Archive for March 19, 2009

Running Out Of Steam With The NCAA Tourney

Posted in Sports on March 19, 2009 by thelasthonestman

It’s been a long day, but a good one filled with a lot of basketball and a lot of ramblings and musings on my part.   But as they say, all good things must come to an end, and while I plan to watch the rest of the night’s proceedings, this will be the last entry on the blog tonight regarding the tourney.  Unfortunately, there’s too many things I didn’t do today while I was watching games that are now demanding my attention.

Tomorrow will see me running in a number of different directions trying to get things done — and alas, none of those directions lead me back in front of the television during the day, so I’ll have to settle for the night’s games to satisfy my college basketball fix.  My picks for the first round are still on record here and here, however, so even while I’m not present to laugh at all of my screw-ups, you can do it for me.

In the meantime, other observations made during the day so far:

— So much for my earlier comment that “Chattanooga is keeping it surprisingly close against UConn”.  I’m not sure if Chattanooga actually scored again after I made that comment.  UConn is an explosive squad, and they showed it with a vengeance against their over-matched opponent.

— Speaking of an over-matched opponent, American was anything but against Villanova — but the Wildcats just had too much for the underdog to handle.  Losing Villanova in the 1st round would have done some damage to a number of brackets, not just mine.

— And speaking of brackets, mine is holding up pretty well at this point.  We’ll see if I’m still saying the same after the weekend.

And I’ll be back again at some point before the weekend is out (hopefully late tomorrow).  I enjoyed this exercise in pointless updating — maybe I’ll try it again with something else down the road.

Advertisements

March Madness Part VI

Posted in Sports with tags on March 19, 2009 by thelasthonestman

Thursday, 2:33 CT — So much for the huge upset.  Memphis apparently realized at some point that they were the #2 seed and should start playing like one, and the gutsy bunch for Cal-State Northridge finally ran out of steam.  Memphis goes on a 20-6 run to end the game, winning by a much-closer-than-the-score-indicates final of 81-70.  So my bracket is safe for now — though I wouldn’t count on seeing Memphis go much further if they play anything like this the rest of the way (I have them making the Final Eight, and I’m lacking confidence in that pick at this point).

After the end of the first batch of games, I’m switched over to the Purdue-Northern Iowa tilt and my first question is:  Where the hell is everybody?  The stands in the Rose Garden in Portland, Oregon look empty from what they’re showing on TV.  I swear I’ve had more people in my living room at the same time before.  Actually, that’s probably an exaggeration, as it looks like the seats behind the Northern Iowa bench are empty, while the Purdue side looks pretty filled up.  I’m guessing that the Iowa faithful didn’t travel as well for this game as Purdue’s fans?  The people who are there in Northern Iowa’s corner aren’t going to be too happy as Purdue has gone on a 12-0 run to take the lead — and what do you know?  I actually picked them!  I’m unstoppable, I tell you!

Speaking of which, here’s the remainder of my “Hope this isn’t what you went with” bracket (the other portion can be found here):

East

Pittsburgh (1) over East Tennessee State (16)

Oklahoma State (8) over Tennessee (8)

Florida State (5) over Wisconsin (12)

Xavier (4) over Portland State (13)

UCLA (6) over VCU (11)

Villanova (3) over American (14)

Texas (7) over Minnesota (10)

Duke (2) over Binghamton (15)

South

North Carolina (1) over Radford (16)

LSU (8) over Butler (9)

Illinois (5) over Western Kentucky (12)

Gonzaga (4) over Akron (13)

Arizona State (6) over Temple (11)

Syracuse (3) over S.F. Austin (14)

Clemson (7) over Michigan (10)

Oklahoma (2) over Morgan State (15)

Not a lot of surprises here in the 2nd slate of games — Chattanoga is keeping it surprisingly close against UConn, but the other games are going pretty much the way I thought they would.  This is turning into a anticlimatic day so far — no signs of an upset yet, my stove was delivered without incident, and I’ve resisted all urges to fall back asleep — what’s going to liven this day up?  We’ll see if we have an answer later this evening.

Who The *$#% Is Cal-State Northridge? (AKA March Madness, Part V)

Posted in Sports on March 19, 2009 by thelasthonestman

Thursday, 1:00 PM CST — If you’re late to the party, check out the earlier action of the day starting here and work you way back.  We’ll wait for you — I promise.

Now that you’re back, I can say that there’s nothing like a huge upset early to get the tournament juices flowing — and we might be looking at one as Cal-State Northridge (who I couldn’t tell you anything about, even now) is somehow tied with Memphis with eleven minutes to play.  These are the games that make watching the NCAA tourney so much fun to watch.  My friend and I were just discussing the merits of the automatic bid for all conferences, and we both agreed that those bids have merit if for no other reason than to see games like this take shape.

I’ll root for the upset because it’s not like Memphis losing is going to kill my bracket anyway.  With A&M crushing BYU, I’m looking at a nice 0-3 start to my day if Butler continues its comeback and beats LSU.  As promised, here’s half of my bracket picks (I’ll post the other half later today, once everyone gets a chance to stop laughing):

Midwest

Louisville  (1) over Morehead State (16)

Siena (9) over Ohio State (8)

Utah (5) over Arizona (12)

Wake Forest (4) over Cleveland State (13)

West Virginia (6) over Dayton (11)

Kansas (3) over North Dakota State (14)

USC (10) over Boston College (7)

Michigan State (2) over Robert Morris (15)

West

Connecticut (1) over Chattanooga (16)

BYU (8) over Texas A&M (9)

Purdue (5) over Northern Iowa (12)

Washington (4) over Mississippi State (13)

Utah State (11) over Marquette (6)

Missouri (3) over Cornell (14)

Maryland (10) over California (7)

Cal-State Northridge (15) over Memphis (2) — all right, all right … Memphis (2) over Cal-State Northridge (15)

I went with few upsets as it turns out;  in years past, I’ve been burned by trying to be too cute with my picks, and for every huge upset I’ve called in advance (and I’ve nailed a few over the years), I’ve missed way too many games that left me asking myself, “What were you thinking?”.  So, this year, I’ve gone back to basics with more of a “safe” bracket of picks.  Not that it’s helping me with the Memphis game right now, though.

My upset picks here have some reasoning behind them.  Cal enters the tournament struggling, and Maryland has a lot of talent, hence the pick.  Marquette lost 6 of their last 9 regular season games, and lost Dominic James to injury, so I didn’t want to go with them.  And the home-court advantage for Ohio State over Siena doesn’t worry me — I think Siena’s just the better team — so I went with the Saints there.  Of course, by the end of the weekend, my bracket will probably be a mess, so take any comments from me with a grain of salt.

As I write this, Memphis has rebounded and are up by 4 and LSU has pulled back out to a six-point lead — while BYU looks finished.  Could we have some early late-minute heroics already in the other two games?  Check back later and find out.

March Madness, Part IV

Posted in Personal, Sports on March 19, 2009 by thelasthonestman

Thursday, 12:01 PM CT — Parts I through III can be found here, here, and here if you want to get up to speed — not that you’ve missed a whole lot so far.

Okay — I took a gamble and went for some food anyway.  I didn’t feel like whipping something up here (a chore that was going to be that much more difficult since, you know, my new stove isn’t here yet), and I’m one who hates to see tradition die, so I made my way to Wendy’s (only five minutes away) for some lunch before tip-off.

Yeah, I know I’ve complained before about their up-selling tactics — but they’re the only ones serving lunch at this point, so I didn’t have much of a choice.  And of course, they tried to push the medium or large sizes on me again, but I successfully declined it.  Viva La Resistance!

Take THAT, Wendy's.

Take THAT, Wendy's.

And it looks like I was lucky, since it looks like I didn’t miss the delivery people.  I did have my cell phone with me (which they have as a contact number, along with the house number they called on yesterday) and didn’t hear anything, and there were no missed calls on the home phone (and I was only gone for 10 minutes), so I should be covered.  Unless, of course, we reach 5:00 PM and I have no stove — in which case, it’ll be too late today for me to get the situation resolved.

Meanwhile, LSU jumps out to the 9-0 lead already.  It’s over!  Okay, maybe not — but now we can have a contest to see what will happen first:  Butler scoring or my stove getting delivered.

Wait a second … look out here …. it looks like we have a winner in that contest already … and it’s:  The Stove!

I take you back to earlier today when I stated:

My previous experience with delivery types like these is that I either won’t get a call at all, or they’ll call when they’re pulling up in my driveway, or they’ll call when they’re hopelessly lost.

The answer in this case was “B“, as the driver called to say he’d be there shortly, followed by the sound outside of the doors of the truck being slammed shut as the delivery guys got out.  I’m not sure why the driver said “soon” — it’s not like it’s that long of a walk to the front door.

The timing of their arrival isn’t perfect either — I’m still eating as I go to meet them outside.  I should have known the quickest way to get them there was to sit down and try to enjoy a meal;  it works every time.  I’m not going to complain, though, since I half-expected them not to show today just because.

And no — my delivery people aren’t hot females, so chalk that up as another disappointment.  But my stove is in place and apparently operational, so I’ve got that going for me, which is nice.  Meanwhile, Butler has gotten right back into this game, cutting the lead to 4 with 5 minutes to go in the half.  Memphis is in a close game that I’m sure will turn into a blowout by the end, and BYU is getting smoked early — and of course, I picked them (I think).  I promised my picks for the days games already, but I want to finish lunch first and I have to walk the dogs before they have a heart attack, so they’ll have to wait until the next update.  So sit back and enjoy the games — and I’ll be back in another hour or so.

March Madness Day One, Part III

Posted in Personal, Television on March 19, 2009 by thelasthonestman

Thursday, 10:48 AM CT — I’m going to keep using the Roman numeral motif in the title of these entries today on the tournament — they give the individual posts a class that using the actual number wouldn’t do.  Think of it like the numbering of movie sequels:  Wouldn’t Police Academy 4 have been instantly better if they had called it Police Academy IV instead?

Or not.

Maybe not.

If you missed the first two parts of our day-long extravaganza, then just scroll down the page — or you can click here for Part I and here for Part II (I was right — see how classy those numbers look!)

Hey — it’s another ESPN poll!  And it’s the one they’ve been doing all morning (about how many brackets people have filled out).  Can we have a poll next as to who cares about ESPN’s polls to begin with?  Or am I asking too much?  Yeah, that’s what I thought.

My neighbor to the front of me is cutting his lawn as I’m writing this.  The couple that lives in front of me are both retired, and the husband spends approximately 98% of his time, I think, working in his yard.  Which is about 97.8% more than I’ve had time to do lately.  My house is on a cul-de-sac that has four houses — two in the front off of the main highway, and my next-door neighbor and myself in the back.  Usually, when one of us cuts their yard, the other three of us have to follow, lest we be the one holdout that’s making the whole group look bad.  Would you like to take a wild guess who the last one usually is?

So, I guess that means I need to work in the yard this weekend, not that I’m going to have the time.  Either that, or sabotage my neighbor’s mower when he goes inside to take a break.

Enough is enough with the repeating Sportscenter — I can’t take it anymore.  So I’ve meandered over to The Price is Right while I wait for the games to get underway.  Hey, it’s Drew Carey!  I haven’t watched this show in ages for a variety of reasons, and I only remember vaguely that Bob Barker had finally retired and Carey had taken his place.  I’ve always liked Carey, mostly from watching him host a personal favorite show of mine, the American version of Whose Line Is It Anyway?

whoselineisit3

Just in this brief watching, Carey looks comfortable enough in his role as host.  And I have no idea who the girls are on the show (I grew up with Janice, Holly, and Dian) — but hot-looking females showing off prizes is apparently one aspect of the show that’s not changed.  That and contestants who are always a little too excited to be on TV.

I guess I’m sticking here since it’s almost time for the games to start.  My first game is apparently Butler vs. LSU — and the delivery guys are still nowhere to be seen.  That means I’ll be digging here for lunch instead of going out — since the second I leave, that’ll just mean I’ll miss the delivery people, guaranteed.  So it looks like the fast-food tradition goes down the drain, much like my bracket will probably do as well in just a couple of hours.  I’ll be back around halftime of the first game with all the updates you can stand, so check back.

March Madness: Day One (Continued)

Posted in Personal, Sports on March 19, 2009 by thelasthonestman

Thursday, 9:41 AM CT — I thought about just editing my original post and adding onto it, but I decided in adding on new posts at the top of the page instead because … well, just because I can do it that way.  Feel my power!  Or not.   If you’re just tuning in (because you’re like me, and tired of looking at the same highlights over and over again on ESPN) and you want to catch up, then either scroll down the page some or just click here — we’ll wait until you’re back to continue.

Finished?  Well, if it’s any consolation, you didn’t miss much.  I’m now watching Samuel L. Jackson going against Dwayne Wade in bracket picks.  Samuel L. won’t turn any gig down, will he?

Sometimes you just have to say no, Samuel

Sometimes you just have to say no, Samuel

Don’t get me wrong — I love Samuel L. Jackson.  How can you not?  He’s a guy who loves what he does, and what he does, he usually does well.  Even if I don’t like every movie he’s been in, I’m almost always entertained by Jackson’s performances on screen.  From a comic-book perspective, I’m glad Marvel worked everything out with him to continue playing Nick Fury in their movie series in the future.

I thought about filling out another bracket, but decided against it, thinking: What’s the point?  I’m just going to pick the same teams anyway.  And that means I’m going to lose that bracket too to someone’s wife who picked the teams she “knew” — that’s the way it seems to always work.

In other shocking news, in the midst of asking for a trade from Denver and having his agent work the propaganda machine, Jay Cutler complained today that he wasn’t getting enough love or respect from me in the blog and that he wants to set up a meeting with us and his agent.  And If I don’t do something to make him feel more appreciated right now, he claims he’ll just sit down and hold his breath until he turns blue!  And he says he means it!  You’ll see!

Heres to you, Jay

Here's to you, Jay

Why are they showing Manny Ramirez playing cricket?  Isn’t he supposed to be hurt?  Then again, with essentially a two-year deal with the Dodgers, it’s not like he needs to try that hard until next year anyway.

No word from the delivery guys yet — will they get here before the first game starts (allowing me a window to run out and get my traditional, first-day fast-food lunch)?  Can I keep watching ESPN until the first game starts, even though it’s the same stuff over and over at this point?  Will I run out of Chek Cola and fall asleep on the couch?  Check back again around 11:00 for the start of the tourney and all the answers!

March Madness Day One: Live

Posted in Personal, Sports on March 19, 2009 by thelasthonestman

Thursday, 8:24 AM CT — So as promised, I’m here and ready to go.  As I said yesterday, the plan is to update throughout the day with thoughts on the opening round of the NCAA tournament, as well as the real news of the day:  the delivery of my new stove!

Speaking of which, my delivery time was given to me yesterday evening as 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM.  That’s a pretty big window — thanks for narrowing it down, guys!  Essentially I’m trapped at home until they come — not that I was planning to go anywhere anyway with the tourney on.  I’m supposed to get a call from them when they’re 30 minutes or less away from the house; my previous experience with delivery types like these is that I either won’t get a call at all, or they’ll call when they’re pulling up in my driveway, or they’ll call when they’re hopelessly lost.  We’ll see which one it is today.

If my delivery person looked like this, I wouldn't care when they showed up

If my delivery person looked like this, I wouldn't care when they showed up

So far as the tourney goes, I filled out my bracket late last night.  I’ll post the picks for today shortly before the first game starts, but I do have North Carolina picked to win it all — so you can pretty much cross them off of the list right now.  I’m not sure the last time I actually picked the actual champion before the tourney started.

Right now I’m watching Sportscenter and President Obama’s bracket.  Did he just pick every single favorite?  Hard to tell in the highlights.  Ha!  He picked against Arizona and got asked if it was because of McCain.  Classic.  Whoops — Obama picked North Carolina too.  I guess we’re both screwed.  Obama also mentioned he had DirecTV on Air Force One — did he have that installed, or was it already in place before he was elected?  And now the coaches Obama picked against are ripping his basketball-picking skills on-air.  You won’t see this type of analysis on CNN, I tell you.

Have I mentioned before that I’m not a morning person?  I’m a night-owl, and I’m going on too little sleep right now.  I don’t drink a whole lot of coffee, so it’s Chek Cola for me right now — that can’t be good for the system, I imagine.  I need to get moving here soon or else I might find myself drifting off to sleep on the sofa — this Sportscenter is not exactly compelling television right now.

No call yet from the delivery guys.  I guess I need to clear a path to the kitchen for when these guys show.  I’ll be back somtime around 9:15-9:30.  Stay awake until then!