Hey Mike Miller, put some South Dakota back in your game

Categories: Sports

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Mr. Miller: we've been following you ever since your high school years as a lanky standout in Mitchell. (Remember those days? Back when you were known as "Skinny?")

You broke our hearts when you took off for the University of Florida. The move seemed like blasphemy to both Cyclones and Hawkeyes fans due to their (our) insatiable geo-cultural vanity. During high school, you played in a place called the Corn Palace, for Chrissakes and--what's more--the place was literally made of corn. In other words, you aren't just from the Corn Belt, Mike Miller. You are the Corn Belt.

But we digress. You're back in the Upper Midwest and what concerns us at present is your point production. Simply put, you're not a 10 ppg player. You're better than that. Hell, two years ago, you threw in 18 a game. Heading into this season, we had you pegged as a 20 ppg threat, possibly a dark horse All-Star candidate.

So what gives?

The only credible explanation is that you've succumbed to Minnesota Niceness. Just as K-Love would do well to put a little Oregon back in his game, you would do wise in inserting a little South Dakota ruggedness back into yours. Here's how.

Shoot Pheasants: Nothing clears the head quite like shooting pheasants. Scientists disagree as to why, exactly, this is, but it's reckoned that killing things, even stupid flying things, connects man to his natural purpose in life, which is to say killing things. Added bonus: it will increase your shooting percentage.

Start Wearing an Arctic Cat Jacket: Within SD circles, wearing an Arctic Cat Jacket sends a strong statement. Well, two statements actually: 1) "I am so totally down with snowmobile culture" and 2) "I'm not particularly down with any other type of culture." More pertinent to our purposes, wearing an Arctic Cat jacket will allow you to walk down the street without being hounded, since fans instinctively know that no NBA player would ever don an Arctic Cat jacket. Less off-court stress = more on-court productivity.

Go Booze Cruisin': Another mind-cleaner-upper. For those respectable citizens unfamiliar with this activity, the act of purposeful drunk driving is referred to--at least in SD rural areas--as "booze cruisin.'" It's important to note that booze cruisin' carries less of an "asshole" stigma within rural circles than it does amongst city folk. This is because the danger posed to "the public" is considerably lower, since there exists virtually no public to be harmed. (The Twin Cities metro area alone has a population about five times greater than all of South Dakota). This is especially true of gravel roads, which is the preferred terrain of seasoned booze-cruisers. The point is, a temporary return to this adolescent pastime will cleanse your head, if not your liver. You should also consider packing a bowl with you, as this will allow you to "see the three, be the three," and also keep your ego in check. 

Challenge Fellow South Dakotan Brock Lesnar to a Game of Sorry!: ... and televise the match on Pay-per-View. We know what you're thinking. How will that possibly improve my game? Admittedly, we don't have a logical answer. We just like the idea of you and Brock Lesnar playing Sorry! on television and people forking over hard-earned cash to watch it.

Cut That Hair, You Hippie: Throughout the last three seasons, the length of your hair and your on-the-court productivity have been inversely correlated. Suggestion: chop it off and donate the shards to Brian Cardinal.

Start Hanging Out with Chad Greenway and Ben Leber: Fact: there are but two starters in the NFL who hail from South Dakota. Both are Minnesota Vikings linebackers. Fact: there is but one starter in the NBA who hails from South Dakota; it's you. Fact: the aforesaid SD duo ("Mount Rush Less"?) is tearing it up for the Vikes. Conclusion: if you start hanging out with Greenway and Leber, their awesomeness will start to rub off on you, since their South Dakota maditude has obviously rubbed off on each other. You could even shoot pheasants or booze-cruise with them. Just don't forget your Arctic Cat jacket.

And now this:


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