Masters Magic

Arnold Palmer

As I sit here, a Trevor Immelman (?) sits atop the leaderboard at Augusta, with 8-under-par.  I feel as though he might have a better seat than I, even if it may be short-lived.  Meanwhile, Tiger Woods was set to tee off a few minutes ago.  Yesterday, “he bored” the crowds by coming in “only” at even-par.  As they say though, a bad day on the golf course is better than any day in the office.  My office being a cubicle in the library, writing about pollution in the Mediterranean Sea.

Anyway, I should have made predictions yesterday, but as I didn’t, I will go ahead and shoot them at you today: this Immelman guy is not going to stay atop the leaderboard through today, tomorrow morning at the latest.  Phil Mickelson won’t drop like a bucket, but he’ll play well and end up top ten. I see Zach Johnson as having the confidence to make a good showing, but I don’t think he’ll repeat. The hometown (my hometown, not yours) favorite, JB Holmes will look like he was born on the golf course.  He wasn’t, and I don’t think he’ll win, but he’ll continue building upon the notoriety he has been gaining in the past couple of years.  That Woods fellow will win.  This is a safe bet, but I know this because Jack Nicklaus doesn’t want to talk about it.  That means his record will fell soon enough…In the event that Tiger doesn’t win, I am voting for Retief Goosen.  Augusta is a democracy, right?

Also, Colin Montgomerie might just make the trip so that he can heckle the Chinese player, Liang wen-Hong.  Maybe they don’t want you, Colin, because you are pretty sour most of the time?  Also, anyone want to bet that Sergio spits on Rory Sabbatini at some point? I mean, let’s face it, Sabbatini will say something to piss someone off…

Not the Best Week Ever: Olympic Torch

Olympic Torch 2008

Clearly, Chinese Olympic organizers have had a tough week, explaining away the fact that in several cities so far, people have turned out to protest what in my mind is associated with local news anchors (when the torch ran through Louisville in 1996, all of the highlights were of local news anchors with the torch…funny how that works).

It’s been kind of an interesting juxtaposition of our reality: people are protesting for valid reasons, and no one I’ve read has really had a problem with this (maybe except for various municipal police); and Beijing’s reality: not reporting about the protests to the Chinese people, and their spokesman, Qu Yingpu, telling the West, “This is not the right time, the right platform, for any people to voice their political views.”

Well, I’m sorry, it might be inconvenient for you but (most of the time) in the countries were the protests are taking place, it doesn’t matter what’s convenient for you.  People protest when they want, and not often for frivolous reason.  Same applies here.  Incidentally, I am of the thought that people should protest US practices concerning human rights, but that probably a whole ‘nother blog.

Today, the torch heads to San Francisco, if you didn’t know.  I happen to live with some Chinese people (seriously), and they happen to be the nicest people I know (seriously).  Apart from some very questionable dietary habits, they’re good peoples.  I haven’t asked them what they think about the protests, and I’m not likely to.  I know they did not partake in violating human rights, and don’t have anything to do with it.  So just remember as all this fury goes up, the Chinese are people too, regardless of what their government does.  That’s the same thing everyone else says about the US.

Olympic protests

Tournament Highlights

Kansas basketball

I almost made this post a “Not the Best Week Ever,” but the only reason I had for that was the fact that I lost bragging rights.  Yes, the Canadian beat me in the brackets this year (by so skillfully picking chalk).  I would like to take this opportunity to mention also that I beat him in NFL picks this past year, as well as last year’s NCAA brackets.  Just sayin’….Anyway, on with your tourney highlights.

  • Bob Huggins trying to bring back the mock turtleneck.  I don’t know if anyone told you, Bob, but only Tiger Woods gets to wear those.  No one else.
  • The requisite Duke bow-out in round two.  I always think there is a chance my dreams of Duke going out early could be thwarted, just by the sheer personality of Coach K.  The performance they gave in round one however, assured me that this would not be the case this year.
  • Western Kentucky outlasting Kentucky.  Who would ever have thought?  A UofL team that went to the Elite Eight, along with the Hilltoppers.  The real highlight: this picture of Big Red
  • Psycho T now losing his insanity?  Now living in the triangle area of North Carolina (aka Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill), I have begun to dislike the in-your-face coverage of UNC and Duke (and not just because I am a partial to the Wolfpack).  This came to a head when the local CBS affiliate refused to break from UNC’s drubbing of Arkansas to cover the Butler-Tennessee game (I think).  So when UNC went out, I can’t say I didn’t mind.  This being said, I maintain I was ecstatic when they beat UofL.
  • Crean to Crimson.  Marking a new quickness in coaches leaving just after they get knocked out of the tournament. Can Bill Self beat the record?!
  • Memphis giving high school coaches across the nation another reason to make their kids practice free throws for hours on end.  You have to make those! WTF was that?!

And, while not a highlight at all, the Big Blue Nation lost Mr. Wildcat, equipment manager Bill Keightley.  I don’t think he was known much outside of Kentucky, but it won’t be the same looking at the UK bench and not seeing him there.

PS. Where is Ben Hansbrough going?!

Do You Remember Bleeding Through Your Pants in 2001?

Roger and Debbie Clemens

No, that doesn’t have to do with hormonal women, it has to do with Roger Clemens testifying before Congress today. Seriously, a Congressman of the United States of America asked Roger Clemens if he bled through his pants in 2001. I don’t mean to dog on Congress or anything, but I’m sure these people we elected have more important things to take care of…like, say, this war in Iraq business, or trying to find Osama bin Landen, or Global Warming, or maybe even that whole mess Hurricane Katrina left behind that is still not cleaned up?

Is anyone really clambering for this information? If you are, seriously, tell me. Because I don’t care. I don’t care if Roger Clemens was bleeding through his pants during the middle of the World Series. I don’t care if McNamee lied to everyone in America (which apparently he did at one point or another because his story has switched more than Britney Spears’ personality). I would not care if you told me that every player in baseball has bent over in front of a trainer and got injected with bull semen. I get that it’s illegal, but smoking crack is illegal too and you don’t see crackheads parading before Congress on a daily basis.

I’ve already given my rant about the fact that I think steroid use is now ingrained in, at least, professional sports, so I’ll save you from that again.

I know a lot of people don’t like that thought, because it impinges on the “purity” of the game. Well, just ask Debbie Clemens (who got thrown under a bus, if you ask me), about the purity of the game as she got injected with HGH. Was that so she could look like the above picture? And if Roger Clemens “didn’t know anything about steroids” prior to this whole debacle, as he claims, then why did he get so upset about her using it?

Whatever the answer, the writers are back this week, and that means it’s about time to stop using Congress as a part in our new reality show about baseball…

PS. The level of grouchiness in this post may or may not have anything to do with the poor pathetic showing Kentucky had last night.

You Stay Classy, Bobby

Bob Knight

Of course, the one thing that could bring me out of my self-imposed blogging exile is the fact that Bob Knight has retired. It does not escape me that Bob Knight can’t win with me, and I’m not going to pass up on the fact that his latest antic is in ridiculously poor taste and proves once again that Bobby is out for himself.

To quote the man himself (via ESPN): “There’s a transition that’s going to take place here from me to Pat and I’ve dwelt on this all year long … how it would be best for him and for the team and for what we can do in the long run to make this the best thing for Texas Tech,” Knight told the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, which first reported the resignation.

I would wager to guess that he didn’t struggle too much with this decision because he had already made up his mind to hit the #900, and then quit. This, in my opinion, is worse than Eddie Sutton’s coming back for #800. At least Sutton can kind of pretend he’s helping a team out who needed a coach mid-season. Bobby, however, made a conscious decision to retire after he hit the big mark, and therefore abandon his team.

And that’s the only way I can describe it, as abandoning his team. Yes, he’s leaving his son Pat to “prepare” for the “future of the team.” Really though, if I was a player, I would want to finish out this season with some sense of continuity and get used to the new guy in the summer months. It’s not as if the team itself has to “get used” to Pat, who was an assistant coach with the Red Raiders, thereby making this move an obvious attempt to give Pat some on the job training.

I also understand trying to help your children out. My parents still help me out every week even though I live 500 miles away from them (so that I may forgo an all-ramen diet). But lots of coaches come in at the start of a new season, not mid-season. And it seems as if they do well most of the time, because this is the way things usually work. The old coach quits at the end of the season (even though he might announce his retirement or leave earlier than that), and then the school hires a new coach who begins his work during the summer.

So this can’t all be about Pat, either. It’s about the fact that Bob Knight, while demanding respect from everyone, hardly respects anyone. He does things on his own time, in his own way, and sometimes people consider him an honorable man for doing so. It plays into the idea of living by your own rules and not taking sh*t from other people. In the real world however, that might sometimes hurt people – literally and figuratively. And Bobby has hurt people – figuratively and literally.

So if you’re defending Bob Knight today, and celebrating his career, I hope you keep in mind the Senior Red Raiders who now feel abandoned by a coach who was just out for his own personal gain. I hope you’re cheering for a man who’s just not a team player, no matter what he’s said in his life.

Hockey fight of the day:

Eli?

Or, Papa can you hear me?? Not all in the audience will get that reference but I think everyone will get the fact that Eli is in the Super Bowl (or they at least have a chance to play in the Super Bowl, according to Emmitt Smith), and Peyton is not. While the fact that Peyton is not playing in the Super Bowl restores the world order (i.e. him wrapping his hands around his neck), the fact that Eli is playing for the big ring throws it out of order again (i.e. him not wrapping his hands around his neck). In fact, I remarked in the fourth quarter that it looks like Eli was choking and then he went and did a number on my prediction.

Anyway, it looks as if Archie may have another reason to get on television and talk about his sons, because you know Peyton would throw up in his mouth if Archie happened perchance to not mention him in a television interview, no matter how many damn cute commercials he makes.

With that being said, I’m calling the Super Bowl for the Pats. This is even though now that I have said that, Tom Brady’s already apparently crippled foot will disintegrate, and given the fact that the Giants actually didn’t look bad against the Pats 4 weeks ago. I might even watch this Super Bowl this year, as opposed to last year’s engaging in illicit activities that The Canadian doesn’t like to talk about (juuust kidding!). Who knows?

And here’s another hockey brawl, because I don’t know what else to put here. Also, because it displays the overwhelming sportsmanship involved in hockey.

And you say Packers fans are intense?

This might be the ultimate sign of a man-crush on Tom Brady.