Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Bracket Busting

The NCAA Tournament is here and I am pumped as usual. I get March Madness mood swings that only T.O. can relate to and right now I am in the pumped stage.

Pre-tournament, after the bracket release, it is all euphoria. Unless you are St. Mary's, but I am going to forget about that right now. My bracket changes daily. I can't make up my mind, agonizing over the Utah/Arizona game like it is really going to make the difference between the ecstasy of victory and the agony of defeat. But we all know that our brackets will be busted on day one when my "Lock of the Century" Wake Forest goes down to Cleveland State.

Just look at that logo! The viking is hiding and waiting for the perfect moment to pillage my bracket. I can feel it coming....

And this brings in the second stage of March Madness moodiness, bracket armegeddon. It happens almost every year to me. I CAN'T STAND IT! My elite eight turns into the elight three and five red strikes. But it is a blessing in disguise. As my bracket disintegrates I can stop worrying about losing to my younger brother in our bracket challenge and start enjoying all of the upsets and buzzer beating, half court miracles.

Which leads into my third stage of March Madness, the final four. When the final four arives I am usually a little disappointed that it has all come to an end. The first weekend is much more fun that the final four. Trying to watch four tight games all at once is almost impossible and yet a challenge that I take on every year without hesitation. It is the remote control olympics. Don't even try to beat me in the most channel changes in under 10 seconds.

But back to the final four. Once the tournament gets to that point our bracket challenge is usually decided, my favorite team is never still around, and the games usually aren't all that great (except for the greatest final ever last year, yes, EVER!).

In the end, the NCAA Tournament gives us the greatest four days of competition in American sports. I will not be leaving the couch these next four days and if you have to work I know that you will be watching online. And if you have a good relationship with your boss, take them out to a long lunch at a good sports bar. I will be watching and I know you will too.

p.s. Did you see David Wright's hit last night? USA! USA! USA!

Let me know what you think.....


Friday, March 6, 2009

The WBC is here!

Why am I so exciting about the WBC?!? I actually watched about three innings of a replay of Chinese Taipei vs. Korea this afternoon. How can I be interested in any of this?!? I think I may need counseling, because I am actually ashamed of admitting to watching part of that game.

How bad is the WBC? Let's take a look at the WBC rosters vs the 2008 MLB All-Stars.

On the American League side, there were 33 MLB All-Stars and only 9, that is not a typo, nine of them are playing in the World Baseball Classic. For those of us that aren't math majors that is 27% of the AL All-Stars that are playing in the Classic. A sampling of those AL players who decided to hang out in the beautiful 70 degree sun of Arizona or Florida include:

Joe Mauer, Alex Rodriguez (I know he got hurt, but he probably just made it up to get out of the thing), Josh Hamilton, Manny Ramirez, Roy Halladay, Scott Kazmir, Mariano Rivera, Jonathan Papelbon, Jason Varitek, Ian Kinsler, J.D. Drew, and Michael Young.

And how can you blame them? Team USA opens up play in Toronto tomorrow, where the weather forecast is a balmy 43 degrees high and beautiful pouring rain.

What about the NL All-Stars? Did any of them bother to show up for the WBC? Out of 34 NL All-Stars 12 of them decided to play. Again, for those of us that skipped algebra class every Friday because we had "better things to do", these numbers come out to 31% of MLB All-Stars are participating in this year's World Baseball Classic.

How can ESPN promote this event as having the "world's best" baseball players? Give me a roster of players that skipped the event, I will show up in Los Angeles for the Championship, and smoke the winning country like my team was a bunch of Danny Almontes playing in the Little League World Series.

Yet somehow, this stupid thing is going to get me to watch more of it than I want to admit to. It is like a fight happening across the street that you can't take your eyes off of. What if something crazy happens? What if I am the one person who doesn't see it? I would never forgive myself if I missed the Chinese Taipei manager go on a rampage like this guy:

There is also another factor at work forcing me to watch this glorified spring training tournament. There is a Team USA. I can't help but root for Team USA. It is like a bad addiction that I have. Usually it only comes around during the Olympics. But whenever there is a competition that involves an American player or team, I have to watch and root hard for the Americans. If I come across women's figure skating during the Olympics, I all of a sudden become a skating judge dismissing the Russian for bad technique on her triple lutz jump.

So as much as I think that the WBC is just an exhibition tournament blown out of proportion. I will be sitting on my couch agonizing over every at-bat as Team USA tries to bring home, championship, trophy-thingy?


Let me know what you think............


Wednesday, March 4, 2009

T.O. is CUT!

Can anyone believe that Jerry Jones actually cut T.O.? The old man might still have a little football savvy in him. I mean Jerry Jones is the man who signed Pacman Jones and Tank Johnson after their wonderful modeling careers in Mugshots Today Magazine.


I thought that Jerry and T.O. were going to do a reality TV show together. Pick the next superstar wide receiver for the Cowboys from a bunch of third team all-state Texas kids!

Never-the-less, this is a big move in the football world. Even if Terrell's numbers don't make him one of the best receivers in the game anymore. Over the last two years T.O. has dropped more passes than any receiver in the league. 27 to be exact. Last year, T.O. has less receiving yards than Vincent Jackson of the San Diego Chargers. You could argue that Vincent, albeit a solid receiver, is the Chargers third option in the passing game behind Chris Chambers and Antonio Gates.

Well, if he is not going for big yards anymore he must still be moving the chains. That's what happens to old receivers, right? They go from deep threats to possession guys. Ummm, T.O. had less first down catches than Kevin Walter (HOU), Lance Moore (NO), Chris Cooley (WAS), and Matt Jones (JAC). Yes, the Matt Jones you know from his glorious cameo in the July 2008 copy of Mugshots Today Magazine. And Matt only played in 12 games last year...

So, lesson to be learned from today's lesson?

#1) Jerry Jones is not as crazy as Al Davis. (Not yet at least)

#2) If when you saw the "T.O. is Cut" headline, you thought to yourself, "Man, I hope my team picks him up." Slap yourself in the face and go take a cold shower.

#3) Do as I do, pray every night that your team will stay as far away from T.O. as possible.

Let me know what you think....


Tourney Time! part 1

No. You are going at this all wrong. Everyone in the world knows that North Carolina, Connecticut, and Pittsburgh are going to make deep tourney runs. 99% of the world is going to put those three teams in the Final Four. Debating which one of them is going to win it all is futile. It won't matter. You are not going to win your office bracket because you picked North Carolina over Pitt in the final. Why? Because at least 1/3 of your office will also have North Carolina as the champ. do you win your office bracket? How do you gain back the respect of your office after losing to the 25 year old secretary who only ever talks about how Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston would make the best couple EVER!! Here's how:

Pick the cinderella team. Pick that one team that is going to make it to the elite 8 out of nowhere. Don't waste time researching UNC vs Pitt. If you pick that one cinderella, you will have coworkers amazed at your basketball knowledge. Praising your bracket like you have your very own entourage.

But back to reality. Before you can start ordering your coworkers around like Chef Ramsey, you need to figure out who that magic carpet ride team is going to be. First, let's go on a history lesson of the teams that surprised us all (all of us except for that secretary) the last five years. These are the teams that if you picked, you would have likely won your tourney challenge:


2004 - Xavier - 7 - Romain Sato - Elite 8

2005 - West Virginia -7 - Kevin Pittsnogle - Elite 8

2006 - George Mason - 11 - Coach Jim Larranaga - Final 4

2008 - Davidson - 10 - Stephen Curry - Elite 8

Now, for 2009....What we need is an under the radar team, with good talent, and excellent coaching. Let me introduce:

The Saint Mary's Gaels

Wait! Don't leave yet! I promise that this is not as stupid as it sounds. And when Saint Mary's is charging into the Elite 8 this year, you will know who to thank for your March Madness success.

Now the Gaels are currently a bubble team that might actually not make it into the tournament because of an injury to their stud point guard Patty Mills. However, Patty is coming back for the WCC tournament this week and a healthy Patty means that the Gaels should take the WCC crown.

Look at the Jan. 29th game vs Gonzaga. Patty Mills goes down in the first half with a broken hand and the Gaels led 39-33 at intermission. Mills had already poured in 18 points in the half on what is supposed to be an NBA ready opponent in Jeremy Pargo.

Saint Mary's was 18-1 and ranked 18th by ESPN/USA Today before the Mills injury. What you need to do is watch the WCC Tournament when Saint Marys plays Gonzaga in the final. If Patty Mills is healthy, go all-in with Saint Marys when you are filling out your bracket.

If you want to see visual proof. Start this video at the 40 second mark and also skip to 1:28. See a couple of Patty Mills' highlights against team USA.

If you are still not convinced of the bracket busting potential of Saint Mary's, you are probably right. I mean, it wasn't that embarrassing to get beat last year by that guy who picked Davidson because he has a son named David. Was it?

Let me know what you think...


Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The Crying Bronco

What is Jay Cutler doing?!? He either thinks he is already better than John Elway, or thinks that he is the next coming of Christ. Take your pick. Whining and complaining about being on the trading block? THIS IS THE NFL! If your organization thinks that they can get better by getting rid of you they will. It is as simple as that. If Joe Montana and Brett Favre can leave their homelands, Jay Cutler can too. I shouldn't even put Cutler in the same sentence as Favre and Montana. Here is the Broncos record under the greatness of Jay Cutler:
  • 2006: 2-3
  • 2007: 7-9
  • 2008: 8-8
His performance against the team's biggest division rival, Chargers:
  • 1 Win (with many thank-yous going out to Mr. Hochuli)
  • 4 Losses including 3 tds and 5 ints
I don't mean to hate on Jay Cutler right now, but I just can't stand when athletes think that they are greater than the game, or greater than the players that have come before them.

So please, Jay, buddy, save us all the agony of having ESPN taken over by an immature, hot-headed, mediocre talent complaining about being on the trading block. You wouldn't be on the trading block if you were producing Jay. Plain and simple.

Even Carmelo Anthony has injected himself into the situation by trying to explain the business side of things to Cutler. And let's face it, when your franchise QB looks immature compared to Carmelo, you have serious problems.

Let me know what you think...