As a fan of sports, and The Sports Guy on ESPN.com, I have come across the Ewing Theory. When a media-hyped "superstar" is lost via injury, trade, or other means and his team performs better in his absence (case in point, the 1999 New York Knicks came back from the brink when Patrick Ewing tore an Achilles' against Indiana and made it to the finals without the big sweat).
This year's Dinos men's volleyball team is the ultimate test for the Ewing theory. Why? Well, contrary to the Dino Cup posters, Canadian Intervarsity Sport Player of the Year Denis Zhukov will not be in action this weekend, or any weekend until January for that matter.
Zhukov played with his native Kazakhstan in the recent World Championships, and CIS rules keep him out of the line-up until the season's second half, meaning other players have to step up in his absence. Enter the Ewing Theory, and a more successful Dinos team than if El Zhuko were around.
This time, they can't rely on him as their big-gun.
I explained the Ewing Theory to a few of the players to get their opinion. First year James "Motown" Brown understood perfectly.
"Like the Mariners without A-Rod, Griffey, and the Unit" he said. Precisely.
"I gotta go study," he added.
Not the enthusiasm I was looking for.
When Zhukov returns in January, the Ewing Theory will be put directly to the test. If the Dinos are 1-9 and Denis leads them to the playoffs, I'll gladly eat my words. If the Dinos excel this half and stumble into the playoffs and elimination, the Ewing Theory will have struck again.
The experiment begins this weekend at the Husky Dino Cup, a hard-court clash between our own Dinos, the University of Pacific Tigers, the Stanford Cardinal, and the Regina Cougars thrown in for good measure. Last year, the Dinos finished second with Zhukov in the line-up. Should they win this year, the Ewing Theory will score a victory right along with them. Should they lose, well, it's just the pre-season, right?