Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Now it's over.

I know I told y'all I wasn't going to talk about the NHL, but I think we're all in need of some venting. That's why I waited so late on today's post.

I accepted pretty early on that the NHL probably wasn't going to play this season. Too many of my bretheren in the hockey fan community, unfortunately, were holding out hope.

"Because they didn't let it happen before," they said "and because they both know it would be a gigantic mistake."

Well, unfortunately people do stupid stuff, and people in positions of power are not immune. So now all hockey fandom is angry

Now, do we have a right to be angry? I'm mixed on the subject. The typical fan refrain whenever they are upset is: "It's our game because we buy the tickets, merchandise and sponsors' products." And it's true. Without us generating revenues, there would be no pro sports.

However, I think we as fans also bear some of the responsibility. Listen to sports talk radio when the hot stove league, any hot stove league, rolls around and we will call in demanding that ownership "do something this offseason to improve the team", meaning they want ownership to make a big free agent signing. (College sports fans are not immune to this general attitude either, see my posts about recruiting
here and here). Deep down, we want star players to play for our team.

And because ownership wants to satisfy our demands, they sign someone, anyone, to a big contract and hope it's enough to get us out to the arena or ballpark because they had to raise ticket prices to get them. Or they don't get the player and have to raise ticket prices anyway so that they have some money in the bank for next offseason. To sign a free agent. To satisfy the fan base.

Yes, owners and players are to blame here for not coming up with an agreement. I, as a fan, can't help but feel a sense of guilt for creating the situation we're in right now.

To all NBA fans who are pointing and laughing at hockey right now:

Your turn is coming. Very soon. Your CBA is set to expire this offseason and the NBAPA is out for blood after the Brawl at the Palace.

Kentucky-South Carolina

Just one day after Texas Tech's upset of Kansas, the South Carolina Gamecocks pulled off an upset that may have more impact on the big picture. As in "Kiss your number one seed goodbye, Kentucky" impact. This one wasn't close after the start of the second half.

Now, with an RPI of 59, it's not really a given that South Carolina will make the tournament. They have been very inconsistent, and have bad losses to Clemson(RPI: 102) and Auburn(RPI: 132). But they did expose an equally inconsistent Kentucky as a team not worthy of a #1 seed.

Bad Predictions Exposed

Greg "Tuesday Morning Quarterback" Easterbrook released his annual
"Bad Predictions" column. The winner for worst prediction: Boston Herald's Michael Felger who predicted that the Texans would make the playoffs (no dice, but they did get close), Willis McGahee would have no impact (The Bills, who traded their first pick to the Cowboys, would have been the worst team in the league had he not emerged late in the year. Damn you, Willis McGahee!), Jeff Garcia would be the perfect fit in Cleveland (The Browns cut him this week), and the Eagles will not make the Super Bowl (which they did, thanks to a weakened NFC).

Thankfully, Easterbrook does not track blogs. I had a Category IV (playoff picks) bad prediction that slipped by him when I picked the Colts to beat the Patriots in the Divisional Round.

Hey, at least I admit my mistakes. Besides, a fair number of bloggers and analysts had that game going for the Colts also.

Tomorrow: Law and Order (dun-dun!)
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