"What should I do?"
Akron's second-most famous citizen LeBron James (after former Buffalo Bills great Antoine Winfield) once said those words in a commercial. That pretty much sums up how we all feel before this season.
What should I do? Should I get excited for the game? Should I assume it won't happen and be pleasantly surprised if it does?
There are so many unknowns, although as I write this, the game is still on. *crosses fingers* Not to jinx it, but I personally feel like this game will actually happen with both the Bonnies and Akron Zips emerging from COVID pauses. It sucks we never went to Bubbleville, but at least we didn't have to dodge the COVID-$19.99 buffet that St. Joe's was at when they played in Fort Myers with Gonzaga. (Gee, I $ure wonder why the Zag$ were $till able to play Auburn and We$t Virginia de$pite having po$itive ca$e$... I gue$$ we'll never know...)
Anyways, as far as we know, whoever had the virus on the Bonnies has recovered and is healthy. It's honestly what's most important in all of this. As long as Our Guys are safe, there's only one thing left to do: get back on the quest towards Bona global domination that some of us had booked for March and April of 2022.
That hopefully (please, God) will begin against Akron... in Cleveland? Even in a pandemic when teams are essentially negotiating games in a back alley near The OP, we won't stoop to playing them in the Rubber City, or as they call it in the U.K., the Eraser City.
This game immediately reminds me of the dirtiest I ever felt as a Bonnies fan. In the final game of the Cayman Islands Debacle a few years, we played the Zips at 11 a.m. We were 4-point underdogs, but after sitting through the first two games, I could see what was going to happen next.
So what did I do? Hammered Akron -4. Unfortunately, it was easy money. It is the only time I ever went against the Bonnies. It is truly one of the most shameful things I have done and as some of you may know, that's a high damn bar to clear. Anyways, we are 2 years older, healthier and better than that terrible trip.
This matchup is going to start and end with one Zip named Loren Cristian Jackson. At 5'7", he's more of a Roo than a Kanga, but don't let that fool you. LCJ can score BIG TIME. Despite showing poor judgement by leaving Long Beach State to live in godforsaken Ohio, he's clearly the leader of the Zips. He has averaged over 19 points per game in his two Akron seasons and won MAC player of the year, although just not playing for SUNY-Amherst is an easy way to get votes for that.
In typical 2020 college basketball fashion, there are a lot of unknowns for the Marsupials other than LCJ. The rest of the roster is filled out by transfers or benchwarmers off last year's much better team. Still, unless the Good Guys exploit our size advantage, this could be a very tricky matchup.
Most of Akron's success is because of one man. However, unlike the Cavs building around LeBron, the Zips have built around a less remarkable figure: Keith Dambrot. We will have plenty to say about our old friend Carla Tortelli when (if?) the F'real Cup happens this season, but he rode LeBron's coattails at St. Vincent-St. Mary's to a coaching job at Akron. You would think with the notoriety of coaching the best basketball player of the 21st century would help him build a decent program, right?
Well, not exactly... After four years with only two NIT appearances to show for it, this lame duck somehow got a second term without involving a clearly drunk lawyer who is a national disgrace (and also that Michigan woman who was with Rudy). Akron would then go on to the 2011 and 2013 NCAA tournaments, but that would be it for them before Little Keithy left for the tropical destination of Duquesne.
However, can you blame the Pure Leaf King for leaving the Zips? 90 percent of Akron's identity as a basketball team is tied to LeBron, who never played for them. LeBron is even mentioned in their Wikipedia article before any actual former or current Akron player. It would be like if the Bonnies decided to embrace James Harden because his beard is built to survive an Olean winter and if he stopped at Tiffany's Cabaret in Salamanca once.
Kangaroos are scary animals. I honestly wouldn't be surprised if they were aliens like a lot of those weird animals down in Australia, which I became very fond of through Aussie football being a sports fix for me in the pandemic. Akron has no business using such a badass animal as its mascot. A program that lost six straight to SUNY-Amherst before finally beating the Bulls in February? Need a little more bounce in your step there, Zips...
Probably gonna switch these sections up a bit this season, but since we all need to get back in game shape, we'll stick with the ol' reliable ones for now.
Seven Steps to Victory
Like the 80s band Devo, who's also from Akron, the Zips are a one-hit wonder with LCJ, so just left Kyle Lofton control him in the PG matchup.
If Akron sneaks LeBron on the court, Schmidt just needs to get the only man LeBron is afraid of to guard him: J.J. Barea.
The COVID vaccine getting approved might mean good things for the airline industry, so hopefully that means Flight 33 (Jalen Adaway) will be taking off in his Bonnies debut.
This game is being played at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse and the only time I've been there, I saw Andrew Nicholson and the Magic lose to the Cavs, so let's not have any Bonnies repeat that.
The Bonnies may be 0-1 all-time against Akron, but we are undefeated against them in the United States.
The Bonnies are 6-point favorites and the last major sporting event in Cleveland just a few hours ago ended with the favorite covering! Now I just hope we don't pull a Lamar Jackson and poop ourselves .
Akron is the original home of Goodyear, which is literally the exact opposite of what 2020 has been.
Bonnies A10Talk.com Forum Quote of the Day: "I enjoyed the podcast. Keep up the good work. This virtual shit is the closest we can come to the camaraderie of in-person Bona basketball for a while. Therefore, I have declared your podcasts an essential service and no suck-ass politician is allowed to shut you down for any reason."
Akron Message Board Quote of the Day: "COVID aside, it's a little embarrassing how unprepared Akron seems to be vs. other programs. Even before the 2 week pause, there was hardly a semblance of a schedule prior to MAC play." (Hey, it's not just us!)
It's been 283 days since the St. Louis debacle, let's finally get this season going!