Monday, April 13, 2009

The door revolves again

The annual exodus of players from the Florida basketball team has begun. Last week I mentioned Allan Chaney was in limbo, but now the freshman has officially decided to hit the door. This one's a straight up story, as Chaney himself says...

"He (Billy Donovan) wants me to change some of my ways, which I didn’t understand.”

When your coach asks you to do things, it's generally a good idea to listen. If you dont want to listen, he'll probably suggest you find someone else not to listen to. UF does seem to have an unusually large number of transfers, but there's not one consistent thread that connects them. Some, like Rashid Al-Kaleem, were told to go away for disciplinary reasons. Others, like David Huertas, visualized a different role for themselves than was realistic at the time and weren't willing to be patient. Others still, like Jonathan Mitchell, were bad evaluations by the coaches during recruiting. If there could be more consistency on the staff, I think it would help reduce the trend somewhat. When four assistants leave in as many years, three for HC gigs, it's understandable but does have consequences.

Tampa Bay signing Byron Leftwich certainly doesn't excite me, but it's move that might work out alright. People I know who cover the Jaguars felt Leftwich got a big head over there and stopped working hard enough to be an effective leader for the team. If riding the bench with the Steelers and the realization that only a good year in Tampa will get him starters money again is enough to motivate him, Leftwich does have the physical tools to succeed. I wonder whether this means Tampa Bay believes Kansas State QB Josh Freeman will be gone before they pick at #19 or if they just aren't sold on him being worth the pick (I'm not convinced he's worth a first rounder).

While Byron Leftwich will never wear a Jacksonville uniform again, none of the Jaguars will sport their old look this season. The franchise will break out new uniforms on the 22nd of this month as part of their buildup to the draft. Once in a great while, like the Bucs switching from the embarassing looking Pastel Pirate to their current look in 1997, this kind of thing makes a difference. More often, it's a way to rearrange the deck chairs on a ship going nowhere. Want more proof? Other teams changing their look this year include Detroit and San Francisco.

You'd think a three man playoff (only the eighth sudden death one in Masters history) would have to be at least good, right? Instead, all three guys wilted under the pressure and struggled to stick around. Give Angel Cabrera credit for winning his second major, but the moment I'll remember from this week isn't the playoff or even Woods and Mickelson making it interesting for a few holes. It's this unbelievable shot by Vijay Singh during a practice round. Haven't even seen Tiger do that in his commercials yet.

I don't know what's more ridiculous about PETA's latest publicity foray: the absurdity of their request or their target. They've asked the band the Pet Shop Boys to change their name to the Rescue Shelter Boys because PETA doesn't like pet shops. I doublechecked the release date on this - it was written in 2009, not 1989. The idea that all publicity is good publicity is nonsense - talk to Michael Jackson about that. There are legitimate animal issues that could be addressed by a group like PETA. How do idiots keep getting ahold of this group's stationery?

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