Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Lower Your Flags to Half-Mast ...

More alumni news and notes: my least favorite KU player ever, Greg Ostertag, announced last night that he would retire from the NBA at the age of 33.

He has, in true Bart Simpson fashion, proudly underacheived everywhere he's been--in Utah, at KU, even, according to some, during his prep days in Dallas. A college friend of mine from Texas who had seen him play in high school always referred to him as "Oster-sh*t."

If records were kept for getting dunked on, Greg might be the NBA career leader; hence my favorite nickname for him: "Poster-tag." I remember in the '94 tournament Purdue's Glenn Robinson dunked over Greg and then screamed in his face. Greg's reaction was to literally shake hands with Robinson and congragulate him on the play; Glenn could only laugh in response.

That incident sort of encapsulated Ostertag for me: a passive player, a flake, but apparently a nice guy. He did, after all, donate a kidney to his sister in 2002.

And on another positive note, I should mention that he remains KU's all-time leader in almost every blocks category; he had 258 career blocks, 15 more than Collison. (Amazingly, third on the list is the even-more-maligned Eric Chenoweth; the record has only been kept since the '70s, thus excluding Wilt, but still...)


  1. Or perhaps the more apropos phrase would be "dunked upon."

    Seriously, any ideas on the vanishing sidebar? Am I the only one with this problem?

  2. I'm sorry to say that I still see the sidebar (if by that you mean that area with our names & the links); I'll take a look tomorrow on the old office computer & see how it looks there.

    As for Poster-tag (that's excellent, by the bye), ever since he spent so many years at Utah I just could never like him much, though I do respect him for the kidney thing. . . .

  3. On my Internet Explorer, the sidebar (not the correct term?) has for some reason fallen all the way to the bottom of the page, and it can't get up.

    But I just checked Mozilla and it looks OK there, so ... I'm stumped. I guess I'll just use Mozilla from now on so as to convince myself that there isn't a problem.

  4. Oh, I see what you mean with Explorer (and you're right, 'sidebar' is the correct term; apologies for suggesting otherwise).

    I seem to have locked myself out of the 'administrator' role (because I'm dumb), but I'll work on Scott to see if we can figure out the error.

    In the meantime, I suppose anything that discourages use of Explorer can't be all bad. . . .

  5. Thanks. I can't "web administrate" my way out of a paper bag.

  6. This topic seems to be the least popular in the history of our blog, but I just have to add a few more Ostertag footnotes, courtesy of the Salt Lake Tribune.

    Ostertag finished "second in team history in blocked shots (1,293), third in rebounds (4,145) and fifth in games played (756)." Also, the Jazz win in their season finale last night gave them a 41-41 record and thus allowed Greg to retire without ever having experienced a losing season.

    On the negative side, however, in the words of Tribune columnist Kurt Kragthorpe (great name): "The Jazz's highlight videos of Greg Ostertag's career featured mostly goofy skits with him and the Bear mascot." Also, his "final career blocked shot was recovered and stuffed right over him by Golden State's Ike Diogu."

    How fitting. Poster-ized once more, for old times sake.

  7. sidebar is screwed up on my screen too. I'll look into it

  8. More great tidbits on Greg from the Journal-World's Bedore, some we've already mentioned and some new ones, including:

    • Slapped by Shaquille O’Neal before season opener in Los Angeles in 1997.

    • Played the part of Joe Sparks in “Eddie,” a 1995 movie starring Whoopi Goldberg.

    • Suffered a bruised big toe when his parked van rolled over his foot the week of KU’s first-round 1995 NCAA Tournament game against Colgate. Ostertag was able to play in the game, but the mishap oh-so-angered coach Roy Williams.

    • Held Oklahoma State center Bryant Reeves — one of the best players in the country — to zero points in KU’s Big Eight-title-clinching victory over the Cowboys in 1995.

  9. After catching heat from a contributor who shall remain nameless (his name starts with a d and rhymes with 'baron')I am contributing the two thoughts I have on Ostertag.

    1. I recall that his time at KU was the era of the big slow white guy in the Big 8: Ostertag and Bryant "Big Country" Reeves.

    2. Ostertag was the more prized recruit of the two, but Big Country turned out to be the better college player.

    It seems fitting that he bruised his toe on his parked car. An awkward moment for a graceless jayhawk.

  10. Thanks, CR, for submitting to my campaign of bullying and intimidation. Let this be a warning to the rest of you ...