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Newz Forum: OTHER: John Chaney, Bob Knight, NCAA, Florida Marlins plus more...

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posted on Apr, 10 2006 @ 01:11 PM
John Chaney has hung it up as the head basketball coach at Temple. For people who are new to college basketball, Chaney would appear to be a sloppily dressed sideline maniac at an inner city school that has difficulty competing at the national level. There's no question that Chaney's sartorial accomplishments are modest; he is indeed high on the sideline maniac scale; Temple is irrefutably an inner city school. But it is only in the past few years that Temple has had a problem competing at the national level. Chaney is a tough guy who does things his way and that's all there is to it. He disciplines his kids; makes them practice at 0500; makes them take real courses and earn acceptable grades. He mentors kids many of whom are 'academically challenged' and turns them into functioning adults.

Go and read about the life and career of John Chaney. Yes, he's had a couple of embarrassing blow-ups in public and has done some less than sociable things. But John Chaney is deservedly in the Basketball Hall of Fame; and if there were a Hall of Fame for people who actually tried to live according to the myth of the NCAA scholar-athlete, John Chaney should be in there too. College basketball will not be better off next season without frumpy and grouchy John Chaney involved.

Since I started on college basketball today and a normally grumpy coach, I wonder how happy things are in the Bob Knight household these days. Texas Tech finished the year with a 15-17 record, which is the worst record Knight has endured since the 70/71 season at Army when the team was 11-13. I think that's the only other time one of Knight's teams finished under .500 but perhaps there was another team at Army that did that. I know that none of his teams at IU or at Texas Tech had ever lost more than they had won.

I've written before about how the first weekend of the NCAA basketball tournament is a special time for college basketball fans with 48 games contested in a 4-day span. Every year, I look at those dates and wonder how to make it even better. I never come up with any really good ideas - - and this year is no different. Here's an idea that will surely never fly; even the rule-bound suits at the NCAA would recognize this as a bad idea, would't they?

Why not start 'The Bottomfeeders Tournament' to determine The Supreme Bottomfeeder of the Year (TSBY)? Take all the teams that have lost 20 games or more for the season. (A quick count tells me there were about 40 of them so you have a reasonable field to work with.) Then seed the teams or have them draw lots to see who goes where in the brackets. It really doesn't matter how you populate the brackets.

Here's the angle... If you win, you go home. If you win, you are not TSBY. If you lose, you have to play again and try to win to avoid the ignominy.

It's never going to happen, but be honest here. Wouldn't this be more interesting to watch than Celebrity Ice Skating or The World Yahtzee Championships?

I read somewhere that CBS wanted to use Dick Vitale to cover some of the NCAA tournament games but that ESPN would not listen to the CBS overtures. If so, I think all fans everywhere owe a debt of gratitude to The Worldwide Leader in Sports!

There is no disputing the fact that Mark Cuban is a wildly successful businessman and someone who is not averse to self-promotion. On many issues, I think he is out of orbit, but regarding his latest pronouncement, he is right on the mark. Cuban said in his blog that it is time to make gambling legal on a national basis. After all, gambling is going on just about everywhere in the country starting this week with all the bracket pools out there. Said Cuban:

'It's something just about everyone does, particularly this time of year. Rather than wasting millions on fruitless enforcement efforts, we gain billions in tax revenue.

'It's about time that the tens of millions of us who put up $5 or $10 for the office March Madness pool be allowed to do so legally.'

If you happen to go to a Florida Marlins spring training game with glove in hand to try to catch a foul ball, you'd better be ready to be asked if you want to try out for an outfield position. The Marlins' fire sale of talent has left their 40-man roster a bit thin on players with any major league accomplishments of note. I counted 24 pitchers on the roster with a combined record last year in the majors of 39-42. That may not look so bad until you realize that Dontrelle Willis was 22-10. The other 23 pitchers there were 17-32.

And the hitters on the squad don't exactly come across as the 2006 version of 'Murderer’s Row'. The everyday players hit a total of 61 homeruns - - including 33 by Miguel Cabrera. The other 15 players hit 28.

The question isn't really if the Marlins will lose 100 games this year; despite their gaudy spring training record, that seems assured. The question is whether they will lose their hundredth game before or after the first weekend of the NFL football season (Sept 10). Now there's a proposition bet for the guys in Vegas...

Fay Vincent is yapping again about what Bud Selig ought to do - and of course, what he should have done - with regard to the steroid business in baseball. Why does anyone listen to this goof in the first place? Recall that he and his runnin' buddy, Bart Giamatti, ran baseball for five or six years and his record of accomplishments could be written on the point of a pin. The head of that pin would be far too much room.

Memo to Fay Vincent: Just shut up! Please!

Take a look at the date today. Now, I'm sure you will understand why today is National Pi Day; it's 3/14 ... Ten years from now, this ought to be a really big deal when the date will be 3/14/16.

Finally, a loyal reader sent along a note related to my comment about Tennessee coach, Bruce Pearl, wearing that international orange blazer on the sidelines during basketball games. Said the reader:

'... do you know why Tennessee fans love their orange? They can wear it to the football game Saturday, hunting Sunday, and to their job picking up trash along the interstate Monday through Friday.'

But don't get me wrong, I love sports... ... ...



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