Thursday, December 29, 2016

Bourbon Popcorn Chicken

THE GAME: UCLA vs Oregon

My favorite UCLA basketball team was the 1995 team. I realize this is an obvious statement to make, as they are the only UCLA basketball team of my lifetime to win a championship. It's like me saying "My favorite of the Karate Kid movies is the original" or "My favorite Angels outfielder is Mike Trout" - I'm not sure who would ever argue with me.

However, my dad went to UCLA back when championships were the norm - they won the title every year he attended, including graduate school - and even he said that 1995 team was his favorite.

That team only lost one game all season: at Oregon.

So last night, I had a bad feeling about this year's #2-ranked Bruins taking on #21 Oregon in Eugene. It had all the makings of an upset.

NOTES ON THE FOOD:
  • I'd love to pretend like I marinated fresh chicken in buttermilk and then breaded it by hand... but I didn't. I used frozen Foster Farms popcorn chicken. It had been a long day. 
  • I love Sweet Baby Ray's "Kickin' Bourbon" sauce. I have to drive several miles to purchase it, because none of the stores near me carry it.
  • Some buttermilk barbecue sauce for dipping - it reads "spicy" on the label but there is nothing spicy about it. It's still good, though. 
  • I was at Party City the other day, buying candy to put in people's Christmas stockings, when I saw these basketball-themed toothpicks. They're kind of cheesy, but I still bought them. 


NOTES ON THE GAME:
  • My heart sank when I saw Bill Walton would be announcing the game. Drinking Budweiser and listening to Bill Walton: Two things guaranteed to give me a headache within five minutes. 
  • I keep thinking that one of these years I will watch an Oregon home game and think You know, the floor really isn't that bad.
  • This isn't the year. That court is fucking hideous.  
  • Oregon had a 12-point lead and all the momentum with three minutes left in the half. Then they committed a flagrant foul and UCLA went on a run to cut the lead to five at the half. The Ducks just can't help themselves.
  • If you're the #2 team in the country, you shouldn't be giving up 52 points in a (20-minute) half to anyone. As I said to my friend Patrick the other night, their lack of defense is going to cost them games. 
  • Walton spoke consecutive sentences, but didn't seem to connect how funny they are (which should surprise no one): There are only two Ducks currently in the NBA. Meanwhile, Aaron Holiday has two brothers in the NBA. 
  • UCLA blew a 4-point lead with 17 seconds left in the game. That was a very UCLA-like thing to do. 
  • Oregon fans rushed the court when there was still time on the clock. That was a very Oregon-like thing to do.
  • That was Lonzo Ball's first loss since his junior year of high school. 

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