Thursday, April 15, 2004

We Now Return You to Your Regularly Scheduled Broadcast

Now that I've confirmed my suspicion that virtually no one is reading my blog, it's time for another real entry. Let's discuss something I care deeply about, and that's...sports!

It's been a frustrating sports week for me so far. ESPN and various sports shows I pay vague attention to have been dominated mostly by Phil Mickelson and the Masters, and by Barry Bonds hitting his 660th and 661st home runs. It so happens that I hate golf and Barry Bonds, so these topics do nothing for me. The Cleveland Cavs finished their season last night and won't be advancing into the NBA playoffs. Also, the Reds had an off day and then were rained out, so there hasn't been any action there.

That being the case, let's start with a sport that's currently out of season. Yesterday the NFL released its schedule for the coming season. I haven't looked at it yet, but I did hear that the Cincinnati Bengals will be making two appearances on national television. One of these will be a coveted Monday Night Football game, the Bengals' first appearance on Monday Night in 11 years. I think this shows that fans and media are no longer looking at Cincinnati as the league's laughingstock. Hopefully QB Carson Palmer can do well in his first year as starter and lead the Bengals into the playoffs.

On the topic of football...last week BGSU's football team hired Vance Joseph to coach the defensive backs. Until recently, Joseph was filling the same position at Colorado. However, he was placed on paid administrative leave pending an investigation of the football program regarding some sexual assault charges against some players and recruits. Under these circumstances, Joseph resigned at Colorado and accepted the position at Bowling Green when offered by BGSU head coach Gregg Brandon. This hire has caused at least some controversy to surround BGSU's football program. I'm not as worried as some, but it did raise a small red flag in my mind. I do trust that Coach Brandon and BGSU Athletic Director Paul Krebs checked into the matter and were satisfied with what they found out, and I'm also sure he's a good coach, as Colorado is a good football program (on the field, at least). Still, with Joseph being placed on leave at Colorado, you can't help but wonder what his role was in all of this (also suspended was CU head coach Gary Barnett). If this turns sour on the BGSU program, so recently recovered from the ashes, I will be sorely disappointed.

The NBA's regular season came to an end last night. This is the first year I've paid any attention to the NBA, due 100% to Lebron James. I've become a bona fide Cleveland Cavaliers fan. Unfortunately, they didn't make the playoffs, so we won't get to see Lebron play again until next season. He was a lot of fun to watch, though. I think they would have made the playoffs if they could have started the season with the roster they finished it with. They made some trades over the course of the season that really improved the team, most notably the acquisition of point guard Jeff McInnis. That allowed Lebron to slide over to his more natural shooting guard spot. The Cavs have a good core of starters, with Lebron, Carlos Boozer, Zydrunas Ilgauskas, and McInnis. I see them in the playoffs next year for sure.

Speaking of basketball, my new PlayStation2 basketball game sure is fun. It's EA Sports March Madness 2004, which Brandi gave me over the weekend. I like it a whole lot. I love college hoops, and I love video games. Combine the two, and you've got a very happy man. The game is hard right now because I'm just getting started and there are a lot of things you can do, which makes the learning curve a little steep. I'm getting better, though, and it's a whole lot of fun.

The start of the NHL playoffs means only one thing: boring sports on television. I like hockey well enough, but I can't get into the NHL. I like Olympic hockey, and college hockey is fun. I won't be sad at all if the NHL has a work stoppage this offseason like they're expected to, and they don't come back for a while. Make it go away.

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