The Sampler Platter is back! Like before, here a few things I’d like to comment on that I didn’t feel deserved their own posts.
1. Masters: A rivalry renewed, reborn, or perhaps legitimate for the first time ever?
With Phil Mickelson winning his 3rd green jacket and his 4th major championship, and with Tiger Woods looking a bit shaky off the tee after his exile, it appears that we may have a new most popular golfer in America, and maybe even a new villain. Jemele Hill of espn.com wrote a rather compelling piece about how Tiger should embrace the role of villain, and I liked her take. I’ve always been more of a Lefty guy myself. With the Phil looking like the ultimate family man thanks to his wife being by his side despite battling breast cancer, and Tiger acting like a brat on the course and in his post match interview on Sunday, this “rivalry” may actually have some substance for the first time ever. I’m sure it must have made Tiger’s skin crawl when CBS seemed to play up the family angle for Phil when he has been going through so much turmoil in the corresponding area of his life. That whole weekend made me wonder about one question among others: Would you rather be Amy Mickelson, a gorgeous blonde married to a rich golfer but battling breast cancer, or would you rather be Elin Woods, a gorgeous blonde married to the richest athlete ever, but dealing with the humiliation of your epically-philandering husband? Tough question, although I think I’d rather hear what women would have to say about it than anyone else. One more thought from the Masters: Anthony Kim was a beast on the back 9 at Augusta on Sunday, and he even but a little pressure on the leaders when he posted the 12-under for the championship. So at 24 years old, will he be the next big star golf needs when Tiger is past his prime? I’m rooting for it.
2. Tournament expansion and the BCS; why does the NCAA hate its fans?
It seems that it’s inevitable that the NCAA men’s basketball tournament will be expanding to a field of 96 teams for next year’s March Madness. I think the only people who are in favor of this are the coaches that have been delusional enough to convince themselves that this will help them keep their jobs in down years. I’m not buying that argument, and I’m afraid that the quality of play in this tournament is going to be watered down enough to hurt its appeal a little bit. The old adage, less is more, seems to work. I like that they leave me wanting more when it comes to this tournament. With the 96 team field, I don’t think that’s going to be the case anymore. Meanwhile, the NCAA continues to ignore the BCS dumpster fire, which us fans have all been begging for to be fixed with a playoff system. One of the big arguments is that the players are “student-athletes” and so they shouldn’t play so much so they can focus on school some more, and yet, they’re not worrying about that when they add another round to the basketball tournament. The hypocrisy in the NCAA is such a joke, it would make Snoop Dogg promoting abstinence seem believable. The NCAA reminds us that you can’t logically justify being a sports fan. The industry is meant to make money, and in this business, the customer is always right, but never gets his way.
3. Big Ben and Santonio: The new Rooney Rule
The new Rooney Rule is simple: We, the Pittsburgh Steelers, believe that we stand on a moral high-ground that is a cut above the rest of you loser NFL franchises, and so when our star players act in conduct that is detrimental to our brand, we will cut them or trade them. Oh yeah, except when they’re our franchise quarterback.
So maybe that was a bit exaggerated and out of context, but c’mon Pittsburgh, you guys might as well call yourselves the NCAA with your hypocrisy. I know that Santonio and Ben each had their own sorts of different incidents, but it seems laughable to me that they will pretend to employ the cleanest cut, most well-behaved players in the league, when their quarterback may be the biggest doucher at the position that isn’t named Brett Favre. I personally don’t care if players on my favorite team aren’t nice guys, or like to party a little too hard (i.e. Sex Boat Scandal). I might not choose those kind of guys to be my favorite players, but if they perform on the field, I’m cool with them being on my team. I think the Steelers are too, as long as they play the right position.
4. “He’s So Vain” revisited
In the first Sampler Platter, I mentioned my recent success in getting my lyrics sang on the Common Man Progrum on KFAN AM 1130 in Minneapolis. Well, I gave links to it, but to make it more convenient for you all, I took the audio and made a YouTube video out of it, so now you’ll be able to access the link far more easily from my blog’s links.
Now that you’ve been appetized, you can look forward to this upcoming week where I will undoubtedly weigh in on what the Vikings should do in the draft this weekend, and maybe another post as well.