She's a Handicapper now..and I'm saying "Champagne, Anyone?"

She's a Handicapper now..and I'm saying "Champagne, Anyone?"

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Top Ten reasons ACC chose Louisville

OK, a little tongue-in-cheek humor time here now that the Cards have safely been included into the fold of the ACC (Awesomely Cool Conference).

TOP 10 Reasons ACC Presidents Voted to Include Louisville

10. Conference meetings in Churchill's Turf Club on Derby Eve. (Woof!...)
 9.  Calhoun promised to come back as UConn coach if UConn got the nod.
 8.  Russ Smith called them.
 7.  Calipari paid off a couple more. No surprise there.
 6.  "Connecticut" and "Coast" start with a "C". Wanted to avoid 'All-Connecticut Conference' t-shirts.
 5.  Hmmm...Charlie Strong or Paul Pasqualie?...Seriously?
 4.  Ever tried to get a hot brown and mint julep in Storrs?
 3.  The thought of Geno Auriemma on ACC-TV was just too much to bear.
 2.  Officials were afraid UofL would bolt to C-USA if an offer wasn't extended
 1.  Another chance to "stick it" to West Virginia again.

TOP 10 Reasons the BIG EAST is a sinking ship

10. ESPN dropping TV contract. The Comedy Channel offering to pick it up.
 9.  Conference vote to add Bellarmine and Wofford as "football members only" almost passed.
 8.  They added the Pirates. The East Carolina Pirates. We all know what Pirates do to ships...
 7.  Papal support for BIG EAST now weakened since Notre Dame left.
 6.  Accepted Tulane because "it's really easy to spell and they got Mardi Gras!"
 5.  Calipari offering to buy league.
 4.  New league logo is a moving van with a flat tire.
 3.  Lee Corso being considered for Conference Commissioner
 2.  Landlord just raised rent on BIG EAST Corporate offices.
 1.  Arkansas offering to join if they change the name to PIG EAST.

Thank you and good night! You've been a great crowd!  We'll be here two more weeks. Be sure to tip your bartenders and waitresses.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Conference, schmonference...nothing to see here.

The musical chairs game of conference re-alignment has picked up again. Maryland and Rutgers maybe to the (fill in the blank). Connecticut pondering a move to the (fill in the blank). FSU and Clemson mad as hell at (fill in the blank). Philadelphia Textile and Pharmacy College looking at (fill the prescription by Monday, please).

It just doesn't matter.

Why? Because the scenario is just going to change again in a couple of months. People get worked up about it. Message Boards fret about it. Otherwise respectable journalist obsess about it. Aliens monitor the Earth and laugh about it. The chimps have taken over the zoo.

I was talking with someone the other day about when the Major Leagues had (8) teams in the National League and (8) in the American League. He looked at me like my hair was on fire.

"How long ago was that?" he asked skeptically.

"When I was in grade school." I politely replied.

"Oh...back before there were I-Pods and Call of Duty?"

"Back before there was touch-tone and Pong..."

Football, of course...and ESPN are the driving factors in all this shake-up and musical chairs. Football equals money. I'll say it again. Football = money. ESPN dictates football. If ESPN likes you, you will prosper and get the Saturday afternoon games. If they don't, you play at noon or play Friday at 8 p.m.

My solution? Form eight "superconferences" with 16 teams each. Do it regionally. I'd call them the East Coast, West Coast, Southeast, Midwest, Southwest, Rocky Mountain, Northern and Southern. That's 144 football teams. Drop everyone else down to Division I-AA status. You could divide each conference into two divisions of eight schools each. Have the winners of the divisions play each other for the Conference championship. Then, the eight winners go into quarterfinal playoffs. Seed them, just like basketball does and #1 plays #8 and so on. You can tie-in bowl games into it if you want. Eight games, followed by four more games, then two games and a championship. Fifteen "bowl" games. It's half of the number out there currently. It's plenty.

If you want more...then have the runner-ups of each conference championship play each other. Eight more games. Let's be brutally honest. 36 bowls games a year is ridiculous.

The process would take four weeks. Most bowl-bound schools are practicing during those four weeks anyway, so playing up to four games isn't too much. Divide the games equally among the networks and rotate which network gets the National Championship game each year...just like Pro Football does. ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox and ESPN. Three each. What could be more simpler?

Would I miss the Car Care Bowl and Motor City Bowl? Are you kidding me?

How would this work out for the other collegiate basketball, baseball and soccer? No problem. Just add the other 200 or so to the conference nearest them for the additional sports. A basketball team plays 30 games during the season. If your Duquense, for example...would it kill you to play 30 games against schools in a four state area around you? Travel expenses go down (a boon for struggling-revenue athletic programs) and fans are more liable to travel to West Virginia for a game than Florida Atlantic in Boca Raton.

Food for thought.

In closing...imagine this basketball conference..

Eastern Kentucky
Western Kentucky
Murray State
Indiana State
Ball State
Miami (OH)
Tennessee Tech
Austin Peay
Tennessee Martin
Middle Tennessee
Ohio State
Wright State
Ohio U
Northern Kentucky

How many of those "away" games would you travel to?

Wake up, NCAA. It's time to get organized and use a little common sense.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Tuesday is election day. The onslaught of political commercials on TV will finally end and that's a good thing. Seriously, have you ever decided to vote for a candidate because of a TV commercial?

The big enchilada is the Presidential race, of course. I'm not going to go into any impassioned pleas here with you to vote for either of these two guys, but I do think it's improtant to go out and vote if you prefer one of the other. IF you don't vote, then you have no legit reason to complain if your candidate doesn't win.

I've been voting since 1976. Haven't missed a presidential election yet since then. This will be my tenth Presidential election that I've voted in. So far, I'm 4-5 in choosing the winner. If I had this kind of record in football head coaching, Lexington fans would be calling for a contract extension. Louisville fans would be calling for my resignation. Funny how that goes, isn't it?

I've expressed a philosophy for years that it really doesn't matter who the president is...because big business runs the country. Each party slings mud at each other, blames each other and claims that they, not the opposition, have the real answer to solve whatever woes are ailing the country.

I see it this way. When big business is successful, jobs are plentiful, money is being spent, consumers are purchasing and the words recession and stagnant aren't used very often. When big business struggles, one of the parties call for a change...but it's big business that needs changing.

I have long been a proponent for the concept of keeping jobs in America intead of outsourcing them to third-world and cheaper labor countries. I remember the glory days in my hometown, when the factories were rolling, there were plenty of good, local and high-paying jobs in manufacturing. When International Harverster, GE, Ford, Phillip Morris, Brown and Williamson, American Standard, AAF and other corporations had strong and viable factories in Louisville. Those days are gone.

Big business spoke.

So, if you feel strongly about either Obama or Romney, go vote for one of them tomorrow. Same goes for the local races. Got a favorite? Make it known on a ballot.

If you choose not to vote, them don't complain if it doesn't go your way. It's like whining about how bad the buffet looks when you order off the menu. I don't wanna hear it and no one else does either.

But, remember that it's little more than a popularity contest. Big business dictates the terms.