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Off Tackle Empire The Real World: Piscataway!

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A little holiday field trip to the Rutgers Athletic Center

Maine v Rutgers Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images

A co-worker of mine said to me last year “if re-incarnation is real, I want to come back as my kids”.

I find myself constantly coming back to this line as I deal with my own kids. They get whatever they need, but in general just have so much more opportunity than what I had when I was their age. They LAUGHED when I told them about playing Game Boy in the car using street light to street light to see the screen. Backlit screens are ruining Generation Z. I’m sure it’s just another version of “back in my day” shakes fist.

I took the family unit for a few days to my hometown, Philadelphia, and up to New Brunswick/Piscataway for the Rutgers/Maine game last week as a Christmas present.

I know, worst Santa ever.

Happy holidays, kids.

A few observations:

COVID-19/20/21

Rutgers was the first school in the country to require a vaccination for on-campus learning/living. The RAC is locked down. I took this picture about 10 minutes before tip off - masks and proof of vaccination were mandatory. Security personnel were actually checking cards outside the entrance, and I saw, more than once, Rutgers personnel (the guy in the grey jacket thing on the floor) call people out that were chin masking-it.

This is obviously the right thing to do. There weren’t any issues, and the only thing I really saw that was hindered - was the 20 or so students that could make it to the game couldn’t constantly yell at the players from Maine that their gene pool was contaminated. Then again, it’s Maine.

Player Evaluations

This is the first game I’ve been to this year. Probably not the best evaluation criteria (versus a not-great mid major), but we were given the opportunity to move down to the student section and I took a good amount of notes. My kids (6/8/12 years old) thought I was a weirdo, but what’s new.

  • There is only one potential NBA player on this team. Cliff Omoruyi just looks different. His basketball IQ is rising quickly, but his physical skills are impossible to deny. He’s big, long, and tall - but what surprised me most was his speed. He doesn’t lumber down the court. He’s well positioned for 10 points in transition every game if Rutgers can defensively rebound.
  • Geo Baker continues to be the grease that turns the wheels. He’s so obviously the vocal and demonstrative leader of the team. Calling the plays, providing the juice, and coaching up in between fouls... he does it all.
  • Ron Harper plays lazy. I’ve said this before. I don’t know if it’s something he can fix as this point, but he plays like he’s trying to do the absolute least all the time. Hell, I don’t even know if it’s something he needs to fix. He still ends up with 15 points and 8 boards regardless.
  • Three non-starters really stood out - Mawot Mag, Jaden Jones, and Jalen Miller. Very confident that this team will continue to be an athletic, pesky team continuing into the future.
  • Last point - Paul Mulcahy reminds me SO much of Dean Portman from D2: The Mighty Ducks. He’s just a giant butthole all over the court. Sitting so close, he is CONSTANTLY talking trash to whoever he’s near. He bodies up hard and really isn’t afraid of putting down a charge to earn a foul. Someone this year is gonna take a swing at him, just watch.