Friday, March 29, 2013

Sports Friday: 3/29/13

College basketball

I'm going to go out on a limb and say that I probably knew that Florida Gulf Coast University existed before you did. Although, despite being a Florida native, I hadn't heard of it until, maybe, two years ago? (Basically, whenever they joined the Atlantic Sun.) I also don't know anyone who went there. My senior year in high school - at that point, FGCU was only a couple of years old - I knew of at least one person going to most every state university. UF, FSU, UNF, UCF, USF, FAU, FIU, you name it. Shoot, even West Florida was represented among our senior class. (Yes, there is such a thing as the University of West Florida. Maybe they'll move up to Division I and crash the NCAA Tournament in a few years, too!) But back then, not only did I not know anyone going to FGCU, I didn't even know it existed. It's too bad, really.

Well, tonight, Florida Gulf Coast - located near Fort Myers (and yes, I did already know that, too; or at least that it was Fort Myers/Naples/ish) - plays Florida. Wanna guess who I'm rooting for? Go...Eagles? Is that it? I may have known where the university was located, but I didn't know what they called their sports teams. Seriously? "Eagles" was the best you all could come up with? Florida Gulf Coast v. Florida - Fri 10:00p, TBS

One other tournament thought. Some are saying that the tournament hasn't been that good this year. I say, rubbish! There have been plenty of upsets, and some buzzer beaters (or at least near buzzer beaters), too. What more do people want? I think the weekend TV schedule - while planned to maximize ratings - might have something to do with that. On Saturday and Sunday, from noon all the way until 6 pm, there is no more than one game on at a time. So if those two early games are blowouts - as they were on Saturday afternoon (Michigan/VCU, Michigan State/Memphis) - then you get a bunch of bored basketball viewers. We need more early games on Saturday and Sunday. Obviously, it's nice to have every game nationally televised, but it was also nice to have every game over and done with before 60 Minutes.

NHL

Hey, remember when the Carolina Hurricanes were leading the division, and everything was great? That is but a distant memory: the Hurricanes are now riding a seven game losing streak. I don't have any meaningful analysis as to why they suck all of a sudden, but I'm sure the injuries to their top two goaltenders aren't helping. Third string goaltender Justin Peters, who has been getting most (all?) of the work as of late, is not an NHL-caliber goaltender.

Well, on the bright side, according to Sports Club Stats, Carolina still has a 40% chance of making the playoffs. Of course, it might help if they win another game or two. Carolina at Winnipeg - Sat 3:00p, Fox Sports Carolinas

MLB

Hey, baseball season starts next week! As a Washington Nationals fan - and let the record show that I am not a bandwagon Nationals fan, because I started following them back when they sucked - you'd think I would really be looking forward to the 2013 MLB season. And, you're right! Not only are the Nationals expected to do well, they're expected to be a solid World Series favorite. Of course, that means nothing, really, but it's nice that one of my teams is expected to do well, or is even a topic of discussion among people outside the city where the team plays. I'm not used to that. Miami at Washington - Mon 1:00p, MASN

Auto racing

A quick note in defense of NASCAR. Typically when there's a fight of some kind, the reaction among fans is, "Yeah! Woo!", and the reaction among non-fans is, "Stupid rednecks." First off...Joey Logano is hardly a redneck. (Punk kid, yes. But that's about it.) But the reason you see these things more in NASCAR than in other sports is because you compete against the same people every single week, and as they say, familiarity breeds contempt. You see this in the NHL playoffs; the longer a playoff series goes, the more fights you tend to see. If the NFL playoffs had 7-game series and a more lax attitude towards fighting, you'd see the same exact thing. It's not because NASCAR drivers are "rednecks", per se; they're just human beings, just like the rest of us. And, human beings - the men especially - are idiots. (And yeah, some of them are rednecks, too.)

Formula One: I'm assuming none of you watch Formula One - no, no, keep reading! - so a quick recap of last week's race:
- Red Bull teammates Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel led the race, with Webber leading. With a few laps to go, the team instructed its drivers to conserve fuel, tires, etc so that they could safely make it to the end. Webber heeded the orders. Vettel ignored the orders, and went on to pass Webber for the win.
- Meanwhile, Mercedes teammates Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg were 3rd and 4th. Rosberg was the faster of the two cars late in the race, but like with Red Bull, the Mercedes team also told its drivers to stand down late in the race, and told Rosberg not to pass his teammate for 3rd. Unlike Vettel, Rosberg obliged.

I'm really not that bothered by the whole "Team Orders" thing, but if it's in the best interest of teams to conserve and limp to the finish line at the end of these races, the rules are flawed. Should we go back to mid-race refueling, perhaps?

Curling

Hey, if you get Universal Sports Network (DirecTV 625), there's more curling on television next week! I enjoyed watching the Women's World Championships last week, and the Men's Worlds start this weekend. Yeah! Here's a schedule. And no, I have no idea why they're showing so many Sweden games.

By the way, I'm still trying to figure out why Canada's Rachel Homan opted for the double take-out instead of the draw on her final shot of the semifinal v. Scotland. You're the Skip of the Canadian team! You, of all people, should have the confidence to make an open draw to the button for the win. Chalk it up to youth and inexperience, I guess.

1 comment:

James Allen said...

Go USF-Fort Myers!