The problem with the pervasiveness of March Madness Brackets is that the pain of “early bracket irrelevancy” drives casual fans from watching the Final Four. Especially when your boss at work is still in contention to win and reminds you of your dreadful lack of gambling bona fides.
One random thing from the major sports:
1) Football – The NFL Combine was last week and QB mega-prospect Robert Griffin III (RG3) was in Indy tearing up the competition. He was the fastest QB in the pack (at 4.41 seconds) in the 40-yard dash. I was timed a few years ago running the 40. That year my time of 5.60 would have been the slowest at the combine, but this year there are three 325+ pound offensive linemen that had a slightly slower time. I’ll consider that a win in my book.
2) Boston College – I’d be remiss in discussing the combine and not bringing up the top tackler in the nation and only BC invitee, Luke Kuechly. He out-performed expectations and looks to be drafted somewhere in the middle of the first round — Probably to Arizona or Philadelphia, but there’s a chance he could end up in my home state on the New Jersey Jets.
3) Baseball – Mets first baseman, Ike Davis, is rumored to have Valley Fever.
Valley Fever is a fungal disease that affects the lungs and has similar symptoms as the flu or a cold. It can sometimes cause a rash. It can also sometimes be deadly to someone with a weak or compromised immune system, spreading from the lungs to other parts of the body. It is most common in “dry desert areas of the southwestern United States, central California, and Mexico.”
What Ike probably needs is just some rest and to eat his green vegetables. My I suggest a delicious green bean infused sandwich called the Chacarero: A Chacarero is a traditional Chilean sandwich. It begins with homemade bread. The main ingredient is either tender grilled steak or chicken (or both). Then with your main ingredient, add steamed green beans, which gives it that authentic Chilean touch, Muenster cheese and fresh tomatoes. After that, add an avocado spread, salt, pepper & a secret hot sauce recipe to complete the sandwich.
4) Basketball – Linsplotation of the linsanity craze is still going strong. Check out this bar poster for Ginasanity:
5) Hockey – The Bruins are having some terrible luck at the moment with missed calls by the refs and what seems like half the team out with an injury. It’s mostly just sad watching these games, so make sure you have a nice pint of Ben & Jerry’s if you plan to watch any of their upcoming games.
6) Faux Serpico – If you hadn’t noticed, this post wasn’t by the world renown Serpico. It was done to show how nice it would be to have him sharing his Boston, Boston College, and sandwich love with the world again.
“BC didn’t look too good this weekend,” said a BU-alum co-worker.
“Yeah,” I replied, “but we’ll make the Dance.”
Boston College beat Duke at home and UNC on the road this season. A couple of thrilling games against top competition. As part of any NCAA Tournament portfolio, they’d be those “well, now we have to let you in” type games that guarantee an 8 seed. But in this baffling season in which the ACC beats up on each other more than usual, nothing is certain. After beating UNC, my beloved Eagles returned home and got clobbered by Harvard, a team with slightly more athletic talent than my high school’s. I was there at Conte Forum when it went down. If you dig up the ESPN highlights (I won’t, since it hurts), you’ll be able to see me in the background with my head in my hands and my girlfriend being a good soldier and trying to make me feel better.
The road to March Madness reminds me a lot of the road to the Oscars. Way too many people using way too much specious reasoning to determine the future. “Mickey Rourke won some support when he thanked his dogs during the Golden Globes, so that puts him in a great position.” “Texas Tech is only at .500, but with their strength of schedule being what it is, maybe it’s enough to get some looks.” Pundits of all types are weigh in, using the same information in different ways. Interesting things happen when “news”casters need to fill two hours on one subject.
Like the Oscars, when the Tournament actually happens it is cause for a massive party, drinking games and friendly wagers. But darn if the trip there is agony. I’m not here to say that going to daily RPI trackers or Perez Hilton for gossip is wrong, but I am here to say that anticipation, when too bloated, invariably leads to letdown. People love setting themselves up for disappointment. I’m sure that some of you who braved the seven hours worth of the Academy Awards spent a lot of it wondering why your Lead Pipe Locks didn’t win their respective awards after you spent days in advance researching their roles and figuring out who actually is in the Academy. I just trust you don’t make the same mistake with the NCAAs.
A basketball player was charged with domestic violence this week. That, in and of itself, is sadly not newsworthy. What does get my attention is that he is a Harlem Globetrotter. Wildkat Edgerson, whose begins with “Wildkat Edgerson is the Globetrotters’ gentle giant.”
This isn’t a mistake. Rajon Rondo pulled down 15 boards to go along with 14 assists and 19 points. Oh, and a steal. Why not?
Awfully Chris Paul-esque, eh?
Did I expect Boston College to beat North Carolina in a game of basketball at the Dean Dome this weekend? No, I did not. Did I expect Boston College to prepare to fire its head football coach after he decided to interview for the New York Jets position? No. Yet oddly, both this happened.
College sport is a lot of things to a lot of people. To some, it’s everything. While I’m not as wrapped up in the exploits of my alma mater as some, I’m more involved than most. As such, this odd combination of events this weekend has affected my sleep last night and my appetite today. How can I be hungry when I need to keep checking my message boards for breaking news?
Whether you love schoolboy hoops or not, or have ever been to a college football tailgate, you’ve all be acquainted with the dizzying experience of being hit with both wonderful and horrible news at the same time. It throws you for a loop in a way that you can’t really explain. The bad news doesn’t seem as awful because the good news tempered it slightly. Yet, unfortunately, that good news isn’t as sweet as you could’ve expected. Both events are brought into their weird hazy middle ground, that you get lost in instead of gettinga good night’s sleep. I’ve always found the idea of willingly becomming a sports fan funny – you’re signing up for far more heartbreak than happiness. Whenever I forget about that fact, fate reminds me.
I’m still in an Olympics state of mind, so I’m going to spill some info on you in the most efficient way I know of: conversation-inspiring bullet points! Here we go!
-I have had a sinking suspicion for the past week that many Olympic commentators were secretly wishing that Michael Phelps would fail to pick up eight gold medals. Why? Because it’d make a better story. Pundits would be able to dissect possible reasons why for months to come. Every news agency would be clamoring for that first “what was it like to come up short” interview. Sports shows feed on this kind of thing; human tragedy is much more compelling of a story than human triumph. Maybe that’s why they heap on the pressure – it’s as if the media was trying to do its part to manufacture a story of heartbreak and sadness.
-I check the Medals Tracker once a day. Currently, the US leads in medals but China leads in overall golds. I spent most of my morning commute trying to figure out what exactly that represents, but nothing convincing materialized. I guess I should just start chanting “USA!”
-The Men’s Basketball team nearly doubled up Germany a few hours ago. I’ve often heard that the secret to basketball success is to peak at the right time. I’d say hanging 106 on a team with NBA players on it counts. The big different, best I can tell, between this year’s team and the previous manifestations is defensive tenacity. I’m seeing our smalls diving into passing lanes and doing their darndest to pull down rebounds. I never got that sense in years past. They’re playing with pride. That makes them an easy team to root for, even with Kobe Bryant on it.
-My favorite player on the soon-to-be-gold-medal Women’s Softball team is Crystl Bustos. She’s like Babe Ruth, in terms of separation between her and the rest of existence in terms of homerun power. If you have an opportunity to watch a women’s game, pay attention when she’s at bat. Like Ruth, when she steps into the box, the expectation is homerun.
-Chicago is in the running for the 2016 games. I hope that it comes here, just so that I’ll be able to watch things at a reasonable hour.
-So far, these are the controversies that I’ve counted in this year’s games: Lip synching girl during opening ceremony, computer generated fireworks during opening ceremony, a murder, underage Chinese gymnasts, pollution, Tibet protests, media censorship, mass displacement, and the paying of fans to fill seats. All things considered, not too bad for a gruesomely oppressive government.
Why don’t we rank the best NBA Finals?
You can’t walk a straight line in bookstores without stumbling over some Greatest Super Bowls tome or The Fall Classic: We Remember solemnly poking out from the shelves. The NBA’s championship is far more suspect, the nature of the game makes seven taut games nearly impossible. Stars, or even simply good players, on a championship team account for 20+% of a team’s output on the court. Losing that for one game mostly ensures defeat. Home court is also advantageous for an NBA team in the playoffs more than hockey (where just playing seems to be the important thing), football (no home advantage in a Super Bowl), or even baseball (pitching matchups dictate advantages). Look at the New Orleans – San Antonio series, with seven grueling games providing a dinghy’s worth of highlights. Every other game was a blowout, double digit homecourt slapping, while only Game Seven met its classic billing, where a road team actually won a close game. Jannero Pargo missed a 3 pointer to tie the game up with two minutes left, Tony Parker glided over a Tim Duncan screen and stroked a j, and that was the whole piñata. The final result exists like some propaganda; the Spurs only won because someone told you they did. Who are you to remember any of it? Read More