Covering University of Colorado sports, mostly basketball, since 2010

Monday, March 22, 2010

Monday Grab Bag: Thanks, Kansas

Happy Monday.... or it would've been happy if Kansas had bothered to show up. On with the bag...

Brackets, and teh suck: So last week I postulated that, even though the college basketball landscape was seriously messed up this year, the selection committee was better than it was a decade ago, and was therefore better able to protect it's higher seeds, so don't expect the crazy numbers of upsets that seemed inevitable. Yah huh, that was dumb. After a weekend where nearly half of all brackets in America didn't survive to see the dawn of Sunday, I feel pretty foolish. While I did correctly peg the Sweet Sixteen runs of Washington and Michigan St, I missed almost everywhere else. Even Cornell, who I called a "fools folly" of an upset pick, came through. My Midwest region looks like a bomb was dropped on it (Georgetown and I have stopped talking), and I only have 10 of 16 Sweet Sixteen teams correct.

In retrospect, my flaws were apparent. I have a few personal rules that I failed to follow. Always bet against Bill Self (He is a fatally flawed coach in many ways, and, aside from his national championship, usually finds a way to fuck it up) and Bob Huggins, always send a WCC team to the 2nd round (For whatever reason, I picked against Gonzaga), and the Big East is overrated (I'M LOOKING AT YOU GEORGETOWN, VILLANOVA, AND PITTSBURGH!). Had I followed my own rules, maybe I still would have a chance to win some money.... you know, if Kansas hadn't brought teh suck and all.

(This is what the 91% of America who picked Kansas to advance to the Sweet Sixteen looked like Saturday afternoon)

The sports world waits, with bated breath, to listen to Tiger: I didn't learn much from the 5 minute interview ESPN did with Tiger on Sunday, but I did learn that he is officially bigger than the sport he plays. Sometimes, the people who play sports do things that make us forget that actual sport is being played. When I was a young lad, the rumor that Michael Jordan was retiring from basketball nearly shut down the ALCS between the White Sox and the Toronto Blue Jays. Who could care about baseball, when the greatest athlete ever was quitting after only 9 years? Tiger, and his 5 minute pre-taped interview, reminded me of this phenomenon when coverage of his interview interrupted coverage of actual golf being played. While the Transitions Championship was being won by Jim Furyk on Sunday, no one cared, as seemingly everyone turned their attention to Tiger and his stately columns. Even the Golf Channel, who was actually covering the event, preempted coverage to show Tiger. It's incredible the amount of attention paid to a short, pre-taped interview. I fully expect a full-out media blitz come Masters weekend, but this caught me rather off guard.

Cody and Tyler, neck and neck: This weekend brought Buffs Nation the news that Cody Hawkins and Tyler Hansen not only were in a QB battle, but that they were "neck and neck." While I have repeatedly said over the past 3 years that Cody looks like the best QB option in practice, his continuous bad reads and lack of mobility shown last year forced me to concede that he is 2nd choice. That he is back in the running is remarkable. I hope for Cody's sake that this is just a ploy to keep Tyler working hard, because, if Cody is actually named starter, things could get ugly come September in Folsom Field. While I don't believe Tyler is a viable Big XII QB, I don't think that Buff fans would stand for another year of Hawkins under center. Unfortunately for Cody, he has become a physical and metaphorical manifestation of his father's failure to win ballgames, and needs to ride the pine. Eventually, one of the freshmen will have to see the field for CU to be competitive. But, until Moten or Hirschman proves ready, Tyler better lead the team onto the field.

Hey Joe Mauer, can I borrow 5 bucks?: Minnesota hometown hero Joe Mauer inked a 8 year, $184 million deal yesterday, to ensure that he plays the majority of his career in Minneapolis. On the surface, this is a great deal for both sides. Mauer gets paid what he's worth, and the Twins get their rock to build a franchise around. However, that rock may quickly turn into an anchor. Catchers are notoriously injury prone, as the position doesn't lend itself to good health. White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski, who catches near 150 every year, is the exception that proves the rule that catchers can't be everyday players. The only reason A.J. gets to play all the time is that he growls every time anyone even mentions the phrase "off-day." Mauer, who has already struggled with injuries, and is generally regarded as "large" for a catcher, will probably have to move out from behind the plate to save his knees. You just don't dump $23 million a year on a guy and not expect him to play over 150 games a year. Realistically, only the most durable of catchers even reach 120 games a year, and that's even an anomaly sometimes. Which brings me to this: don't expect super-star firstbasemenJustin Morneau to stick around in the near future. The easiest transition for a catcher is to move him to 1st, and with $184 million being spent on Mauer, the Twins probably won't be able to afford Morneau anyway when he becomes a free agent. Just saying, but my Sox will soon need a replacement for Paul Konerko.....

($184 million buys a lot of ice bags for your knees)

Jake Peavy says he doesn't like the Cubs: Jake, you and I are going to get along just fine...
(Yep, just fine... link.)

Twitter trouble for the Guillen family: Over the weekend, the news broke that Ozzie Guillen's son Oney quit his job with the White Sox over some censoring of his comments via twitter. Aaaaaaaand, I don't care. Does this show the volatility of Ozzie's perch within the Sox organization? Will Kenny Williams start tearing his hair out? How will Ozzie balance his desire to create a brand for himself with his responsibilities to the White Sox? I just don't care. This honestly has nothing to do with whether or not the Sox win ballgames. Ozzie will take care of his family's business, and the Sox will move on with theirs. Meanwhile, the players get another week without having to answer questions about their performance and expectations (I'm looking at you, Mark Teahen.)

Just play some damn music: Completely off topic.... coming into work this morning, the local radio station I listen to was playing some sort of call-in game during their morning show. The game was "Guess what's in my pocket," and involved a riddle-esque clue being thrown out to entice callers to guess what object the DJ was talking about. Talk about having nothing prepared to go on-air with. Seriously, just play some fucking music, that's all I want in the morning. I don't want to guess what's in your pocket, or hear you talk about your bikini calendar, or sit as you blather about topics you know nothing about. JUST PLAY MUSIC! If you want to be on AM radio, then go to AM radio.

Have a great week!

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