The following is an actual e-mail exchange during (and after) the 2015 Scripps National Spelling Bee:
Roy: Random thought - Former Sixer Spelling Bee...
There's no way this doesn't get higher ratings than Philly Pheud...
Dave: Wow! Great idea! You going to do that for your Sunday shoot-around?
Roy: I thought about it, but don't know how to work it... hahaha. We COULD use it as a jumping off point for a "No One Reads This."
Dave: Embed pictures? Could be a two fold question.
We could call it: "The 1st Annual No One Reads This Sixers Spelling Bee." And, for example:
Spell this man's last name.
We could have some fun with it. I'd ask: "Can I have the last name of origin, Roy?"
And you'd say: "It's Polish, meaning, "'flowing, blonde locks.'"
Roy: Hahahaha... Love it. We might as well start now...
Dave... gonna need the proper spelling of the first and last name of the man pictured below. For the record, he is the only player in NBA history to play with former Sixer Jerald Honeycutt and future Sixer Doug McDermott.
Dave: Jerald Honeycutt!
I CANNOT believe Nazr is still in the league. He's the NBA's version of Jesse Orosco. If he hasn't played for your favorite team yet, just give it time. Fifty years from now, when the entire world's population is crammed up north due to Global Warming, we'll be watching Nazr bang down low for the Halifax Heat.
But to answer your question: It's either M-O, or M-U? Um ... M-O-H-A-M-M-E-D?
Roy, this former and alliterative Sixer is the greatest player to ever come out of Duke University. (Kidding: That's Shavlik Randolph).
Roy: (Brief aside: Speaking of guys who played for a long time, did you see that Bruce Chen just retired? Yes... the very same man who the Phillies traded to the Mets in 2001 in exchange for the immortal Turk Wendell. No lie: Whenever I saw "Chen" come up on the ESPN BottomLine, I just assumed it was "Bruce Chen, Jr.")
(Briefer aside: Do you know who else the Phils got in that 2001 Wendell trade? DENNIS COOK. I had no idea he ever came back to the Phillies. Did the 2001 Phillies season actually happen?)
For the record, if you asked me back in 1999 who the greatest player in Duke history was, I may have told you "Trajan Langdon". The man pictured, however, is Langdon's stretched-out doppelganger... one A-L-A-A A-B-D-E-L-N-A-B-Y.
I think my subconscious is repressing my memories of Abdelnaby's stint here (all 30 minutes of it). The Sixers only signed him to a 10-day contract after my cousin Willie Burton sprained his ankle at the end of the season.
All right... here's another one for you from the not-so-distant past. A few clues:
1) He's four games away from posting a picture of the Larry O'Brien Trophy on his Instagram page.
2) He finds Doug Collins hilarious.
Dave: This Sixers Spelling Bee has devolved into a conversation about nomad relievers and long men (which I encourage). My least favorite Philadelphia athletes are usually guys who played well for our rivals, but then absolutely stunk up the joint in Philly. (Hi, Chris Boniol!). They're all saboteurs. Everyone one of 'em.
The Phils were smoke n' mirrors, but hanging around the playoff race when the acquired Cook and Wendell in '01. Wendell was infamous for that awful shark tooth necklace he wore. You know those quirky relievers, Roy. They're just goofy, lol. Each tooth on Turk's necklace represented a walk-off home run he gave up during his forgettable stint in Philly. He had a monstrous 7.47 ERA in '01 with the Phils. And don't give me any guff about small sample size, Burton. I haven't seen meatballs that big served up, since I dined at Maggiano's.
As for my man, Mo. Well, I come from a very strong spelling pedigree.
@drewmagary I got the word, "borrow" in 2nd grade and spelled it correctly. Too bad the actual word was "borrowed." The nun sent me packing.— WIBR (@wheresbenrivera) May 29, 2015
And I know that "i" comes before "e" except after "c" and "Speights." S-P-E-I-G-H-T-S.
Roy, let's test your knowledge on last names from the Gaelic dialect. How about this big man - the inspiration for The Who's hit single, "Pinball Wizard", in 1969. His last name stems from the root word, "Loc," meaning, "sturdy" and "soft hands."
Roy: What's the point of a basketball blog if you don't leverage it to have periodic discussions about journeymen relievers? I've got a thinkpiece on Marvin Freeman queued up for Tuesday - check it out and let me know what you think.
Forget Tracy McGrady and Tom McCarthy - this is the original T-Mac. Accept no [red-headed] substitutes. M-A-C-C-U-L-L-O-C-H is his name, and pinball is his game. Probably the only professional athlete who spent more time in the arcade than I did back in the late '90s (Virtua Fighter was addictive as hell).
Big Mac easily outranks Eric Snow and Bob Salmi on the Sixers' Color Analyst Power Rankings. And more importantly, he was so fundamentally sound, man. MacCulloch NEVER brought the ball down below his waist after an offensive rebound - do you know how hard that is to teach to little kids? There was another former Sixer who was great at that as well, but Mike Levin told me three years ago that we are never to speak of Michael Bradley here on Liberty Ballers, so forget that I even mentioned him.
(Michael Bradley aside: Is it a coincidence that he and MacCulloch are 1-2 on the NCAA's all-time field goal percentage list? I THINK NOT.)
Here's another big man for you: No. 8 in your program, but No. 1 in your heart. At least in my heart. I'll be honest with you, Dave: I was (and still am) on team #ShouldOfKept. More bullish on him than most, but with everyone yelling about his deficiencies - WHAT ABOUT THAT DEFENSE, THOUGH? - I just rode the wave and stayed silent. That ends today.
He is the white whale. He is that lonely girl standing on the steps of Speakman Hall during my sophomore year at Temple. He is the Montenegrin version of Earl Thomas.
Dave: *Spends twenty minutes studying Marvin Freeman's Baseball-Reference page*
I'm sorry, what were we talking about? Pavel Bure? Sub-Zero's Fatalities?
Oh, Vuc, that's right. Roy, you gotta lot of gall coming in here at Liberty Ballers dot com and playing the trumpet for #8. That's a lonely #BauserCouch you and Bauser are sitting on. Do what I do. Have zero opinions, and then eventually ride the wave of the majority. It keeps me out of trouble.
Here's a quick rankings of my #ShouldOfKept All-Stars:
3) Jeremy Giambi: .244/.435/.538 slash line with the Phils.
2) Marcus Mariota
1) Nerlens Noel (just mentally preparing myself for the upcoming draft night).
Vuc is a can of corn. There was a 4 week span where his name was splattered all over this site. V-U-C-E-V-I-C.
Roy, if you get this next one right, then you're really on the fast track towards the Scripps National Spelling Bee in D.C.
This big man played 25 games in the '02-'03 season, and Mike Levin can't go five minutes without namedropping him.
We're gonna need a *first* and *last name* for the Greek Hammer.
Roy: For the record, #BauserCouch is extremely comfortable - the last seat even folds out like a Barcalounger. Just don't pay too much attention to the stains.
Back to the matter at hand... the last name is cake: R-E-N-T-Z-I-A-S. Now the first? Let's go with: E-F-I-T-H-M-O-S.
* checks Wikipedia, finds that the correct spelling is E-F-T-H-I-M-I-O-S, pushes button on the "Price Is Right" fail horn *
* studies Efthimios Rentzias's Basketball Reference page, forgets to put clothes in dryer, gets yelled at by the wife *
Did you know that Rentzias was a 50 percent career shooter from downtown? Why are we so obsessed with Karl Towns? We already had a 6'11" big with a sweet shooting stroke, and we saw how that worked out...
But nevertheless, Gokul Venkatachalam is shedding a tear for me, taking extra care to make sure it doesn't land on his Legend Blue Jordan 11s. And much like FIFA's Prince Ali, it is time for me to concede defeat. With every competition comes a prize, so please enjoy your "How Could You Be Moe Harkless?" T-shirt.
Going to e-mail John Gonzalez to see if he'll tape next year's edition of the "No One Reads This Spelling Bee" for The 700 Level. If they put @TVMWW on TV, there's gotta be some airtime for us, no?