Well here we are again...My God Monday's come fast...Too fast! I guess sports wise, it's all about college sports this week...The NCAA Basketball Final Four is set...How many of you have a bracket that still has a chance? I didn't think so...Kentucky and UConn...And VCU and Butler...Who the hell had that!?! Well let me give my uneducated guess at this...I say it will be UConn and Butler in the Final, and UConn will win it...
Driving to work Saturday morning the local talk radio guys were crying about the big Ohio State loss to Kentucky...Conspiracy theories are saying they got a tougher bracket because Jim Tresel is a fuck-tard...Ummm, their first two games were against UTSA and George Mason...After looking at the brackets, and how they rolled those two teams...Their draw wasn't any tougher than the other #1 seeds...Quit crying Luckeye fans...They just got beat...Plain and simple...
Hell, I just saw that a rival Cleveland blogger...One who is always viewing things through rose colored glasses, is starting to show signs of excepting reality...She's_starting_to_break...
Saturday night while I was slinging the food at the Fish House, Notre Dame Alum, and Baltimore Raven, Tom Zbikowski was in the boxing ring again...He won his third professional fight in a 4 round unanimous decision, against Caleb Grummet, a former MMA fighter...Zbikoski was giving up 20 pounds to Grummet, and dominated the first three rounds...Grummet came back strong in the 4th round and worked Zbikowski hard against the ropes, but it wasn't enough to take the decision...
The NCAA Hockey Tourney was also taking place this weekend...I spent Friday night watching the games, and then again Saturday night after work...The baby and I had a couple bottles and caught up on the action...Sunday's games would set up Hockey's final for, which they gave the douchey title of, "The Frozen Four"...Here's the final four for Hockey...Minnesota Duluth will face Notre Dame...And Michigan will take on North Dakota...
Last week I predicted Boston College would take it all...Why not? They had guys on this team, including between the pipes that have won 2 titles already...But they got it handed to them Friday by Colorado College...I also was nervous about my Irish...Their Goalie seems to get caught out of position a lot...But Sunday night he stood on his head to help them to a 2-1 victory over New Hampshire....The Irish also have 12 Freshman in their lineup...The says a lot about Coach Jeff Jackson, not only as a coach, but also a recruiter...I hope they can pull it off!
So Saturday nights, when I'm driving home from the Fish House, I pop 98.5 WNCX on the radio...This is the "Classic Rock" station in Cleveland...I don't listen to it often...At this stage, there's only so much pink Floyd, and ACDC I'm willing to tolerate...But Saturday night they have this fat ass, "Mr. Classic" on the air with his "Saturday Night House Party"...He's got that scratchy, I smoke too much voice, and a quality burnout feel...
But the best part is the insane amount of burnouts that call in and request tunes...These dudes, and they're all dudes, sound between 40-60 years old, and they're sitting in their one bedroom, pounding Pabst Blue Ribbon with the bong on the coffee table, and the radio cranked..."Mr. Classic, man let me hear some Artful Dodger!"
Sweet Jesus, it's painful to listen to these ass-hats that contribute so much to society...But damn, it's funny too!
Thanks to the unusual developments over the weekend in the NCAA tournament, my brackets are completely shot to shit. What's even more puzzling, however, is the fact that I couldn't be happier.
For the first time in I don't even remember, I am actually excited about watching the Final Four. Only one of the four teams remaining was expected to last this long by the "experts" (UCONN), and one of the four teams wasn't even supposed to be invited to the tournament at all (VCU). To me, the unexpected nature of the final four teams remaining is what makes this tournament so damn special, and we finally have a 50% chance that a team no one thought would even sniff a championship could win the whole thing, and even though it doesn't look good for our brackets, it's about time that the NCAA tournament has a flair for the dramatic to it.
Do me a favor: take your bracket, and throw it in the trash. Go ahead and do it. I did, and you need to do it too if you want to enjoy these next three games. Besides, if you don't already have the whole damn thing memorized by now you shouldn't even be messing with it in the first place.
And while you're at it, I want you to hop on to VCU's bandwagon (unless you're a fan of one of the other three teams). VCU is the perfect team to win this tournament. Think about it. They weren't even supposed to be there, and now they're one game away from the chance to win the whole thing? Who would have ever thought it would happen? I sure as hell didn't. In both my brackets, I had them losing to Georgetown in the first round (oops, it's the second round now). Boy, was I wrong. Not only did they do away with Georgetown, but they gave early exits to Purdue, Florida State, and Kansas as well. All this happened after they beat USC to get into the field of 64, of course. We can't leave that part out. They had to play one more game than any of the other three teams that are left in the national semi-finals, and yet they're the team to beat, if you ask me. (Of course if you would have asked me two weeks ago, I would have said "who in the hell is VCU?", but that's another story for another day.)
Back to this bandwagon thing. I don't know about any of you, but I hope VCU beats Butler. I hope they run them out of the gym. I hope they survive one more night and take out whichever team wins the other game too. Even though UCONN is still alive and is the pick I made to win the whole thing in one of my brackets, I don't even care anymore. I can't win the bracket challenge, and I honestly just want to see some good basketball for a change, and VCU winning the championship gives me the ability to do that.
So what if I'm not a VCU fan? So what if I had never heard of them before the tournament started? So what? That's what this tournament is all about. It's about finding those diamonds in the rough that no one else thought were good enough, and seeing them shine on the big stage when they're put in the face of adversity. They have a strong belief that they're good enough to hang with the big boys, and they sure as hell have proven over the last two weeks that they do have what it takes to play in the same gym as the "good teams". Don't believe they belong? Just ask Kansas, who took them for granted yesterday and ended up with a one way ticket back home.
If anyone would know what to expect from VCU it would be Butler, since they're the ones who did this exact same thing last year, but for some reason I don't believe that Bulter knows what they're getting themselves into. Let the Kansas game be a warning to you Butler. You may have been the darling of the ball last year, but this year you're just another team that's standing in VCU's way of accomplishing their dream of winning the NCAA tournament. Don't be surprised if they knock you off the stairway en route to grabbing that glass slipper, and don't say I didn't warn you.
Well guys, that's all I have for this week. Feel free to add any thoughts you have in the comments section below. Thanks for reading, and now I'm off to take more sinus medication. These pine trees need to stop fucking so I can breathe again, but that's another story for another day.
Welcome to this weekes edition of Special K's FEARLESS TOP 10 PREDICTIONS. This week the Sprint Cup and Nationwide series are at the California Motor Speedway. It is the 5th race of the season for the Sprint Cup series. Yesterday Kyle Busch dominmated the Nationwide race and won his 3rd straight race. Joe Gibbs Racing picked up the 7th straight win at California. JUuan Problem Montoya won the pole and Regan Smith was 4th as one-lap-wonders were again in the Top 10. This track is the sister track to the Michigan International Speedway and has multiple racing grooves and passing is difficult. There are usually very few cautions and you can find yourself down a lap very quicky in the early going. Last week yours truly had 7 drivers finsih in the Top 10 and 2 others in the Top 20. I also picked up my first "win" of the season with Kyle Busch getting the weekend sweep. Here are this weeks picks.
1.---Denny Hamlin was caught up last week in someone else's problems and wound up 33rd. This week my favorite driver has been fast in practice and starts 2nd. Look for a solid finish.
2.---Jimmie Johnson is a 5-time winner here and should be up front all day.
3.---Kyle Busch will trying for his 2nd consecutive sweep of the weekend races.
4.---Tony Stewart is struggling with a horrible crew chief and needs a solid finish this week.
5.---Joey Lagano has been fast all weekend and needs a solid finish to jump start his season.
6.---Klassless Kevin Harvick starts in the middle of the pack as usual but has been fast in practice.
7.---Matt Kenseth is a 3-time winner here and should be up front all day.
8.---Mark Martin had a solid run last week and needs another good finish this week.
9.---Carl Edwards has been fast sof far in 2011, and should have another solid finish.
10.--David Crash Reutimann is probably in his final season at MWR and needs a good finish this week. He is my surprise pick this week.
Paul Menard had another solid finish last week for RCR. I still think he is a mediocre driver at best I don't think he will bea ble to stay in the Top 10 in points. Regan Smith is also medicocre at best and has already began his slide.
Last week, Wayne Gretzky came out and mentioned quite a few key points. First off, Gretzky addressed the issue of the appearance of a lack of respect in the league. Wayne said that in the early days with the Oilers, they would regularly practice without their helmets on. To him, that taught the players to keep their sticks down, keep their elbows down, and keep the shots from the point low. Makes sense to me, but you have to factor in the size difference of the players from then until now and also factor in the difference in equipment. But Wayne suggested one thing that really made me think. He hinted around the suggestion that the league isn't doing their part to ensure that the players respect each other, so Wayne recommended removing the instigator rule for one season. That's it, just one season, kind of on a trial basis. Now that is a movement I can get behind. I have always been a big advocator against the removal of the instigator rule. The thought of physical violence may do more for a player on the edge than a phone call with Colin Campbell. I am pretty sure that some players wouldn't lay out as many questionable hits if they looked over at the other teams bench and saw a Semenko or a Probert staring back at them. The instigator rule simply protects the gutless weasels of the NHL. Wayne, unlike Mario, says things useful once in awhile. Sure, you can argue that he wasn't the best coach in the league, but his ability stands alone. Does that mean he would make a good commissioner? Who knows, but I would be more interested in watching his press conferences if he brought his leggy wife with him. Bettman, I would pay you money so that I wouldn't have to look at the person that is willing to sleep with a little midget troll.
It's about time. Cooke is done for the rest of the season and the first round of the playoffs. Great timing for this one, isn't it Mario? Prior to the suspension, Mario suggested a new rule that the team is fined by the league everytime one of their players gets suspended by the league. Mario was going at this one pretty strong, but he stated that he is going to try to get some momentum behind it at the next Board of Governors meeting in June. Wow...you really dodged a bullet there Mario. According to the rule and the standards to which you would like it applied, this recent suspension of Matt Cooke would have resulted in a fine to the Penguins in the neighbourhood of $600,000. Now Mario, this is your chance to prove you aren't the douchebag we have come to despise these last few months. Push for the new rule to go through and then prove you are serious about the "sanctity of the game" by putting Cooke on waivers. Cut your losses Mario. This bum can't be taught to play by the rules. If you decide to keep him on, he is going to cost you more money than he is worth and you deserve every little ounce of discomfort this weasel can bring you.
Times have been very busy for Hotchnuts. Let me take a few minutes and get some of you caught up on some things. To say that this past year has been utterly ridiculous would be an understatement. As Ricky off of Trailer Park Boys would say, I've had to swallow my prize.
This weekend, my oldest boy is in the last hockey tournament of the season. One thing that pisses me off, and I have mentioned this before, are the parents that are overexuberant at games. We are dealing with 7-9 year olds in this league, and it is a fun league. There was actually 2 adults sitting in the row behind me, making comments about what that number 4 is doing? Well, you know what sizzlechin, number 4 is my son. I turned and the one adult recognized me because I worked with him a few years ago. We exchanged pleasantries, and he asked if my son was playing today. I simply said "Yup...he's number 4" and left it at that. Now, I have never like this douchebag. I remember we were working at the same school a few years ago, and he decided he would be the hero and go onto the roof and throw all the balls down that have accumulated over the past few weeks while I was on yard duty. Well, as he was throwing them down, I was grabbing them and kicking them back onto another part of the roof. Yup...I can be a dick if I want to. But fuck him...he's lucky he didn't lose any of the good teeth left in his mouth after his performance. And to think...this prick is going to be my oldest boys grade 3 teacher next year. Not if I have anything to say about that...
So now, as a result of an extremely busy weekend, I had an early game today with Holten, and now I am on my way back to the rink. I apologize for the lacklustre entry, but there are times in life that take priority, and this weekend is one of them.
FIGHT OF THE WEEK
Michael Haley vs Daniel Carcillo. I am slowly becoming a big Haley fan. I've mentioned his name a few entries ago, and this kid continues to impress.
LNAH entry of the week...
Tidbal vs Duplain. Duplain gets the right moving early and often in this one.
Wooooo Pig Sooie!!! Kind of an odd chant to be sure and in a way, unsophisticated and I guess, part of the allure. Calling the hogs seems almost surreal. Fans are talking about pigs. lol. For a long time football had dominated at that school and they even won a National Championship back in the 1960s. Then about the mid-70s, Eddie Sutton changed all that. Basketball was an event of epic proportions.
Past stars like Sidney Moncrief, Marvin Delph and Ron Brewer (father of current star on Ronnie Brewer) whetted the apetitie of Razorback fans. Arkansas then hired a black coach named Nolan Richardson, who is a legend albeit a controversial one. leading the Razorbacks to the Promised Land in 1994 ,beating Duke led, Grant Hill to win the National Championship.
As the years progressed Nolan Richardson had stirred emotions with charges of racism against the school and there is even some merit according to some, when certain officials were dropping the N-bomb in board meetings. But that was a long time ago and the school and Richardson have basically reconciled their differences. But with that said, Arkansas and it's basketball program have fallen into disrepair. Only football is bringing in the fans. That is, until last week. Last week, Mike Anderson was hired away from Missouri, after a respectable showing with the Tigers. But Anderson was a long time assistant with Nolan Richardson and Arkansas fans are expectant, that those days are right around the corner, once again. Coach Anderson and former hogs under Richardson and Anderson's tutelage and trying to preserve one of Arkanas's best recruiting classes ever. And he is trying to get the players back from last year who had issues with now former coach John Pelphrey. And it looks good and even for 2012, when Arkansas has two premier players showing initial interest and that has a lot to do with Anderson himself.
That is the shot that made Arkansas history and Coach Mike Anderson will bring that back. Momentum is building and Anderson was just the first salvo fired in regenerating enthusiam in the Arkansas Basketball program.