They call it madness?

To be fair, my knowledge of, and interest in college basketball is pretty much zero. I like my football, I love my baseball, and I can abide ice hockey. But basketball, really no interest, full stop. And thats the Pro stuff! College sports, it really is only football that I follow, in truth.

So yes, when it comes to March, and the fuss that is nowadays the final 68, known as March Madness, you think I’d ignore it completely, right? Wrong! It seems every year I talk myself into doing brackets, both at CBS, and over on the MC Forums, even when my knowledge of what is going on, or has been going on, is less than zero! Frighteningly, I tend to do quite well, which only proves that its an absolute lottery, lets face it!

My limited range of support rests on the 3 colleges from Kansas, and thats really it. This year, I’m told, Kansas State are on the bubble to get in, hope they do, but will find out for sure later today. Yes, they arent as good at basketball, as at football! Silly though, Kansas are dreadful at football, but one of the best in the nation at basketball, so you tell me! The 3rd Kansas team, Wichita State dont even play football, but are quite decent at basketball.

No, I have no plans to do anything more than make selections, pick brackets, and that will be it. Watch matches, you must be joking! But yes, like so many Americans, I’ll be selecting teams, only in my case, they wont mean a thing to me!

So yes, its Madness in more than one sense for me!

The video sums it up perfectly, its a group called Madness, singing a song called Madness!

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Safety training

OK, fine, a posting which makes me grateful that I’m not involved in any sport where training gets as stupid, and crazy as this.

Most would assume that because the college football season has literally just finished, that the players might get a bit of a break before preparing for the next season. Even more so, as they dont even get paid for playing. I know, some get scholarships, but compared to what the universities make out of the matches, not good!

So fine, count me stunned when I read this week of 3 players from Oregon who were hospitalized, because of the training they were undergoing after the season was over, was so extreme it actually damaged their health really badly. What made it worse, was the guy who was running these crazy training schemes, not even qualified to do so!

Conveniently, Oregon have now suspended him for a month, to err, review things, according to CBS, though someone else (unconfirmed) said he had actually been sacked. But seriously, whoever took him on in the first place should be gone too! Hopefully the families of these 3 men will sue the university for lots of money, though I’m sure it will all get covered up if they do. Discreet mention of an out of court settlement, maybe?

But yes, what can I say, other than that I’m glad I was never good enough at any sport for it to go this far!

Fine, the video. This is one of those crazy acts, who were pretty much a one hit wonder over here in the UK. Slightly more popular in their home country, Canada, but for me at least… Yes, this video definitely falls into the wacky group, for sure.

Just hooping around

Well, given that the stats seem to suggest that most of my readers on here, come from the US, this might make sense to most. Pretty fair to say that most non North American readers will say “what the hell?”, and move on! Yes, college basketball playoffs!

I’ll be honest, my interest in NBA basketball is pretty much zero, which only very slightly less than my interest in the college game, to be honest. But for some strange reason, whenever ‘March Madness’ comes around, here I am filling out my bracket, of college names, most of whom mean little or nothing to me! I sort of follow the 3 teams from the state of Kansas (Kansas, Kansas State, and Wichita State), but that really is about it. I guess I ought to look at the LA teams, but I dont! Oh, and this year, Kansas State were so awful at basketball, they havent even made the playoffs! Equally, Kansas are one of the favorites to win it all!

So, why then, did I spend a while this afternoon, filling out my bracket for the tournament, and my round by round one, for something I have no interest in, wont watch, and will probably only laugh at how badly I do. You tell me, but it seems to be something else I’ve been Americanized into doing!

No, you dont want to know my clueless selections, honest you dont! Not sure that even I want to do that, in truth! But every year, seemingly without fail, I give it a go. One of these years I might work out why!

Right, not only will you have to suffer my college basketball musings, you can suffer the video too. Oh fine, its awful, but at the same time, so cute. So yes girls, lets put a ring on it, in basketball terms at least!

Simply the best?

Yes, lets go back to one of my loves, a quite ironic one for a UK citizen, college football, US style.

Saturday evening, care of ESPN, I had the privilege of seeing a half, and a drive, of one of the best games of college football that I’ve seen. Alabama at Auburn, if you get the chance to watch the highlights at some point. And to be honest, despite what I saw, I missed the most incredible moment of the whole game, the last play! Seriously, it must be somewhere on You Tube, go find it if you can.

So right, its 28-28, and seemingly the game is headed into overtime, as the clock reads 0:00 as the Alabama player runs out of play. But no, they check the play, he actually left the pitch with 1 second remaining. So they reset the clock, and the Alabama coach decides to send out his second string kicker, to try a very long (57 yards, if I remember right?) field goal, to win the game, instead of just taking overtime, and taking his chances there.

That leads to the ultimate facepalm moment. The kicker makes a valiant attempt, and the ball drops barely a yard short. But, and this is the big but, it falls into the arms of an Auburn player, and oh, the ball doesnt go dead when a field goal is missed. He then proceeds to run 109 yards, to the opposite end zone, and win the game for Auburn.

Given these teams are deadly rivals, and the game is in Auburn, the place erupts, almost literally. As I say, go hunt down the film, if you havent seen it already, of course.

But fine, now we get to the rant. The BCS rankings, which decide who gets to play for the National Championship. Seemingly this thing has a total fixation with unbeaten teams. So given Auburn lost one game earlier in the season, and Alabama lost this one, both are seemingly out of the running for the national title, short of an amazing event. Why, because Florida State (probably a merit team), and Ohio State (who probably arent) are both unbeaten this season, and therefore they get ranked the top 2. Seriously, this is the Ohio State team who only won last Saturday, against a relatively moderate side, because the coach had a brainstorm, and went for a 2 point conversion, rather than kicking the extra point, and taking it to overtime.

The snag being, that teams like Auburn, Alabama and Missouri, play in the SEC, probably the strongest league in the country, and take victories off each other, who would probably eat Ohio State for breakfast. We had this problem last year, Notre Dame went unbeaten on a relatively soft schedule, and Alabama destroyed them in the championship match, because they werent the second best team. Oh, and its not just the SEC, both the PAC-12, and the Big 12 have the same problem, of taking each other out, simply because they lose 1 game to a very good team.

In theory, this is the last year of this stupidity, as from next year, 4 teams will play off for the Championship instead. So why do I get this horrible feeling that stupidity may arise again.

So I just want to say this, to the fans of those 3 teams, and Oklahoma State, and whoever wins the PAC-12, you might not be in the championship, that doesnt mean you arent still the best, or second best at worst, thats all.

The video, well, the clue is in the title. I know, shock horror lol!

On The Train To Georgia

No, they arent, I should think its safe to say they got there by plane, especially given there is no train station in Wichita nowadays, and hasnt been a passenger service since 1979, but there is an airport. Yes, I’m talking college basketball, the March Madness, and the craziness that is the rise, and rise, of the Wichita State Shockers team.

Seriously, if you’d told me that one of the 3 teams from Kansas would be in the final four, they’d have been the last one I expected to be there, but all the same…First time for very nearly 50 years, back in 1965 when they last reached it, and plane travel was a whole different world.

In fact, when they started out, they werent expected to get through the first round, being in the lower half of the seeding, if only just. And even winning their first game, all it meant was the number 1 seed, Gonzaga, next in their section. They won again, and kept winning, all the way through to the final four. What has to be remembered is that they arent from one of the big conferences, and were just meant to play their part, then leave it to the ‘big boys’ to win the title. Well, they might yet, as they have the powerhouse that is Louisville in the next round, the favourites from the very start, so that should be it. But, in a one off game, well, who knows…?

I know, Louise Brooks didnt really hide her dislike for Wichita folks in later years, but she lived there for a number of years, which is why they, and the other Kansas teams have a soft spot in my heart. Funnily enough, one of the other teams in the final four, Syracuse, are from the northern end of New York State, where of course, her life was lived to its end. As both are underdogs to make the final, they probably wont, but it would be fun to see it happen, all the same.

Anyway, given the finals are in Atlanta, Georgia, I couldnt resist using this as the video

Magic In Manhattan

No, not that part of New York City, this is about the real Manhattan, you know, that one in Kansas! 😛 The one with the brilliant college football team! Yes, those Wildcats, who won the Big 12 Divisional title on Saturday evening, or more strictly, Sunday morning my time. Now there is one more big game for Klein, Snyder and the other heroes, the BCS Fiesta Bowl against Oregon at the beginning of the New Year in Arizona. Hopefully it will be a duck dinner for the Wildcats, but Oregon are good too, and it wont be easy. One thing for sure though, it wont be low scoring!

No, I’ve no real true connection to the Wildcats, any more than when I was rooting for the Bluejays in the basketball in March, its just a Kansas thing for me. Hey, if Wichita State continue to do well in the basketball this winter, I’ll shout for them too. Yes, its a Kansas thing for me, pure and simple, blame Louise Brooks if you must for that, plus the fact that not one of the colleges is that close to Cherryvale lol! 😛

But how can you not be inspired by the stories of a coach that retires, then returns a few years later, and a quarterback who just doesnt seem to want to stop playing, and of a college team that used to be one of the worst in the land, but now… 🙂 There are a few other heroes too, but they are the main two for me. Yes, its annoying, but for that crazy loss to Baylor, they might have been in the Championship game, possibly against Oregon, if they hadnt lost to Stanford in overtime. So its ironic, they still get to play each other, if not for the biggest prize of all.

One thing is for sure, I’m looking forward greatly to my first visit to the State of Kansas next April, and to seeing Wichita at least. I’m not sure if there are any Brooks landmarks left there (I know the family home is gone, but thats it), but it will be fun discovering the city at least. Any more than that of Kansas, not sure at present, wont know that until the New Year, but fingers crossed I get to see more, though no idea where. Well, I think I might get taken to Cherryvale if that does happen, but otherwise… 😉 Manhattan is a bit in the wrong direction though for that, especially as my possible companion has Oklahoma connections, so would head south, not north from Wichita I suspect.

Right, the video. Well, unless you support one of the other Big 12 teams (sorry, Kate), you can enjoy a celebration of a magical year for the Wildcats. Hey, even if you do support one of those 9 teams, try and enjoy this anyway.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-RwjKQLaI1o

Bring on those Ducks lol!

College football bias

I only wish I’d had the time to post this before the game, but some might say its safer after the result lol! It definitely is after a 55-14 win, yes!

I guess its fair to say with things like college football support, I let Louise Brooks influence my choice. So yes, as you guessed, I might have developed a Kansas, or to be strictly correct in this case, a Kansas State affiliation. So alright, Manhattan, KS is nearly 200 miles from Cherryvale, and over 100 miles from Wichita, but anyway… its as good a logic as I can come up with. Kansas is nearer, but basketball seems to be their speciality, and football is my true love, so…

Oh, did I mention it, Kansas State are unbeaten this year. And not because they’ve been playing softies, not only were they underdogs last night at West Virginia, they were underdogs when they went to Oklahoma too. Yes, beat both, though beating Oklahoma wasnt as spectacular as yesterday, but that was against a team that simply doesnt lose at home. Oh, they did! I’ll be honest, what I know about Collin Klein beyond stats, and a picture, pretty much nothing. Sadly ESPN America over here dont seem to fancy showing K-State play, for whatever reason. Mind, to be fair, evening games out there arent a time I could watch anyway! But I could catch highlights, or replays, but… 😦

Not that things get easy just now. Next week is at home to Texas Tech, who also thumped West Virginia only a week ago. Alright, they won at home, we won in Virginia, and the match up is in Kansas, but, it wont be easy, thats for sure. After that, Oklahoma State, and some gentle rivalry with my dear friend Kate. I never dreamt when discussing it with her in September that it would be like this though.

As I say, I’m getting quite into college sports lol!

The video, well, this might show a bit of bias, and no, I have no idea who the K-State mask really is. Also, for those from ‘redneck’ country, or West Virginia, and lack a sense of humour, you may be better off avoiding this!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IALwo-Z_6qU