posted on Mar, 28 2006 @ 12:50 AM
Dear Giants Fan [and, due to a change in mid-email, Dear Everyone Else, Too],
I agree, across the board. They have already done the "unthinkable," and more than once. In fact, they are only 5.5- point underdogs to Florida next
Saturday, which seems ridiculous to me. If I were still betting on sports, I would bet a large amount on Florida, because I think G.M.'s had their
incredible, greatest-Cindarella-story-in-tourney-history run, but it's over.
And yeah, I know there was another #11 seed, but you can hardly compare the LSU team of Dale Brown--a major conference team that had been having an
off year--to this "oh my god, how the hell did THIS happen?!?" story. I mean, maybe there has been an equivalent shocker to make the Women's Final
Four, though I really doubt it because there is so much less parity on their side and even having a #7 or #8 make the Final Four would be a
But in any event, yeah, I agree exactly: It's a tremendous story. Those of us who watched it unfold--and especially who saw that preposterous
overtime game yesterday--will never forget it. And now the media have gone overboard with it, as is their wont. It's almost like they think the
First Amendment gives them a duty to take any great story and run it into the ground. I'm thinking now of great baseball comebacks or upsets in the
(1) The "miracle Braves" and their 4-0 sweep of the 1914 A's, in the only series the Braves franchise won in the first half of the century;
(2) The 1926 Cards' winning their franchise's first title by taking Games 6 and 7 in Yankee Stadium, with 39-year-old Grover Cleveland Alexander
pitching a masterpiece in Game 6, then coming on in baseball's most famous relief appearance in Game 7, striking out Lazzeri with the bags loaded in
the 7th inning, and holding it from there;
(3) The huge underdog 1954 Giants' sweeping the 111-43 Indians, a series which turned in Game 1 on Willie Mays' immortal catch, just as the 1988
series turned in Game 1 when the underdog Dodgers snatched victory from the jaws of defeat on Kirk Gibson's impossible HR; and
(4) The Giants' scoring 4 runs in the bottom of the 9th, the last 3 on Bobby Thompson's HR, to win the 1951 pennant.
If Sports Illustrated, ESPN, The Sports Channel, etc., had existed back then, they'd have run those wonderful stories so hard into the ground that
their magic would have been lost.
It would take an enormous amount to take the George Mason story's magic away, but they're trying. And since we all know George Mason is not going to
win it all--sorry, but I'll say it now, and if the inconceivable happens, y'all can laugh at me for years--it's not like they're seriously hyping a
prospect for the national title. Scoresandodds.com doesn't even have money lines posted for the four teams, and it's not hard to figure out which of
the four teams is the reason why.
Well, strike me down dead!!! I will finish this post without editing what I just wrote. I just now found another site, and it DOES have money lines
for the Final Four teams. Obviously George Mason is the longshot, but not nearly as long as I would make them, obviously because the sports books
expect a lot of bettors to bet with their hearts. Here are the posted odds:
1. Florida: 8 to 5
2. L.S.U.: 9 to 2
3. UCLA: 3 to 1
4. G.M.U. 6 to 1
I've made no secret of the fact I don't know hoops near as well as football, and I know baseball 100 times better than I know football, but still....
Does anyone think UCLA has only twice as good a chance of going all the way as George Mason has? 3 to 1 odds are the odds of a coin flip
team... i.e., a team that needs to win two coin flips, or two 50% propositions, meaning UCLA is par for this Final Four field.
Would anyone seriously like to say G.M.U. is 1/2 as good as such a team? I will only say this:
If George Mason wins this tourney, it will be the greatest sporting upset OF MY LIFE. Far more shocking than Ali's upset of Liston or Foreman, and
substantially more shocking than the Jets' winning the third Super Bowl. Far more shocking than any surprising World Series or NBA Championship
Series outcome. Far more shocking than Villanova's 1985 Championship, and THAT was a shocker. Indeed, I would go so far as to say that, of the three
major American sports, it would be the greatest championship surprise of all time. Period.