Friday, April 2, 2010

32 Reasons to Hate the NCAA

Expanding the near-perfect 64 team NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament is truly "Madness." Nothing but pure greed is driving this inevitable change, and it will kill a beloved national sports happening. An expansion to 96 teams will further dilute an already diluted college talent pool and allow more unqualified teams, teams with 5-11 conference records a shot at advancement. It will make the regular season and conference tournaments meaningless. I can't believe that the NCAA would even consider placing it's incompetent finger on the best thing it has left. Yet, here they are doing just that, and the consensus is that it is going to pass. If this expansion happens, then I am going to take a pass.

This is not an unprecedented move for me. In 1994, baseball went on on strike, losing the last part of the season as well as the World Series. That year, my White Sox had a very good team with Frank Thomas having an MVP year and a superb pitching staff. I wanted to see that club in the playoffs as much as anything that I ever wanted as a fan. Baseball has never been the same for me. I was happy for the Sox 2005 World Series win, for the fans, but I really felt dead inside about the victory.

As I mentioned before, if the NFL locks out players in 2011, it will have the same effect. I will emotionally walk away. As I have gotten older, the entertainment view toward sports has drained much of my sports energy and fanaticism. I don't think kids hold the same passions for sports as my generation did. The reason for that is the money. When money drives your decision making, the passion and emotion always falls victim.

Money. That is all tournament expansion is all about. This change will place critical and exciting early-round games on Tuesday and Wednesday. This is too much for the fan to take. You can justify a couple early Thursdays and Fridays for hoops, but you can't blow off a whole week. Give me one good reason why the 64 team tourney is not perfect, and I will take it all back. At 96 teams, nobody is arguing on Selection Sunday that the 15-16 Northern Illinois Huskies should be taken over the 12-18 DePaul Blue Demons. Who cares? The issue of the bubble teams goes out the window, and that argument makes Selection Sunday worth following. So, in my opinion, the only so-called negative, the "Bubble Teams" is truly a positive. You have to earn it. At 96 teams, you have to just be breathing.

Friday, March 19, 2010

I'm Back

It was quite a year. I don't recall if the Bears actually played the 2009 season. I have blocked it out of my memory. If you could picture my facial expression right now, it would be the "Lovie staring at the Jumbotron look while fondling the red challenge flag in his pocket during the game" face. What? We signed Jay Cutler? Who wrote that last blog entry in April of 2009?

I was mercifully on trial for the majority of the football season. I would rather remember a death penalty hearing Marathon than that ugly display of my favorite obsession. It reminds me of John McKay's answer to the question posed to him regarding his woeful 1970's Tampa Bay Buccaneers. McKay was asked,"How do you feel about your team's execution?" McKay's response was "I'm in favor of it." Classic.

So, we are stuck with another season of Loving our staff. We coughed up some profit for several free agents. I am holding off on any predictions of greatness. Let's see what happens after they start cashing the checks. I am supporting the removal of Greg Olsen from this roster. He still hasn't hit anyone. He should be perfect as a Blackhawk defenseman. The downside of Olsen's departure...Cutler will have to find someone else's wife to hit on.

I am not a Blackhawk goalie-hater. Could they be better? Sure. But you cannot blame the goaltending for the lack of character by the skaters in front of him. Since the Olympic break, this team cannot finish against the good teams. You got to get mentally tough for the NHL playoffs. So, let's get to gettin'.

Lots to look forward to. The Brian Kelly era at ND. The NCAA tournament-"Sure the teams are shitty-But who doesn't love 15 overtime games in the first round!" "ON CBS!!!" Ozzie Guillen. The NHL playoffs. The Lovie Farewell Tour. 9-7 and no playoffs. Then a lockout; Killing the Golden Goose. Then I write off the NFL for life. 2010. Tremendously Tremendous.