04/05/2014 02:52 PM
Spooky Express Elite Eight Thoughts and picks while clubbing the competition
-- Los Angeles Dodgers have already sold 3,000,000+ tickets for this season, and may sell 35,000 season tickets. Now all they have to do is win; they’re 2-0 after the Australia trip, so Don Mattingly’s team is off to a good start. Expectations couldn’t be any higher though.
-- So UCLA comes out in the Sweet 16 game with Florida wearing dark blue sleeved uniforms, as John Wooden turns over in his grave. Raises an interesting question; had Steve Alford wound up as coach at his alma mater Indiana, would he have scrapped the traditional candystripe warmup pants? We’ll probably never know.
-- 76ers tied an NBA record by losing their 26th game in a row; their over/under in Las Vegas before the season was 16 wins- they’re 15-57 now and no cinch to win another game. Funny thing is, they don’t have the worst record in the league; Milwaukee does. Quality of play on a lot of NBA teams is beyond awful.
-- VCU coach Shaka Smart spurned Marquette; where do they go from here? Former UCLA coach Ben Howland would seem to be the safest bet.
-- Speaking of VCU, Smart lost assistant Mike Rhoads to Rice, where he will try to invigorate a perennially losing program. Rhoads coached D-II Randolph-Macon for ten years, so he’s got experience as a head coach. You know the Owls will run/press more, which is always a good thing, at least for fans to watch. Rice needs more fans, and much better players.
-- Marshall reached out to alum Mike D’Antoni about becoming its next basketball coach, seeing as Kobe Bryant said he doesn’t want D’Antoni back with the Lakers next year. Supposedly, D’Antoni has interest in the job, which would be a very interesting study.
-- Of the first 61 plays that were reviewed by baseball’s new replay system, 11 were overturned.
-- A movie theater in Brooklyn tossed a patron out for bringing strawberries from the outside while he watched the movie. Problem is, the guy is diabetic and didn’t want to eat junk food that the theater sells. They actually called the cops and had the guy thrown out and wouldn’t refund his $12. Only in New York.
-- UCLA’s Kyle Anderson declared for the NBA Draft; I read about it about ten minutes after the Bruins lost to Florida, not that the kid had one foot out the door or anything.
-- Ron Jaworski ranked LSU’s Zach Mettenberger as his #2 QB in the NFL Draft, ahead of Teddy Bridgewater, Johnny Manziel. Mettenberger tore his ACL against Arkansas in November and can’t work out yet, so it’s a controversial opinion. He’s had NFL-type coaching; Cam Cameron was his coordinator last year. Interesting to see which teams drafts him.
-- Free agent RB Maurice Jones-Drew signed with Oakland; when he was a kid, MJD used to mow John Madden’s lawn, so maybe the Raiders had a little bit of an advantage.
-- Its amazing the following Steve Fisher has cultivated for his San Diego State Aztecs, what a strong program he has built. 15 years ago, no one went to games; They had a lot more fans than Arizona did in Anaheim Thursday night, a testament to the brilliant job Fisher has done there.
-- People ask now and then about the value of sports, why are they important? To me, this is a big part of it. Thursday night, Thurman Thomas posted a picture on Twitter, of him and his wife in Jim Kelly’s hospital room with Mrs Kelly, the four of them smiling for the camera, while they probably were crying inside. Jim Kelly is very, very ill, battling cancer; the bond that these teammates have (Kelly retired in ’96, Thomas left the Bills in ’99) has lasted the 17 years since Kelly stopped playing. Jim Kelly needs all the help/prayers he can get these days. Friends can help. Being on a team, especially a winning team, can somehow bond people together for the rest of their lives. Common experience often does that; can’t really tell you why or how, it just does and when you see pictures like the one last night, of one friend trying to help another in their hour of greatest need, you realize that’s a big part of why sports matter.
Spooky Express Plays
Arizona / Wisconsin Over 130 Points
Arizona pk (moneyline)
Already have Florida, Arizona and Michigan State in futures to win their brackets so will watch the Florida game.