Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Just checking in...

The first weekend of the Tournament went the way of the chalk...work is busy (thankfully)...I promised not to write about the NBA until the Tournament is over...and, I couldn't care less about the WBC. In other words, you shouldn't read anything into my week long absence other than me not having anything to say. A first, I know. That being said, I promise to have a Final Four Preview/Regional Re-wind posted on Monday morning. Until then, enjoy this week's "Really" and LOTW:


Really? - This is probably overdue, but I don't know anybody that has ever had a more ridiculous start to their head coaching career than Josh McDaniels. Josh, you've got one of the best young quarterbacks in the NFL. In fact, he is one of the handful of quarterbacks that actually has the tools to make his team better and not just "manage the game" (I hate nothing more than the media celebrating guys that "manage the game". Essentially, it's the equivalent of having a guy in the office that shows up on time, leaves on time, and only takes an hour for lunch every day but NEVER does anything else. He never works weekends. He never has a new or creative idea. Sure, he never screws anything up, but you could find any random guy off the street to do his job. We all know that guy, and we should all just agree to start calling him the Game Manager!) Anyway, I just lost my train of thought...Oh yeah, Josh, you are an idiot. By week 3, Cutler will pull a John Moxon and hit McDaniels in the head with a lazer. Enjoy that.


Link of the Week - When the NBA just isn't enough, where do you go? That's right boys and girls, it's the Euroleague! Where else could you go to find that Travis Best is averaging 9.6 points/game in Italy? Or, that Josh Childress scored 8 points in his first European playoff game?

Monday, March 16, 2009

Let the Madness Begin!

Long before there was a WAD, there was the annual email from me to all my buddies laying out my analysis of the NCAA Tournament. This started back in my first year of law school in ’02 and continued until the preview first hit the WAD in ’06. That being said, back in ’02, you had to look far and wide to find a bigger college basketball fan than me (no, I’m not talking about my weight!). I could spit out almost every major contributor on every major team at the drop of a hat. Hell, I even used to schlep up to Arthur Ave. to watch Fordham slug it out in the bottom half of the A-10 (the baked ziti and meatballs on Arthur Ave. may have also had something to do with it). In other words, I LOVED college basketball.

Over the past few years, however, a strange thing gradually happened. Specifically, I’ve become addicted to the NBA, and my following of college hoops has more than suffered as a result. I mean, there are only so many games you can watch, so many teams you can follow, and so many articles you can read. Why has my allegiance shifted to the NBA? Well, I have my theories, but I will save those for another day. This is the time of year where even the casual fan has to place all their focus on the college game, and to spend time talking about the negatives of the game unfairly takes away from the excitement at hand.

So, why did I just spend 100 words telling you that I don’t love college basketball as much as I once did? Simply put, it’s the world’s longest disclaimer. I love writing this column every year, and I hope you enjoy reading it, but if you take any of this advice, you do so at your own peril. In other words, don’t come looking for me to refund your money from your office pool when Gonzaga gets bounced in the first round.

Now that the disclaimer is out of the way, let’s get to it. Just a quick reminder of how this works: I give you a handful of first round upsets, and then I predict/preview from the Sweet 16 on. Got it? Good. Let’s do it.

THE UPSETS:

As an annual reminder, a 10 over a 7 is NOT an upset!

1) #11 Dayton over #6 West Virginia - This jumps out for one reason: Huggy Bear and his Sopranoesque suits has coached 14 previous teams to the Dance. He has only advanced past the second round four times. Sure, he’s only lost in the first round twice, but he’s not scared to go home early. And, for the record, Dayton has won 26 games, and they go 9 deep. That’s impressive, I guess.

2) #13 Miss. St. over #4 Washington – Nate Robinson isn’t walking through that door! Brandon Roy isn’t walking through that door! And, thankfully for MSU, Eric Dampier isn’t walking through that door!

3) #12 Wisconsin over #5 FSU – I’ve been watching Bo Ryan and the Badgers make very talented and athletic teams look very ordinary for many years now. And, coincidently, I have been watching Leonard Hamilton make very talented and athletic teams at Miami and FSU look very ordinary for many years now.

4) #11 VCU over #6 UCLA - As I watched the selection show on CBS, I heard Seth Davis passionately argue that VCU would beat UCLA. He gets paid to do this, so he has to know what he’s talking about, right?

I was considering taking Temple as an 11 seed over Arizona St., and then I realized John Chaney retired back in ’06. I told you I’m off my game when it comes to college hoops!


THE SWEET SIXTEEN

1) Louisville over Wake- Rick Pitino is not losing to a team that lost to G. Tech. End of story.

2) Kansas over USC – I love Taj Gibson, but as a 10 seed, I think the Sweet 16 is as far as he can take the Trojans.

3) Purdue over UConn - For the better part of a decade, I have heard from good friends that know these types of things that Matt Painter was going to be a great head coach. He’s proving them right. Good job by Matt. On the flip side, we’ve known for about two decades that Jim Calhoun is a Hall of Fame coach. Unfortunately for Calhoun, however, his team just really seems to struggle scoring points down the stretch. I, of course, am basing this only on their two losses to Pitt and their epic 6 OT loss to Syracuse. But, given the fact that those were UConn’s three biggest games of the year, I’m declaring that a sufficient sample size. Plus, I just plunked $25 down on Purdue in an auction draft tonight, so I’m a little biased.

4) Memphis over Missouri - No need for a shot clock in this game. I honestly think this is going to be the most entertaining game of the tournament. Despite the fact that he murdered his team in the last two minutes of last year’s title game, I love Coach Cal, and I just can’t pick against him at this point unless he’s going up against Pitino (foreshadowing?). Plus, I plunked $100 down on the Tigers in the draft tonight, so not only am I biased, I’m invested.

5) Tennessee over Xavier - Let’s not talk about how Tennessee is going to win this game, let’s talk about the real story – how they will get here. I know they have underachieved, but I love Tennessee’s intensity and ability. I have ever since Bruce Pearl took over. Not to mention, every commentator I’ve heard talk about Pitt seems petrified that their best player, DeJuan Blair, is going to get in foul trouble. When a guy averages 16 points and 12 boards and all anybody can talk about is his foul trouble, that’s not what we would call confidence inspiring.

6) Nova over Texas – Yes, I think Texas beats Duke to get here. And no, I won’t believe in Duke until they win the National Title. (Disclaimer: I also bought the Longhorns in tonight’s draft). I’ve watched them play more than any other team this year (I even saw them in person), and the most impressed I’ve been is their loss to Carolina last weekend in Chapel Hill. When your most impressive game is a loss, that’s not a great sign. As for this match-up, I like Nova for two reasons: 1) Scottie Reynolds; and 2) Jay Wright. Reynolds is a tough and tested guard, and this tournament is always about guards! As for Wright, from the moment I saw him with my own eyes brilliantly coach Hofstra to the Holiday Classic Title in the Garden in ’99, I knew he was going to be a star. This guy is an elite college basketball coach.

7) Gonzaga over Carolina - Mark Few is not just an elite coach. He’s one of the very best coaches in the game today. He hasn’t had the success we’ve expected in March just yet, but one of these years, he is going to break through. Why not this year? The Zags have three guys shooting 42% or greater from behind the arc, and they shoot 40% as a team from behind the line. Sure, Carolina has more experience and more talent, and Roy Williams is also one of the best coaches alive, but, the three ball is the great equalizer. I know this pick seems ridiculous, but I’ve just got a feeling. Then again, I did eat 20 wings for dinner, so there could be another explanation for this feeling.

8) Oklahoma over Arizona St. - OU has the best player in the country, and that has to count for something, right? Granted, I am the biggest OU apologist in America other than Fite. What can I say? I’ve had very good times in Norman, Oklahoma! For the record, I warned you this wasn’t going to be expert analysis.

ELITE EIGHT

1) Louisville over Kansas - If Rick Pitino was coaching North Dakota State, I would pick North Dakota State to go to the Final Four.

2) Memphis over Purdue - $100 for Memphis doesn’t look so bad if they win this game. If they lose, you better hope you don’t owe me money because I will be calling.

3) Villanova over Tennessee - Did I really pick Tennessee to make the Elite Eight? I’m not even drinking, I promise.

4) Gonzaga over Oklahoma – My bromance with Mark Few encounters my love affair with Norman, OK. I’m not sure I can even watch this game. Will somebody just call me when it’s over?

FINAL FOUR

1) Louisville over Memphis - Pitino v. Calipari. This is the only game I think could rival Memphis v. Mizzou in entertainment value. I’ll make the lasagna and garlic bread. You bring the red wind, and we’ll all have a great time!

2) Nova over Gonzaga - With Wright and Few squaring off, this could be a "Slumdog Millionaire" like masterpiece. For the record, if these four coaches squared off in the Final Four, it would be the greatest collection of coaching talent in the Final Four since Coach K, Lute Olson, Gary Williams, and Tom Izzo locked horns back in ’01.

CHAMPIONSHIP GAME

Louisville over Nova – All kidding aside, I watched Louisville take out that courageous Syracuse team last night. The pressure they applied to start the second half was the most devastating defense I’ve seen since Pitino’s ’96 Kentucky team. Before you go crazy, I’m not suggesting this team is as good as the ’96 Cats, which may be the greatest team of our lifetime. What I am saying is that the Cardinals can explode for a 20-0 run at any given moment. I just don’t think anybody else in this field has that capability.

Well, that’s that. The only thing left to do is watch the madness unfold and watch the taunting emails roll in as my predictions get blown all to Hell on Thursday and Friday. And, in case you were wondering, I promise you won’t have to read any NBA coverage over the next three weeks. From now until the first Monday in April, the WAD is exclusively a college basketball environment.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Weekend Treat

I can't remember the last time I posted on a weekend. That being said, don't get too excited. I'm just popping in to do a little housekeeping. I mean, with all this college basketball on this weekend, and with all these bubbles bursting, and with Syracuse playing the equivalent of 17 games in four days, my head is about to explode. But, before I can settle in to the couch and put it on cruise control for the remainder of the weekend, I wanted to hand out the weekly awards:

The Really - Thank you Joaquin Phoenix. Your unending ride on the crazy train is providing far more entertainment than all your movies combined.

Link of the Week - One weekend a year, RealTimeRPI.com is worth it's weight in gold.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Television Tuesday

Back in the day when we first got this little experiment started, one of the most popular columns (and my favorite column to write) was Television Tuesday. About a year ago, I realized something very important about Television Tuesday. It was such a great column and so much fun to write because I was basically recounting the hilarious conversations my roommate, Hans, and I were having as we were watching our favorite shows. Granted, the conversations were slightly edited, but you get the point. At any rate, since I moved into the WAD Palace last March, I've stayed away from Television Tuesday. But, I'm bringing it back for a one night engagement. And, in the process, I'm opening myself up to relentless heckling for my unabashed love of "American Idol". Well, I love it, and since it was the one show Hans refused to watch, I finally have a chance to write about it. And yes, I realize what a horrible mistake this is.

Okay, here is what we are going to do: Tonight is the first night on the big stage with the Final 13. I'm going to watch them all and list them in the order of their performance, give some commentary, and then I'm going to assign The WAD odds to each contestant. There are three things you should know about these odds: 1) These are my odds. If, for informational purposes only, you go to one of those illegal gambling websites, I'm sure you will find real odds that will look nothing like mine; 2) These are odds as of this week, and they will change on a weekly basis throughout the season (foreshadowing, anyone?); and 3) Because I know Stats will point this out, these are not correctly formulated odds. In Vegas, they have exact formulas for calculating odds, and if one guy has one set of odds, it is impossible for another guy to have another set of odds based on the number of possible outcomes, etc... Well, suffice it so say, I'm not that smart, so these are odds you would never see come out of a real sportsbook. If this bothers you, I will happily provide you with a full refund. All that being said, let's get to it:


1) Lil Rounds - They just showed a look at Lil's life with her three children back in Memphis. It's impossible not to like her. And, she kicks things off with "The Way You Make Me Feel." Not one of my favorite Jacko songs, especially now that I know he was singing to Macaulay Culkin. Anyway, Lil was solid. A little boring for my taste tonight, but I still have no doubt in my mind she is the best female singer in the contest. The judges seem to agree. Kara basically just told the world she hopes Lil wins. And, wow! Paula just said Lil sounds like an angel, and Simon apparently just hit on Lil. And, it's worth noting that Paula appears stoned. I know, shocking.

Bottom line: Lil is the 7-1 to win this thing. For those of you that have never placed a legal wager in Las Vegas, that means you have to risk $1 in the hopes of winning $7 on Lil.

2) Scott MacIntyre - Even if you don't watch "Idol", you probably know Scott as the "blind guy". We just learned two additional things in Scott's bio piece: 1) His sister is also blind; and 2) Scott's family sings together. For now on, we will be calling him Scott Partridge. He sings "Keep the Faith". I've never heard this song before. In fact, I'm pretty sure my buddy, Colby, is the only person I know that has ever heard this song. It's fun watching Mr. Partridge behind the piano. It's also kind of fun watching Kara making several references to "seeing" Scott. Way to rub it in, Kara. (By the way, even though I am sightly obsessed with Kara, even I have to admit that she says just as little as Paula. The biggest difference is Kara is hot and not obviously impaired).

Bottom line: Scott has a lot going for him in this contest, not the least of which is that he is extremely talented. And, of course, his story is one of hope in a time where America needs hope, etc... He's 5-1.

3) Danny Gokey - This guy also has a very compelling story. He sang "PYT". I really like this dude. He's kind of like Taylor Hicks except the exact opposite. For the record, Paula just made a reference to being able to tell who is singing with her eyes closed. Can we get off the vision references? It's just uncomfortable at this point.

Bottom line: I can't believe I'm saying this, but I agree with Paula. Danny is the favorite to win this thing. I've got him at 1-2 (bet $2 to win $1).

4) Michael Sarver - America's favorite roughneck takes the stage. I've got to tell you that this is shaping up to be the most likeable group of "Idol" finalist we've ever seen. Mike bangs out "You are Not Alone". I liked it. The judges loved it. Good job by you, Mike. (TM Chris Russo).

Bottom line: I'm going to slip him in at 20-1 after week 1.

5) Jasmine Murray - It's the 17 year old wildcard from Mississippi. Geez, she's got a great family too. Could we get some people on this show that it's easy to root against? It's so much more fun that way. At any rate, Jasmine takes on "I'll Be There". Listen, I'm going to say something that could force me me to hand in my man card: when Mariah Carey records a song, no "Idol" contestant should ever sing it. Do you ever ask yourself why we are no longer impressed by a free-throw line dunk? Well, it's because MJ did it, and we don't want to see anybody else do it. Can we all agree on this? That being said, Jasmine did fine. She'll likely stick around for a few weeks.

Bottom line: Jasmine is 25-1 to win it all.

6) Kris Allen - Did you see his wife? I think we've found somebody I can hate. So, Krissy busts out the guitar for "Do You Remember?". I can tell you right now that this is the kid that is going to tick me off all season. I think he's a bad John Mayer impersonator (and, for the record, the world doesn't need another John Mayer), but the teenage girls will keep this guy around 5 weeks too long.

Bottom line: 20-1 to win it all.

7) Allison Iraheta - This is the 16 year old girl that the judges fell all over in the prelims. I like her, I guess. I'm still not sure if she's singing or screaming. Plus, she just made a joke about cutting herself. Not really sure what that's all about. Again, I'm uncomfortable.

Bottom line: 10-1 to win it all, and I think she's the best "bet" on the board.

8) Anoop Desai- Anoop is the second best karaoke singer I've ever seen behind my buddy, Beyer. And, he seems like he would be a pretty cool dude to grab beers with in Chapel Hill. Other than that, he's going home after tonight.

Bottom line: 100-1. The longest of long shots.

9) Jorge Nunez - Take it from a guy that has experience betting against Felix Trinidad, it is a horrible idea to underestimate the power of the Puerto Rican fan base. I know people that I trust very much that were attendance on September 29, 2001 when Tito battled Bernard Hopkins in Madison Square Garden, and they swear it was the most electric sporting environment they've ever been a part of. And, unfortunately, much like that fight, Jorge's performance tonight was pretty disappointing. You've got to be fair here, though. This guy is singing in front of millions of people in a language he is still learning. I think it's remarkable, and I find myself rooting for this guy. Unfortunately for him, me rooting for you is usually the kiss of death.

Bottom line: 75-1.

10) Megan Corkey - I can't really be objective here because I haven't liked her as a singer from the start. Again, however, just like all these other folks, she seems like a pretty likeable person, and I can't root against her. I, however, wouldn't vote for her. That sounds really familiar to me. I think I once said the same thing about Bill Clinton.

Bottom line: 65-1

11) Adam Lambert - Hey, it's another guy I feel good about rooting against. No doubt he can sing, but he really creeps me out. Does he remind anybody else of a vampire? Anybody? The judges love him, and based on the audience response, America is going to love him. In fact, at this point, I'm pretty confident he and Danny Gokey will be facing off in the final, and I will be rooting for Danny Gokey like he's facing the Yankees in Game 7 of the Series.

Bottom line: He's just behind Danny at even money.

12) Matt Giraud - This dude kind of reminds me of Justin Timberlake. I'm not going to tell you if that is a good or bad thing.

Bottom line: 12-1. He's not going to win, but he's going to have moments.

13) Alexis Grace - Speaking of JT, Alexis is from Memphis too. And, she gets bonus points because her dad looks like a character from the "Lord of the Rings". I have no idea how she sounded because she sang "Dirty Diana", which distracted me because I haven't heard that song outside a.... Well, let's just say that I only hear that song on bachelor parties these days. Seriously, she seemed okay, but not spectacular. I am, however, a big fan of Kara's comments.

Bottom line: 30-1

So, after week 1, it looks the contenders are Lil, Scott, Danny, Allison, Adam, and Matt is the only legit longshot. But, really, it looks like it is only a two horse race.

Okay, I've made you suffer enough, and I've got a couple of hours of CWebb and GP on Tivo I have to get to before I turn in.

WAD...Out!

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Random? Yes. Entertaining? Probably Not.

I know you are all too excited about the start of the World Baseball Classic to care about what I have to say, so I will be brief. Okay, so nobody actually cares about the WBC, and I've never been brief a day in my life. That being said, there really isn't any one thing going on these days that that warrants its own column, so brace yourself for some random thoughts to take you into the weekend:

  • I've watched some horrible things in my life, especially on the internet, but never in my life have I seen anything more horrifying than the Tatiana experience on tonight's "Idol". Listen, she is probably a very good person with a great family, but she's undoubtedly the most insufferable person we've seen on network reality television since Omarosa. And, for the record, the fact that the judges brought her back for a second chance seriously calls the show's integrity into question. What? The show's integrity has been in question since the beginning? I'm shocked.

  • We learned on tonight's "Idol" that the new judge, Kara Dioguardi, went to Duke. Say what you will about her, but can't we all agree that she is unquestionably the most attractive woman to ever go to Duke? And yes, I realize this is not an exactly what we would call a high standard.

  • I'm watching the Mavs @ the Hornets right now, and I have two observations: 1) Chris Paul is electric, and I'm certain that he is the best pure point guard we've seen since Isiah. And yes, that includes Stockton and Kidd; 2) Speaking of Kidd, for all the accolades and media slurping through the years, on his best day, Jason Kidd was never close to the player Chris Paul is right now. I said it! If anybody wants to debate this with me, please give me a call. It's been a while since I won an argument, so I would welcome the opportunity. I will even give you a preview of my argument.

Kidd has always made his teammates better with his ability to run the break, see the floor, and make fantastic decisions in the half court. He, however, has always had three major weaknesses: 1) he has never been great at getting to the hole off the dribble in the half court because he has never had a better than average first step; 2) he has never had the quickness to be a lock down on the ball defender; and 3) He simply can't shoot outside 19 feet. Now, look at Paul. In short, he has all the same strengths and none of the weaknesses. And, for the record, he just made Jose Barea look foolish. Again, I realize this is not an exactly what we would call a high standard.

  • If you haven't listened to yesterday's "B.S. Report" with Simmons and Ric Bucher, do yourself a favor and go to the 28 minute mark. Bucher's comments about the Celtics are fantastic. Let's just say that he perfectly summed up how every person that doesn't live in Boston feels about this Celtic team.

  • Quick question about A-Roid (honestly, I didn't mean to type "Roid". It just happened. Clearly, it was written.): Who is responsible for his pending hip surgery, the Yankees or Boras? Specifically, did the Yankees tell him that he would be anywhere on Earth other than the New Yankee Stadium on opening day, or did Boras tell him that actually suiting up for the Dominican Republic would be the nail in his endorsement coffin here in the States? Either way, I'm okay with it. Honestly, at this point, can't we all agree that MLB is a better place without all the crap that surrounds this guy? I think so.

  • If you want to wet your appetite for March Madness, tune into CBS at 4 p.m. Sunday afternoon when Duke and Carolina renew the greatest rivalry in college basketball. Duke is #7, UNC is #2, and a #1 seed could be at stake. Yes, you read that correctly. If Duke wins this game and makes the ACC Finals, there is at least a decent chance the least talented Duke team of the past decades can steal a #1 seed. On the other hand, if UNC drops this game at home and doesn't win the ACC tournament, they could drop to a #2. That being said, there is no way Psycho T (I've never hated a nickname more than this one) is losing on Senior Day in the Dean Dome.

  • The Link of the Week is 82 Games. Take an hour or so and check out this site and you will be amazed at the time and effort these guys dedicate to their work. I waste entirely too much time on this site every week. I really need to find a hobby.

  • Finally, nobody really did anything terribly baffling this week, so I decided to give the "Really" to Wall Street, which continues to baffle/destroy me financially and emotionally on daily basis.

I hope everybody has a good weekend, and as a tease, I will tell you that we are in the process of potentially adding some new technology to the WAD. I don't want to say too much because I'm not sure we can make it work (mainly due to my technical ineptitude), but we are trying.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Tuesday Night Musings

  • I'm not sure if I've made this point before, but I'm going to make it again. I am willing to overlook every ridiculous thing we see on "24" (endless cellphone batteries, twelve armed dudes swimming underneath and invading the White House, Janeane Garofalo portraying a decent American, everything Chloe does, etc...), but I simply cannot overlook the absurdity of one thing: After all we've been through, how can anybody EVER doubt Jack Bauer? My God, what does the man have to do? Can you imagine if, during the final timeout of Game 6 of the '98 Finals, Phil Jackson had looked at MJ and said, "I'm sorry, Mike. I know you've never not come through in the clutch, but I just don't believe you can take Byron Russell. I'm going to put the ball in Kukoc's hands!" This is the exact conversation we hear at least three times every episode this season. Well, it's not the exact conversation, but you get the point, right?

  • Bill Simmons wrote an amazing piece last week on the NBA's looming economic woes. In the same piece, he also pointed out the abysmal condition of NBA officiating. Well, I can't speak intelligently about the League's economic woes, but I can absolutely and unequivocally concur with his assessment of the officiating. The end of Sunday night's Hawks/Cavs game was an embarrassment. And now, I'm watching the end of the Nets/Bucks game (I know, it's a sign of a major problem when you are watching the Nets and Bucks), and the officiating in the final 10 seconds has been beyond questionable. I have no real point here other than to point out that NBA officials are very bad at their job. You're welcome.

  • If you happen to read this before midnight, text "vote" to 5710. We need to keep Kendall on "Idol". Sure, she's not a great singer, but I'm a fan. I'll just leave it at that. And yes, I watch "Idol" every week, and I am not ashamed. Do you hear me? I'm not ashamed! Okay, I'm a little ashamed, but it could be worse. It could be "The Bachelor".

  • Two pearls of wisdom from GP and CWebb tonight: 1) The Bobcats are making the playoffs; and 2) Brook Lopez is getting busy. And, for the record, CWebb is wearing Chuck Taylors with his suit tonight. Seriously, do I have to beg you to watch these guys?

  • Let's talk about the Hawks for a moment. Believe it or not, I truly believe last night's win over the Wizards was their biggest win of the season. Before you call me nuts, just hear me out. It was about 11 p.m. Sunday night when the refs stole the Cavs game from them. They raced to the airport only to sit on the runway for over 3 hours because the world's busiest airport apparently only has one de-icer. They flew an hour and half to Dulles (why they didn't fly to Reagan, I have no idea), only to hop on a bus for a nearly two hour ride on icy roads from Northern Virginia to downtown D.C (normally a 45 minute ride). In other words, they didn't get to their hotel until 7 a.m., turned around 12 hours later, shook off the funk from the robbery the night before, and grabbed a road win and pushed their lead over the Heat for the 4th seed to 2.5 games. Do you have any idea how easy it would have been to mail that game in? If nothing else, the fact that they didn't shows the Hawks have character and are approaching every game with a truly professional manner. And, with more home games left than any other team in the League (14), the chances of 47 wins and home court advantage in the first round are great. In case you haven't noticed, I'm excited about where this is going.

  • In complete contrast to my feelings about the Hawks, I am deeply saddened that Georgia Tech has disbanded its basketball program. What? That is a team of scholarship athletes? You've got to be kidding me!

  • Before I go, I have five questions for you. Seriously, any input you have would be greatly appreciated because I'm at a loss:

1) How in the world did the Pats only get the 34th pick in the draft for Matt Cassel?

2) Why in the world were the Broncos trying to trade Jay Cutler?

3) How did Richard Hamilton get the nickname "Rip". I'm embarrassed, but I've never known where this came from.

4) Is it too soon to start referring to Greg Oden as Sam Bowie II? I hope so, but I'm growing more concerned by the day.

5) What do we have to do to organize a heads up poker tournament between Dan Snyder and Hank Steinbrenner? Sure, it wouldn't last long since they would both go blind all-in on the first hand, but could you imagine the drama watching the dealer flip those cards?