It has been somewhat of a slow week in sports this week the brackets have been busted mine as soon as Ohio State lost too Dayton I was done. Syracuse and Duke bowing out as Mercer gave them some Mercer. The first couple rounds were just exciting and crazy and that’s what makes this tournament fun so I hope the NCAA doesn’t screw it up by adding more teams in the future. They shouldn’t have gone to 68. 64 worked fine we don’t need play ins.
This should be another week of exciting games. I think Dayton has a shot for the elite eight as they will go up against Stanford. UCLA could throw a scare Florida’s way as well. But that is what this tournament is about the unknown.
On the local front the Boston Red Sox gave David Ortiz his deal a 1 year extension for 15 million and a couple option years. Now maybe the Big Guy can stop whinning and concentrate on hitting 2 for 35 this spring. I get the hometown hero and the guy has been good for the Sox and for that matter the city of Boston. But I would have waited the season out let him finish the current contract and go from there. He may have a great year by all means give him another but given his age. Why not see what this year brings first. I understand the Red Sox rewarded him for being a good player and all. I just would have waited.
Meanwhile in Foxboro Vince Wilfork is upset that the Patriots may want him to restructure his contract. I think they will get it done. However, Vince isn’t happy he reportedly cleared out his locker and ripped his name plate down. The guy is coming of a bad injury at his size and age. Teams won’t take a chance on him. The other thing is the Patriots have no problem cutting players. They even left one of their most dedicated guys Kevin Faulk over the years off the Superbowl Roster in his final season.
Belichick was hucking it up with the media at the owners meetings. The Patriots proposed as a rule change cameras on the goalline and the end line to help see if the ball crossed the plane of the goalline and to help with inbounds and outbounds on the endline and sideline of the end zone. So some reporter asks him how is the Billion dollar NFL going to pay for the cameras. (stupid Question) Bill says I don’t know a bake sale or maybe a car wash. He went on to explain that each stadium has 100’s of cameras they can see if a fan spilled a beer on another fan. Bill may have a point but it was classic BB.
The wind was awful today and most of Massachusetts escaped a blizzard sorry Cape Cod you got it bad. We didn’t even get a flurry North of the city. The weather is not baseball friendly with opening day on Monday. At least the Red Sox don’t open here until next Friday the fourth against the EX American League Brewers.Maybe it will reach 50 by then.
I was driving Lil Lanz to Hockey tryouts and he says I wish we had our names on the back of our jersey’s. He says he would customize his and have it say Miser. I immediately thought of the XFL and Yes non other than He Hate Me. So I say to him they did that stuff in the XFL. He says whats the XFL so I explained it to him . How the wrestling Guy formed a Football League and it wasn’t great football with some crazy rules. Then it dawned on me that the XFL started in 2000, played 1 season in 2001. Lil Guy was born in 2002. Just a reality moment.
LIL Warriors Report
The boys got back out of the loss column this week and sealed fourth place for the playoffs. They tied 2-2 Saturday and won 5-4 on Sunday. Lil Lanz got the game winning assist. I nice shot from the right circle and Lil Bobby tipped it home. The hero was Lil Steve he wore the hat first year player and he got a hat trick and made a great defensive play. Kid has came along way since September. LIl Lanz checked the score sheet for his assist. Coach Dave ended up giving him the sheet. He ended up giving it to lil Steve..
Lanz here got called back behind the bench Saturday as Head Coach Glen had to leave at the end of the first period. Boys have there first playoff game on Sunday at 4:30 a win they will play next Saturday a loss they are done for the season. They have gotten some ice time this week a two hour tryout last night which tries to place the kids on the right level team. Practice Friday.and the game Sunday.
Meanwhile Laser was going to play his final season of Youth lacrosse and has decided to just play baseball instead not wanting to risk head trauma.
Hello and welcome to another Wednesday of deep thoughts. I know that many find Mark Cuban to be a loud mouth and generally an obnoxious ass. I have always enjoyed his outspoken nature and appreciate his obvious business acumen. I read with interest this week when Cuban poked the suits in the NFL with his comments about the NFL being in danger of over saturation. Honestly, is this any different than what many of us have been writing about the NFL? In case you missed it, the NFL is now talking about bringing an NFL game to Saturday night. I loved this Cuban quote: "Just watch. Pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered. When you try to take it too far, people turn the other way. I'm just telling you, when you've got a good thing and you get greedy, it always, always, always, always, always turns on you. That's rule No. 1 of business." I love that saying about pigs getting fat. I used this often when talking about folks trying to grab the lowest interest rate on a loan. The NFL is sitting pretty now, but things can change and change quickly. Saturdays are for college football. Friday is for high school football. Maybe the NFL believes that they are too big to fail, but they are not. Hooray for Cuban for speaking the truth…even if some don’t want to hear it.
I think I have a solution for the Redskins. They can keep the name and just change their logo. Everyone wins...Seriously though, why can't people leave this alone. I am certainly no Daniel Snyder fan, but it really is ridiculous the way this will not die.
The NBA cracks me up. I admit to not paying too much attention to the game of late, but I was amazed to learn that the Spurs were on a 13 game winning streak (make it 14 after Tuesday night’s game). Many believe the Spurs are an old team, but if you take a look at their roster, they are loaded with young players. Pop has quietly built a very solid roster. I admit that I sort of expected the Spurs to fade away once Duncan and Ginobli retired…but now, I am not so sure. Pop does an amazing job of finding players that fit the mold that he requires. He sort of reminds me of Belichick that way. The NBA obviously is not crazy about San Antonio and the lack of flash…but it wins games. So…with the Heat, OKC, Indiana and others getting the press, it is the Spurs that are fighting the good fight. Damn, I may have to start paying attention to the NBA again.
Did you hear about Shaq having assault charges brought against him by a TBS employee? Apparently what Shaq considers horseplay, is not much fun for normal sized people. Shaq reportedly tackle/punched the employee then fell on him, injuring his back and neck. For all of Shaq’s faults, I truly have a hard time believing that Oneal would intentionally hurt someone. Of course, it would not be a stretch to think that a falling Shaq might cause damage to a “regular” sized person. Maybe this guy is really hurt, but I have a hard time buying it. The bad thing for Shaq is that intentional or not, he will probably have to pay. How much is a Shaq tackle is worth? I suppose we will soon see…
Maybe Shaq should sue Charles to recoup his money?
Julie and I made another mad dash for the valley last Friday afternoon. The starting catcher banged up his knee and it looked like Blake would be playing all three games. If you know college baseball, you realize that the best pitcher works on Friday night. The Broncs Friday night pitcher is a very good one…Sam Street. He really is one of the better arms in the country. He may not throw heat like the big boys at Vanderbilt or Texas, but he is a very advanced pitcher. He works in and out and changes speeds very well. At 6 and 0 with 4 complete games…he is a great college pitcher. Friday was UTPA’s first conference game against the New Mexico State Aggies and Street was money again. As we pulled into the parking lot in the 4th inning, the Aggies had loaded the bases. A walk, a missed call at 1B and a bunt single was the scenario as I turned off the car. As we walked into the stadium, the crowd reaction indicated a happy conclusion to the inning. As I quickly glanced at the scoreboard, the 0 under visitor confirmed my hunch. An infield fly and a double play allowed Street to work out of the inning. Street did not have his best stuff on Friday, but he pitched well enough to grab a win and another complete game. In our travels around the state this year, we have seen some very nice stadiums. I realized that although there may be more grand venues, but sitting in the front row behind home plate watching your son play is not all bad. Blake played pretty well. He was certainly not perfect, but is finally beginning to settle in. Here is the head coach Manny Mantrana discussing the weekend games.
Did you happen to see the fight between Florida State and Florida? The pitcher has to make that play…
It seems that each week that I find something to say about the Cleveland Indians. I am not sure if this is some kind of sign, but the video I saw this week was too good not to share. I can only imagine how cool it would be to watch your son take his first at bat in major league game…even a spring training game. Tom Hamilton is a lucky man!
I refuse to acknowledge those two games in Australia as opening day. I know that the games count, but not for me. Opening day is next week…in the US. There were two baseball things that really stood out for me this week. Don Mattingly publicly calling out Yasiel Puig and Max Scherzer turning down a 6 year contract worth slightly more than $25 million per…wow. Why am I not surprised that Scott Boras is Scherzer’s agent. I learned that Scherzer wanted to stay with the Tigers, but wanted an 8 year deal. Obviously Tiger management is pissed that Scherzer turned down this offer and I can’t blame them. The thing that is sad about this is that this incident could seriously impact how the Tigers play this year. How are Scherzer’s teammates going to look at his refusal? Is it just a business? Or will it be taken personally? One thing I know is that he probably won’t get a warm reception at home this year.
Yasiel Puig’s nickname is “wild horse”. Given his game, it is an apt nickname. What surprised me is Donnie Baseball making light of Puig’s injury with an implication that he exaggerates his aches and pains…a whiner if you will. I guess what is more surprising is that Mattingly went to the press with his comments. I get that Mattingly may be somewhat frustrated with Puig, but it is not even April yet. The Dodgers and Tigers are two teams that could be playing in October, but unless they can put aside these distractions…they may find the season to be a troubled path.
That is all I have this week, but will leave you a bit of Jack Handey…
It's easy to sit there and say you'd like to have more money. And I guess that's what I like about it. It's easy. Just sitting there, rocking back and forth, wanting that money.
I wish I would have a real tragic love affair and get so bummed out that I'd just quit my job and become a bum for a few years, because I was thinking about doing that anyway.
Thanks for stopping by and feel free to leave a few deep thoughts of your own…
Hey these mascot ideas are just as bad as the team...or is this the team???
Greetings for the Hoodwood, where the most frequent sound you hear is bracket busting all over the place. As for me ? Don’t ask.
NCAA: From 68 to 16 how we got here
Start from when Dayton stood up to the so-called mighty Buckeyes and wouldn’t back down and you had the makings of a wild first day. You have to live in Ohio (as I do) to fully understand the gravitas of this game. Ohio State avoids playing teams in state at all costs unless its in an exotic place, at home in the cozy confines of Value City Arena in Columbus or forced to do so by the bracket. Ohio State is the school that the other schools in the state are always measured against and Buck Nation will not hesitate to remind you of this fact. But the arrogant Buck Nation saw this matchup as a gimme, the problem was that the rowdy Flyers weren’t intimidated. They pressed the Bucks into errors, made the timely shots, kept the score low and close and didn’t let the haughty Bucks dictate the pace. The Flyers made the last shot, but needed too strong bounce off the rim on a last second bulrush to the rim by Aaron Craft to win. Two night later the Flyers topped that feat by knocking off Syracuse, these games were in Buffalo which doubled the incredible quotient. To knock off in-state big brother is awe inducing enough, but to knock Syracuse off in First Niagara Arena in downtown Buffalo, practically in the Orange’s backyard is a real feat. Here are the Flyers doing the cabbage patch in the corner of the dance hall, elbowing others out of the way to keep right on dancin’
5-12 matchup seemed to be trap games in the round of 64 (I refuse to call it the 2nd round. 3 of the 5 seed teams(including my beloved Bearcats) got zapped. The sole survivor of the 5 seeds Saint Louis needed OT to survive and they got sent packing 2 nights later. But all the 5-12 games were eye opener. We'll skip the horrid performance my Bearcats had against a good Harvard team and go to the Bison of North Dakota State, I caught their Summit League title win, a thriller against IPFW but like most gave them little chance against a solid Oklahoma squad, but to the pundits surprise the Bison played like they belonged and sent the Sooners packing. I wasnt fond of the SF Austin-VCU matchup which I saw as the NCAA putting two good smaller schools against one another to keep them away from bigger opponents. Let the lower creatures fend for themselves and kill each other off. But the game in San Diego was a classic. The Rams rallied from a halftime deficit by stifiling the Lumberjacks with an agressive press that seemed to paralyze the Southland Champs and seemed to have the game in hand with a 4 point lead until Desmond Haymon launched a 3 and was fouled by JaQuon Lewis with under 5 seconds to play. The shot went down to the horror of Lewis and the Rams, a look that was all over his face when the call was made. Despite an icing attempt by VCU coach Shaka Smart Haymon made the free throw to complete the 4 point play and force OT which the Lumberjacks outdueld a deflated Rams squad who had the look of having let one get away. The win was the 5th OT game in the first round...consider that the last two tournaments years in 132 games had a total of 2 games that went OT. The first two days had 5. Whoa. This is gonna get better as the stakes get higher. In the 2nd round. Wichita State and Kentucky played a Regional quarterfinal game that should have been a regional final or final four game. The unbeaten Shockers were taking on basketball royalty in the Wildcats. The game went back and forth but wasnt decided till Fred Van Fleet's three at the buzzer was off and the Wildcats got a hard earned victory. And of course the haters came out in force saying that the Shockers crumbled in the face of the first "real team" that they faced. I think that this
NCAA Coaching carousel.
They call this the silly season, though the basketball is still being played there are teams that are speculating and pushing hard for teams. Wake Forest is trying to reach for a coach from a familiar place, they got Bob Staak from Xavier in 1985, then the late Skip Prosser in the late 1990’s now they reportedly are after current Xavier coach Chris Mack who has been the coach of the Musketeers since 2009. Would Mack who is a Xavier grad abandon his alma mater for the famous ground of the ACC? Someone that Wake also is reportedly after is VCU coach Shaka Smart who was pursued by UCLA last year but turned it down to stay put, Marquette is also after Smart who is from Wisconsin. Now Marquette is trying to fill its vacancy after its head coach Buzz Williams headed to Virginia Tech. Their AD was once the AD of Cincy. Trying to keep their hot young coach in the same place, Dayton moved to extend the contract of Archie Miller, the younger brother of Sean who is the coach of Arizona and formerly of…wait for it...Xavier. Does this carousel make you dizzy? It makes me a bit seasick. And its only going to get worse. If you thought football was bad….
NFL: Is Cuban Right? Is the NFL getting bloated?
Mark Cuban is someone that despite being a great and savvy businessman, is someone that like to hear himself talk. This has been the case since he became the owner of the Mavs a decade or so ago. Despite his attempts to broaden his sports ownership portfolio he has been rebuffed in attempts to buy MLB franchises and be a part of efforts in a possible NFL expansion ownership group. Cuban lashed out at the NFL saying that in 10 years the NFL would "implode in 10 years" by oversaturation. Now there are some points that Cuban made that were valid. The NFL's TV package as it is, is perfect.Though Im not crazy about the the Thursday Night games though and I hate the thought of expanding the playoffs. But does Cuban have a point in saying that the NFL is bloated and will get too big for its britches? Or does he come off as someone that missed out on getting into a very exclusive rich boys club and is lashing out
NBA: Reverse Streaking
I remember a Sports Illustrated Cover from 1983, it had the incomparable Dr. J. tipping a rebound into the basket. The cover read, The Sixers are going for Seventy. The Sixers were after what was considered an untouchable 69-13 record the LA Lakers set in the 1971-72 season. The Sixers got to 57-9 at one point but coasted to 65-17 with a .500 finish over the last quarter of the season. But that was a great team. Dr. J. Mo Cheeks, Bobby Jones, Marc Iavaroni, Andrew “The Boston Strangler” TOney The famous fo, fo, fo quote by Moses Malone wasn’t quite fulfilled in the 1983 playoffs They went fo, fi, fo to win the 1983 NBA title. It was something that was celebrated by Philly Jazz Fusion group Pieces of A Dream making it into a smooth hit song also named Fo, Fi, Fo.
Ok now that you’ve enjoyed the throwback from the 80s you get thrown to the modern day and the Sixers are the antithesis of that great team they have lost a mind boggling 25 games in a row. And the worst thing is that there is no sign of any kind of reprieve. Consider that the Sixers last won on January 29th, that was nearly 2 months ago. They are closing in fast on the record for the NBA’s longest losing streak held by the post Lebron Cleveland Cavaliers who lost 26 in a row. This team shows no signs of slowing its losing streak after getting hammered by the Spurs who have their longest winning streak of the Pop-Duncan era at 14 games. The Sixers play the Rockets in Houston then come home to face the Pistons exactly two months since their last win and facing possibly the record loss. Can the Sixers run the table in reverse? Will this cinch a new system for a lottery? Stay Tuned.
MLB: Define Overrated
There was a poll of MLB players on who was the most overrated player in their ranks and the person that led the poll surprised me. The Nationals Bryce Harper led over Yasiel Puig and get this A-Fraud...errr A-Rod. Now I think that Harper has rode a considerable hype machine since coming up as a precocious teenager and zooming through the minors to become a stud player for the Nats but to call him overrated? Im not too sure about that, Im also wondering why the haterade is being thrown at Puig who has burned bright as a young star from Cuba and has shown the tools if not the supposed discipline and decorum to be an all-around star in MLB. A-Rod? Is he still in this league? I want someone to define overrated for me. Im thinking of another Public Enemy Jam in "Dont Believe the Hype" It seems that the mainstream sports media wants to find the next big thing to build up so that they can tear them down and rail on them just as fast.
To the ladies of Oklahoma and Depaul Universities who played an thrilling shootout on Saturday afternoon in the NCAA opening round. The 104-100 game was a record for number of points scored in a regulation womens tourney game but also was filled with a breakneck end to end energy that would hearten any hoop head. Both teams shot well with the Blue Demons shooting a crisp 54% from the field. the Sooners made 12 3's and the Lady Demons nailed 11 triples. it was a tight game all the way, decided only in the final seconds. It was a fun game to watch and well deserving in the tourney.
To the New York Post (Want a good tune, listen to the old Public Enemy jam Letter to the New York Post) who slipped up again reporting the former SMU basketball player Quinton Davis was dead...there was one problem. He wasn't. Davis who still lives in the Dallas area was at the La. Tech-SMU game the other night and returned home to find a flurry of messages. Davis who is in his early 30s, was reported as having been found dead as a homeless person. Davis who was neither had to spend the next couple days online and making calls to report that the reports of his death were exaggerated. The New York Post printed a correction but its just another slip up by a horrid publication.
I still think that the Wildcats benefited from a mass of no-calls. My mom isnt a hoop head like me but was wondering why the calls were so blatantly in favor of Kentucky.
Magic Johnson complained that the Lakers lack real leadership and that Laker legends Pat Riley, Phil Jackson and Jerry West in other cities instead of LA is a travesty. The leadership of Jimmy Buss is the travesty in LA and no quick fix is helping that squad.
Gotta send love and prayers to one of my all time favorite QB's Jim Kelly who is battling an aggressive form of cancer. Kelly has been a favorite of mine since he was playing at the University of Miami and the old USFL Houston Gamblers. Send one up for an old QB battling a foe we all hope he will riddle like he did so many defenses in the K-Gun back in the day.
Richie Incognito with the Raiders? That just sounds too easy...
Baseball starts in Austraila this year, did you watch or care? Or are you like me, that baseball season starts when the Reds, or Red Sox or Braves or Cubs or whatever team you follow hits the field at the local ballyard. Its not really spring until opening day in the states. Not NIGHT...Opening Day!
Thanks for your patience while I fixed the column. Its hard to write with a sicky kid to take care of. Until next post fellow sports fans!
1 in 9.2 quintillion. Of course, you’re reading this because your bracket was busted and you had no chance at the Quicken Loans 1 Billion Dollar prize. How do I know? Out of all the submissions, there were 3 left standing on Friday, but each of those dreams ended when Memphis beat George Washington. Unless, you’re Brad Binder - he’s still got a perfect bracket (as of Sunday), but it seems he failed to enter the challenge - he only entered Yahoo! Sports brackets. Ooops. Brad, if you happen to be a Gabber, I’m sorry man. Really, I am.
Wanna know how they can offer a BILLION DOLLARS? The odds against hitting a perfect bracket are 1-in-9.2 quintillion (or 9.2 billion multiplied 1 billion times)...or something like that. See, that number is a straight math problem - 2 to the 63rd power. According to an old USA Today piece I found, looking behind the straight math and figuring in some real world logic, the number is something like 1 in 128-Billion. At that number, someone could conceivably get it once every 400 years. Back to how they can offer that kind of cake - the insurance against something like that happening (we’ll use the once every 400 years number) has to be insanely small. I mean like a couple of us guys here at the Gab could probably roll some left over change and buy a policy like that. That is if a few of us had about $10-Million laying around.
I work with sales people all week. I can’t imagine how giddy the dude who wrote that policy must be.
1 in 16. These are my odds that Michael Vick could actually land the starting job in New York - he signed a $5-Million, 1 year deal with the Jets - and make it through the season healthy. We all know the Jets do like a good QB sideshow. I mean we’re 2 weeks into free agency, a mountain of teams in need of a Quarterback have already gotten one, and the Jets jettison Sanchez to pick up Vick. Ouch. Could Mike Vick really be that much of an upgrade over Sanchez? Why leap so late in the game? Meanwhile Sanchez will now sit and wait for someone to go down.
Now, Vick has been a talented guy, but he reminds me of a video game I used to play back in the day - anyone remember “Glass Joooooe!!”?
Now it’s been reported for sometime that New England is a potential landing spot for the disgruntled wideout, and it makes me wonder if he’s already working the NYJ company line or if he’s just trying to help his buddy out by increasing the possible market, or quietly making the push to be the starter - or some combination thereof. The prospect of Jackson to NYJ could up the ante for Belichick, and to create a little movement - the other teams expressing interest are in the NFC, probably not something Philadelphia would be wont to do. I’d love to see Jackson in New England, and I feel reasonably comfortable in the idea that he’d behave. Brady’s window is closing and he can’t be overly happy about how the last 5 years or have played out. Hard to say if there’s anyone in New York saying “We Need Jackson,” other than Vick, but it’s also hard to see how the Jets could see the value there - I mean they need a few more pieces than a receiver. See the introductory sentence regarding quarterbacks.
BONUS: Buttfumble. To pay homage to the Sanchez era in New York, I give you one of my all time favorite memories of the Patriots/Jets rivalry.
Baseball Season is Nigh!7-1 vs 50-1, Gone are the days that the Cincinnati Reds opened the season with the first game of the year. I’ve said many times that MLB is a bit of a prisoner to its tradition, and that it has quietly gone about pulling apart the vestiges of the olde game so they can go about modernizing (read here further monetizing) the game. And so it goes in recent years the Red Sox have opened the season in Japan, The Rockies and Padres have played in Mexico and this year the Dodgers and Diamondbacks opened the year in the Australian outback (presumably they were also used to search for the missing 777 - every extra man helps!). The Dodgers won both games and thus have 2 wins under their belt a full week before anyone else gets to play a meaningful game.
I guess I appreciate the chance to expand horizons, but I’m trying to figure out just how baseball would fit in with Australian culture - a country of cricket fans. The NFL tried to build NFL Europe and has played a novelty game in London every year that the fans embrace...but it’s just that, a novelty. Baseball is huge in Japan, but the game was introduced in the late 1800’s there and developed a following over the course of time. I don’t know that MLB has the patience to wait 100-years for the continent of Australia to figure this game out.
Have a great week, and don’t buttfumble! BTW, the Red Sox are 12-1 odds of winning the 2014 World Series...as are the Yankees.
In the men's NCAA tournament on Thursday, there was a bunch of exciting games and results throughout the entire day.
In the South region, Florida struggled with Albany but came away with a 12 point win. The funniest thing was the post game interview where Gator coach Billy Donovan told the sideline reporter, "I have no idea what's going on with my team."
Pittsburgh slaughtered Colorado and launched more than a few columns about the seeding process. This despite the fact that it was an 8-9 game and anything can happen in those games.
Dayton was the first team to pull off an upset on Thursday when they kicked Ohio State out the tourney 60-59. Syracuse won their first round game going away over Western Michigan.
In the East region, Villanova won easily over Milwaukee. UConn trailed St. Joseph's but came back and won in overtime.
My lack of faith in Harvard for bracket picking purposes didn't pay off because the Crimson beat fifth seeded Cincinnati 61-57. Despite messing up my bracket a little, I was still happy for Harvard.
I watched the second half of the Michigan State game and despite a valiant effort from Delaware, the Spartans exerted their dominance to win handily.
In the West Region, San Diego State (a Final Four pick of my buddy Brian) beat New Mexico State in a tight game. Oregon easily beat BYU.
When Wisconsin was down 7 points to American, I saw a Badgers fan complaining about Wisconsin's defense. I wonder how that fan felt after Bo Ryan's team turned things around and waxed their opponent by 40 points.
I saw the end of the North Dakota State - Oklahoma game. And was very happy as I picked the Bison to upset the Sooners.
In the Midwest, Michigan handled Wofford easily. Texas beat Arizona State by 2 points. Louisville got by Manhattan by 7 points in a tough game.
I watched the Saint Louis - NC State game and was disgusted by the finish by the Wolfpack. They were up by 16 points and then managed to lose in overtime because they forgot a basic tenet of the game. "Free throws win ball games".
Overall, I went 13-3 on Day 1 of the official part of the tournament.