Winning & Musing…..Volume 3.11

It’s March, so that means basketball…..

Raise your hand if you had Kentucky, Connecticut, Butler, and Virginia Commonwealth in your Final Four. Now if you raised your hand put it back down…liar. Out of over 6 million individuals who entered ESPN’s Bracket Challenge only 2…TWO out of over 6 MILLION…got it exactly right. I’m a big underdog guy, so I love seeing Butler and VCU involved at the finish line. My only regret is that they’ll be playing each other in a semifinal game, eliminating the opportunity for both to prove themselves one last time on the big stage against power conference teams.

The part of all this I am enjoying most is watching VCU prove just how wrong talking heads like ESPN’s Jay Bilas & the King of Loudmouths Dick Vitale, among others, were back on Selection Sunday when they collectively went bonkers over the Rams’ inclusion in the tournament. Now, like good company puppets, both Bilas and Vitale are using an intellectually vacant argument that VCU’s success thus far is a whole separate thing and does not mean they were in error when they said the team shouldn’t have been selected in the first place. Sorry fellas…wrong answer. I love ESPN, but they employ some of the biggest assclowns alive as prognosticators and “experts”. Try something: Take a weekday sometime (which I realize is difficult for those that work a traditional 9-5) and watch all the ESPN shows…Mike & Mike, First Take, Around the Horn, Pardon the Interruption, etc. You begin to notice a pattern. More than occasionally they all ponder the same topics with the same angle, making it obvious that there is some sort of agenda in Bristol. The powers-that-be are well aware of just how much stroke they possess in the sports world, and are not afraid to steer public sentiment in a particular direction. As far as the VCU issue goes, I would have much more respect for Dickie V., Bilas, and others if they would just say “You know what…I was wrong and I am sorry. The Rams have proven they belong.”

Staying on the college basketball court…..

I’m not a fan at all of women’s basketball (or any other women’s sports…call me sexist if you must, I’m just being honest), but I did happen to catch one of Baylor’s NCAA Tournament games and saw an interview with 6ft8 sophomore Brittney Griner. Let me just say this…that’s a MAN baby!! I think there needs to be some sort of investigation. She’s got an Adam’s apple and a deeper voice than that cracked out homeless radio announcer from the mean streets of Columbus, OH that was famous for about 5 minutes a couple months back.

A few weeks ago ESPN aired a documentary about Michigan’s famous Fab 5 that went to two straight national title games in the mid 1990’s. It was interesting enough, but controversy arose and is still simmering because of comments made by Fab 5’ers in regards to their rivals at Duke. They said they hated the Dukies and considered their black players “Uncle Toms”. Now I am about as white as they come, but I know that calling someone an Uncle Tom is fightin’ words. My question is this: Why, amongst the black community, is being educated, well-spoken, and upwardly mobile considered a negative trait?? Why is being a thug considered to be more “genuine”?? Would one rather matriculate to a highly regarded university and leave with a meaningful degree and the opportunity to make a positive impact on society, or is it somehow cooler to be an illiterate, Welfare dependent drug addict who ends up in jail leaving behind a trail of illegitimate children and broken homes?? History shows that many of the Dukies go on to semi-successful pro careers or achieve good things in other fields, while The Fab 5 were proven to be a bunch of cheaters who were way overhyped and never lived up to their supposed potential. My Dad always told me that there is a difference between two things. I will leave it up to the reader to deduce what those two things are, but suffice to say that the Dukies seem to be one thing and The Fab 5 seem to be the other, and the latter is nothing to be proud of.

Don’t look for a 2011 Baseball Preview from your humble Potentate of Profundity. I just cannot seem to get into it. Decades of being a disenfranchised Pittsburgh Pirates fan have worn me down to the point where I am devoid of any excitement or anticipation for Opening Day. I have written about it elsewhere here, but the Pirates’ ineptitude combined with a steady stream of steroid/cheating scandals and the annual foregone conclusion that there are only a handful of teams that stand a chance at post-season glory have numbed me to the magic of The National Pastime. I am honestly looking forward to The Masters and WrestleMania more than the start of the baseball season.

I am still not paying too much attention to the NFL lockout, if for no other reason than there has been no significant movement either way for a couple of weeks. I am still hopeful that all will be resolved and that the 2011 season will not be affected, but there is a little less hope than a few weeks ago. It still seems kind of silly from a fan perspective, although I am sure both the players and the owners perceive their particular beefs to be quite important.

Speaking of the NFL…..

I very seriously pondered doing my own mock draft and I suppose there is an outside shot I still may, but it seems unlikely. I’ll say this though, it feels like there is too much analysis and scrutiny of potential picks. It seems fairly simple to me…can a guy play football or not?? Does he fit your particular system and/or fill a major need?? In the space of a month Auburn defensive tackle Nick Fairley, a proven monster, has gone from a potential #1 overall choice to being surpassed by a couple of guys just at his own position. Conversely QB Cam Newton has gone from a major question mark to very much in the conversation for being the #1 overall. And these guys haven’t played a game since early January!! For pete’s sake what has changed so dramatically?? Maybe nothing has changed and too many people are getting paid far too much money to spend way too much time picking apart something that isn’t really that complicated. As far as that top pick goes, the Carolina Panthers are crazy if they don’t trade it, and even crazier if they take a QB since they just drafted one last year (Jimmy Clausen from Notre Dame). I’m not a Notre Dame fan at all, and the history of Irish quarterbacks has been pretty suspect over the past couple of decades (Brady Quinn, Ron Powlus, Rick Mirer), but Clausen should be given more than just one year to prove his worth. The only potential out I see is if Carolina trades Clausen to a team with a veteran QB, allowing him to learn for a year or two without the pressure of being The Man, while Newton or Missouri’s Blaine Gabbert end up with a Panthers team that also scores an extra draft pick or two in the trade.

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