My name is Oliver Krause. I can’t play sports, so I need to get my fix in through formulating opinions on those who can. This page was created mostly to hold myself accountable for opinions I take on players/teams, both good and bad. Also, because I got my wisdom teeth out this morning, and I am quite bored. I enjoy most sports (baseball excluded), but this blog will likely center around basketball.
A little background on my biases:
• I grew up in the state of Iowa, so I don’t have the obvious professional biases that y’all need to be aware of. However, it has made me a pretty avid Iowa Hawkeye fan.
• Growing up, my grandpa was a Green Bay Packers fan, and also a shareholder. I discovered this at a young age, and remember thinking it was the coolest thing in the entire world. Since then, I have become a HUGE Packers fan, and it has been a dream to own part of the franchise (accomplished). This is by far the sports team I love the most.
• As for the NBA, my grandpa (the Packers fan) lived next to Lute Olson when he coached for Iowa. Lute got me signed Damon Stoudamire rookie card, so he instantly became my favorite player (along with Penny Hardaway). I loved him on the Raptors, and stayed with him when he was traded to the Portland Trail Blazers in ’98, when I was seven. The Blazers became my go-to team at this point. I still remember the playoff collapse to Shaq and Kobe in 2000, exactly where I was when it happened, and the feelings that resurface every time I see that Shaq alley-oop in NBA highlights (trust me, it’s a lot).
• I got my first gig in sports as a Statistics Intern for the Philadelphia 76ers in the fall/winter of 2013. It was the greatest experience of my life. I spent eight hours every day with the great Harvey Pollack, the only person who worked in the NBA during it’s formation in 1946 to still be working today. Man does he have some stories! (Don’t worry, I’ll sprinkle in a few.) I began in a controversial time for the Sixers. Sam Hinkie was orchestrating perhaps the most significant rebuild in NBA history. (For the record, I interviewed and accepted this position after the Jrue Holiday trade. I was totally on board with it at the time, and my love for the Sixers is not forced because of this internship. I would not have chosen to work in Stats for a team I thought was going the wrong direction. I turned down internships with the Atlanta Hawks and the Cleveland Cavaliers for this opportunity, and I loved my decision. *pauses and looks at the NBA standings*… Yes, I stick by my choice.)
• Probably won’t write much about hockey, so I’ll keep this one brief. My family would go to Colorado for spring break back when I was younger. This timed out to right about when the Colorado Avalanche came to fruition. We would try to catch a game every time we went out west. And because that Avs team was one of the best of all time (Sakic, Roy, Forsberg, Foote, etc. etc. etc. = LOADED), it was clear how a six-year-old could become quite attached. Still my favorite team to this day. The Kid MacKinnon will be an absolute legend, Varly is a very good goalie (contrary to what a lot of people believe), they have some good young pieces going forward (Duchene, Landeskog, Barrie, etc. Also, don’t sleep on the future of Chris Bigras). But John Tavares is far and away my favorite player. Though now it’s awkward, because the New York Islanders are actually good. It’s hard to be a fan of two good teams in the same sport. When they were irrelevant (as they were for most of my fandom) it didn’t matter that I was also rooting for a second team.
• I went to school at the University of Colorado. I’m a Buffalo for life. This has also led me to become a little closer to the Nuggets and Broncos (it’s cool. They’re in the AFC, and a distant second in my heart)
• There are very few teams I dislike at any level. Not a fan of Iowa State, for obvious reasons. Really can’t stand Northwestern. Those fuckers always seem to upset Iowa at the worst possible times. Whether it’s football or basketball, we piss away easy wins time after time. Really tough to keep watching that. In the NFL, I do not like the Patriots, but I respect the shit out of them. I think Bill Belichick is the greatest football coach of all-time. As for the Bears, Vikes, and Lions, I know they’re GB’s divisional rivals, but I just kind of just sorry for them… I really don’t dislike any NBA teams. I question a lot of their decisions (as you will see), but there’s no animosity. As far as hockey goes, I hate the Wild (even before the brutal Game 7 defeat in last year’s playoffs) and a refuse to acknowledge Columbus as having a team.
• I currently work for the Iowa Energy, D-League affiliate of the Memphis Grizzlies, here in Des Moines. The Energy are now in their ninth season in the league, meaning they were created when I was in high school. I went to games all the time when I lived here, both before heading to Colorado and when I returned home for vacation, but I NEVER envisioned working for the franchise. I am very glad I decided to join the Energy team. (And I promise that’s not a Don’t-Get-Fired comment!) I don’t know how long I will remain with the team, but they will always be my favorite D-League franchise. Go Energy!
I know all of that was pretty long-winded, but I think it’s important to know where every writer is coming from as you read his/her opinions.