Tuesday, March 28, 2006 

Random Tourney Thoughts

--I’ve got to figure that of the, what, 50 million brackets filled out for this year’s NCAA Tournament—hereafter referred to as the Greatest Tournament Ever, or GTE—probably something like 49.5 million of them are toast, and most of the ones still viable were either filled out by alumni of one of the Final Four schools, or by folks who have no real idea what they’re doing, like my mom (who picked LSU to win it all) and my six-year-old daughter (UCLA).

--Me, I won one of my pools by picking 7 of the final 8 (and none of the Final Four, but hey). If Villanova could’ve won just one more freakin’ game, I would’ve had the sweet distinction of winning two different pools backing two different teams. Dammit!

--Of course, I picked the two teams that had the worst final game performance-to-pre-tourney-expectation ratios—Memphis and Villanova. I still think guards win games in the tournament—a gunner who can hit from deep can change a game in an eyeblink—in other words, the time it takes to see seventy-three of those annoying-ass Cingular commercials where Goofy White Guy stares at his call-dropping phone and Smug Asian Guy is getting scores from the future on his. Where was I? Oh, yeah—guard play. If I was a coach, I’d park one of my gunners somewhere deep in the bowels of the building, just so—hypothetically speaking—if the rest of your team happens to forget how to throw a ball in the ocean, you can bring in a shooter who doesn’t have the stink of failure slathered all over him. Just a thought.

--I love the end-of-game shots of the soon-to-be-winning team’s bench, where the Token Goofy White Guy is leaping up and down and whirling a towel around fast enough to leave the ground. You know that three weeks before, the guy’s teammates were duct-taping him to his locker and dunking him in the toilet in the name of team-building, but in the glow of victory, all’s forgiven.

--Joakim Noah is hotter than 60 percent of the players in the WNBA. And he’s got a smaller mustache than them, too.

--If UConn had managed to come back and beat George Mason after being down four points with, what, four seconds left, I’d recommend that other teams start employing the ol’ wooden-stake-to-the-heart defense against the Huskies.

--My prediction for the winner of the GTE? LSU. No, not because they’re a good post-Katrina story. It’s because Tyrus Thomas is the Scottie Pippen of the 2010s, and Glen “Big Baby” Davis has the greatest nickname in college basketball history—aside, of course, from Lorenzen “The Howl” Wright, who got his nickname a few years back from a certain naive yet stunningly handsome young sportswriter writing in Memphis magazine.

Geaux Tigers!

Monday, March 06, 2006 

Kirby Puckett, R.I.P.

Just read that former Minnesota Twins outfielder and Hall of Famer Kirby Puckett died of a stroke today. Damn...the guy was only 44 years old. My enduring Puckett memory--aside from the way he broke the Braves' back in Game 6 of the '91 World Series--was in Baltimore in 1989, at old Memorial Stadium. The O's were playing the Twins, and every time Puckett came to the plate, this drunk-ass dude two sections over would stand, wobble, and bellow out "Kerrr....Beee....PUCKETT!" in every conceivable cadence, volume, and timbre. It got to the point that we were cheering Kerrbee PUCKETT guy more than the Orioles. And even though his name already sounded like a Muppet, I never could hear KP's name again without thinking of that drunk guy. So, once more--for the only Brave-beater I actually respect--

Kerrr....Beeeee.....PUCKETT!

Bio

Jay Busbee runs Yahoo! Sports' NASCAR Blog From The Marbles, Atlanta Magazine's Atlanta sports blog Right Down Peachtree, and the Southern sports/humor blog Sports Gone South. He also writes for damn near anybody who'll throw him a buck and a byline, and he's at work on the books The Quiet Dynasty: The History Of The Atlanta Braves' Championship Run (2009, Sports Publishing LLC) and God Is A Bulldog: Georgia, Florida, And The Greatest Play In College Football History (2010, Sports Publishing LLC). Click below for more info on his novels, articles, and comics.
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