Yes, I am once again on the road, this time in the Greatest City in the World, the lovely Chicago. Unfortunately I am only here for tonight, and had no time to get together with Bogart (I'll see you in a month good buddy). Instead, we went to a Sports Bar called Mother Hubbards and ate some wings and played some Golden Tee. The Golden Tee was ok, I sucked the first game and rocked the second game, but the real issue I have is with the wings. Seriously, who wants their wings not separated? It's like doing minor surgery to get to any actual food. If I wanted to work this hard, I would go somewhere and get crab legs. Places that have non-separated wings seriously need to put that somewhere on the menu. Total BS. And also some weird dude next to us was playing the Tee, and he called himself "Da Govna" and tried to mack on all the waitresses and it was just brutal. I want to stab him in the face. Anyway, I have several other bones to pick with you people.
- The first thing I want to talk about is Bracket Busters, which happens this weekend. It is a pretty cool deal, there is no doubt, but in reality there is not much here that will impact the NCAA tournament. There are 51 games, and other than a few at the top, most are relatively meaningless. I mean, Georgia State (RPI rank 289) vs. Eastern Michigan (RPI #320)? What the bloody hell? There are only 343 teams in Division I. What bracket exactly is this supposed to be busting?
64 teams go to the NCAA tournament, 32 to the NIT, and 16 to the CBI. There would (theoretically, of course) have to be 3 other 64-team tournaments before either of these teams would be invited. I mean, jesus, South Dakota State is involved in this thing (RPI 275) playing the exciting 6-15 Cal Poly Schillings (RPI 285). The best though, is definitely the 6-16 Northern Illinois (RPI 323) traveling to the 2-22 Southeast Missouri State (RPI 336 - OUT OF 343!). I'm starting to think they just pick the teams out of a hat.
Now, there are some pretty solid matchups as well. The Butler/Davidson tilt is the marquee matchup, although with Curry hurt it loses some of the luster of watching Curry shoot 4-54 and still get praised. Both teams are likely already in the tournament, but this would have a good effect on seeding. Even better are the Utah State/St Mary's and Northern Iowa/Siena games. None of the four teams are a lock at this point, and all are squarely on the bubble. A win for any of them would go a long way - pretty much what I thought the point of this whole exercise was. George Mason vs. Creighton is another good one, although neither team is really on the bubble just yet, a win in this game would give that team a boost towards it - especially for Creighton. That's pretty much it for NCAA ramifications (although I find the NDSU/UW-Milwaukee game a bit intriguing).
Never fear, however, I have a solution. Open this baby up to all non-BCS conferences, bringing in the Mountain West, Conference USA, and the Atlantic 10. You know who really could use a big win? Temple (RPI 34), New Mexico (RPI 75), UAB (RPI 39), Houston (RPI 87), and Tulsa (RPI 70). According to Joe Lunardi at ESPN, none of those teams are in the tournament right now, and all are having pretty good seasons and could use a bigger chance to prove themselves against a team in a similar position rather than beating up on the dregs of their conference.
Also weird, there's not a single Sun Belt team involved here? Troy (RPI 126), Western Kentucky (RPI 65), and Little Rock (RPI 93) are all in a position where they could benefit from one of these games. Yet, there's nothing. Chalk me up as one who loves the idea, but doesn't get the execution of this event. And since I've already written 500 words on this, I'll just let it go for now.
- I'm almost positive Purdue has a direct line to the biggest floppers/can't stay on his feet ever kind of guys. First Brian Cardinal, now Chris Kramer. That has to the top two of all-time, with Greg Paulus coming in a distant third:
- Speaking of Paulus, what is it exactly that he does well? He doesn't score (6ppg), can't shoot (38%, 33% from three), and isn't a wizard with the ball (1.7 assists to 1.0 turnovers). He can't play defense, as I've more than once heard them reference "Duke having to play Nolan Smith here for defensive purposes). I mean, Wojo was annoying back in the day - as many dukie PG were, but at least he served a purpose, I think. This guy just straight up sucks. He's worse than Ron Powlus.
- Angry thing number 2 is how I heard on the radio the other day some jackass saying, "The Yankees hands down have the best rotation in baseball." What? For reals? I haven't even done any research but I bet that's not true, especially the "hands down" part. It's just more Yankee loving around the world. Makes me sick.
You have: Sabathia, Burnett, Wang, Pettitte, Chamberlain. I have no quibble with Sabathia. I still think he's heading for an injury after all the innings he's piled up, but I can't assume one, so he's definitely good. I will go ahead and assume an injury for Burnett, the Fred Taylor of MLB. No way in hell this guy stays healthy for another year, especially after getting all that fat cash. Seriously, you're going to give a 32 year old that kind of money after a season where he pitched a career high in innings and was barely above league average? No wonder the Yankees are down the shitter. Wang is fine, especially as a non-ace, but he's also coming off an injury. Pettitte is like, 45, and is actually fine as a number 4 - he'll give you 200 innings but he's coming off the worst three years of his career, I have no idea how you expect that to turn around. And Chamberlain is a hell of a set-up man who they are, again, going to try to shoehorn into a starter.
I'm not saying it's a bad rotation, it's actually quite good if Sabathia, Burnett, and Wang all stay healthy (not likely) and they keep Chamberlain out of the bullpen (slightly more likely), but it's no where near the best rotation - "HANDS DOWN."
I won't even try, let's just pick a team. I'll pick the Rays. How bout Shields, Kazmir, Garza, Price, Sonnastine. Plenty of questions, but which would you take, Rays or Yankees? Hell, even the Cubs shitty rotation is on the same level: Zambrano, Harden, Dempster, Lilly, and Marshall. I'm not sure I wouldn't take the Cubs. You want young? Even beyond the Twins? How about the Reds? Harang, Volquez, Arroyo, Cuerto, and Bailey? That's pretty solid. Indians? Royals? Angels?
Point being, the Yankees are in good shape but there are a lot of teams with a rotation I would call in the same class, if not better. Hell even the Padres and Phillies are in good shape, but with a total stud who doesn't have the injury question mark of Sabathia - who, yes, hasn't had injury issues but jesus look at the dude. Call me crazy, but I'm going to go ahead and say the national media are idiots.
- Did you see how the Curse of DWG hit Thabeet in the biggest way? You might also say it said something to do with DeJuan Blair, but I prefer to blame me.
- Did you know that Dominique Keller of Illinois full name is Dominique DePaul Keller? Like, his middle name comes from the school called "DePaul" in Chicago. And yet, he chose to go to Illinois over DePaul. Wow. Even still, Krys Faber chose that dumpster school over the gophers. Good job Krys.
- Jesus Christ, professional wrestling is on ESPN Classic right now.
- So I never really gave a breakdown of my casino visit at Turtle Lake. I finished up 52 dollars, the only one to win money. Mainly thanks to stellar craps rollers like Skip to My Bones, the Golden Bear, the Milwaukee Kid, and Joe the Attorney, as well as myself and Snacks. We all did fairly well rolling, and it feels like I (we) should have been up way more, but there were a lot of really bad rollers who killed it. Especially the blonde fonzi who slid in at the very end and starting betting $100+ on the don't pass and killed the whole vibe. I bet Bogart bets the don't pass. What a dick. Yet in his defense some crazy Indian lady was there in a wheelchair and had a Cade McNown jersey on, and Bogart owns a McNown jersey, so I'm no really sure of the proper protocol here.
- You know what sucks? When you get in your cab at the airport and say "Marriott Magnificent Mile" and the dude's like, "address?" and you're like, "the Marriott on Michigan Avenue" and he's like, "I need the address" so you have to take a bunch of shit out of your bag to get the paper with the address. So you tell him and he's like, "oh yeah" and you're like "no shit, the only Marriott on Michigan ave" and then you finally get there and want to pay by credit card - which their sign says you can - and you try and he's like, "Man it will take ten minutes" so you go ahead and pay by cash and hope to god you don't lose the receipt. Then when you get to the room you realize you took your book out of your bag to get your papers you shouldn't have needed and managed to leave it in the cab. Especially when you were half way through it and even though it was a shitty stupid book "Clive cussler - shock wave" you still want to finish it and now you're going to have to re-buy it. Damn it. I mean, I have an extra book with me, of course, "Children of Hurin - Tolkein" but still.
- This basketball season seems exceptionally weird, no? BC beats Duke AND UNC, yet loses to Harvard. Arkansas beats Oklahoma and Texas, yet loses pretty much every SEC game. Michigan beats Duke and UCLA, yet is struggling in the Big Ten. And Michigan State rolls through everybody in conference, unless it's Northwestern or Penn State. And suddenly Wisconsin is relevant again and in contention for an NCAA bid, but they lost to Minnesota at home. Dogs and cats living together, I tells ya.
- I really hope Devron Bostick doesn't transfer, but hell, I can't blame him if he does. He's shown some serious talent, at least in the Wisconsin game, and I really think he needs more of a chance. I mean, seriously, we're playing Shamala and Busch over him? I don't get it. Why recruit him then? I'm not saying he's some sort of savior, but I really think he should get more time. I've seen a bit of a defensive deficiency in there, but that's kind of par for the course when it comes to JuCos, so I would assume Tubby has seen that and/or knew about it. I don't get it. I mean, the dude hasn't played more than 10 minutes since the game at Wisconsin when he played 21 and dominated. That was also the only time he played more than 19 minutes this year. He's hit double digit minutes in less than half of the games this year, and that's got to be frustrating. Wouldn't you transfer if you were him?
- I really hate to question Tubby, but at this point, I kind of have to, don't I? Since that genius weave at Wisconsin (which I was there for) I can't remember any other time I've been particularly impressed with anything he's done - save recruiting. I mean, Busch played 28 minutes against Penn State. 28 minutes. More than Bostick has played in a single game this year. MORE THAN PAUL CARTER HAS PLAYED IN A GAME THIS YEAR. I'm having trouble coming up with any situation where Busch should play over Carter, and yet, here we are. I OFFICIALLY don't get it.
- I'm depressed and I have to go to bed. Here is a picture of Wonderbaby to make it up to you:
And just in case that's not what you're looking for here's some random LSU fan for you (I still reserve the right to use this later)
- [ ed. note: ah crap, I stepped on the rare sidler post. Please still read. he's much smarter and less drunk than me. And smarter.]