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Friday, March 25, 2011

Rapid Fire Week-in-Review: Concern about Phillies, Weaver Stunner, Brown At It Again, NCAA Refs Hurting Tourney, more

In the midst of March Madness, I still have my Rapid Fire Week-in-Review:

• Now Brad Lidge is reportedly headed to the DL. It’s a foregone conclusion that Chase Utley is headed there. Considering the expectations for this season, I think it has the potential to be one of the most disappointing ever. Hopefully, all of the injuries the Phillies seem to be experiencing are a distant memory by June.

• In a bit of a stunner, Leonard Weaver joined the list of dopes who think playing in the NFL is akin to slavery. Last time I checked the history books, slaves weren’t paid millions, faced unimaginable atrocities, and certainly didn’t have the choice to do something else. Yeah, that’s the same. By the way, why aren’t leaders of the black community speaking up about these morons?

• Doing his best impression of Droopy Dog, Larry Brown was on radio with Mike Missanelli letting it be known that he wants to get back into coaching. I grew to respect Brown’s style of talking about the game of basketball in general terms versus focusing on his team, but it’s really gotten old. I’m not trying to be an ageist, but enough already, Larry. Go away. Yes, you make teams better, and then you want to go elsewhere. And how he ended up as sort of Philadelphia’s guy is beyond me. He says he hangs around Villanova like he just wants to be around the game, but he’s constantly posturing for his next job.

• In case readers think all I do is rip the media, I absolutely love the new coverage of the Tournament. I’ll gladly pick the game I want to watch, thank you very much. Now if FiOS would just give me a “routine” button for easier flipping between 3 or 4 games instead of just a “last channel” button, it would be perfect. Actually, allowing my TV’s picture-in-picture function to work would be nice too.

• Unfortunately, the officiating continues to be a major story in the Tournament. It’s impossible to write about this issue without sounding like a whiner because even if just my pool is considered I had a vested interest, but the 5-second call against Texas late in their second game was ridiculous. I also think that it is possible to distinguish between the two last-second calls in the Pittsburgh-Butler game, with the second being a total makeup for the first. Villanova deserved to lose, but they had some bad officiating. I also thought the second Kentucky game had some really bad calls.

• Call it the Dumb Tweet of the Week: Repeating himself from a recent SportsCenter, Jay Bilas tweeted the following on Friday morning about college athletes: “Athletes not like every other student. Every student is not prohibited from profiting in the open market. Only athletes have such barriers.” First of all, the athletes are profiting in the open market with something called a free education. Secondly, these individuals are absolutely not prohibited from getting jobs – they are not required to play basketball or any other sport in college. Don’t like the system? Don’t play in it.

• Tweet of the Week: It comes from Dick Vitale, “We r getting ready 4 ESPN & yes I really had fun reminding Pitino he messed up my bracket losing to Morehead St.” You tell ‘im, Dickie V! (Actually, Louisville didn’t hurt my brackets too much, but they killed what shoulda, woulda, coulda been a sweet parlay pick.)

• Vice President Joe Biden visited the Yankees spring training camp yesterday, and even donned a Yanks cap. I’ll admit I’m supposed to go to the new Yankee Stadium this summer and I’m pretty excited about it, but something about this doesn’t sit well.

• While I’m venturing off into politics, I was reminded this week when watching Al DeMarco’s daily video offering his free pick and analysis of other games that playing fantasy sports online for money is perfectly legal, yet gambling on games is not. Doesn’t President Barack Obama fill out a NCAA Tournament bracket on national television every year? I hate to give anything to the whack jobs on the right constantly attacking the man, but isn’t that a little hypocritical? It’s time to legalize sports gambling.

• A Brown’s fan is suing the NFL, and, surprisingly, I don’t think his logic is terrible. According to SI.com, “[Ken Lanci] sued the NFL, the Cleveland Browns and the league’s 31 other teams on Thursday, aiming to save the upcoming football season. Lanci says in the suit that the lockout violates his private seat license contract with the Browns and jeopardizes his right to watch a full season of home games. . . . He is in effect saying the lockout robs him of his right to watch games this season because his PSL contract gives him ‘exclusive use and possession’ of 10 specified seats in Cleveland Browns Stadium.” I’m sure he has no shot, but I like that he’s doing it.

• Sorry, I got nothing on the Flyers. Just start the damn playoffs already.

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