RIP Chuck Bednarik

Chuck Bednarik died over the weekend at age 89. He was a great middle linebacker before anyone knew about Dick Butkus and all the great middle linebackers that followed Butkus. Chuck Bednarik played in the first football game I ever saw; it was his last game at the University of Pennsylvania on Thanksgiving Day in 1948. My father took me to see the game; I was 5 years old.

Rest in peace, Chuck Bednarik…

The rest of today’s rant will simply be random notes from a weekend of watching basketball tournament games. So let me start with my first note that says Len Elmore is doing an excellent job as a color analyst. Co-analyst, Chris Webber, is a useless appendage.

The tolerance of traveling as evidenced by the failure to call the violation seems to have moved down from the NBA to the NCAA Tournament level this year. Takele Cotton took 3 full steps with the ball on a drive to the basket and there was no call. That was merely the worst of the “no calls”; there were plenty of others.

There was an ad for Bass Pro Shops that ran a half dozen times or so and one of the spokespersons in the ad was identified as “Pro Hunter and TV Host”. I had not realized that hunting was a professional sport until that moment. However, if I ever find myself participating in a Fantasy Hunting League, here are my top Draft Picks:

    Tiger Woods
    Wolf Blitzer
    Hawk Harrelson
    Bobcat Goldthwait
    Jerry Tarkanian

Seth Tuttle (C UNI) is probably not going to have a long and storied NBA career, but he is a really good college player. In the UNI/Wyoming game, Wyoming had 24 points at the half and one of the Wyoming players hit 4 3-point shots to have 12 of those points. “Offensively challenged” is a fair label for Wyoming.

If you had to find one word to describe the West Virginia/Buffalo game, it would have to be “frenetic”.

Maryland and Valparaiso were in a game down to the final play. With about a minute left to play, two of the Maryland big men each committed a stupid foul to disqualify themselves. If there were stupidity deductions, Maryland would have lost.

Two comments from the Louisville/UC Irvine game:

    Mamadou Ndiaye = Manute Bol + about 75 lbs.

    Yes, Terry Rozier committed a foul that was not called on what was the final play of the game.

The Oklahoma State and Oregon uniforms were so loud that I suspect a couple hundred TV sets around the country blew out their color elements. When Joseph Young scored 15 straight points for Oregon near the end of the first half, all of the announcers resisted the temptation to call him “Mighty Joe Young”.

There was an ad for Century 21 where a real estate agent runs through the airport and through security screening to present a bouquet of flowers to a couple just boarding a plane to tell them “they got the house.” How did he get through TSA screening without a boarding pass?

In the Saint John’s/San Diego State game, neither team had anything resembling an efficient offense. The best move for either team was to miss a jump shot and then go play volleyball with the rebound.

Given Utah’s defensive prowess and Georgetown’s occasional struggles on offense, I thought this game might have ended as an ugly 52-50 contest. Instead, the game was much more entertaining.

I have always enjoyed Ian Eagle and Jim Spanarkel as an announcing team. The powers that be broke them up this year. Jim Spanarkel is teamed with Verne Lundquist and the two of them did a really nice job with their games. Ian Eagle and Doug Gotlieb were paired and they too were very good.

CBS keeps flogging me with the slogan:

“The Masters, a tradition unlike any other.”

Can someone tell me why the tradition of the Masters is any different from the tradition surrounding:

    The Kentucky Derby
    The Daytona 500
    The Army/Navy Game
    The Rose Bowl

Just asking…

I really like Trey Lyles (Kentucky). With some time in a weight room, I think he has a nice NBA future ahead of him. He puts the ball on the floor effectively for a guy who is at least 6’ 10”.

For those who decry the lack of scoring and the slow pace of college basketball, the Butler/Notre Dame game was an example of many of your complaints. Nonetheless, it you watched that game and did not like it, I am not sure you really like watching basketball – or perhaps you graduated from Butler or you just hate Notre Dame. That was an entertaining game that was close from start to the finish – in overtime no less.

In the Villanova loss to NC State, ‘Nova had to have missed at least 3 open layups and a dozen open jump shots. Final shooting stats for Villanova were 19-61 from the field. You are going to lose a lot of games shooting that way.

There ought to be a law against Michigan State wearing those neon-green shoes on television. Most distracting…

There is a Southwest Airlines ad running where a kid visits four colleges with his dad and loves them all. The message is that Southwest’s low fares can get you to all these places for the college visits – so long as you read the voluminous fine print about those low fares. However, the kid loves everything he sees meaning he is not very discriminating in his tastes. I suspect that is why the kid can tolerate flying Southwest Airlines…

I love Justise Winslow’s total game. He can do just about everything very well. Perhaps Grant Hill got a tad ahead of himself declaring Winslow the best defensive player in Duke history, but the kid can play.

By the way, have they stopped calling 3-second violations in college basketball? SDSU center Angelo Chol was about to take root in the paint. On one trip down the floor, I had him at 6 seconds in there; after there was no whistle on that play, I just stopped watching him in there.

Wichita State finally got its chance to play Kansas and they dominated the game.

Conspiracy theorists must be going crazy coming up with the way the Selection Committee has treated Dayton this year. First they get a play-in game on their home court; then they are in the bracket that has the second and third rounds in Columbus, OH which is close to a home game for them. What did Dayton do to earn/deserve that kind of treatment?

I expected Gonzaga to beat Iowa but that was too easy. Gonzaga made Iowa look bad in that game.

The three games I am most looking forward to in the Sweet 16 round are:

    Notre Dame/Wichita St.

I think there will be two interesting – but very ugly – games in that mix also:

    Kentucky/West Virginia
    Louisville/NC State

Finally, a closing comment from Dwight Perry in the Seattle Times:

“Talk about watching an overmatched 16-seed taking on a 1-seed on national TV this week.
“But enough about Dick Vitale kissing Ashley Judd.”

But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………