Thursday, February 4, 2010

Quick Hits

Quick Hits on some of the stories in sports…..and a reminder to come back tomorrow for a full breakdown of the Super Bowl matchup and it will be Degenerate Friday with my pick for the Super Bowl.


The NCAA is meeting and considering expanding the NCAA tournament to 96 teams. Worst idea since overpaying the cast of Jersey Shore for a second season. Listen, we all enjoyed watching these people sink to new levels of self respect and live up to every stereotype of the Jersey Shore. But what are they going to do in the second season? Get drunk, get in fights, and hook up with some of the ugliest people to ever grace our television. That’s already been done during the first season, so my guess is it will get old quickly. And are we really connected to the cast of the first season? The Situation brought us a great nickname, Ronnie is a monster you don’t pick a fight with, and J-Woww encourages wearing as little clothes as possible and those little clothes better have holes or be ripped. Yet there are a ton of people on the Jersey Shore just like them. Wait, where was I? Oh yeah, college basketball……..

Expanding the tourney is an example of the people believing that because A was successful, let’s just do more of A. It doesn’t work that way. If the tournament is expanded, it will be completely watered-down and the opening round games will not have the compelling storylines and upsets that make the tournament what it is. It is among the most loved sporting events in the country – even your girlfriend who doesn’t follow sports fills out a bracket and watches the games. Do we really need the 9th or 10th place team in the Big East in the tournament? Or the 3rd place team in the MEAC? That additional round of games will be as successful as when they expanded the tournament to 65 from 64 a few years ago. NO ONE watches or cares about the “opening round” or “play-in” game. Expanding the tournament to 96 teams would create an entire round of play-in games that no one will watch.

And I’m not even going to get into the whole gambling aspect of expanding the tournament. The opening Thursday and Friday of the tournament in its current format are the greatest two gambling days in the world. Let’s not mess with it.


Yesterday was national signing day for college football players. Did you miss it? If I’m a Florida fan, I’m supposed to be excited for what yesterday means 3 years from now? That is assuming that Urban Meyer doesn’t keel over from not taking care of his health, less than half the players avoid getting arrested, another third don’t get injured, and finally that they actually live up to their hype. That’s quite of bit of uncertainty to worry about.

On top of that, the whole ranking of recruits and recruiting classes are self-fulfilling circles. A player is highly rated because he is being recruited by top schools like Florida, Alabama or Notre Dame. Then those schools get highly rated recruiting classes because they get the highly rated players (who were highly rated because of where they were recruited).


Phil Jackson and Kobe Bryant both reached impressive milestones this week. Kobe became the third-leading scorer all-time for the Lakers franchise and Phil now has the most wins as coach in franchise history. Both feats are impressive given that the Lakers franchise is the most storied and dominating franchise in basketball.

Kobe is the best player since Michael Jordan, and although he may never become the Lakers all-time leading scorer – Kareem played 400 years – he may be their best player. He is more clutch than anyone since Jordan and he has been intelligent enough to evolve his game from high-flying rim-crashing to a deadly accurate jump shooter. He has 4 titles, including last year on a team very much like those Jordan won with – surrounded by solid but not spectacular players. Speaking of Jordan’s teammates – this shirt is amazing (via The Big Lead).

Phil has had the benefit of coaching both Jordan and Kobe which obviously helps drive him to be the winningest coach for both the Bulls & the Lakers. Yet Phil has also been able to manage a diverse group of players, including Dennis Rodman, Ron Artest and Shaq. Yes, he has the players, but he has made sure the talent works together to be successful.


Miller Lite is holding an auction where you can bid on Barry Sanders coming to your house for a Super Bowl Party on Sunday. Seems kind of strange. Yet that just made me look up some highlights from his career. This will be the most entertaining 4 minutes of your day today, guaranteed. I started noting my favorite runs as I was watching it, and stopped after the 5th time I scratched out my writing because I thought “wow, that one was his best run” only to have it topped by the next one.

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