Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Attack of the Clones

This one's for the girls.

Despite the great ESPN promos with peppy Martina McBride music, I've missed most of the Women's NCAA Tournament. The first round, of course, conflicted with the men's second round, and on weekdays, except for tuning into Jim Rome is Burning (more on him later), Around the Horn, and PTI, I've been away from the TV. Which is sad, because the Lady Raiders have played hard and made the Sweet 16 in the Philly Regional.

Unfortunately, their opponent, the Lady Vols of Tennessee, is one of the best basketball teams on the planet, coached by the women's all time leader in oak plaques and cut nets, Pat Summit. And Tennessee always beats the Lady Raiders in March.

Oh, well better luck next year, ladies.

Scoop Jackson tells you
why you should watch the women's tournament.

Say Good Knight to Indiana.

Even for a die-hard Texas Tech fan, it's difficult to defend Bob Knight sometimes. He takes Texas Tech to the tournament in his first year, then he sues Indiana over his firing and gives Mike Davis the silent treatment as Davis takes the Hoosiers to the Final Four. Knight takes a team to the NIT semifinals, then he goes off on Chancellor David Smith at
Market Street, Lubbock's upscale grocery store/cafe (ironically, located at 34th St. and Indiana Avenue).

Now that Knight's Red Raiders have gone to the Sweet 16, he's gone off again. This time he stated that had he stayed on, he would have fired Mike Davis at season's end.

Coach Knight, we love you in Red Raider Nation, but please let the Indiana feud go. First off, you can't go back. Second. the person who fired you, Myles Brand, is no longer at Indiana. Third, every time you sue or comment about Indiana, it takes attention away from what you are accomplishing at Texas Tech.

The Clones smell Conspiracy.

I was listening to the Jim Rome Show today, and the dominant topic of discussion among "The Clones" is Barry Bonds and how he may be out for the season with a knee injury. And, when they weren't telling Barry "Don't let the BALCO door hit you in the [rear quarters] on the way out" (as one Clone put it), the clones by in large thought that the knee injury is a convenient excuse to for Barry to drop 40 pounds to avoid public scrutiny and drug tests, and get off "the clear" and "the cream" at the same time. While it's a plausible explanation, it's still just a theory. But Jim Rome still has a certain influence on perception in sports (O.J. Simpson, a frequent target of the both Rome and the Clones, is still viewed as a murderer despite his acquittal*) and it wouldn't surprise me if sports fans across the country start viewing the knee injury with suspicion.

My take: I think the knee injury is legit, and if he is stopping, there could be other reasons involved other than avoiding suspicion.

We know one of the side effects of steroids is that users have frequent soft tissue joint injuries because, for whatever reason, steroids don't help you gain the necessary soft tissue to handle the increased muscle. Ken Caminiti, an admitted steroid user, spent many days on the disabled list because of soft tissue injuries late in his career. As did Jose Canseco, another admitted user.

So is he quitting "the clear", something all the public scrutiny has failed to do at this point, to keep his knees from completely giving out on him? Maybe. We'll never know. But it's just as plausible as any other explanation.

Tomorrow: Texas Tech-West Virginia preview.
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