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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Marching On...



As I sit here, reflecting on the month that was, I can't help but ask. Is that Steve from the Jerry Spring Show on my TV trying to get me to sell my gold? Oh, OK. It is. Just wanted to make sure I wasn't going crazy, and that my television actually was recommending that I take pseudo financial advice from a guy who's spent the past decade or so playing traffic cop to white trash and tri-sexuals....

Moving on...

What should have been a fantastic month, has more or less come and gone with a major lack of fanfare.

The Patriots had a chance to make a big splash with the Matt Cassel deal and the subsequent cap room it created. They didn't.

The NCAA tournament got going, promising to give us game after game of nail biting buzzer beaters and improbable upsets. It didn't.

And Seth McFarlane over at Family Guy had a chance to build upon the amazing start to this latest season , where the episodes had been some of the funniest TV programming I had ever seen in my life. He didn't...

Much like the tales of my stay in a Nevada area rehab facility after my pro poker career and subsequent cocaine addiction, this is a case where the reality didn't even come close to living up to the hype...

But fear not, true lovers of the soap opera that is pro sports. With a blase month like March in our rear view mirrors, and a summer full of baseball and sunshine ahead, things are only bound to get better. After all, ee have the Red Sox, Yankees, hot dogs, short shorts and bikini tops to look forward to. And if you're not done with those things...well...then I just don't know what it is I can do for ya...

This is America. If you don't like spaghetti and meatballs, then you can get the Hell out!

Ahh, Steve Buscemi. Has anyone ever summed up our country's foreign policy and social candor better than the homeless guy you played in Big Daddy? I think not...

Here's this week's edition of the Nation, boys and girls. Complete with T-Money Woods, Red Light's retirement, and a little jab at a balding black man...

Get some, and enjoy...



Final Four

When Greg Gumbel and CBS immediately anoint the Pitt/Nova game as one the "greatest in tournament history", you know this year's Big Dance has been about as exciting as a day in the life of Ted Williams' frozen head...


One of the greatest games in tournament history? Are you kidding me? First off, while it was a great shot, throwing it immediately into that pantheon of greatness is just absurd. I mean, while there may have been more on the line in this one, the action and the ending in the Pitt/Nova game didn't even compare to Siena/Ohio St. and Western Kentucky/Gonzaga earlier in the tournament, and even those games weren't that great! I mean they were, compared to just your average game, but we're talking about the tournament, here! An event that usually features shocking outcomes weekend after weekend, with unknown white kids nailing 3/4 court 3 pointers as time expires to send the big time McDonalds' All Americans back to their cushy practice facilities. Where coaches earn themselves better jobs, and obscure players rocket to the NBA lottery with amazing wins and performances. That's the tournament I'm used to. Not this watered down version, where even when the lower seed does win, they blow the higher seed out of the water!...

Secondly, I can think of 10 more exciting games from the last few years off the top of my head! I was gonna list them for you, but I figured what was the point. Even most casual college hoop fans can think of at least one or two in recent memory without even venturing towards Google. In a normal tournament year, that Scottie Reynolds shot would not be the tourney's signature, but a mere footnote in the "One Shining Moment" montage that so many hoop fans have a raging hard-on for. Not this guy, but believe me, some people treat the airing of that thing like the last episode of the Sopranos. Or for you old bastards out there, Cheers or MASH...


So, Greg Gumbel. You say "one of the greatest", I say, it just speaks to how disappointing this tourney has been. That, my friend, is where you and I will have to differ. Well that, and I can see you're hair piece now thanks to HD TV, you bald bastard. Props for the fro back in the day, though. And I loved you in the Disco remake of Roots as Kunta Kinte's down on his luck dance instructor...Nah, that wasn't appropriate...


As for the actual Final Four, my bracket is completely busted. Despite my depth of knowledge and my penchant for predicting the future, I went a clean 0 for 4, and for the 3rd straight year will fail to predict the correct champion. Oh, well. What's a pimp to do, right? At least I'm taking solace in the fact that I did predict the correct seed combination (1/1/2/3) for the Final Four teams, which I can twist into somehow meaning I was "technically" in the ballpark, and still way smarter than all those short bus office pool participants out there. So I got that stroking my ego, which is nice...

And for the games themselves, I'm just hoping and praying for good exciting basketball. Well, not praying, because I'm Agnostic, but you know just more or less focusing all my positive energy at the TV in hopes of somehow willing my dreams into reality. It didn't work for the Sox in '03, and it certainly didn't work for all those Braves teams I watched in my youth, but I'm gonna go ahead and give it a shot anyway. Figure it couldn't hurt...


If I had to pick a champ right now, I'd pick North Carolina. They were my second choice behind Louisville when I filled out my bracket, but I chose instead to believe that Ty Lawson was hurt, allowing Syracuse to upend them in the Elite 8. I didn't know if he was hurt or not, but I figured if Cuse was gonna make any sort of run, I'd feel a lot more comfortable believing Lawson was a cross over away from ending up like Joe Swanson, than thinking that Flynn and friends were really gonna upend the most talented team in the country...

Turns out Lawson is healthy, and that most talented team in the country is looking more and more unstoppable with each passing round. So I'll take the Heels. And if you need them to lose, I can't say I like your chances. Don't get me wrong, I'd be down for whoever happens to come out on top, they're all worthy champs in my eyes. It's just that right now, with a healthy Ty Lawson, a determined Tyler Hansbrough, and enough blue chips on the bench to start their own poker room, Roy Williams' bunch is primed to kick some serious ass...

The way this tourney's been goin', watching them romp through the country's elite teams would sadly be very appropriate...




Curt Schilling

Curt Schilling has retired, boys and girls, and already the Hall of Fame discussion has begun. With only 216 wins, 22 saves and career 3.46 ERA, his numbers leave a lot to be desired in the eyes of the voters. A notably picky bunch that's very set in their ways, the Baseball writers that make up the panel tend to only acknowledge pitchers that...

A) have close to or more than 300 wins

or

B) were particularly dominant over a decent period of time a la Sandy Koufax or Pedro Martinez.

Seeing as Schill has ZERO Cy Young's to his credit (2nd place 4 times), and he's nearly a c-note shy of 300 wins, I'd say he would normally be someone that would find himself on the outside looking in. And based on his comments the past few days, Curt himself would tend to agree with that assessment....

But then you get to the post season...



*3 World Series titles.

*1 World Series Co-MVP ('01) and one NLCS MVP ('93)

*Post Season Record: 11-2. 2.23 ERA, 4 complete games

*World Series Record: 4-1, 2.06 ERA, 1 complete game

Signed. Sealed. Delivered. Those numbers push him over the top, and I guarantee will be the reason he gets in the Hall of Fame within the first 5 years of eligibility. Not on the first ballot, mind you, but this guy's gettin' in, there's no doubt in my mind...

And it's weird for me to talk about Schill and his time with the Sox because of how my view of him has changed during his time here. For years before his arrival, I had Schill on a short list of guys I would die to have on the Sox along with a John Smoltz and Jim Thome. They were just players I really liked, and really though they would be a great fit for the Sox...

So when Schilling arrived, I was ecstatic!

Then, he opened his mouth. And it's not that I don't agree with his conservative views, I could care less. It's the double talk that he always pulls. Ya know, like the person that only asks you how your day was because they wanna tell you how there day was? That's Curt. He makes comments, then says the only reason he made the comment was because he was asked the question...

Gee thanks, Red Light. You want some milk with that delicious cake you're eating there pal? Listen, either make yourself available to the media, or don't. Just don't try and tell me that the only reason you are talking and saying what you're saying is because someone is asking you the question. Ever hear of "not commenting" there, big fella? You're obviously commenting because you want your views to be heard, and because you think you have something valuable to say. And don't get it twisted. He does use that big mouth of his to raise millions for various charities, but that doesn't give him a pass. Either admit you're a blabbermouth that just likes to hear yourself talk (there are millions of us out there), or stop talking to the media all together. Just don't try to sell me this BS that you don't have an agenda, because it's obvious to all of us that you blatantly do...

Strickland Propane assistant manager, Hank Hill, summed it up best when mocking a show that Schilling was on when he said "Why do celebrities think we want to watch them play poker?". That's just it, Curt. We don't. We don't wanna watch you play poker against D list flunkies, we don't wanna hear your thoughts on the war in Iraq, and we don't wanna hear you double talk about how the only reason you comment on things is because you're asked about them. We wanna see you talk at your Hall of Fame induction ceremony about how much fun you had playing the game, how much it meant to you, and how much you're gonna miss it. You were a great player for nearly two decades, you brought a championship to a city that craved it like a meth junkie, and you'll never have to pay for a drink in the state of Massachusetts as long as you live...

Just make sure when someone does buy you a drink, you simply nod and say thank you. Not because it's the polite thing to do, but because if you start pontificating about all the thoughts cookin' around in that big brain of yours, that shot of Jack very well could turn into a shot in the gut...

You're one a a kind, Curt, I'll give ya that. Thanks for the great memories, brotha, and good luck in you're future ventures that I'm sure will involve a microphone or two. Not that you asked it...


Tiger Woods

If you were waiting, like I was, for Tiger to gradually work his way back into shape, and hopefully be able to contend at the Masters, then shame on you. Shame on us! With a birdie on the 18th at Bay Hill, Tiger erased any thoughts of someone sneaking in one last major before the MJ of the fairway took his rightful place atop the throne. Simply put, he's back. And if there's anything that screams summer must be close more than T-Money Woods kickin' ass and takin' major titles, then I just don't know what it is...

Oh, that's right. Short shorts and bikini tops. In my Tiger-lust I almost forgot...


So there you have it, friends and foes. Another edition of Rooch Nation in the books...

With baseball season gearing up in less than a week, my Monday installment will be complete with all sorts of MLB predictions, and maybe even a little preview of what I think will happen in the playoffs. Hey, I may be 0 for the century with my NCAA picks, but I did predict the fall of ESPN the Phone, and the Spurs over the Cavs in the '07 NBA Finals, so you might just wanna listen up and even jot down some notes....

Until then, I leave you with this. I ripped Family Guy earlier and I feel bad, so here's one of my favorite clips...(again, if you're on Facebook, and you can't see this video, just go to www.roochnation.com)




And I'm takin' a stroll...

100..

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