Day one of the SEC Tournament in Tampa didn't feature too much excitement. Florida looked crappy early and then eventually pulled away to win 73-58 against Arkansas. They still are not playing well, and Nick Calathes in particular needs to improve his performance big time today. The first three games were boring as Kentucky, Mississippi State and Alabama cruised. The arena is excellent, and the fans who are here seem to be having a good time although there aren't as many of them as there would be if the event was in Atlanta. The only genuinely weird thing is the music in the arena when the pep bands aren't playing. I actually heard George Michael's song "Praying for Time" at the SEC Tournament, something I can safely say I would not have imagined ever happening. I fervently hope it never will again.
One thing the SEC has got to change is having its tournament start so late. The Big Twelve finally figured it out and moved theirs forward a day. The NCAA committee will be able to fully consider all their games as they assemble the final bracket. The SEC final is ignored other than them leaving a slot for a champion should a team otherwise out of the field still be playing. Any team who plays four straight games is guarunteed to be gassed, meaning they're in big trouble as they get ready for Thursday NCAA matchups. Remember when UF played four straight before losing in the SEC finals in 2004 and then was assigned to play Manhattan Thursday in the first game of the entire tournament? The Gators had nothing left, and were beaten easily. There won't be a tornado here this year, but if any event was to delay the tournament at all the SEC's given themselves no room to reschedule. It's a stupid plan. They need to scrap it next year and move the finals to Saturday.
The governor of Delaware is apparently about to propose a form of legalized sports betting as a way to close a revenue shortage in his state. I've never understood why it's illegal in the first place. Here in Tampa, I can legally bet on dogs, horses ridden by humans and jai alai played by them. And of course there's the lottery as well as bingo and a Seminole casino on the edge of town. Yet for some reason if I wanted to bet on whether Baylor is going to beat Texas in basketball today, that would make me a criminal. That makes zero sense. Legalize sports betting and you take one of organized crime's lucrative markets away from them while ensuring that winnings will be taxed. If this works for Delaware, you can count on other states looking to emulate them soon.
I always believed the USFL could have been a success if it had stuck to its original business plan of spring football. Donald Trump thought he could muscle the NFL into merging and making his New Jersey Generals a third New York team, so he spearheaded a plan to move to fall and sue the NFL for anti-trust violations. The suit brought the league three dollars and the whole thing went under as a result. Vince McMahon's XFL was a lame concept done stupidly, and folded after one year. Now, a new challenger to the NFL is staking its claim by hiring coaches. Jim Haslett, Dennis Green and Jim Haslett will coach in the UFL, should it ever actually play. This thing has Mark Cuban as an investor, but it's talking about playing in the fall. Unless they're going to be an NFL minor league (which would be a good thing), that's a very bad idea. By the way, the USFL says it will be back in 2010. No, really.
I almost never drink soda anymore. A few years ago I realized I just didn't enjoy the taste of it at all, so it's pretty much tea or water all the time for me. Perhaps the reason is because they stopped making colas with natural sugar as opposed to the loathsome "high fructose corn syrup" that's in everything now. I'll be able to test that theory for myself if I want to, as Pepsi is going to issue a limited time line of their product made with sugar. It's kind of amazing that making the product the way it was supposed to be made qualifies as a marketing strategy, but this could be the next big thing. Otherwise, people will continue to hoard Kosher Coke after every Passover. Have a good weekend and I'll see you back here Monday.