Sports Avenger 3/22/12

by TOM WEPPEL
COLLEGE BASKETBALL NOTES…
Last week I mentioned I thought we’d see two or three #1’s survive the first weekend of games. Obviously I was wrong! Instead, we had all four make it. Of the four, Kentucky looked the strongest, considering the other three…Syracuse, UNC, and Michigan St…all had at least slight deficiencies within their lineups. That doesn’t mean they all can’t make it…
Of the eight games making up the Sweet Sixteen, three of them featured Big East vs. Big Ten! The Spartans faced Louisville, while Wisconsin played the Orangemen, and Cincinnati took on state rival Ohio State. Think that will spark some inter-conference rivalry? We shall see…
By the end of the weekend, we could possibly see the Final Four made up of at least three Big Ten teams, or maybe two each from either the Big East, SEC, or Big 12, but only one representative from the ACC. Does that say that the ACC simply was not as strong a conference as they have been in the past?
And…going into this weekend, my feeling is there is still some open question as to exactly how solid parity is in college basketball. Sure…there were some wild upsets in the first few rounds of games. But if you look at the Sweet Sixteen, you can see three of the top four seeds advancing into this weekends’ games in three of the four regionals. And in the fourth regional, you will find the #1 and #2 seed.
Now, with that said, if Xavier (#10) and Ohio (#13) get into the Final Four, then I can stand here and admit tomfoolery…

NFL/QB TALK…
Without question, the last few weeks of wheelings and dealings in the National football League have been a wild whirlwind of action!
Of course it started with Peyton Manning going to Denver to hopefully continue his successful career with the Broncos. While a number of franchises were very interested in having him come play for them, in the end, Manning felt like Denver was the best situation for him. Plus, it looks like they will pay him a healthy amount of cash ($over $90M!).
After Peyton signed his deal, it put the spotlight on Tim Tebow, without question. I’m sure Denver pro football fans the world over were aghast as to what was going on! Obviously, many Bronco fans felt Tebow was a very sharp, very popular performer last season. He had certainly cultivated an allegiance.
But John Elway, who now helps run the Bronco operations, didn’t feel like Tebow was the answer to their future leadership at the QB position. And so he made a deal, shipping Tebow off to the New York Jets, of all teams!
And when THAT happened…oh, my…the drama that unfolded (and still IS!)…
There will now be a tremendous amount of discussion, observation, opinion, and flat-out talk, about the two Jets quarterbacks…Mark Sanchez, and Tim Tebow! In fact, I venture to say that topic will easily out-cultivate any coverage of the Super Bowl champion Giants!
Imagine that! Sad, but true…
As we speak, I would say many pundits and personalities have shared not-so-great feelings or opinion about what the deal is there with and for the Jets. That, despite Sanchez and Tebow having had various degrees of success throughout their careers.
I’ve gotten to where I am in complete disbelief as to WHY so many media-types have come down so freakin’ hard on Tim Tebow.
Here’s a guy who has simply been successful…i.e. WON when and where he has played. He helped win two championships while in college…as a QB for the Florida Gators (he also won a Heisman Trophy).
I don’t know about you, but I call that winning.
Then, when he had a chance to start and play in the NFL, as a starting QB for the Denver Broncos, he won games there as well, taking the Broncos into the playoffs. He did help Denver claim the AFC West Division last season.
I would call that winning, also.
Please don’t get me wrong. I am NOT a huge Tim Tebow supporter/fan, by any means. I am simply coming out with a statement that needs to be made.
From a couple of former NFL players who are now analysts on ESPN, to a squirty little writer/columnist for CBS Sports online, the harshness of opinion has been overboard…honestly. They all have come out saying Tebow is not a qualified starting QB for the NFL and that he doesn’t deserve what he is essentially receiving…especially now with this trade completed with the Broncos and New York Jets.
And so everybody is all up in arms about Tebow now being a member of the Jets, wondering how that will affect Mark Sanchez, the current starter, who just signed a five-year contract extension which guarantees him about $20.5M. Certainly, Mr. Tebow will not be coming in to the Jets camp simply satisfied to be the backup (although, with his contract, I’d be happy with whatever you told me to do, even if it amounts to being the holder on extra points!)
When you consider the Jets also bringing in new OC (and former Dolphin HC) Tony Sparano, it will be easy to see why and how the curiosity, questioning, and intrigue will simply be off the charts between now and the start of the regular season.
On one angle, though, it should be realized that this move offers a lot of wonderment…on many levels.
Consider what will now happen if indeed the Jets do NOT announce who their starter will be! What you have here is two QB’s with completely different backgrounds, different skills in which they are decent at,
That said, how will opposing defenses prepare for the Jets? It seems to me there will be a lot of options in which the
Jets can now set up their attack. I think it could create problems…just a thought. It will be interesting to see what Head Coach Rex Ryan and OC Tony Sparano will now do…
They certainly have a challenge on their hands…and HUGE expectations!
LET THE REALITY SHOW BEGIN!

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