The entertainment world lost a truly great mind this week. Writer/Director/Producer/Actor Harold Ramis passed away at his Chicago home on Monday evening and left behind an amazing legacy.
Ramis was the brilliant mind behind some of the most entertaining and quotable movies of the 1980’s and ’90’s. He gained fame on Canada’s sketch comedy show, SCTV, which I’ve had the privilege of stumbling upon late at night before. Ramis made his first big splash when he co-wrote National Lampoon’s Animal House, obviously a classic.
While many of his big films came before I was even born, I still have seen many of his works. From Analyze This to Year One to voicing his character Egon Spengler and writing the script for Ghostbusters: The Video Game, Ramis’ genius still held strong for my generation. He even directed several episodes of the wildly popular sitcom, The Office. But it was ultimately his classics that made him such a prominent figure.
Ramis gave us one of my favorite films in Ghostbusters. Thanks to his brilliance in that film we learned to never cross the streams unless it was necessary to take down a giant marshmallow man in order to save New York City. Not to mention how we were able to envision a Twinkie that was “35 feet long and weighing approximately 600 pounds.”
I enjoy every vacation with my family a little more because of the miles of quotes Ramis gave us in National Lampoon’s Vacation. The film reminded everyone exactly why “getting there is half the fun” and if the park’s closed, the moose out front should’ve told us.
Finally, sports fans, Ramis blessed us all when he wrote and directed Caddyshack. The film gave us memorable characters like Bill Murray’s Carl Spackler and Rodney Dangerfield’s Al Czervik. We learned that it’s not so easy to outsmart a gopher, because gophers, “They’re like the Viet Cong – Varmint Cong.” We witnessed what a true “Cinderella story” would look like. Also, if anyone ever calls you crazy, just remind them, “That’s what they said about Son of Sam.” It’s hard to debate what the greatest sports film of all-time is, but Ramis made sure there was no debate as to what sports film was the most comical.
The life-long Cubs fan was an annual guest at Wrigley Field, leading the bleacher bums and the rest of the Friendly Confines in the ceremonial seventh inning stretch.
Yes, Ramis was a great man full of some serious comedic genius and was humble with the success he gained with that genius. Ramis undoubtedly reached across generations with his films and humor, a talent that not everyone can master in Hollywood. Thank you for the memories, Mr. Ramis. You’ve left a legacy that others will be hard-pressed to match.
No, most of us will never be as famous or as successful as Harold Ramis, and that’s okay. We get to enjoy the man’s comedic vision and his timeless humor.
So, we got that goin’ for us, which is nice.
Last Week: 8-2
Boys High School Basketball 2/27-2/28
Wawasee (4-14, 0-6) at Plymouth (9-10, 1-5), 2/27, 7:45 p.m.
The Scoop: Wawasee enters the game riding a Northern Lakes Conference losing streak of 20 games. Obviously that is a monkey that the Warriors would like to get of their back. Wawasee’s last NLC win came over Northridge in February of 2011. The Warriors were originally scheduled to head to the Rock Pile/Pilgrim Pit, or whatever Plymouth calls its gym, back in January but bad weather pushed it back. Back then I was prepared to pick the Warriors as Plymouth was without its best player, Mack Mercer. Mercer is back but the Pilgrims are still vulnerable and the Warriors are still pretty consistent at playing good defense.
The key to beating Plymouth is shutting down Mercer and scoring 45+. I believe the Warriors can do this. If they can end the streak Thursday and match their win total from last season, it will be a well-earned positive in a season that has had its fair share of heartache. The Pick: Wawasee 56, Plymouth 50.
Tippecanoe Valley (15-3) at Wawasee (4-14)*, 2/28, 7:30
The Scoop: Since we are talking about things that I think Wawasee can do…
The Warriors will turn around from their Thursday night make-up game and host the red-hot Vikings on Friday night. Then these two county rivals will meet again on Wednesday night in the sectional, also at Wawasee. I truly believe that Wawasee can win one of these games. Only because Valley is in danger of coming into the sectional with maybe a little too much confidence after beating up on the Three Rivers Conference all season. I expect Friday’s game to be exciting, close and worth going to. Wawasee will put it all out there and push Valley to the edge. But I expect Valley to close it out and get the win on Friday. Look for Chainey Zolman to have a big night in Wawasee’s shooter-friendly gym.
The Pick: Valley 57, Wawasee 45.
NorthWood (17-2) at Whitko (1-18), 2/28, 7:45 p.m.
The Scoop: Another intrasectional meeting taking place on Friday night will be two polar-opposite teams in sectional 21. First you have Whitko who has struggled with finding leadership on a young team and has managed to win just one game. Then you have NorthWood. A team loaded with upperclassmen talent and has only lost two games to two stellar teams (Northridge, Penn). This is going to be a sectional warmup for NorthWood, they should not struggle with Whitko, not one bit. Whitko, on the other hand, needs to throw it all on the line Friday night. Give NorthWood every last bit of effort and fight to the final buzzer. Get some momentum going in this game where you have nothing to lose and maybe you can surprise West Noble on Tuesday night. This is as big as it will get for the Wildcats, they need to make it count.
The Pick: NorthWood 68, Whitko 39.
Warsaw (11-8) at Fort Wayne Carroll (13-8), 2/28, 7:45 p.m.
The Scoop: The Tigers made me proud and made me look good with my pick. Actually, they exceeded my prediction by a lot and completely dominated Bishop Luers. I do not see the Tigers winning this game on Friday night. It’s not because I don’t think they can win, I just hate picking against home teams on what is most likely senior night. Warsaw is getting hot at the right time of year, Doug Ogle has a knack for getting his teams to play great before tourney time. Jordan Stookey, you’re still the man and this is still your team. Stookey has to play great from start to finish and have help from a solid supporting cast if the Tigers are going to pull this one out. I love how the Tigers are playing right now and this will be a low-scoring game that they can win, I’m just going with the home team in this one.
The Pick: FW Carroll 50, Warsaw 43.
Knox (1-17, 1-5)* at Triton (11-7, 4-2), 2/28, 8 p.m.
The Scoop: This game is a Triton BLOWOUT. Not even going to be close to being close (Yeah). The Trojans are coming off a heartbreaking loss to rival Tippecanoe Valley and they are fuming. Seriously, go outside and look towards Bourbon and you’ll see steam rising up in the air. That steam is coming off of Jason Groves’ head.
After this game is over the Trojans get a whole week off before playing their first sectional game against either Culver or LaCrosse (It will be Culver). Tanner Shepherd had a cruddy moment at the end of the Valley game but the senior is primed to bounce back on Friday and help the Trojans cruise to their eighth straight win over the Redskins (oh, am I going to get in trouble for typing that name?)
The Pick: Triton 67, Knox 37.
Lakeland Christian Academy (2-18) at South Bend Career Academy (2-16), 2/28, 6 p.m.
The Scoop: The Lakers drew a an unfavorable sectional matchup, so this might be the last chance to pick up another win in 2014. This is the first-ever meeting between these two schools and it is time to unleash the fury, LCA! Coach Joel Burrus and company you have to step it up and strike fear into the eyes of the SBCA players. This is your night. Chris Silveus, I’m calling you out. What’s your season high? 18, 19, maybe 20 points? I don’t honestly know, but I do know that you are going to GO OFF in this game. I want a scoring display that will shake the very foundation of…of…of whatever gym SBCA plays in! Jon Harmon, you can shoot the rainmaker, so make it RAIN! No excuses on Friday night, boys! L-C-A! L-C-A! L-C-A!
The Pick: LCA, 55, SBCA 45.
Girls High School Basketball Semi-State 3/1
Penn (24-1) v. Logansport (24-2), Crown Point Semi-State, 3:15 p.m.The Scoop: There are a lot of Penn haters out there, I’m usually one of them. But this week I will not hate because respect needs to be given where respect is earned and Penn has more than earned it this season. The Kingsmen are riding a 16-game winning streak since suffering their only loss of the season back in December (Oregon-Davis). Logansport looks good behind that record, but they are simply not on the level of Penn. Sorry Berrie fans, it’s just a fact. The black and gold will be well-represented in Crown Point and next week in Indianapolis.
The Pick: Penn 60, Logansport 48.
Fort Wayne Canterbury (19-4) v. Tipton (18-4), Warsaw Semi-State, 4 p.m.
The Scoop: Yes, I’m picking these next two games simply because they are being held in the beautiful Lake City. If you have nothing else to do on Saturday and love basketball, do yourself a favor and head over to the Tiger Den for these semi-state games. It will be worth the time and money.
Both teams have been solid all season and have both benefited from playing difficult schedules. Local product Darby Maggard hit five three-pointers in the regional final against Westview. She finished with 25 points and wasn’t even the leading scorer. That honor went to Canterbury’s Kindell Fincher who tallied 27. So, yeah, the Cavaliers can score. They average 76 points per game, Tipton clocks in around 66. I like the Cavs in this one.
The Pick: Canterbury 67, Tipton 49.
Western (21-3) v. Norwell (21-4), Warsaw Semi-State, 6:15 p.m.
The Scoop: The night cap in Warsaw will feature two teams searching for uncommon ground in their respective program’s history. Norwell has not been to a semi-state or state final since 1977. Western was in semi-state back in 2012 but has never been to the State Finals. Norwell picked up possibly the luckiest win in recent memory with its victory over NorthWood in the regional semis, effectively ending Panther coach Steve Neff’s career. I’m not going to lie, I thought NorthWood was a team of destiny so with them losing I am left to assume that Norwell is the new team of destiny. The Knights are going to Indy!
The Pick: Norwell 51, Western 47.
Crossroads League Mens Tournament 2/26
Grace (16-13, 8-10) at No. 16 Huntington (24-6, 13-5), Conference Tournament First Round, 7 p.m.
The Scoop: The Grace women’s team bowed out yesterday in a close loss to Marian, so the postseason future for the Winona Lake school lies in the hands of the mens squad. The Lancers have a tough task in front of them with the tournament’s No. 3 seed in Huntington. These two teams played great games earlier in the season.
Grace won the first contest 81-76 at the OCC on 1/18. Then Huntington escaped with a 64-62 victory just 11 days ago in Huntington. In the first game Greg Miller scored 20 points for the Lancers, 15 in the second contest. Miller averages a team-high 18 points per game. So, if Miller hits his average in the second game, Grace wins. I know, it’s not quite that simple. It’s just hard to ignore how close Grace has been to some big wins this season. If Miller is on and gets support from Logan Irwin (18.1 points per game vs. Huntington in 2013-14) then I’m going with the upset. Coach K refuses to lose tonight!
The Pick: Grace 65, Huntington 60.
*Records will change before matchup.