by Tom Weppel
Now thru next weekend, we will be exposed to a whole lot of college basketball games, mainly in the form of Conference tournaments, as teams continue doing their best to make themselves ready and available for the NCAA to select their teams for the field of 68!
The other day while listening to ESPN, I heard Bob Knight state that seeding for a team is virtually worthless on so many different levels! And I, for all intents, agree with him! Whether teams are slotted as a #1 seed, a #4 seed, or a #12 seed…all that matters, bottom line, is this…”Am I in the tournament, who do I play, and where?!”
Can you blame him, them, or me!
To me, what will be interesting in the next few days will be whether or not certain teams pull off an upset or two, which always seems imminent starting NOW! Also, I am curious to see which teams are playing consistently well heading into the NCAA’s, which can mean a whole lot in determining who might have the upper hand to make it to the Final Four in New Orleans.
While there has always been an ample amount of parity in past season, with one ‘unknown’ coming out of no where to get into the Final Four, I don’t know how possible that is this season. It seems Kentucky and Syracuse have very solid, very strong squads, and are virtual locks to get to the finals. After that, you can probably count on the other two coming out a group involving Kansas, Ohio State, Michigan State, North Carolina, and Duke, with maybe Missouri or Georgetown sneaking in to the mix.
Otherwise, all the other unknowns out there might not even get into the field of Sixteen!
But still…they play all these games for a reason…upsets! We’ll see how it plays out…
MLB / SPRING TRAINING
I guess I should’ve figured this was going to happen…
If you ever followed Bobby Valentine in the past, you knew his attitude and actions were simply NOT the highest of a professional standard! From his days managing the Texas Rangers, to his time in Japan, working within the baseball league over there, he simply did things, or made comments, that always had a lot of people scratching their collective heads, wondering where he was going and trying to accomplish.
Oddly enough, while in Japan, he actually produced some winning ball clubs, before he came back over here to the States and worked as an analyst for ESPN over the past few years. And when he was on TV, he seemed to be okay, coming off as a knowledgeable, interesting guy.
At that point, it seemed his being hired by the Boston Red Sox was going to come off as a good deal, thinking he would be able to simply take care of business, handling the players, the team, and the franchise, in a solid manner, always trying to do what is best and right in making the Red Sox a prolific, successful team.
Then, with the last two weeks, we come to find Valentine has decided to ban alcohol in the clubhouse and lockerroom for the season. Then, he comes out and gives a slightly odd, negative opinion aimed towards the New York Yankees, all for their ways in practicing certain cut-off plays.
WHAT?!?! EXCUSE ME?!
Seriously…my first thought was in wondering whether each of those two items was even needed to be done at this point! I mean…has there been any problems so far this early in Spring Training…before any games have even been played…for Valentine to come out and make the no-beer ban? Then, why ever say anything about New York before even encountering them?
There was no rhyme or reason for either item to have been enacted…bottom line. If you are a Sox fan, you are already on edge, hoping this kind of demeanor is not going to be a problem for Boston going into this season.
And if you are a Yankees fan…well then, I would have a nice smile on my face, feeling like this could make for a daily issue for the Red Sox…one that will make things that much easier for the Yanks to do well, while Boston does a simple crash and burn.
We shall see…
LAST WORD…TIGER WOODS
This weekend, Tiger Woods will be playing in South Florida at the Honda Classic…a tournament he last played in as an amateur way back in the 1990’s! Earlier in the week, during his regular press conference, he had to deal with questions involving the book his former instructor, Hank Haney, will be putting out, discussing certain items about Tiger. Obviously, Tiger didn’t like that and didn’t want to discuss…
It would be my guess that most sports fans have had at least some sort of interest in the play of Tiger Woods at some point within the last twenty years. If you are a golf fan, then you have followed his career quite avidly.
And there is no question he has shown how strongly the interest in him has been sustained, even now, despite his not having won or played nearly as well as he did in years past. For all intents on the PGA Tour, there is only a very slight degree of popularity in play when Woods is NOT participating, bottom line.
But when he does play, people become that much more interested in knowing what is going on…and specifically, what is going on with Tiger!
Despite that being the absolute standard, it seems there is a strong degree of persistence by the golf (and general) Media to make things that much more difficult for Tiger Woods to live his life. While Woods has wanted nothing more than to simply play some golf tournaments, win one (or more), and cash a few checks, it goes without saying that there is complete drama unfolding, with the Media doing their best to stir everything up about Tiger and his past. That is how the Media feels THEY are doing their job! Tiger would rather it not be like this.
Can you blame him?
Look…Tiger Woods is the most popular player/personality on the PGA Tour…and possibly in all of sports! Whenever he plays, people want to watch. Otherwise, the interest in golf drops precipitously! And I think it is fair to say most people want Tiger to win! They WANT him to do well! That, despite the angle the golf media try to portray, which is to get Woods to wear a black hat and do no good!
While Woods has not win since 2009, it seems he still has a ton of talent and ability, all of which should allow him to succeed in due time. When that is remains to be seen!
I can tell you this…those folks that are in charge of running golf overall want Tiger to do well, also, even though they may not admit it.
We shall see how it all plays out. Should be interesting, at the very least…