A Little Off The Top

November 18, 2008 – 1:23 am by Matthew Glenesk

So there I was devouring my homemade steak burrito Monday night getting ready to enjoy some college basketball in this season’s infancy. 

It was my first non-Big Ten Network game of the season.

Imagine my delight when I turned on the Eastern Michigan-Purdue game on ESPN2 and heard the soothing voice of Brent Musburger. And you know if The Muss is there, one Steve Lavin won’t be far behind.

The duo is a tour de force for Big Ten fans and later in the season when we get Erin Andrews back from football duty, it just doesn’t get much better.

(It’s been a while since some blogger mentioned Erin Andrews. And no, we’re not going to post the picture of her eating a hoagie on the sideline. We have higher standards than that.)

While Ms. Andrews and the venerable Muss do a great job, Lavin brings something special to the table: his brilliant mastery of the helmet head. Seriously, the guy looked like he was working construction.

So, as I watched the opening to the game I was shook to the core.

Lord Helmet was gone.

Steve Lavin had gone and gotten himself a new hairdo. America’s hair stylists rejoiced in the streets. Stock shareholders of Paul Mitchell and American Crew wept. 

In place of the skull-protector was this new combed-back-with-more-volume look. Don’t get me wrong, there was still enough product on his dome to prevent cranial damage from a 10-story fall.

Perhaps his way too hot wife finally said enough was enough. Or in difficult economic times, Lavin’s hair gel allowance was trimmed a bit.

Now the hairstyle change might not have been spotted by as many sports fans as Charissa Thompson’s recent change, which Deadspin fills us in on, but it’s a big deal.

I’d equate it to if TNT’s Craig Sager stopped dressing like a 1930s gigolo. Sager and Barney the Dinosaur are the only ones who can properly rock a purple suit.

We found out quickly that Lav’s old hairdo wasn’t his power source. Whew! He was in midseason form as he spent the last five minutes of the game rooting for Purdue walk-on Bobby Riddell to score with the Boilers up 30.

(History lesson: Lavin was an assistant coach at Purdue under Gene Keady before heading out west to UCLA.)

There were no “keystone cops” or “pepper pots,” just one “Bobby Buckets!”  

New hair, same Lavin.

Oh yeah, and…

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  2. Being a coach of a basketball team is a great opportunity for teaching players the basic values of discipline and working together as a team. It can also show them the benefits of planning and team strategy.

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