Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Final Four run is over

Florida basketball's season ended in an irritating fashion with a home loss to Penn State last night. One thing Penn State did have was seniors, and when they needed to make plays they did. Meanwhile, the oblivious announcers are busy babbling on ESPN about Walter Hodge being the ultimate winner as he's scoring seven points. Even having to play as a seven man team without Kenny Kadji, UF should have been able to beat the Nittany Lions. In the end, what happens next is vastly more important. There will unquestionably be attrition, the issue is how many players leave and why. I've heard all year Nick Calathes wants to go pro if he gets any encouragement to do so. He is not ready, nor is it even close. The LA Times lists their top thirty NBA propects plus a dozen more candidates, and Calathes isn't one of them. Calathes needs to make it clear he's staying rather than go play pro ball in Greece, then spend the summer working with his teammates to improve. Adding Kenny Boynton's athletic ability as well as Vernon Macklin to the roster should finally make UF a legit NCAA team again. This lineup just wasn't talented enough to get the job done.

For some reason the idea the Dolphins are looking to get Chad Henne ready to be their starting quarterback as soon as next season was treated as news yesterday. They spent a second round pick on Henne and he appears to have all the necessary tools to be a successful NFL QB. He's also from a Michigan program that has had great success producing pro players at the position over the past couple of decades. Why wouldn't they be focused on developing Henne into a starter? Did anyone seriously expect Chad Pennington to be viewed as a longterm answer just because he had a good 2008?

The NFL passed more rules yesterday designed to improve safety within the game. Some of these kind of rules, like barring horsecollar tackles, have made sense. But getting rid of the wedge on kickoffs is just ridiculous. Wedge blocking is not a problem. Wedge busters coming down and diving into the players like a bowling ball can be, but they solved the wrong problem here. As for the "Tom Brady rule", how can you tell a defensive player that once he's on the ground he can't hit a quarterback but allow him to still hit other players from that position? Why not just make it touch football rather than tackle for QBs if you're going to be that unfair about it?

I wasn't going to post about the Miami politicians passing a plan to build the Marlins a stadium on the site of the old Orange Bowl. Supposedly it will open in 2012. Aside from them changing the team name to the Miami Marlins (finally acknowledging they are not and never have been the state of Florida's MLB team), this stadium plan stuff has been going on for years. Maybe it's for real this time, but what made it worth mentioning to me was the complete arrogance of MLB President Bob Dupuy while addressing the Miami-Dade Commission....

"Today you have a chance to choose whether or not Miami remains a Major League City. Whether to choose to be the only major city in America without a Major League Baseball team."

In Dupuy's mind, the world's evaluation of Miami's worth hung in the balance depending on if the Marlins stuck around? Had they moved to Nevada, well then welcome to the bigtime Las Vegas! Apparently until the Nationals showed up Washington, DC wasn't a major city. Charlotte, Nashville, Portland, New Orleans, Orlando - they're nothing when compared to "major cities" like Milwaukee or Kansas City? Sorry Bob, not buying it.

An 18 year old in England is currently traveling. Hopefully he has internet access wherever he is, because I wouldn't want him to come home unaware his parents have found out he painted a 60 foot long schlong on the roof of their million dollar house. I'm guessing he's grounded for a while.

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