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An Open Letter to PG13

Posted: June 20, 2017 by cschrump in Uncategorized

by Chad Schrump

Image result for paul george

This is going to sound bitter and I don’t want to sound that way.  No, it’s going to sound petty.  Probably somewhat bitter with a splash of petty.  I can live with that.  Here goes…

Dear Paul George,

You want to go home.  Fine.  I get it.  I do.  You’ve made your decision.  Good for you.  You’ll most likely be playing basketball, if not next year, then the following – in front of a whole gaggle of your hometown friends, 2nd cousins, former high school teammates, your sister’s best friend’s brother named Kevin or Kev for short and a whole lot of front running Hollywood megastars that couldn’t tell you the difference between a high ball screen and an eight ball that gets you high.  Fine.  Your call.  Your rules.

But why did you have to screw the Pacers over in the process?  Why did you have to screw an organization that now, will only get pennies on the dollar for your sure to happen fire sale.  Why did you have to shit on the city that supported you through everything?  Hell, I’m typing as fast as I can right now for fear that you’ll be traded before this column drops.  There’s very little doubt that you’ll be gone before Thursday’s NBA Draft.  Damn.  Seems surreal.

What I hate even more is that Paul stuck out his hand, extended his middle finger and told every Indiana Pacers fan to go suck a big, fat egg.  If the Pacers are ultra lucky, they get a decent veteran and a couple of 1st round picks that are probably somewhere in the 20-25th pick range.  If that!  Great.  That’ll certainly replace a player that has 1st Team All-NBA potential.  Awesome.  Thanks, PG.  Appreciate ya.

By dropping the bombshell that he will not re-sign with Indiana after his contract expires and that he prefers playing for his hometown Lakers, what Paul George has done is basically allowed L.A. to keep every asset it has and just wait it out.  They’ll be full strength when he joins.  I told you this was going to happen a month ago when Paul missed out on not being named 3rd Team All-NBA.  REMEMBER?  That was literally the Pacers only shot at keeping this guy.  I hate being right all the time.  I do.

There’s no question that the signs have been pointing to George heading back to Los Angeles for a couple of years now but with the way the NBA has handled free agency – essentially giving the home team a serious advantage in re-signing its stars, I honest to God thought Paul would stay.  I believed he was just flirting with the west coast – just California Dreaming, if you will.  I thought maybe, just maybe – Paul wanted to be this generation’s Reggie Miller.  Guess not.

Then again, Paul George has never been Reggie Miller.  (Strap in – this is where I start getting petty.  I’m okay with it and you should be, too.)  Tell me the last time Paul made a shot at the horn that tied the game or put the Pacers ahead.  I’ll wait…  That’s right, he doesn’t.  Some guys are Batman and some guys are Robin.  Some guys are Paul George.  At least Robin saved the day once in awhile.  When’s the last time Paul did?  Calling Paul George “Robin” is disrespectful to Batman’s favorite chum.

Paul gags more than a 9-month old trying peas for the first time.  With the game on the line, he looks more uncomfortable than Forrest Gump in a Spelling Bee.  Put the Pacers in the lead and Paul might score 40.  Need a clutch shot to save the season – uh, you all saw it… it didn’t draw iron.  Wasn’t close.

Maybe a guy develops into Batman while being rented out for one year before signing with Magic’s Lakers but I don’t see it with PG.  I just don’t.  He’s been here 7 years.  Hasn’t happened yet… unless you count the shot he made in his Gatorade commercial.

He made that one.


Just another guy that used to root for you

Father’s Day and the U.S. Open

Posted: June 18, 2017 by cschrump in Uncategorized

by Chad Schrump

Image result for justin thomas

Happy Father’s Day to our Backdoor Slider readers – especially the dads that get it done, day in and day out, making sure their kids are loved and the things they need to have good, happy childhoods are provided. To hell with you loser dads… you’ll regret being a piece of shit when you’re up there in your old man years so get it fixed now and try to be somebody important to your damn kids.  If that pisses you off, quit reading.  I couldn’t care less.

Anyway, I hope you good dads get to spend some time with your kids, eat a little too much and maybe even play a round of golf. What a day.  One day a year that is almost all about… US!  What a world.

As is a tradition almost as beautiful as The Masters – The U.S. Open will complete its final round when most families are wrapping up their grilling and eating exploits, late this afternoon. Quite frankly, this has been a snooze fest of epic proportions – and yes, I know that Justin Thomas shot a 9-under, 63 yesterday.  It’s the greatest round, relative to par, in U.S. Open history.  So what, I say.  So what?  Yeah, It’s a helluva round, don’t get me wrong but like I said on yesterday’s Backdoor Slider podcast, this isn’t Bethpage Black, people.  This is Erin Hills.  Erin Hills with no wind! I know that 8 of the world’s top 12 missed the cut but I attribute that to major championship pressure.  This golf course isn’t that hard when the winds are down. There were at least three 65’s shot and Thomas’ 63.  You shoot a -9 on Pinehurst #2, Shinnecock Hills or Baltusrol – you’ve got my attention.  Erin Hills?  Meh.

In my book, Johnny Miller still has the most impressive round in U.S. Open history, when he fired a -8, 63 at Oakmont in 1973. Now that’s an incredible round of golf.  You know who agrees with me on that, more than anyone?  Yeah, Johnny Miller.  No doubt!

I know it makes me a shitty golf fan, but I can’t get into this as much without Tiger Woods. He has completely ruined the way I watch golf.  Actually, golf’s television producers ruined the way we all watch golf.  Seems like a lifetime ago but remember that Tiger would hit his drive and the cameras would watch the shot, see it land, gauge his reaction then cut away to try and get 90 seconds of action from the rest of the 120+ players in the field?  Then, he would finally get to his ball, the camera would be right back on him.  He’d begin talking to Fluff or Stevie, mentally dissect the upcoming shot, review the lie, take a club from his caddy, gauge the wind, take a few practice swings, and after about two minutes – finally hit the shot.  And you know what? I loved it!  We loved it! Heaven help you if Woods hit a super slice into the trees, which he did often… good Lord, the camera wouldn’t leave him for 10 minutes while he tried to prepare a shot that would launch through an opening no bigger than a mobile home’s bathroom and cut 50-yards back toward the green.  It was must-see-TV, almost every week.  Then, the camera would quickly jump back to Bruce Lietzke for 7 precious seconds, as he rammed home a 55 foot eagle putt.  You wouldn’t see his celebration because we had to watch Tiger walk the last remaining 40-yards before he got to the green.  Man, those were the days.

So, no Jason Day, Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy – all missed the cut. No Tiger Woods – sucks at being a human lately and has quite the affinity for prescription drugs.  You can recall all of that here.  And no Phil Mickelson – decided he wanted to be a good dad and watch his oldest daughter graduate high school.  Good for Phil.  I’ve read online about the abuse Mickelson has taken for this decision.  How absurd.  They say that Phil only has another five, maybe ten if he’s lucky, legitimate shots at winning that elusive U.S. Open and ultimately, the Career Grand Slam.  Guess what?  Phil has one shot at watching his daughter graduate high school.  One.  She’s not doing it twice.  This is a no-brainer and Phil did the right thing.  Good job, Phil.  There’s no doubt that we miss watching you try to attack this golf course and most likely, failing at obscene level – but good on ya.  Your daughter won’t ever forget what you did to be with her.  Pure class.

Image result for phil mickelson

Once again, here’s to the fathers that do it the right way. I hope you have an outstanding day. Devour an extra hot dog.  Throw down another scoop of baked beans.  Have another piece of pie.  Whatever it takes.  Hopefully, the U.S. Open delivers for us and we’ll get to watch some incredible action.

Maybe you’ll even get a nap in today and hopefully – it won’t be from the golf.

The Finals Prediction Is In!

Posted: June 1, 2017 by cschrump in Uncategorized

by Chad Schrump / @Hoosier_Hoops

Image result for lebron steph

Wake up!  It’s time.  Don’t hit the snooze button!  In case you’ve forgotten, the NBA Finals start tonight.  Finally.  What an absolutely ridiculous delay between the respective Conference Finals and the championship round.  Can you believe that almost a week and a half has passed since Golden State battered and swept the Spurs and a week since Cleveland punked the Celtics in 5?  Can you?  It’s crazy.

Here’s the good news though – The Finals are going to be off-the-charts nasty.  It’s going to be a show on a whole, ‘nother level.  LeBron, KD, Steph, Draymond, Kyrie, KLove and Klay.  Whoa!  There’s no chance I could have waited any longer for this series to start.  Just one more day and I might implode.  But here’s the thing – after about the first 5 minutes of Game One, you’ll have forgotten how long you had to wait to get here.

Golden State has been stewing in a broth of hatred and revenge for 12 months after Cleveland’s favorite son, LeBron James, lead the Cavs back from a 3-1 Finals deficit to deliver Northeast Ohio’s first professional championship in what seemed like 350 years.

So, how upset were the Warriors over their colossal meltdown?  Well, they added the 2nd best basketball player on planet Earth to their mix.  Kevin Durant is the piece that obviously didn’t exist during last year’s championship series and he’s the reason that most experts believe Golden State is the pick to win their 2nd title in the last 3 years.

Here’s the thing though:  It’s not sexy but I promise you that the key to this series for Golden State is Draymond Green.  Like I said a few weeks ago, when Green plays really well, the Warriors are almost unbeatable.  And I believe that.  KD and Steph are gonna get theirs’, and Cleveland knows it – so it’s the Cavs not letting Green control the game and ultimately the series, that will tell this tale.

However, I’m not sold just yet that they’ll walk right through the Cavaliers.  LeBron James is the best player in the world and the gap between him and #2 isn’t close.  I truly think he’s playing better, more consistently, than ever.  Think about that for a second.  LBJ has played some incredible basketball over the years but what he’s doing now is outer worldly.  It’s mystifying.

I mean, LeBron’s trying to win the 6th grade talent show by conducting the London Philharmonic while his competition is trying to juggle three oranges.  He’s flying a spaceship while the rest of the Eastern Conference is praying their biplane doesn’t fall from the sky.  He’s a wrecking ball swinging through single-ply toilet paper.

Thus far, it hasn’t been a fair fight.

So, unlike a majority of the experts, I think this series plays itself out for quite awhile.  It makes a ton of sense to pick the team that has legitimately four of the best 10-12 players in the world in their starting lineup.  There’s a very real possibility that the Warriors have the three best shooters in the league.  I mean, that’s almost laugh out loud funny.  They’ve already won a World Championship and now they added KD?  To that team?  Damn.

But I’m picking LeBron.  In Six.

It’s time.  Wake up!

When Does the Fall Finally Stop?

Posted: May 30, 2017 by cschrump in Uncategorized

by Chad Schrump / @Hoosier_Hoops

I was home, sitting in my recliner late last Wednesday night and as I’m prone to do, checked the ol’ Twitter machine. There, I found an update on Tiger Woods.  That interested me greatly because even through his craziness, and my God, has there ever been anyone with more craziness …he was still one of my favorite athletes of all-time.  “What’s up with Eldrick,” I wondered?

Tiger said he felt as good as he’s felt in a long time and couldn’t wait to compete again. I kinda shook my head and wrote a quick email to myself that said simply, “TW – Write.” I’d been wanting to write something over the weekend and thought that Tiger Woods would be as good of a story as I could think of even though he’d kind of gone off the radar for a spell while recovering from yet another back surgery.  My reminder, so I wouldn’t forget about writing about Tiger Woods, was sent.

After this past weekend, that reminder email to wax poetic about Woods was a complete waste of time as all hell completely broke loose in Tiger World. Woods instantly became story 1A, 1B, and 1C.  A DUI in Jupiter, Florida.  Are you shitting me?  You’ve seen the mug shot.  Jesus, we’ve all seen the mug shot. Damn! It should be captioned with, “Life comes at you fast!”  That’s literally one of the worst pictures I’ve ever seen.  Ever.  His eye lids look like they’re tied down with regulation size bowling balls.  A national punchline – no, oh no – a worldwide punchline staring blankly at a police camera for all of the world to take in.

What the heck, Tiger? Did the police give that wispy hair a noogie on the way to your booking?  You look like a southern Indiana meth head.  What’s happened to you?  Other than Michael Jordan, I have never seen a prouder athlete.  You were above it all.  Now this?

Last Wednesday, Tiger said he felt really good and wanted to think about competing again. Well, after Sunday night’s escapades, no wonder!  That dude’s been feeling good because apparently, he’s been getting higher than a kite.  Hard to feel back pain when you aren’t sure what planet you’re currently inhabiting.

Tiger came out yesterday in an attempt at damage control saying, “I want the public to know that alcohol was not involved. What happened was an unexpected reaction to prescribed medications. I didn’t realize the mix of medications had affected me so strongly.”

Uh, okay. This man is mixing medications, now?!  This guy is taking so many prescription pain killers that Monday morning, he looked like he was dredged up from a lagoon! He’s so high on painkillers that he can’t drive his own damn car without the cops stopping him?  Wow.

This is turning into such a sad, sad story. Tiger Woods was once one of the most iconic figures in the history of sports;  one of the rare athletes that could transcend across all lines – color, religion, economic, gender, etc.  He was appointment television.  He blistered golf balls almost as much as he blistered television ratings.  He collected major golf championships the way children collect seashells on a beach vacation.  How long ago was that, anyway?

We’re all aware of Tiger’s marital transgressions. There’s not been one major championship won since the affairs were exposed for the world to see but even then, a busted marriage happens, right?  Even the world’s best and brightest sometimes fail at marriage.  But this?

It pains me to say but it is apparent that Eldrick Tiger Woods, one of the greatest athletes I’ve ever seen, needs some help.

And for the first time in a very long time, I’m not talking about his golf game.

The Browns Just Did What?

Posted: May 24, 2017 by cschrump in Uncategorized

Image result for ryan grigson

by Chad Schrump / @Hoosier_Hoops

Oh my.  Your favorite NFL shit show, the Cleveland Browns, just did the most Cleveland Browns thing of the last five years by hiring former Colts General Manager, Ryan Grigson as their Senior Personnel Executive.  Pardon me?  Did I just read that correctly?  Holy SHIT!  That’s a crazy move, Cleveland.  Crazy move.  I could see hiring him as Senior Family Ticketing Manager or Senior Practice Facility Scheduling Coordinator but to put him in any type of position to once again evaluate talent?  For a living?  For your team?  Wow.

Certainly the Brownies didn’t forget fleecing Grigson in the whole Trent Richardson for a 1st-round draft pick, right?  Did they make a deal with him that day saying that if/when this trade turns into garbage, we’ll hire you to make things right because inevitably, Jim Irsay will finally come to his senses and send you packing?  I am honestly stunned.  I feel like this isn’t a real life development.

Wait a minute!  It just hit me.  I’ve got it.  I feel like a dipshit.  I’m on to you, Cleveland!  Nice work but yeah, I’m in on it now.  There is a lot of talent to be evaluated by NFL scouts and the executives that have to make tough decisions.  So much talent in fact, that they sometimes seem to be very similar and hard to differentiate between LB #1 and LB #2, for instance.  So, you’ve decided that Grigson will be the tie-breaker!  That’s a brilliant strategy and I see it going something like this…

Cleveland GM:  “Hey Grigson, you got any thoughts on signing Davis at right tackle or Johnson?”

Grigson:  “Definitely Davis.  Great burst.  Gritty.  Got to get him!  Davis, Davis, Davis!”

Cleveland GM:  “Outstanding Ryan.  Outstanding.  Johnson it is!”

I see what you did, Cleveland.  That’s pretty damn brilliant.  Well played.

Did Indy Just Get Dunked?

Posted: May 19, 2017 by cschrump in Uncategorized

Image result for paul george

Chad Schrump / @Hoosier_Hoops

Back to irrelevance. That’s just what happened yesterday to the Indiana Pacers franchise when the national media failed to name Paul George to an All-NBA team. It’s true. Back to square one. Oh, he tallied a lot of votes, but not nearly enough and the lure of the “super-max” contract that only the Pacers could offer him is now out of the barn door almost certainly allowing Magic Johnson and the L.A. Lakers to swoop in next year and sign the Pacers’ best player. The national media just wrapped PG up, including the bow and gifted him to Southern California.  Sorry Indianapolis.

The National Basketball Association is a crazy, almost unfair league when the media has the power to influence the next five seasons in Indianapolis. Who’s to say there wasn’t some shady voting in an effort to undermine the roster? Why wouldn’t big media want George out of small town Indianapolis and into the country’s 2nd largest market and perhaps most iconic NBA franchise not named the Celtics? I need to find out if those media eligible to vote for the All-NBA teams have their votes made public. Did big market media consistently leave him off their ballot? Don’t even tell me it’s not possible because I know good and damn well it’s possible. Hell, it’s probable!

Jimmy Butler is a very nice player. He’s not Paul George. DeMar DeRozan is a really nice player, as well. He’s not Paul George, either. Both made All-NBA 3rd Team. Not Paul. Paul George is a better basketball player than both of them and I won’t hear it any other way. It doesn’t make sense for out-of-town media to vote PG to the 3rd Team. Why keep a potential national star hidden in a small market when you have a perfect opportunity to allow him to escape? This isn’t sour grapes. This is the truth! These are called facts.

What kind of money are we talking here? By being left off of an “All-NBA” team, the Pacers lost the “luxury” (I doubt Herb Simon called it that) of offering George a “super-max” deal of 5 years and $210M. Other suitors around the league would have “only” been able to offer 4 years, $130M. While $130M is a lot of cheese, that’s one less year and $80M difference. Paul would have stayed. I have no doubt. A guy only leaves that scenario if he’s absolutely miserable. PG has been frustrated with Larry Bird for not getting him star power help but certainly hasn’t been miserable.

One more season. That is all that is guaranteed and even that’s not actually true. If Pacers new President of Basketball Operations, Kevin Pritchard, thinks Paul is out the door, he may trade him for a small ransom. However, there are already rumors circulating that PG has told L.A. to wait one more season and he’ll just sign with them straight up, thereby allowing the Lakers to keep their young assets which gives Paul George a full strength, young, talented Laker lineup to join forces with. A lineup that could include super point guard prodigy, Lonzo Ball, who most likely will be drafted by the Lakers with the 2nd pick in this summer’s draft.

Man, I loved watching this kid grow up here in Indy. Paul challenged the big names from the start and quickly ascended into the “best 10-15 players in the league” category. There were nights when you thought he had the potential to be as good as any player in the NBA not named LeBron James. He brought legitimacy to this franchise. Indianapolis thought it had its next Reggie Miller. This sucks.

When George suffered his gruesome leg injury in late summer 2014, this city suffered with him. He was our guy. We would mend with him. We would wait patiently. And we did. The night when he finally returned, he came back to a rabid, full to the ceiling Fieldhouse. Then, he hit his first shot. Swoon. The future was bright. He was back.

Now, he’s all but gone.

This Can’t Be True But Is…

Posted: May 17, 2017 by cschrump in Uncategorized

Just saw this on Twitter and so you know, I did my due dilligence and my trusty source rings true…

Lavar means “to wash” in Spanish.  So, Lavar Ball’s name literally means Washing Balls.

Sounds about right.