The Byrd Cage

Byrd Droppings With Mort & Hugs, Episode 4: SHOWTIME

In Game Posts on March 21, 2013 at 8:00 am


Editor’s Note:  Since it’s Tournament week and loads of new people from all over the world have found The Byrd Cage – let me explain what is about to happen to you. First let me say that we like to laugh around here and we hope you do too. As such, we’re happy to feature the next installment Mort & Hugs – our two in-house professional gripers/comedians who’ve never met a D1 athlete they weren’t scurd to anonymously mock on the internet. Mort & Hugs are here to bring some comic relief to – and/or at the expense of – our tiny basketball world in Nashville.

If you’re just joining us and are a ‘Belmont fan’, shame on you! Where have you been all year? If you’re an Arizona fan and don’t understand why Mort & Hugs are still making fun of some guy named Jordan Burgason: good. Now, go away. Finally, if you’re just ‘a guy’ with a bracket and you don’t know how you ended up here, who Jordan Burgason is or why the heck Mort & Hugs are talking about bunnies . . . ok fine, you my friend, can stay. Just…um…figure it out.

HUGS: Happy Tournament day, everyone!  Mort and I are an excitable pair, so it should come as no surprise that we are ecstatic about our 6th NCAA Tournament appearance in 8 years.  To give you an idea, Belmont has more tournament appearances in the last 8 years than I have had dates. So this feels like a big deal to me.

MORT: My goal: finish this post before both of my legs go numb from sitting on the john.

HUGS: Our good-natured rivals this week are the folks over at AZ Desert Swarm.  I think I speak for ALL of us when I say that their name is more reminiscent of Michael Crichton’s PREY than anything related to a Wildcat. And frankly, I think the “Arizona Predatory Nanorobot Swarm” is a MUCH more intimidating mascot anyway.

Speaking of intimidating, AZ has a player (Nick Johnson) nicknamed “Bunnies.”  According to the Swarm folks, he is so named because – and I quote – “Bunnies hop.”  This begs the question: why not Kangaroo, or ‘Roo for short?  Why not Tigger? Their tops are made out of rubber and their bottoms are made out of springs!  I guess what I’m saying is that as long as the AZ fan base is going to go with a dumb name they might have well drawn from A.A. Milne’s classic Winnie the Pooh.

They could have also gone with salmon.  Salmon leap.  And these are just a few of literally TENS of jumping/leaping/soaring animals I can name that would be at least as intimidating while still as endearing as “Bunnies.”  Flea.  There, I thought of another one.

MORT: Great nicknaming, Hugs. Now, to the team with our favorite nickname, the Murray State Second Placers, why would you turn down your opportunity at postseason play? Here at Belmont, we never thumb our nose at extra basketball, as evidenced by our participation in the 2010 College Basketball Invitational presented by Zebra Pen. Seriously, you think SEMO would turn down postseason basketball? For Hanlen’s sake! They would probably play the games bare-ass naked if it meant prolonging their careers and bettering their program! But you, Murray, have taken your ball and gone home.  Your fans should already have their CBI brackets filled out and be organizing their laptop viewing parties. But in all seriousness, I do think it is a shame that you did not give your fans and that talented group of players one encore performance, even if it wasn’t the stage you were hoping for. Drew Hanlen would shake his head in shame.  

And shaaaaaaaaaaaame on you CBS. Did you not see that we were dressed for the prom? You left us at the altar, you son of a drug lord! How could you not put us on TV?! WE HAD BALLOONS! It looked like freaking Disney World in the Beaman, and we were the only team not to be live broadcast at our match-up announcement. Even MTSU’s team celebration was televised, and what did you do for them? Zoomed in on a cell phone to make light of it’s blighted condition. And did anyone ask from where the funds for said phone were appropriated? The Byrd Cage I-Team will not stop until receipts are produced and the amateur status of the player in question is proven. In the meantime, we expect full reparations for the moment that was stolen from our beloved University community in the form of game fixing and the immediate cancellation of Two and a Half Men syndication. You might as well go poke old ladies in the eye with Tim Tebow.



HUGS: I feel a little bad for making fun of Lipscomb now that we’ve left the conference.  It’s a little like repeatedly parading your new significant other (who is a MUCH better match for you) in front of your old boo shortly after you crushed said former paramour’s heart and spirit. Nevertheless, the baser part of me can’t help but giggle with schadenfreude at this latest thorn in the Bisons’ side.

MORT: It sort of feels like kicking a puppy at this point.


HUGS: It wouldn’t be M&H without a tweet from Burgtime, and any tweet tantamount to Situation apologism is sure to find its way here.  Burgy, I can forgive your unhealthy love for the Dave Matthews Band, and I generally like to live and let live when it comes to others’ entertainment choices, but I will brook no defense of anyone or anything that has ever been a part of making “Jersey Shore” a cultural phenomenon.  You, Mr. Burgason, should be ashamed of yourself for exonerating this serial affront to good taste, and you should consider yourself one for encouraging people to watch MTV.

MORT: Serious question: if you had to hang out with the Situation, would you rather him be sober or drunk? Or rather, would you rather be sober or drunk. I think there is no way in hell that I could handle any situation with the Situation without a liquid situation to get me through.

HUGS: I think even Tim Tebow would need that too.


HUGS: I would expect nothing less from a grown man named Bunnies.  Though this is not actually a slam.  This grown man going by the name “Hugs” thinks that chocolate labs are adorable.

MORT: I see what you did there, bunnies. You switched the “r” and the “i” in an attempt to rid yourself of that adorable nickname.  “Air Zona”. I get it. Short of the 7 deadly sins (maybe only 5?) what wouldn’t I do to get that changed? But bunnies it is and bunnies it will be forever. And in my estimations, this presents certain challenges with college women, because once you got introduced as bunnies wouldn’t they automatically make assumptions about your rate of procreation?


HUGS: Through my cursory research on AZ basketball Solomon Hill’s name of course came up.  I had hoped that his Twitter timeline would be replete with 140-character gems along the lines of a Jordan Burgason or a Caleb Chowbay, or perhaps at least the swagger of an Isaiah Canaan. Mr. Hill gets the Mort & Hugs Award for ‘Social Media Restraint’ for having a Twitter account used so sparingly that I only had to scroll down 5 or 6 posts to find a tweet from before the season started.  So kudos, Solomon Hill, on not succumbing to the impulse to tweet EVERYTHING that pops into your head, thereby making Mort and Hugs’ job more difficult.  That said, if you are still hungry, I highly recommend the Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Taco.  The key is to get it supreme but WITHOUT the sour cream.  Taco Bell has a near-pathological affinity for excess sour cream, and it both ruins the consistency and masks the delicious zesty ranch flavor on those CRDLTs. But if you take my advice and get two or three of those bad boys, it will satiate your hunger and help console you when you are on the road back to Tucson Friday morning, because the Bruins are also hungry and have already had their fill of Doritos Locos Tacos.

MORT:  …..aaaaaaaaaand made it with one foot to spare.


  1. Go Bruins!

  2. Even when it wrecks my bracket, I love to watch the Big East crash and burn.

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