Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Caltech Ends Colossal 26-Year Conference Losing Streak









(Image: California Institute of Technology).


The California Institute of Technology is known as one of the world's elite universities: it's an extremely selective science and engineering-oriented institution which, despite having a tiny enrollment -- its undergraduate enrollment is approximately 950 and its graduate enrollment is approximately 1,200 -- has produced 31 Nobel Prize winners. Perhaps not surprisingly, Caltech (as it's commonly known) has a reputation for being the ultimate "geek" school (with apologies to M.I.T. and the University of Chicago). One thing that's certain, though, is that Caltech is definitely not known as a basketball school. The Caltech men's basketball team carried a 26-year, 310 game conference losing streak into Tuesday night's game against Occidental.

But Tuesday, Caltech beat Occidental 46-45. It was the Beavers' first win over a conference rival in the NCAA Division III Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Association since their 48-47 win over the University of La Verne on January 23, 1985.

Congratulations to the Caltech men's basketball team and to Caltech Coach Oliver "Doc" Eslinger. Coach Eslinger is a what might be termed a "friend of the program" here at Drive and Dish. His fine blog, "Doc's Head Games" has been in our blog roll (which remains, somewhat regrettably, at the bottom of the site ... at least for now) for the last several years. Due to Coach Eslinger's highly demanding schedule, he doesn't have much time for blogging. As a result, "Doc's Head Games" often goes weeks (and sometimes months) without being updated. But Coach Eslinger's posts are always interesting and informative, regardless of the date on the last posting. "Doc's Head Games" is an outstanding basketball blog that offers first-rate analysis of any number of things pertinent to the coaching and execution of good basketball. But the blog's real focus is sports psychology. Drive and Dish recommends strongly that readers who have any kind of interest in the mental side of sports -- basketball in particular -- bookmark and subscribe to "Doc's Head Games."

Anyone who's ever endured a slump or losing streak in a sport, regardless of level, probably knows all too well how much of a burden a slump or losing streak can be for individual athletes and for teams. But it's difficult to imagine the psychological strain that carrying a 26-year conference losing streak into each game must have placed on Caltech's players. Ending that colossal losing streak gets the mother of all proverbial "monkeys" off Caltech's back. Coach Eslinger, with his background in sports psychology, may be more well-placed at Caltech than he would be elsewhere. Caltech's players are expected to lose nearly every time they take the court. That's a tremendous mental obstacle for any team to overcome, regardless of how bright its players are off the court. The mental side of athletic competition is a bigger factor in sports than most people realize. As such, there's a great deal of truth to the old cliche that winning begets more winning, and vice-versa. After Tuesday night's game, Coach Eslinger said, “I hope that everyone who has participated in Caltech men’s basketball is able to celebrate a little bit tonight.” Indeed.

17 comments:

sportsfan1981 said...

I can’t believe Caltech even has a men’s basketball team. With its struggles, it sounds like the program should have been eliminated a LONG time ago.

Have Jumpshot Will Travel (a.k.a. Trashtalk Superstar) said...

A little intercollegiate athletic competition never hurt anyone. It's a good thing that Caltech has a basketball program. Caltech competes in Division III, so it's not like the school is diverting too many of its resources into sports (as Division I schools often do). Even though D3 sports are not money-makers (they normally lose money), they're worth having at a school. They enrich the overall school experience and help develop sportsmanship, leadership and an appreciation for teamwork in individual athletes.

Butler Bob said...

Booooooo Digggetty Deeeee Deeeee,

I be telling yall about them school that be beein producin some Noble Prize winners and be beein in them basketball. Them other kids aint be seein them rim when they be beein by them partyin. uh huh. uh huh. Butler Basketball. We be cuttin down them nets! Teeeeee Heeee WE BE CUTTIN DOWN THEM NETS!!!!

Hungryduck said...

QUAAAAAK QUUuuuuaaAAAAAAK! quAAAKKkkKkKkKkKkKkKkK qqqqquuUAAAAAuuuAAAAAAAkkkkkkkkkKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKK!!!! quAK! Quak! QuuAaAaKKK!! QUaUaaaaaaaaaaaaK!!!

drunk idiot said...

haha!!! last nite i had hungryducks mom sayin QUAAAAAK QUUuuuuaaAAAAAAK! quAAAKKkkKkKkKkKkKkKkK qqqqquuUAAAAAuuuAAAAAAAkkkkkkkkkKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKK!!!! all nite long son!!! lolz!!!! got my drink on, got my pimp juice on!!!!!!! haha!!!! lolloloz!!

Pooh McGee said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Have Jumpshot Will Travel (a.k.a. Trashtalk Superstar) said...

It's kind of surprising that Dr. Rockso hasn't jumped into this comments section, since he's from Pasadena (and may have briefly attended Pasadena City Community College IIRC). Maybe Caltech is just too rarefied for everybody's favorite rock and roll clown.

Speaking of Dr. Rockso, your intrepid host will share an interesting story that happened the other day. Thursday night, yours truly walked into the Dominick's Grocery store in Elmhurst, IL. Although I intended to pick up several different items during my visit, my most pressing need was to grab a pile of napkins from the in-store Starbuck's in order to mop up the bottle of Aquafina that I'd inadvertently spilled (obviously) in my lap while driving. As your intrepid host walked into the Starbuck's area, I observed a group of hipster wannabe high school boys sitting at a table and engaging in conversation. After grabbing the napkins, one of the wannabe high school hipsters said to his friends, "I actually did do something last night . . . cocaine!

Although the teenage wannabe hipster didn't speak in Dr. Rockso's Paul Stanley-inspired falsetto voice (listen to the track titled "it's getting hot" on the linked page), his subject matter, choice of words, and timing (replete with Rockso's characteristic brief pause before telling what he did the night before . . . cocaine!) were 100% Rockso. I couldn't help but laugh. I almost asked him if he was making a Dr. Rockso reference. But since Rockso is still a highly obscure figure, I decided against it, figuring that the kid was probably just relaying what he did the night before (kids these days!).

Dr. Rockso said...

Awww maaan, Dr. Rockso aint copyin' nobody!!! Dr. Rockso's c-c-c-completely original, baby!

I'm Dr. Rockso, the rock n' roll clown. I do cocaine.

All them people talkin' bout how Dr. Rockso's supposed to be some kind of cross between David Lee Roth and Paul Stanley from Kiss don't know what they're c-c-c-talkin' bout!

So what if Dr. Rockso looks just like those guys and d-d-d-dresses just like those guys and t-t-t-talks just like those guys and sings just like those guys!

So what if Dr. Rockso's old band, Zazz Blammymatazz looks just like Van Halen and dresses just like Van Halen and sounds just like Van Halen!

It's just a c-c-c-coincidence!

I do cocaine.

Sister Therese said...

Dear Have Jumpshot Will Travel,

It is high-time you stop condoning such poor behavior on your website! You tolerate and even encourage degenerates like Dr. Rocks to post comments on your website. Most of the comments do not deal with basketball! These children should be learning how to dribble a basketball. If I do not see any immediate changes, I will contact your principal and the authorities!

As for you Dr. Rocks you can be assured that the police will now clean up your menacing behavior. I have reached out and tried to show you the way, but you refuse it and ridicule your elders. You are in big trouble young man!

Sincerely,

Sister Therese

Dr. Rockso said...

C-C-C-Sister Christian, I mean Sister Therese......Dr. Rockso ain't got time to listen to all you people tellin' Dr. Rockso what to do. Dr. Rockso's livin' a bitchin' rock and roll life style baby!!! Just like Charlie Sheen!!! Rockso don't care what nobody says. You can't handle this awesomeness, baby. Dr. Rockso's just gonna keep on keepin on keepin on.

Winning!!!

Cocaiiine!!!

drunk idiet said...

jus got home....been BIG PIMPIN up in da VIP all nite, kidd!!! got my buzz on like kid rock at one of those all u can drink buffets, son!!!! was throwin down shotz of henny & patron like a pro!!! scoped out all da hottiez in da place. was spittin madd game at a couple shawteez!!! u know how we do, know wut im sayin, playboy!!!!! almost got one of there numbers, son!!!!

lol!!!!!

Cindy said...

Dr. Rockso, so you have time to change your picture but not to call me or give me your e-mail info! I think you lost something far more important than your singing career in the 1980s.

- Cindy

Cletus McClover said...

I was looking for a interesting college basketball blog. Must say the sporadic articles are decent but the posts drain the blog quality. Your group, I'm guessing small would rather talk about partying and drugs. Fine but that dont have anything to do with basketball.

Have Jumpshot Will Travel (a.k.a. Trashtalk Superstar) said...

Sister Therese,

You're probably right. We don't usually police the comments section very tightly. With a few exceptions, we tend to let most things fly. Kids should indeed learn the fundamentals of basketball, including proper dribbling technique -- as you mention. And they should certainly not let themselves be influenced by sad-sack bums like Dr. Rockso. But never in our wildest dreams did we ever imagine there was any danger that kids (or anyone) would look up to a down-and-out, cokehead, has-been 80s rock and roll clown like Dr. Rockso. In the Drive and Dish editors' view, Dr. Rockso comes across more as an example of how one's life might be ruined if one becomes a drug addict than he comes across as someone kids would ever want to emulate.

Cletus McClover,

We realize that this blog would be better if it published articles on a more regular basis. We used to put new articles up every day, but we no longer have a stable of writers who can devote hours of their spare time to pumping out quality basketball-related content. Drive and Dish used to be a collaborative effort, but since 2008, it's basically been entirely written by and run by yours truly (with the exception of a fine guest post or two by writers like Izzy from Dishing Dimes).

Yours truly hasn't had much time to keep this place up for the last 2 or 3 years. Last year Drive and Dish went into hibernation from Thanksgiving until the start of the NCAA Tournament. But even though this place was essentially inactive for the bulk of the college basketball season, we never considered it to be officially defunct. We often had thoughts we wanted to get into print, but we struggled to find the time to get it done on these pages (we did, however, consistently post college basketball commentary over at Twitter -- 140 characters per post was much more friendly to the schedule!).

We plan to publish some new content soon. Keep scanning these pages in the coming days and weeks.

As for our readers' posts in the comments section, we generally let people say what they wish. Some of our recent commenters have seemed to be more concerned with talking about drinking and drugs than with talking about hoops. But their comments are usually so cartoonish and unflattering to the authors that we elect to let them stay up. Consider that to be our subtle message that drugs are bad.

Dr. Rockso,

We're putting a moratorium on Charlie Sheen references... especially on the verb "WINNING!"

Over the course of the past week, Drive and Dish editors have heard so many people say "winning" that we consider the word "winning" to have completely jumped the shark.

But this weekend was the clincher.

Practically every single-girl-in-the-city on the prowl who we observed this weekend punctuated untold numbers of her tipsy and slurred ramblings with declarations that she was "WINNING" (usually to squeals of laughter and delight from her equally tipsy girlfriends). Worse yet, practically all the shlubby Joe Shmoe chumps that we observed out there this weekend seemed to think that heavy "ironic" use of the protestation that they were "WINNING!" was obvious path to impressing the ladies.

But as bad as all that was, nothing told us more about the downward arc of "WINNING!" references than when we heard an old lady finish a sentence with "WINNING!"

In our opinion (and those who read this blog regularly know that we're always right about everything), Charlie Sheen references -- including the word "WINNING!" -- are well on their way to reaching the same level of irrelevancy as "Snakes on a Plane" references.

So they're no longer welcome on the pages of Drive and Dish.

Lionel Richie Forever said...

Dear Sister Therese,

youve got too much time on your hands. i get it. your frustrated. i get that way if i aint getting any nookie. you need it bad lady! sorry i cant be of service.

My Man Dr. Rockso,

keep on rockin in the FREE WORLD and enjoy your 1st amendment Freedom of Speech right! (got that therese) dude i gotta say i liked the old pic better.

wrigleyville illini said...

lionle Richie....

Dude, don't talk that way to the old nun. thats just wrong. u need to mind ur own business and clean up ur own backyard befeor u start tryin to tell everybody else how to live there lifes. oh ya, how's ur daughter nicole been doin' with her drug habit lately???? i wouldnt be surprised if shes smoking crack with charlie sheen as we speak. lol!!!

Winning!!!!

BTw, im glad my Illini put the smack down on the Loosiers from IU this weekend. Winning!!!! but it sucks that we basically screwed the pooch all year. joe lunardi has us in the tournament, so im not worried about being on the bubble anymore. were definitely in. WINNING!!!!!!

i just dont like our chances after the first weekend tho. id be surprised if we get passed the sweet 16. i hope we get duke or nova in the 2nd round. it would be so awesome to ruin dick vitale's weekend .... old dukie v himself. if we beat duke, vitale and coach k will cry themselves to sleep all week ...... prolly in the same bed lol!!! :p winning!!!!

but we still sucked the big one all year. so i say fire bruce weber and hire jerrance howard before he takes the Bradley job.

Sister Therese said...

Dear Readers,

It saddens me dearly to see so poor behavior in todays world. Children used to be taught to respect themselves and their elders. Now they no longer play with toys or explore the woods. I am shocked an appalled by the behavior by some of the children on this basketball website. My work is to help people live a happier and more wholesome life. Sadly, my efforts have only led to insults which I will not dignify. I will instead continue to pray for some of these children who have lost their way.

Sincerely,


Sister Therese