Why You Should Care About Wrestlemania XXV (Preview)
Alright, we've done the Japanese wrestler thing...so now we're going to do the Wrestlemania thing. In a little under 8 days, one week from tomorrow, the WWE will stage its biggest event of the year. Since 1984, Wrestlemania has been the be all, end all of wrestling events. That first one was headlined by Cowboy Bob Orton Jr. and Roddy Piper taking on Mr. T and Hulk Hogan. It has gotten bigger ever since and this year, will be no different. So what I will do is give you a rundown of the card, how we got to this point and why should you care about it. Fun? Fucking right it is. Starting with...
Well, that's another coach run out of town. We took too long to fire Tubby, and I have to say I think they fired Billy Clyde Gillispie a little too quickly. Yeah, I've heard all the rumors that his drinking was heavier than anyone realized, and that he liked to chase the co-eds a little too much, but I think everyone knew that about him at Texas A&M, too. The problem with Billy is that A) he was too stubborn to adapt his system to fit the personnel he had, B) he played Michael Porter 30 minutes a game when Michael Porter is completely awful instead of taking his lumps with DeAndre Liggins, C) he never signed his contract, and D) he was too prickly with the media.
Alan Cutler, the guy chasing poor Billy Clyde around in the video above, is a complete ass-hat. That goes without saying. However, Billy's treatment of Jeannine Edwards on national TV was also complete ass-hattery, and totally beyond the pale for a college basketball coach. Not just as Kentucky; wherever you coach, you need to represent your school with class and that's not exactly classy behavior.
That's kind of the whole problem with the situation. Billy's personality isn't cut out for Lexington. It's okay to be a prickly borderline alcoholic asshole when you win and stay off probation (Hi, Eddie Sutton, are you dead yet?), but when you're losing and having public pissing contests with the girl from ESPN, throwing your players under the bus like your name is Greyhound, and not actually under contract? Whole other scenario.
Like when Tubby left, I've got no hard feelings towards Billy. I hope the kids he recruited come to UK and I really hope the next coach (John Calipari?) can get the team back on the right track. This is a fan base that, admittedly, has been spoiled by the years of success we had under Rick Pitino and all our other coaches. But when ESPN calls North Carolina the greatest college basketball program EVER, I take serious offense. Kentucky has the most wins all time (or had, UNC might have caught up this year) and second most national titles of all time. When you're talking greatest college hoops programs it's Kentucky, UCLA, and then UNC.
UK is a basketball school in a basketball state. If you can't win with class, you don't belong here. Bring on Pitino Jr.
March Madness is in full swing here at Sports Bastards World Headquarters, and I've watched so much basketball over the past two weeks that I'm now seeing Dick Vitale in my nightmares. While that's pretty bad, at least I'm no longer having sex dreams about Lesley Visser, so all in all I'd call it a win. Anyway, nightmare fuel aside, how was your first day?
Because of general laziness on Jaime's part (I blame her for this because she's the one who usually puts together all the SB fantasy sports competitions), we don't have a March Madness contest this year. I know our reader is very disappointed, but in lieu of gloating updates about how awesome I am and predicting the bounce patterns of a brown rubber ball versus the other writers here, I'll just share my bracket directly with you.
Here's my bracket, cleverly titled Death to the Big 10. I don't actually hate the Big 10 (well, not the basketball Big 10). I can appreciate a hoops league where a 60-54 win is a Phoenix Suns-style barn burner just as much as the next insomniac who needs something to put him to bed. When Tubby Smith is your breath of fresh air, your league is boring as hell. But this isn't about Tubby; this is about me going 13/16 on my first day and how I overthink the opening rounds of this tournament.
If I hadn't changed the ones I did, I would've gone 16/16. ESPN overrates the major conference powers, and I overrate the mid-majors. Guess I love upsets too much.
Alright, onto Part 2. So here's what we know so far...
- The East is weak. There's only two legitimate title contenders, one darkhorse and one really overrated group posing at title contenders. Note, Lenstradamus does not acknowledge any title contender that spots a 15 win team a 19 point lead in the fourth. 15 win teams are supposed to be fodder for you as you walk towards a title, not potential stumbling blocks. I do think the East comes down to Boston and Orlando, with Boston and their depth being too much for Orlando to handle. Cleveland's not as ready as folks seem to hope they are and Wade simply can't do it by himself (even though it's going to be great watching him try). Only things we don't know in the East are this...
1) Who's going to be the top seed and have homecourt throughout? Boston? Cleveland? Orlando? Boston's clearly got the tougher road, but I think it suits them better than a cake schedule does Cleveland. Boston's got the better road record than Cleveland, better in-conference mark and I think in spite of the record...the New Garden trumps The Q in terms of frightening folks. Orlando probably took a hit when they lost Nelson for the year, but I think they're going to be a seriously tough out...so long as Detroit's not on the other side of them.
It's time for my second half NBA outlook, so to speak. Your playoff primer for what we're going to end up seeing late next month and what to expect as we head into June. First, a few things.
- Last June, I said that Detroit was still the team in the Central so long as they kept motivated. In October of 2007, I said their EC Final meltdown against the Cavs was the Buster Douglas moment for this franchise. That in short, they wouldn't be the same after the fact. When they dealt Billups away for Iverson just four games in, they ensured that prophecy would come to fruition. Bad Boys 2 will most likely dismantle in the summer, hopefully ole Sheed can get one more ring before he hangs it up.
- Next, even though this is a bit early...I think the Clips might be a sleeper to watch next year. I know on paper, they look like an absolute clusterfuck and four dimes, but this is a good team. Dunleavy aka The Undertaker as The Sports Guy refers to him as, is done. I'm convinced of this after seeing them squander a 19 point 4th quarter lead against the most overhyped team in NBA history. (Seriously, who in their right fucking mind has the Cavs winning it all?! Yeah, I'm gonna go nuclear on these fucks in a second.) Kaman's not a bad center, Camby's got a little something left and I think Baron should be better next year with Easy E (Eric Gordon) as his running mate. HOWEVER...this team has to run. Seriously, this half court shit is for the fucking birds.
Alright, here's how we're going to do this. I'm gonna do this in two parts. First part, I'm gonna look at what I said in my preseason picks column and see how it's holding up. In the second, I'm gonna give you the teams to put your money on (especially if you find some dumbass Cavaliers fans willing to lose their money, or whatever team's applicable) playing on into June.