by “Christian Dan” Borrello,posted Mar 25 2009 10:10AM
There seem to be a lot of college basketball experts out there. Like leprechauns, they appear from nowhere every March before rehibernating en masse closer to April. Perhaps you've met them. They run up to you, bragging on how they picked 12th-seeded Western Kentucky to beat No. 5 Illinois, yet had no idea 13th-seeded Cleveland State beat Syracuse at the Carrier Dome earlier this season and somehow missed the Vikings upset over No. 4 Wake Forrest.
Ask them about that sometime.
Ask them when the last time all 12 ones, twos and threes survived to make the Sweet 16, how often four number ones reached the Final Four, or which original member of Michigan's Fab Five is still persona non grata in Ann Arbor.
Well, you don't have to because it doesn't matter. If you can print, you can win a bracket. It doesn't matter if you know John Wooden won ten titles, or that Bobby Knight has the most wins in men's hoops. College basketball, like football, is made so easy, even the office secretary can win the (shhh!) office pool. You don't even have to watch. Just take the teams with the low numbers and hope for the best.
Once you start thinking, or even knowing what you're doing, you lose.
The only time you need to know anything is when you open your mouth. So how about those "Cinderella" Arizona Wildcats, huh?
Meanwhile, basketball gets credit for having the playoff tournament that college football lacks. However, most overlook the thing that college football has that college hoops will never sustain; the thing its tournament kills:
A regular season worth watching.
* Here's the final solution to fix the World Baseball Classic once and for all. Put it on ESPN Classic and keep it there. As in mothballs. As in the eternal resting place for the USFL, SportsCentury and the Washington Senators.
Baseball's season is too important, its records are too precious, its arms are too brittle, its investments are too expensive and its seasons are too long to add meaningless games that supposedly count in March, or compete with the NFL and college football in November.
Many have pointed to the NHL suspending its season for the Olympics. That's brilliant for a league that desperately needs national attention. Of course people will watch the Olympics because the Olympics find you. Nobody cared about Team USA hockey winning the gold, let alone beating the Soviets in 1980 until IT HAPPENED. Now everybody somehow remembers where they were and the politics of the day.
The NHL still uses that team's free publicity to give Americans a reason to watch a game they normally don't. Hockey NEEDS the Olympics.
Baseball doesn't need the WBC. Frankly, the WBC hurts the game more than it helps. Team USA became a MASH unit while baseball is a game of series of teams playing at their best. Ones-and-dones, double-eliminations, pool play, mandatory pitch counts and women's softball baserunning rules are as foreign to baseball as the concept of an olympic-style playoff to determine the best baseball country in the world. Japan and Korea don't really have the best players the world has to offer, or else the majority of them would be Asian.
When the best American and Canadian pitchers don't even sign up to play, it doesn't count. Perhaps when the Roman Empire reunites against us, or the Chinese, and threaten our freedom, and, oh yeah, play baseball better than we do, then maybe we can ressurrect this "classic." And perhaps Rocky will come out of retirement for a seventh movie.
Let's hope we get neither.
* Speaking of A-Rod, The New York Daily News reports the admitted steroid-user also used the same "escort" service as our former governor, Elliot Spitzer, and even had a connection with the madam. Before you cast stones at today's athletes, beware of another famous slugger, whom everyone still loves, yet who also enjoyed hookers:
Athletes don't choose to be role models. And they all make both good choices and bad choices.
However, you DO choose how to influence your kids on how they choose theirs.
* Reports have surfaced that Rogers Cable is polling Canadians on their interest in the company hosting an additional Buffalo Bills regular season game in 2010, '11 and '12. The Bills have said there have been no agreements to play more than one regular season game in Canada for each of the next four years.
If the Bills lack of free agent activity says anything (aside from the bargain-basement signing of Terrell Owens which speaks for the rest of the league's "interest" in T.O.), it shows the team is gearing for slowed ticket sales from a rough economy, aside from a ninth straight season without a playoff appearance.
The Bills reportedly make over $70 million from their five-year Toronto series. If they can generate more to keep the franchise viable in western New York, while making season tickets cheaper for fans in Buffalo, fine.
Now is not the time to worry about the Bills leaving Buffalo. Without being disrespectful, when that time comes, you'll know it.
Want something to worry about? How about the possibility of the Bills visiting the New England Patriots in Week One on Monday Night Football?
Haven't you suffered enough?
Great blog, keep up the work. I have just started my own blog and I love checking out others to see what can be done.
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