is worse than. The kitchen was furnished by Capital Cooking Equipment, an oven company who, if it were a basketball coach, would be a better basketball coach than Kevin Stallings. Kevin Stallings can only make toast, and he doesn’t even do a very good job making toast, because he is bad.

Kevin Stallings blocks recruits from transferring. Chris Christie hangs out on a beach. Same difference. Kevin should be fired and replaced by the gorgeous, virginal milkmaid, whose nose wrinkles when she gives off her fluttering laughs, whose sighs are songs and whose songs are symphonies.

What You’re Really Saying: Slow your roll there, babydoll! We were starting from scratch anyway, ain’t no thing! And you know what all the hepcats and moondogs say... TRUST THAT M—————-IN’ PROCESS, DADDY-O! We got the dames in our backseat and we are headed to the malt shop. Only a real square would try to head straight to Lover’s Lane, if you catch my drift. You gotta play the slow game, honeyknuckle!

And you know we’re on our way! Just look at those stars - and no, sugarsnaps, I’m not talking about the ones in your eyes snookiepie. Count ‘em - one, two, three! Three stars across the board on those recruiting sites, babycakes. You’ve never seen this many stars on one court (not unless you’ve been to the Hollywood YMCA, that is!) and they’re coming down the tracks quicker than a jackrabbit who just took a swig of Doc Swishly’s Quik-Me-Up Tonic! Maybe they’ll take a hot second to figure out when to Watusi and when to twist, but before you can say “bingo bango” these jazz rascals will be mashing potatoes like a hammering maniac loosed in Boise. That’s the process, juggymugs, and it’s happening right before our eyes. Just you watch.

What You’re Really Saying: Basketball doesn’t start until football ends, and as mediocre as the football team has been I have stared into the coming abyss and I have come to a simple conclusion: No, Thanks. As such, I will throw whatever twigs I can find into the dying embers of the football season as long as it means that I don’t have to sit in the darkness with the basketball team. My plan is to hope that they make one of those weird January bowl games and then by the time they finally play it I can sneak out of the back door until the spring game or so. Failing that, I will learn to love amateur wrestling. Think I’m bluffing? Try me. I did it for a week last year. It can’t be that hard to keep going.

What You’re Really Saying: uhhhhhhhhhhhhh yeahhhhh uhhhhhhhhhh im a straight up baby, im literally a dum**ss f*eakin baby, i don’t know things and so everything is great because who knows what’s gonna happen, i mean, i don’t know what’s gonna happen so no one knows what’s gonna happen, thanks. everything in the future is a total surprise because “the past” stretches back like six days maybe, every thursday is the first thursday i remember, im a constantly-emptied browser history of a human being and that’s the way i like it.

you know nothings impossible. someone told me that once. (i think they got it from a book but i dont know because im dumb as hell!!!) everything could happen. you dont know. a du*b**ss baby like me could count all of the grains of sand on the planet in one second maybe. it could totally happen, and if that could happen this team could guess plays right a buncha times and the ball could be magic and they could win some basketball games against like Duke and cr*p, you never know

i dont know how sports work, because i don’t know how anything works, so if there’s anything in the past that would give me any sort of idea with regard to what to expect from this new team don’t bother showing me cuz i will deny its meaning, cuz nothing happened more than a week ago, the world is new and shiny and the future is entirely unwritten., namaste or wahteber

anyway my life’s awesome every day is a new adventure you never know what’s gonna happen history is useless. im gonna go try to do a kickflip../ bye

What I’m Really Saying: There’s this culling process that happens in Benedum every freshman year, where at some point pretty early on in the process these kids who want to become engineers have to sit down and be asked why they want to be engineers. And some of them realize it’s just because they think they’ll make money, and they don’t want to have to know stuff - but then they realize knowing stuff is part of what they signed up for, so they cut bait real quick. Some of them, though, they have this story for an answer. And it’s always the same story: about how when they were a kid, like when they were seven or eight years old, their mom came back in from the garden/home from the QuikTrip/got out of bed one morning to find them in the kitchen/the garage/the bathroom with all the parts of the toaster/the bicycle/the dog/the alarm clock were splayed out on the table, and them staring intently at the mess they made, all bright-eyed ‘n’ fulla spunk, trying to figure out how it all worked. And they’d always had that tinkerer’s spirit, and that’s why they wanna be an engineer.

That was kind of like how I was. Except I never destroyed to understand. And even today, all I want is to be left in a hotel room with a sledgehammer, the promise of a forgiving maid, and a blank check. Whenever I’m near a piano I just try to hit as many notes at once as I can. No middle sliders.

Destruction is fun and cool.

So as much as I enjoy rooting for a good team who wins games and does well, a part of me will always be excited for what’s coming up this year. That’s why the results from the exhibition game disappointed me so much: they implied that these guys know, at least roughly, how to play basketball. Screw that! I want misery. I want it to hurt so bad I start laughing. Regular bad is just boring. At least it sounds like all of the competent-sounding players are getting injured - maybe I’ll get the fiasco I crave after all. Because If we’re going to be trash, we need to be phenomenal trash. We will be a tire fire that burns in glorious technicolor, committing penalties no one outside the highest referee-priests have ever even heard of. Breaking rules that were not designed to be broken, that’s the real ticket. There will be YouTube compilations of our flubs and miscues, and they will be long and viewed with sick grins by our enemies. Let them view it! I have now lit every fuse in the fireworks box, and I’m not running away. If I don’t see a show and earn some scars to show for storytime, this season will have been a waste.

And then fire Stallings and start the rebuild.

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