Howdy. I'm Matt Todd. My wife and I have four kids and a dog,. I'm passionate about orphan care. I'm a die-hard fan of the Evansville Aces, the Indiana Hoosiers, and Star Wars. I'm trying to live life by the Todd family motto: "It behooves us to live!"

This is everything I can tell you about Stevie Shoot a Three Pointer

Stevie Shoot a Three Pointer

Back in 1987, as the Hoosiers were poised to make their national championship run, Evansville’s own 96 STO aired a song recorded by Furry Head and the Favorites called Stevie Shoot a Three Pointer. I only heard it a few times on the radio, but I never forgot it. And ever since I wrote about this song some eight years ago, I’ve been on a mission to find a digital copy of this song online.

I haven’t been able to find one.

I did find a copy once. But it disappeared soon after that. Even the Wayback Machine couldn’t help. So my mission has resumed. I know a lot of people have stumbled upon my blog, looking for Stevie Shoot a Three Pointer. And I don’t blame them. Because it’s probably the best parody song ever. I don’t want to disappoint anyone. So I’m on my mission again.

I’ve even emailed and tweeted the fine folks at 96 STO to see if they can be any help.

No luck so far.  Continue reading This is everything I can tell you about Stevie Shoot a Three Pointer

So long, Knight.

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Bobby Knight

That’s right. I just referred to The General, former Coach Bob Knight, by just his last name. It’s quite daring of me to do so as I sit at my laptop at home. If I called him by his last name while standing face to face, I’d be in trouble. He’d probably allegedly grab my arm and inform me how I should address him.

I’m addressing him because it’s finally time to say what I’ve been thinking for a long time. Hopefully, he wouldn’t choke me when I say this.

“So long, Knight.”

I was a huge fan of Bob Knight’s when he coached at Indiana. I celebrated when he slammed the phone during the NCAA tournament game. While I was confused when he took his Indiana team off the floor in the middle of the game against the Soviets, I was confident he knew what he was doing. I marveled at the plan The General had put into place in order to neutralize Shaq when the Hoosiers took on LSU in the tournament. Oh, and Ivan Renko? Genius. Pure genius. Continue reading So long, Knight.

‘Stevie Shoot a Three Pointer’ – My apologies

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Steve Alford image via AP
This AP image is from NWITimes.com

Indiana Hoosiers gear at Fanatics.comThere’s been a spike in traffic to my site. I guess you could call it a March Madness spike? I don’t know what to call it. It should probably be something catchy because it happens every year during the NCAA tournament. This year, however, saw a much larger increase in traffic to posts about one topic in particular. It’s probably because of UCLA’s return to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2008. During the month of March, people stumble upon my blog because of this song:

Stevie Shoot a Three Pointer

Apparently I’m not the only person who remembers this song. I’m not the only one who loved this song. I’m not the only one who wants to hear the song again. Because a lot of people searched for it this March.

It used to be online. I even linked to it. But now it has disappeared. I’m sorry if you’ve stumbled upon my blog in an effort to find the song. I’ll do what I can to find another copy of it. And when I do, I’ll be sure to share it again for all the world to hear when they start searching for it again next March.

In case you had forgotten, this song generated some controversy when local stations played it on the radio.

Indiana Hoosiers gear at Fanatics.com

Stevie Shoot a Three Pointer is such a great piece of local sports and radio history. I sure hope I can find a copy of it again.

Aiden’s return to Assembly Hall

Return to Assembly Hall

A few weeks ago, Aiden and I braved the cold and trekked down to Bloomington for the annual Solo & Ensemble Festival. His first performance was scheduled at 8-ish in the morning, which is an ungodly time for a Saturday morning. That meant we had to get up well before the sun in order to arrive in time for him to warm up and perform with his ensemble.

His solo was 15 minutes after his ensemble performance. Then we did what he had been looking forward to all along: We went to Assembly Hall. Last year, we “snuck” onto the football field. Not this time. Too chilly. But he had a memorable experience inside the hallowed Hall of hoops.

The women’s basketball team had a game that afternoon. So they were prepping the facility for the game. The smell of popcorn filled the air as we stepped onto the court. They already had the scoreboard fired up and ready to go.

It was pretty awesome. I think Aiden found it a bit awe-inspiring. I showed him where some recruits have been known to sit during their official on-campus visits. He sat down and said, “I want to sit here someday. As a recruit.”

Dude’s gonna have to get in some serious practicing in order for that to happen. But that’s not exactly a bad thing. And he’s not a stranger to the roundball.

Got an assist on this play

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After getting his fill of Assembly Hall, there was one more place we needed to stop before heading home. It was time for lunch. So we had to stop at Nick’s. Because you can’t get much better than Nick’s. Except maybe game day at Nick’s. We each had the stromboli. And it was fabulous.

Aiden’s still not very happy with me for going to that basketball game without him back in November. I think this trip did help butter him up just a little bit. And who knows? After getting swept by Nebraska, it’s highly unlikely that the Hoosiers are going to make it into the NCAA tournament. Unless, of course, they have some type of miraculous run in the Big Ten tournament. And unless they only play ranked teams during this tournament, it’s highly unlikely that they’ll make a run. So there might still be a chance for him to go an IU home game this March. You could say that’s a small silver lining to the potential of maybe hosting postseason tournament game.

Maybe.

Oh – and the Solo & Ensemble Festival? Aiden got two gold medals.

Yup. He’s pretty talented. He gets his musicianship from me. Just don’t tell his momma. 😉

This is INDIANA (you have to watch these kids!)

I’m honestly not the biggest fan of This is Indiana, the unofficial IU video that went viral a few years ago. I just don’t like the song. That being said, I LOVE this video made by a class of third graders from Cold Spring Environmental Magnet School. Great job, kids!

I especially like the part where they share their dreams. Keep dreaming big, kids! And we’ll see you in 2022.

Speaking of IU…

Let’s go, Hoosiers! Beat Michigan tomorrow!

Aiden’s Big Bloomington Adventure

We drove to Bloomington yesterday for Aiden’s first-ever participation in Solo and Ensemble. We had a little bit of extra time after his performance, so I took him over to the athletic facilities at IU. My original hope was that Cook Hall would be open and we’d be able to take a quick tour of the shrine contained within. Unfortunately, Cook Hall is only open to the public from 8 to 5, Monday thru Friday. Since this was a Saturday, we were out of luck. That didn’t stop us from putting our faces to the glass in an attempt to see the national championship trophies. We did manage to see hints of a couple, but didn’t get to bask in their glory as I had hoped.

Somewhat disappointed, we walked over to Assembly Hall. Since we had already checked the doors, we knew we wouldn’t be able to go in. But that didn’t stop us from pressing our faces against the glass again. This time we caught glimpses of the Hall of Fame. As we were still peering through the entrances and about to walk to my car, an SUV pulls up. The driver gets out with two young boys and walks towards the back of his vehicle to get out a Big Wheel and a small bicycle.

“Hold on,” he says to us, “I’ll let you in.”

Um….

…..

what!?!

I realize visiting Assembly Hall might not be a big deal to people in Bloomington. This, however, was a big deal to us. It was an especially huge deal to Aiden. I thought he was going to explode from excitement as we entered the hallowed hall of hoops. I thanked the gentleman as he took his boys up the ramp with their bikes. What a perfect place to have your kids ride their bikes!

We walked around the outer rim of the Hall, looking at the artifacts and occasionally checking the doors to see if we could see Branch McCracken Court.

Indiana University Athletic Hall of Fame at Assembly HallI finally found a door that was closed, but wasn’t locked. I let Aiden peek his head in. From the look on his face, you would’ve thought I had just witnessed a game-winning shot. We didn’t go in, though. We weren’t sure if we were allowed to go in or not. And since the door was really closed and there were people working on the court, we decided to keep walking around.

But then we found it. Doors were propped wide open. It was almost like it was a sign from God that we should enter. Being one who wants to answer God’s call, we walked into the seating area of Assembly Hall.

Inside Indiana University's Assembly Hall

Banners at Indiana University's Assembly Hall

I think this one with his silhouette against the court is one of his favorites:

Aiden and Branch McCracken Court at Indiana University's Assembly Hall

After hanging out for a while, we decided it was time to see if we could find a way to walk on the court. So we began our quest. As we were walking around, we were greeted by one of the Track and Field coaches. He asked if we needed help with anything. I asked him if there were places we were not allowed to enter. “They do a pretty good job of locking up the places they don’t want you to go.”

There you go. Permission granted to walk on the court (as long as there were no locks in our way).

So we did.

Aiden and the 5 National Championship banners hanging at Indiana University

Branch McCracken Court at Indiana University's Assembly Hall

“That’s it! Right there! That’s where Christian Watford made that shot. Watford for the win!!”….

After hanging out on the court for a while, we decided we shouldn’t push our luck. It was time to leave. But the adventure wasn’t over. No. It was far from it.

Remembering that they lock things up when they don’t want people to go in, we walked through the gates to the football stadium.

Indiana University's Memorial StadiumThis was my first visit to Memorial Stadium. It’s a pretty cool facility. We took a while to look around and soak it all in.

Checking out Memorial Stadium at Indiana University

The giant scoreboard at Indiana University's Memorial Stadium

The Rock at Memorial Stadium at Indiana University

Yes. That’s The Rock in the background. No. We didn’t go touch it. I figured he needed to save that special occasion for when he plays his first game for IU. That’s right. I might have unintentionally gotten him to verbally commit to playing both basketball and football for the Hoosiers. Sorry, Christy. We have a lot of work to do if we’re going to convince him to go to Milligan now.

Standing on the football field at Indiana University's Memorial StadiumSo what started off as a not-so-fruitful visit to Cook Hall turned into a pretty memorable experience for Aiden (and for me, too). It definitely made the trip to Bloomington worth it!

Now he’s begging me to take him to a basketball game. And a football game. Of course, I’d love to be able to do that. Might take a while to be able to make it happen though.

Oh…

did I mention how he did in his Solo and Ensemble performance?

Aiden and his gold medal from Solo and Ensemble He earned a GOLD. He also had some pretty big compliments from the judge. Not too shabby, huh?

Not sure if we’ll be able to match this weekend any time soon. But I’d sure like to try!

Watford for the Win – a year later

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Watford for the Win
Image via Inside the Hall

One year ago today, Aiden and I “stormed the court” in our living room, celebrating Christian Watford’s amazing shot. We weren’t the only ones who reacted that way.

That shot…that game…that reaction…that moment…

it was cathartic.

It was like the remnants of the HeWhoShallNeverBeNamedAgainOnThisBlog nightmare had finally been swept away. And after years of trying to somehow will the Hoosiers to win during the beginning of the Tom Crean era and experiencing disappointment after disappointment, that iconic shot became an instant harbinger that to Hoosier fans, Kentucky fans, Purdue fans, and all other college basketball fans across the nation: Indiana basketball is BACK.

And we celebrated with reckless abandon.

Christian Watford Signed Framed 12×18 Floorboard & Photo Display Indiana B – $135.99Christian Watford Signed Framed 12×18 Floorboard & Photo Display Indiana B

It still stings that Indiana isn’t playing KY during the season this year. It feels a little bit better that the team that replaced IU on the schedule was Baylor. You know – the team that broke KY’s home win-streak. Maybe it’s a case of “be careful what you wish for,” if Calipari truly was concerned about protecting his team’s home court winning streak. While I will always enjoy watching KY struggle, I would rather see these two teams play each other as the powerhouses they should be. I think it’s great for Indiana. And it’s great for college basketball. You know – like Luke vs. Emperor Palpatine is great for film. And I’ve been saying this for years.

I hear Coach Cal says he wanted to play IU at Lucas Oil Stadium this season because he wants to create “experiences” (as if an electric Assembly Hall or Rupp Arena isn’t a magical experience). Well….Lucas Oil is hosting the Midwest Regional this year.

Coach Cal might want to be careful what he wishes for.

Indiana Hoosiers gear at Fanatics.com

Aiden’s #ColtsStrong Summer and a Cody Zeller sighting

It has turned out to be quite the Summer Sports Spectacular for Aiden this year. Not only did he start playing football, but he also wound up going to three different Indianapolis Indians games (without having to buy a ticket – thanks to a friend of his, the Greenwood Public Library, and Slingshot SEO!). But that’s just the beginning…

Colts vs. Bengals preseason game

Ready for the Colts vs. Bengals preseason game August 30, 2012
Grown up a little bit from last year, huh?

At about 10:30 yesterday morning, Christy texted me, asking if I thought it would be a good idea for Aiden to go to last night’s Colts vs. Bengals preseason game. Her aunt had extra tickets and invited us to go. Things fell into place rather quickly and Aiden and I wound up spending the evening with some very good seats, taking in the final preseason game of the season. It was cool to get to watch Antoine Bethea play because…well….keep reading…

Antoine Bethea Colts Skills Camp

Aiden suited up and ready for the Antoine Bethea Colts Skills Camp
Ready to play!

I like to tell people that I get paid to surf the Internet. It’s much more complicated than that, but I’m online and perusing social profiles a lot. While doing my job, I came across a tweet from the Colts talking about open registration to the Antoine Bethea Colts Skills Camp. So we promptly signed Aiden up.

Antoine Bethea handing the ball off to Aiden Todd
Who’s that playing quarterback? Oh, that’s just Antoine Bethea. No big deal.

He was in heaven. He learned some skills that set the foundation for what he’s doing on the field now. And it was free! Can’t beat that. Plus, Mr. Bethea made some fans for life in the Todd household. He played around with the kids and really encouraged them. He ran some drills with them (as seen above), and showed some genuine interest in the kids who were there.

I should mention that Antoine Bethea retweeted this status. Yeah. That’s some pretty cool beans.

I couldn’t fit all of the pictures from the Skills Camp on this post, but if you’d like to see more of what went on, you’re welcome to view the album here!

Distinxion Basketball Camp

Aiden and Cody Zeller
Cody was nice enough to pose for a picture with Aiden. All the Zellers were class acts!

What else is there to say about Cody Zeller that hasn’t already been said? Same is true about his brother, Luke. He and his family run a basketball camp called Distinxion. Aiden got to go to that this Summer, too! There’s more details about his experience here.

2012 was most definitely a Summer Sports Spectacular for Aiden!

I’m already a little bit nervous about what might be in store for him next Summer.

Icing on the Cake

Candy stripes on a cake?!? Yes, please! Should've thought of this for my groom's cake!

It wasn’t supposed to happen this soon. With the amazing talent that’s coming in the very near future, fans were told to expect an NIT bid, or maybe entrance as a bubble-team into the Tournament.

But magic has happened this season. Teams ranked #1, #2, and #5 all left Assembly Hall with losses. The Hoosiers made an amazing turnaround from the previous seasons, exceeding almost all preseason expectations.

And now? The rematch the KY Wildcat fans have been wishing for since the last time they played is upon us. The die-hard, smack-talking fan says they should be careful what they wish for. But I don’t know. The players have had to watch that shot go in over and over again since they lost. Then again, the Hoosiers have to keep hearing how it was a lucky shot over and over again. Nevermind the fact that Watford takes that shot in every single game and it goes in. Every. single. time. But then again, you just can’t reason with some fans. Don’t bother them with the facts.

Some say this game will make or break the Hoosiers’ season. I don’t think so. This game is icing on the cake. Just like no one except IU fans expect the Hoosiers to win tonight, no one in the world expected them to be a top-25 team in the Sweet 16 this year. This team has exceeded expectations over and over again. It’s been an amazing success and a testimony to the hard work put in by some pretty dedicated young men and their coaches. Nothing that happens this weekend will validate or negate the success of this team. The resurrection is upon us.

But we all like icing. Lots and lots of it. And none of us wants this ride to end. It would be great for the national experts to be proven wrong once again.

Go Hoosiers! Beat the Cats (again)!!

Hey! What time is that Wichita State vs. NMSU game tomorrow?

Jay Bilas, Dick Vitale, Seth Davis, Mike Greenberg, Andy Katz, Mike Golic…what do these sports personalities have in common?

They predicted Wichita State to go on to the Sweet 16. The majority of them also picked New Mexico State to upset Indiana.

Neither of these things happened.

I’m not knocking them for their picks. I’ve made some outrageous picks before – like Davidson over Louisville this year (which didn’t happen). I just find it interesting that they managed to turn Wichita State and New Mexico State into sexy tournament picks.

All I heard this week was how New Mexico State has three big men. They’re going to push Cody Zeller around. It started to sound like a given that the Aggies were going to run roughshod over the Hoosiers. And if Indiana managed to get by NMSU, then it was a just a given that the Shockers were going to win the next round. After all, Indiana hasn’t performed as well on the road (never mind the fact that tournament games are on neutral courts). Go ahead and ink Wichita State into the Sweet Sixteen. Why even bother playing the game?

This is a great example of how people can live in an echo chamber where what they say is repeated over and over again and we think that what we believe is just a given. It’s going to happen because everyone seems to think it will. It reminds me of the oft-quoted (and misquoted) observation from Pauline Kael: “I live in a rather special world. I only know one person who voted for Nixon. Where they are I don’t know.” The sports media folk live in a rather special world. And sometimes they don’t have any idea who these teams really are. That’s what makes March Madness so beautiful – it doesn’t matter what these guys think. The game is won and lost on the court.

The same situation occurs in college football. Matchups are established on paper and debated in the media. Games are won and lost in these debates. An imaginary playoff is set up through their conversations, eliminating teams through reasoning that “oh, everyone agrees with this – it’s a given that Team A from the SEC would beat Team B from any other conference,” never giving any thought that maybe they could be wrong.

The problem is that these same people talking into the echo chamber of college football media actually influence who plays in the national championship. I’m glad the Pac-12 has started to see the light. It’s about time. I hope other conferences follow suit.

But there’s something bigger here. How many people do I know who think differently than I do? How many people do I know who have a completely different worldview from mine? How many people do I know who have a different outlook on life than I do? We hear all the time about Christians locking themselves up into their own little Christian bubbles (or ghettos), but I’m not even talking about that. I don’t want to live in the echo chamber. I don’t want to live in a world that only sees things the way I see them. I need to have my assumptions challenged. If diversity is a beautiful thing in God’s kingdom, it should be a beautiful thing in my own life, too.

In the meantime, I’m going to search the TV schedule for that New Mexico State vs. Wichita State game. I’m sure it’s going to be aired somewhere.