UPDATE: Tomorrow is planned to be "Orange and Maroon Effect" Day. Wear the Virginia Tech colors, or put them on your blogs. I'll try to have some color changes on the blog -- what I'm really trying to find is a link to the "VT ribbon" jpg that I can put on the sidebar tomorrow. Just thought I'd pass that along to those who hadn't heard about it yet. (Update: Here's one from reader/blogger Travis Liles. And here's another.)
Distracting thoughts while contemplating what the love-child of Rosie O'Donnell and Jason Whitlock would look like...
NBA: End of Regular Season/Start of Playoff Season!
This NBA season has been totally lame. The top highlight was Henry Abbott's True Hoop blog being acquired by ESPN. (That's not to dis Henry in the slightest, but to show how thin the season's on-court highlights have been. Go True Hoop!)
When the league's uber-fan, Bill Simmons, has to resort to naming "The Fans" as his league MVP, it's the ultimate sign the sport has plummeted this year. (Snarkily, one might ask, "What fans?" Doesn't Bill like to say that there are only 10 "real" NBA fans left anyway?)
That said, with the exception of the way the NBA continues to schedule the first-round games to be dragged out as interminably as possible, the first round of the NBA Playoffs actually shape up with some truly compelling match-ups:
Suns-Lakers (Nash-Kobe II? Delicious.) Suns in 6.
Spurs-Nuggets (I think the Spurs will win the West, but
Jazz-Rockets (Eh, they can't all be compelling.) Rockets in 7.
Cavs-Wiz (Rematch from last season, this time with the Wiz without Gil Arenas – or Caron Butler. Seemingly an easy route for the Cavs, but you never know. Spoken like a truly misguided Wiz fan.) Cavs in
7 5. (Commenters have showed me the error of my ways, and that was before 9 a.m.!)
Raps-Nets (Vince Carter back in
Heat-Bulls (Defending champs vs. the team with the most potential to assume the title mantle in the future.) Heat in 6.
Pistons-Magic (How about "Darko's Revenge?" If he can't motivate for this, he can't for anything.) Pistons in 5.
Feel free to add your own picks/analysis in the Comments now. Complete NBA playoff picks, through the Finals, coming tomorrow.
MLB Stud: Mark Buehrle, who not only pitched a no-hitter, but faced the minimum 27 batters.
MLB Dud: Felix Hernandez, who left the game in the first inning with elbow trouble. (Cue ominous bullpen music.)
Virginia Tech Update: More from VT student Nick D. of The Dugout and AOL Fanhouse.
NCAA: Panel votes to ban text messaging to recruits. This is ludicrous: It's how teens communicate. Come up with a way to deal with it besides simply trying to forget it exists. (I guess you could call it the "Meyer Rule," for the way Urban Meyer became so effective – so publicly – with texting.)
NCAA Spring Football: Mike Conley Jr. will be an honorary coach of
NFL: Finally fined Brian Urlacher for wearing a "Vitamin Water" hat at the Super Bowl. Hope whatever they're paying him was worth the $100,000 fine.
NFL Draft: The hot trend? 'Fessing up to college pot smoking at the combine. (1) The NFL p.i.'s will find out anyway; (2) you get tons of credit for being "mature"; (3) it gets the issue out on the table early and out of the way by April, when momentum really matters.
(I think this goes back to two things: Initially, the cautionary tale of Warren Sapp, who dropped based on draft-day rumors of pot-smoking. More recently, Luis Castillo admitting to steroid use up-front, yet still being a first-round selection. Agents saw the sea change.)
Colin Cowherd does it again: Last week, it was violating FCC regulations. This week it's hate speech. The funny thing is: He's not even a clever bigot. (Then again, I suppose most bigots rarely are.)
Here's the quote: "Olbermann is bright and talented and a really good broadcaster, but he's about as middle-america as a transgender film festival. He's a Northeast Intellectual Baseball Guy....he doesn't speak to the NFL fan at all!"
(1) There were plenty of ways to describe K.O. as not a fit in
(2) Olbermann doesn't speak to the NFL fan at all? I think the millions of fans who watched him talk about the NFL during the Golden Era of SportsCenter would disagree. And Cowherd's own bosses might resent the idea that an "intellectual" doesn't work for NFL fans; after all, they just named one of the great football intellectuals to sit in the "Monday Night Football" chair.
Video Games: LaDainian Tomlinson turned down "Madden '08" cover. Keep saying it's about the "money." Yes: If "money" means "curse." (h/t Darren Rovell)