Monday, April 8, 2013

Sports this 'n' that

Over the next two nights, the college basketball season will come to an end, and Louisville is in a position to sweep the men's & women's championships. The women's team will face Connecticut, the last school to sweep the two championships, on Tuesday, but tonight, the men will face Michigan, whose current roster has been hyped as the second coming of their fabled Fab Five of the early 90's. Unfortunately, in this era where hype and ratings mean more than actual athletic competition, the men's game won't tip off until almost 9:30 (ET), ensuring that millions of kids won't watch the conclusion, which will be somewhere close to midnight.

That has to stop. The NCAA, under fire for its mishandling of investigations of recruiting violations at Miami, for example, and CBS need to consider that it is better to treat this like the Super Bowl and let the game tip at a more reasonable hour. Say, for example, 8:05?

It's only been a week, but consider the following:

The Yankees are 2-4. So is Toronto. So is Philadelphia.

The Mets are tied for 2nd in the NL East with Washington, a game behind Atlanta.


Blue Jays management is finding out very quickly, just like Miami owner Jeff Loria did last year, that money doesn't exactly ensure immediate success. Cy Young winner R. A. Dickey is 0-2 in his return to the American League, and the last I checked, before he signed with the Mets three years ago, Dickey wasn't exactly a winner in past AL stops (Minnesota, Texas, Seattle), and he's gotten a rude "Welcome back!" over the last week. Boston torched him on Sunday en route to a 13-0 shellacking of Toronto. Yes, the Mets could use him right now, but his confidence has to be a bit shaky after a rough start in his new home park.

Wrestlemania has come and gone, and, to the surprise of no one, John Cena, the poster boy for a lot of haters these days, is back atop the mountain after beating the Rock at the Meadowlands. Michael "The Miz" Mizanin, whose WWE Studios release, "The Marine 3: Homefront", went direct to video, beat England's Wade Barrett for the Intercontinental title. All Mizanin needs now is to win the WWE title again and he will have had at least 2 of every one of his championships.

However, Dolph Ziggler still holds the Money in the Bank briefcase, and people wonder if, not when, he'll finally get the green light to win the World title. Time is running out, as his one year contract for the title match expires in July. Blame it on the Uncreative team and Vince McMahon, who can't seem to agree on something for more than 10 seconds at a time. Ziggler was saddled with AJ Lee and Big E. Langston, the latter also the NXT champ, over the winter, a fair exchange, really, considering he had Vickie Guerrero hanging all over him like a remora on a shark for 2 years, but they add nothing, instead robbing him of what credibility he has left. As if he actually had any, actually.

It's been a season of streaks in the NHL & NBA. Don't look now, but with the regular season fast coming to a close, the Knicks, having already locked down a spot in the playoffs, have won 12 straight. They are one of the few teams to solve the Miami Heat, having beaten the defending champs 3 out of 4 this season, and that could prove huge in the postseason, provided the Association and their advertising partners don't meddle and decide that it's more important for Miami to reign again. What purpose would that serve?

Meanwhile, the NHL is looking like it'll be Pittsburgh vs. Chicago in the Stanley Cup finals in June. In a short season, the cream rises to the top fairly quickly, and if it is the Penguins & Blackhawks in the finals, it won't be boring. Trust me.

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