But a legitimate one nonetheless.
Among the happenings this fine week:
Final Four Weekend. Now there are those college hoops fans who believe the start of practice in October is bigger. For others it’s that national signing day when we see John Calipari reveal his stack of blue chips is bigger, or Championship Week when we revel in Arch Madness. Some think Selection Sunday is bigger, or that the tournament’s opening weekend glut is bigger, yet, frankly . . . sigh . . . we love ‘em all, right?
But, you gotta admit, when it’s down to four, it’s pretty darn exciting. Especially when some teams from around your neck o’ the woods are still standing. Like this year, or likely next, when, hey, how about a FF with UK, U of L and IU? Hot ‘Lanta. Free concert by the Allman Brothers Band. Book it, Dano.
Anyway, UK won its 8th title this week. Not a bad kickoff to this seven days.
Final Four Weekend, Part Deux. The distaff version of college hoops also concluded its season this week.
Baylor won forty games without a loss, thanks to the 6-8 presence of Britney Griner. And a stellar supporting cast.
That all the #1 seeds made it to Denver proves yet again that the sport still hasn’t reached parity. That UConn didn’t make it to the title game for the second year in a row proves the presence of a benevolent hoops deity.
Now, I don’t want to get too wacky here, but watching Griner and listening to an interview with her, I kept thinking of the film, “Berlin 36.” It is the little known but true story of how the Nazis kept a female Jewish high jumper of considerable talent, Gretel Bergmann, off the German team competing in Berlin. She was replaced by Dora Ratjen. Turns out Ratjen was a man, and the Nazis knew it.
Now, I’m not sayin’ Griner’s a guy. But . . .
(Why, as I move on to the next paragraph, do I have the uneasy feeling that little section is going to get me in trouble?)
Not So Frozen Four. The NCAA men’s ice hockey championship is also this week. The semis start tonight and feature long time powers Boston College and Minnesota in one match, and upstarts Ferris State and Union in the other.
What has me smiling is that the Frozen Four is being contested in that long time bastion of ice hockey: Tampa, Florida.
I dunno? You tell me.
Final Week of Pucks. Speaking of hockey, it’s the last week of the NHL’s regular season, with several clubs still fighting down to the wire for the final Stanley Cup playoff spots.
Chelsea, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and my faves, the Lionel Messi-led FC Barcelona qualified for that Final Four this Tuesday and Wednesday.
Fore Weekend. I’m not a big golf fan. But I am a sports fan. So I watch the majors.
The Masters is a major. It starts today.
Augusta National Golf Course, for all the pretension surrounding it, is mighty telegenic. You’d never guess that the main entrance sits on a commercial strip of thoroughfare that looks like Shelbyville Road across from Oxmoor. And that it sits in the middle of Augusta, not out in some bucolic country setting.
The club is surrounded by an imposing fence and vegetation, the message of which is: “Don’t even think about stepping foot on this property unless invited, or you’ll be shot on sight.”
I do know my Detroit Tigers open this afternoon on the Deuce against the Red Sox with their new manager, the ever outspoken Bobby Valentine. Justin Verlander takes the mound for the Motowners. Prince Fielder, whom I will mention since his name starts with an F, makes his debut at first base for Detroit, where his daddy once played. He can hit some four baggers.
The only real baseball news that grabbed my attention is that big ass contract the Reds gave rising star Joey Votto. One scribe dubbed it “Grand Theft Votto.” Cute.
Okay, th, th, that’s all, folks.
(Except for, I suppose, spring football practice, which is, as far as I’m concerned, something to be slobbered over only by guys who used to be jayvee volunteer assistants, wearing double knit shorts. And, of course, those who think Nick Saban, not Tiger Woods, is the Real Messiah.)
– Seedy K