Wednesday, March 26, 2008

I would have posted sooner, but I have found myself once more in mourning for a tournament bracket sheet that died before its time. It doesn't happen every year (the catastrophic early collapse always happens, just not the reason why this particular year fell apart), but every now and then I talk myself into picking Georgetown to go deep.

I don't know why I do. I hate Georgetown, and odds are, if you know people who went to Georgetown as I do, you probably hate Georgetown too. Georgetown is dick central. Of the 30 or so people I know who've attended Georgetown, I can think of 3 who aren't total dicks. That's certainly not a large enough sample from which to make a reasonable assessment, but then I'm not necessarily a fair guy.

All signs pointed to Georgetown losing early in this tournament. We all know the cliche that March Madness is dominated by great guard play. Georgetown featured the closest thing to an NBA ready big man available to any of the field of 65, but they didn't have an answer for Davidson's quickness and shooting. So now I look like even more of a moron than usual, but I can live with that.

I did want to see what happened when Roy Hibbert got to play against Brian Butch and the Insane Clone Posse that makes up the Wisconsin front line. I know the entire state of Wisconsin is made up of 5 family trees, but these guys look enough alike that I wouldn't be surprised if they came off an assembly line.

On one level, Hibbert should have demolished the Badgers, based on talent alone. However, in the Coach K era in college basketball, sometimes pure talent is more of a liability than an asset. Far more important is the ability to swallow one's pride and sense of morality and hack, slash, hold and flop in the face of superior talent. And that is Bo Ryan's mission statement as a basketball coach. So Wisconsin would likely have won, especially considering they have vastly more experience than Georgetown (Brian Butch alone has been in college for 7 seasons now, after all).

Having my bracket come apart so spectacularly almost took away most of the joy I felt (and (I'm sure shared with all right-thinking Americans) when Duke lost to West Virginia. Almost, but not quite. Seeing Duke bow out this early in a tournament is always good, but it gives me hope that there might be a chance that teams who flop and whine might be losing their advantage with the officials. That said, I am still terrified by the prospect of another San Antonio vs. Detroit matchup in the NBA Finals. But time will tell there...

In other matters, actor Richard Widmark passed away on Monday. And all I have to say about that is who knew he was still alive? I am a big fan of old movies, and I like my fair share of Westerns. But I was never a big fan of Richard Widmark. I suppose I ought to be more sensitive, now that he's dead, but I am an imperfect person.

I also feel compelled to bring this story to your attention, if you haven't seen it yet. A Mississippi man "accidentally" shot his wife while trying to use a .22 pistol to put a hole in his wall during a satellite TV installation. Prosecutors are considering charging him with manslaughter.

Not for a minute is this manslaughter. Granted it's Mississippi and not civilization, but they ought to throw the book at this guy for everything and anything under the sun. I am not a big advocate for gun control, but I do believe in moron control. Only a total jackass would use a gun in a DIY job. So I'm thinking the guy shot his wife deliberately and came up with this ridiculous story under the Sam Spade principle that a sensible story would have gotten him arrested in the first place.

In a sad news item, somebody stole and torched Shawne Merriman's $180,000 Mercedes this week. Isn't that just awful? What's the world coming to when a fine, upstanding young man like that can't trust the rest of the world to respect his possessions? To add insult to injury, the perpetrators stole his wheels (literally) and left it on milk crates before they burned it.

I have to say it couldn't have happened to a nicer guy. I may have mentioned in this space a time or two that Merriman is a fraud. After having read his official bio on his official website, I think it's time we upgraded Shawne Merriman to archfraud status. I guess one can't expect full disclosure from his own website, but it might have been refreshing to see some mention of Merriman's suspension for performance enhancing drugs not too long ago amid the description of how he became one of the NFL's most dominant (excpet in playoff games) defenders.

All too often, when I mention a story, it's to focus on the negative aspects. But today, I have to praise the courageous leaders of the great state of Maine. No longer can merchants in Maine sell novelty cigarette lighters. This is win-win for the people. First, children can no longer be tempted to play with the lighters and start accidental fires. Second, youngsters will no longer be tempted to smoke to look cool.

Shame on all 49 remaining states who rely on parents and other adults to take responsibility for the objects with which their spawn come in contact. Shame on the leaders of the other 49 states for assuming that their citizens might just be mature and responsible enough to handle decisions like this on their own. And shame on the rest of the nation for being slightly more mature and responsible enough not to be led around by the hand like our neighbors, the Mainiacs.

I know you don't need me to connect you with the news, and it is slightly hypocritical for me to provide this service when I try to avoid news on TV, radio and in the newspaper because it's too damn depressing, but I have two more minor items you may not have noticed. One is sad, the other is ultracreepy.

Al Copeland, the founder of Popeye's Chicken, passed away. This is sad, unless you are a total d-bag and you don't eat fried chicken. Popeye's is much better than KFC, and our world is a little poorer today, losing the man who brought Louisiana spiced fried chicken to the rest of the nation.

And the creepy story...LG is manufacturing a cell phone that feels like human skin. I find that to be beat on a number of levels. First, at this point cell phones can do much more than they should, with the capacity to send texts, photos, videos and play MP3s.

Maybe I'm hopelessly old fashioned, but all I need my phone to do is dial. I hate that I have a cell phone, and if it weren't cheaper than a land line and on very rare occasions useful, I'd throw the damn thing in a river or off the back of some tool's head as though I were a Red Sox fan and it were a slice of pizza.

This story also gives me the heebie-jeebies because it seems to send a message that we are so starved for actual human contact that we might want a phone that feels like a person. Either that or we're trying to get in touch with our inner Dr. Frankenstein. It's not good. In fact, it's quite gross.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Didn't the Red Sox play some games or something?

What is all this stuff?