Holidaze Mashup: Hoopaholism & Pigskin Fever Clash

Oy, what’s a sports dude to do?

Too many games. On the gridiron. On the hardwood.

Not enough screens. Too many clickers.

It’s the best of times. It’s the most frustrating of times. A Travail of Two Sports.

So, yeah, like last Saturday when the reality is I’ve been sucked into Joey the Vig’s Bowl Pool — at the risk of significant personal financial diminution — which requires I am compelled to cheer on the otherwise out of mind Blazers of UAB +17 1/2 in the New Orleans Bowl.

Does Gene Bartow still coach there? Oh no, wait a minute, it’s son Gene. Oh right, wrong sport.

See what I mean?

On the other hand, the day dawned with several enticing hoops encounters. Rock Chalk Jauyhawk vs. Nova. Dayton vs. Colorado. And, you know, UK vs. THE O*H*I*O State Buckeyes.

You know that early 90s comedy “Death Becomes Her,” where Meryl Streep’s head swivels 360? Welcome to my world.

 * * * * *

Yes I’m here to try to make some sense of what’s going on in my favorite sports. OK, at least to opinionate about what’s happenin’.

Yet I am going to start with the Miss America pageant. Stick with me, it’s going to make sense. Honest. At least, sorta.

The whole extravaganza has a new look, a total makeover.

No bikinis. No evening gowns. No Bert Parks.

And this year’s winner, Virginia’s Camille Schirer, a pharmacy student at VCU, executed her talent competition entry in a lab coat and safety goggles. (Yes, it is reported Bert Parks is turning in his grave.)

She did a science experiment to prove the “catalytic decomposition of hydrogen peroxide,” dazzling the assembled for her finale on a stage filled with chemically induced, multi-colored foam.

Some things just aren’t the same as they ever was.

Like toiling in a post season bowl for fans, family, coach and the ol’ alma mammy.

Or competing for a season of hoops for fans, family and the Allied Van Lines Coach of the Year who covered the more than ten large it cost to move your family across state and play for, uh, him.

 * * * * *

If memory serves, former LSU Bayou Bengal Leonard Fournette is the Forefather of Sitting Out a bowl game. Wonder if he’d play this year in the Final Four? Hope so.

Well, among the increasing many who are following in the RB’s footsteps, count Louisville Cardinal big un Mekhi Becton. Who has decided that competing against an SEC foe in Music City is not on his calendar for next Monday.

Just another manifestation of this Era of I’m in it For Me.

Cardinal fans have been forgiving, but . . . I dunno.

As for James Wiseman, hmm, who knows? I’m most sure his attorneys charged for more billable time suing the NC2A than he spent on the court for his benefactor/ coach’s Memphis State Tigers.

This is a kid who seems to have trouble making up his mind. Or committing.

Amid the prattle of the many decrying these abstentions and abdications as the decline of college football and basketball, this guy’s opinion is the sports are just fine. I still love the sports and the Cardinals and shall root as hard as ever when they take on Cowbell State. I still dislike with extreme prejudice Memphis State.

 * * * * *

Lamar Jackson.

I’ve asked it before and shall repeat the snark.

How good might my U of L Cardinals have been if they ever had a QB like Lamar Jackson? Surely undefeated. Final Four. At least winners of every bowl game and conference title.

The sky would have been the limit.

 * * * * *

How lucky — and good — is Ohio State?

Not only are the Buckeyes the best, most complete team in the land. Plus the team with inarguably the best resumé so far. But, Gonzaga, which will probably go undefeated the rest of the way because of their lame league, is #1 in the poll most folks revere. And will stay there.

OSU has beaten disappointing but still formidable Kentucky, Cincy and Carolina, and surging Villanova. (By the by, the Mainliners are Corey Alexander’s favorite to wear the crown.)

What people tend to forget is that the Wesson brothers and cohorts also battered Top 5 Louisville in a preseason scrimmage.

 * * * * *

Gus Johnson’s still the best.

 * * * * *

Is it my imagination or are players getting called for fouls when they’re simply blocking out their guys when positioning themselves for rebounding?

 * * * * *

Did IU sell its soul to the devil, allowing a comeback after blowing a big lead against the Irish in the Crossroads Classic?

We’ll find out more about the enigmatic Hoosiers during league play in unquestionably the toughest conglomeration this campaign, the Big Ten.

— Seedy K

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