Just a few brief notes today coming from the tournament games and the CBS presentation yesterday... I noted that the first promo for The Masters - a
tradition unlike any other - ran at 12:19 Eastern time, which was before the tip off for the first game. You know that CBS will hit you with a
tsunami of these spots and that they will only have about two of them to run so you'll see each of them seven jillion times. But couldn't they have
had the decency to wait until one of the games had actually started? And by the way, isn't every tradition unlike any other? If it were just like
something else, then it would be the same thing as that something else...
My local CBS affiliate chose to focus on the BC/Pacific game in the early time slot. They chose well because that was a close and well-played game.
In addition, it allowed me to hear Ian Eagle and Jim Spanarkel call the game. As always, they did an outstanding job. There is no screaming or
hyperbole about any single play from Eagle; there is neither jargon nor any or silly 'signature lines' coming from Spanarkel. They just tell you what
is happening and why it is happening in a sane and informative manner. Sadly, they won't be doing all of the games...
Al Skinner is the Perry Como of college coaches. He is so laid back on the sidelines that you’d think that they would put a cot over there on the
bench so he could recline during the game. Yesterday’s game went to double overtime and the most animated I saw him get was late in the game when
he asked the referee how many time outs he had left. But it obviously works for him; the team plays hard and it plays well.
There was a fan at the BC/Pacific game upon whom I wish great misfortune. On each and every BC foul shot, this fan felt the need to shriek. The
voice was shrill and it came through the audio. It sounded like a female voice so I am going to assume that it was a woman here. I wish for her an
eternity of noise; I want her to spend the rest of time in a closed room listening to a circular tape loop of Ravi Shankar on the sitar punctuated
randomly with blasts from a foghorn at about 120 decibels. That ought to do it.
Seton Hall must have been channeling Al Skinner yesterday because they came out and sleepwalked through their game. I only got to see a portion of it
here, but most of the players were standing around watching the players with the ball do their thing. That is not a success strategy on offense; it
is a train-wreck of a strategy on defense. And Seton Hall will go home as one of the 'one-and-done teams'.
This year we are obviously going to endure another round of advertisements featuring Mike Krzyzewski; last year it was American Express and this year
it's Chevy. Before all the wailing starts about how this gives him some kind of unfair advantage over other coaches, please consider this. Teams
come here to make it to the Final Four - and then hopefully to play on 'Monday Night'. That's what fans hope their teams can do. In the past twenty
years or so, Mike Krzyzewski has led teams to the Final Four ten times. That means that half the time, he's there and others are not. It wasn't any
unfair advantage twenty years ago that launched him into this orbit; he succeeded first and then the advertising folks came to him. So, if other
coaches want to get rid of him in these spots, all they have to do is start getting to the Final Four on a once-every-other-year basis. Enough with
There is an ad that ran for Power Ade where the message is that Power Ade is better than Gator Ade because Power Ade has only 10 calories and Gator
Ade has 50 calories. Missing from that ad - and all the ones for Gator Ade as well - is a message that what you are drinking is essentially synthetic
sweat. You are drinking what your body has lost in the process of perspiration; you are ingesting 'sweat'. Now, how important are those calories?
Did you see the promos for the CBS series, The Unit? It only ran about 30 times so you might have missed it. Not to worry, I'm sure CBS has it on
tap to run another 75 times this weekend. The first time I saw the promo and heard the name of the show, I wondered if this was a CBS program or the
title of a new porn film featured on one of those 'adult channels'.
Marquette played about as badly in the first half of their game as they could possibly play yet they still had a chance to win at the end.
Winthrop was supposed to be 'tournament tested' since these players had been to the tournament in each of the last four years. Sadly for the Eagles,
these tournament tested players folded like a card table at the end of the game and gave away a major upset that was in their hands. I think they
went the final 5 minutes of the game without a field goal and lost by 2 points. That is a gag worthy of Elizabeth Taylor...
I know that George Washington won their game but after falling behind by 18 points in the second half, they rallied to take the game to overtime by
using a scrambling full court pressure defense. So, once the OT started, they played a passive zone. And what was that all about?
Today is St. Patrick's Day and March is National Peanut Month. So, as you are quaffing a brew today while watching the tournament games, don't forget
to have a few peanuts too.
Finally, an observation from Dwight Perry in the Seattle Times:
Definition of courage: The McDonald's cashier with the guts to ask Barry Bonds, 'Wanna supersize that?' '
But don't get me wrong, I love sports... ... ...
[Edited on 10/4/06 by TRD]