Thursday, March 22, 2007

(Don't) Stop the Madness!

The Sweet Sixteen got off to a crazy start Thursday, as four top seeds managed to hold on and advance into the Elite Eight this weekend:
  • The Kansas Jayhawks won 61-58 over Jamaal Tatum and Southern Illinois, despite being thrown out of their fast-paced offense for a large part of the game.
  • Memphis topped Texas A&M 65-64 in another game that came down to the final seconds, this one being decided by a series of crucial free throws, a controversial ruling on the clock, and a blown layup from Acie Law IV.
  • UCLA never trailed in their 64-55 victory over Pittsburgh, thanks to big performances by stud Bruins Arron Afflalo, Darron Collison, and Josh Shipp.
  • Ohio State, led by Ron Lewis and Mike Conley, storms back from a 20-point deficit to top Tennessee 85-84, decided by Greg Oden's block of a potentially game winning shot as time expired.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Los Angeles Basketball

Forget the slumping Lakers and the lottery-bound Clippers, Los Angeles basketball fans are all hyped up about the UCLA Bruins and USC Trojans in the Sweet Sixteen. While UCLA basketball has always been the class of the NCAA, winning a whopping 11 national championships, Tim Floyd is in the process of bringing the Trojans into the picture. The LA/SC basketball situation has parallels to the lopsided LA/SC football rivalry (USC football also has 11 national titles to UCLA football's one) and even the Laker/Clipper flipflop of last year. Whatever the case, everyone has something to root for come this weekend...

Tuesday, March 20, 2007


Amar Shah (an Indian sportswriter!) throws us a special column about the Cricket World Cup. Apparently he and his wife came down to a familiar area known as 'Little India' here in Orange County. I did get a kick out of reading about a Bollywood theatre (Naz8) and Indian restaurant (Rasraj) that I have actually been to several times.

Some of the interesting excerpts:

"Less than 24 hours after Pakistan was eliminated from advancement in the World Cup, its coach, Bob Woolmer, was dead."

"We continued to wait and knock. And wait and knock. This was what we jokingly called (IST) Indian Standard Time."

"I noticed a number of movie posters from the latest film featuring Bollywood's version of Brangelina, Aishwarya Rai and Abhishek Bachchan"

"But before I could pick the paneer makhani and naan, the clerk behind the counter wagged his finger at my jersey and shook his head in shame."

"Wickets are like wives -- you never know which way they will turn."

Monday, March 19, 2007

Why we look the other way

ESPN The Magazine's Chuck Klosterman writes:

Shawne Merriman weighs 272 pounds.

This is six pounds less than Anthony Muñoz, probably the most dominating left tackle of all time. Shawne Merriman also runs the 40-yard dash in 4.61 seconds. When Jerry Rice attended the NFL draft combine in 1985, he reportedly ran a 4.60; Rice would go on to gain more than 23,000 all-purpose yards while scoring 207 career touchdowns.

You do not need Mel Kiper's hard drive to deduce what these numbers mean: As an outside linebacker, Shawne Merriman is almost as big as the best offensive tackle who ever played and almost as fast as the best wide receiver who ever played. He is a rhinoceros who moves like a deer. Common sense suggests this combination should not be possible. It isn't.

Friday, March 16, 2007

March Money


  • $1.5 billion: Amount of lost workplace productivity due to the tournament, according to the consulting firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas
  • $2.5 billion: FBI's estimated amount of illegal wagering in office pools and other bets
  • 9,223,372,036,854,775,808 to 1: Odds on picking a perfect bracket according to
  • $15,452.75: Average annual cost to attend the No. 1 seeds if you live in state
  • $28,101: Average annual cost to attend the No. 1 seeds if you live out of state
  • $14,469.75: Average annual cost to attend the No. 16 seeds if you live in state
  • $19,734.75: Average annual cost to attend the No. 16 seeds if you live out of state
  • $70,322,772: Average athletic budget at the No. 1 seeds according to Blue Ribbon
  • $9,056,728.75: Average athletic budget at the No. 16 seeds according to Blue Ribbon
  • $1.36: Salary you wasted your employer by reading this list


Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Be Afraid. Be Very Afraid...

Alright, guys. I personally would shuffle around the rankings a bit, but check it out and let me know what you think anyway...

Monday, March 05, 2007

Free Agency

As millions of dollars are thrown at players who are now overpaid acquisitions, another one of my favorite columnists, Mike Sando of The News Tribune, warns us against the free-agency hype:

The most aggressive teams early in free agency a year ago were Cleveland, Minnesota and Washington. Arizona also drew accolades for adding Edgerrin James, cementing the Cardinals' status as a team on the rise. Drew Brees raised eyebrows when he took more money from New Orleans, a team heading nowhere, when he could have landed with a playoff contender in Miami. The Colts, meanwhile, treaded water by re-signing a few of their own guys without adding reinforcements from other teams. Losing James to Arizona also meant the Colts might have a hard time duplicating previous successes.

So much for that. Their 2006 records:

Cleveland 4-12
Minnesota 6-10
Washington 5-11
Arizona 5-11
Miami 6-10

New Orleans 10-6
Indianapolis 12-4

Basically, as intriguing as some of the moves are, keep in mind that the offseason winners rarely turn out to be the winners come fall.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

One Nation Under God

I have been doing a lot of thinking lately (uh oh), and come to the following realizations about our great nation:
  • The United States of America was founded as a Christian nation. The forefathers that we learn about in elementary school and study so extensively later on were, before anything else, simply gutsy Christians. Sure, they preached religious freedom and welcomed all, but the country was founded with Christian principles.
  • The United States of America is a blessed nation, perhaps the most blessed nation in the history of the world. The fact that Christianity is the dominant religion in America is no coincidence. As of 2000, a whopping 76.5% of Americans claimed to be Christian.
  • I thought about putting some sort of disclaimer here, but I do not think one is necessary. The great Roman empire was a blessed Christian nation which ruled the world in its prime. Not unlike the world's previous great nations, America's downfall will be because of its insistence on turning away from God and ethics to secularism and immorality.
  • ABC's Boston Legal, one of my favorite shows because of its political statements and intelligent comedy, featured Denny Crane, played by William Shatner, declare, "I believe in God because if you are wrong, there is no harm, no foul. But if you do not believe and you turn out to be wrong, then you are screwed."
  • Oscar-winning Titanic director James Cameron is currently working on a documentary discrediting Jesus' resurrection, claiming to have found his real body. Considering all the money The DaVinci Code has made, it is no surprise Hollywood continues to abuse Jesus as a cash cow.
  • America has turned against its Bible-believing president, idolizing spoiled celebrities and irresponsible athletes, promoting the worship of money, legalized gay marriage and abortion, removed the Bible from its educational curriculum, threw out the Ten Commandments in courts, and had the audacity to think about pulling the words "under God" from the pledge of allegiance.
  • Come quickly Lord Jesus, come quickly.