March 2007 - Posts

The Luck of The Irish Couldn't Help Notre Dame...or Marquette...or Arizona...or......
17 March 07 11:32 AM | scoutmom | 2 comment(s)
Faith and begorrah, it wasn't meant to be.  Notre Dame fell to Winthrop 74-64 Friday.  (Winthrop!?!)

So, we've wiped out 32 teams in Round 1, Round 2 is underway as we make our way through to the Final Four and, ultimately, the National Championship.  To see the current bracket on the NCAA site, click here.

Okay, admit it, how many of you had Duke going at least to the Sweet Sixteen, if not the Final Four? How much further will VCA be able to take it?

I have to say it, although Marquette was ranked higher, albeit slightly, than Michigan State, their play this season their playing has been inconsistent at best, and that's what we saw on Thursday.  I was not surprised to see them be "one and done".  Wisconsin, on the other hand, was able to figure it out in time to recover from an 18 point deficit to rally past Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.  Was it really Wisconsin pulling it together or just that newcomer Corpus Christi didn't have the tournament experience to carry it through?  I'd like to think it was Bo Ryan's 30 plus years coaching that helped them get it together. 

So, what's up for today (all times ET):
EAST REGIONAL
At Winston-Salem, NC
Georgetown vs. Boston College     4:50 pm
North Carolina vs. Michigan St      7:20 pm
At Sacramento, Calif
Washington State vs. Vanderbilt      4:55 pm

SOUTH REGIONAL
At Lexington, KY
Ohio State vs. Xavier                     12:10 pm
Texas A&M vs. Louisville               2:40 pm

MIDWEST REGIONAL
At Buffalo, NY
Maryland vs. Butler                        2:20 pm

WEST REGIONAL
At Buffalo, NY
Pittsburgh vs. Virginia Commonwealth   4:50 pm
At Sacramento, Calif
UCLA vs Indiana                           7:25 pm








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An Irish Blessing for St. Patrick's Day
17 March 07 11:25 AM | scoutmom | 1 comment(s)
Irish or not, we can all enjoy St. Patrick's Day.  And to help us on our way, please enjoy these blessings.

"May the most you wish for be the least you get.
 May the best times you've ever had be the worst you will ever see."

"May St. Patrick guard you wherever you go,

and guide you in whatever you do--
and may his loving protection be a blessing to you always."

"
May you have the hindsight to know where you've been
the foresight to know where you're going
and the insight to know when you're going too far."

" May the road rise to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back,
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
The rains fall soft upon your fields and,
Until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand."

And, finally, for all my Steeple Family and Friends:

"May you have love that never ends,
lots of money, and lots of friends.
Health be yours, whatever you do,
and may God send many blessings to you!"

Happy St. Patty's Day to you all!
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Changes to Las Vegas Motor Speedway Not Well Received by Some
11 March 07 04:58 PM | scoutmom | with no comments
Okay, let's be blunt, the changes to the Las Vegas Motor Speedway are not exactly being cheered.  Some drivers think it sucks.  Just ask Tony Stewart.  He doesn't like anything they did, period.  He figures if they wanted to make a new track, they should have just gone with a half-mile oval.

"The last time I checked, [.533-mile] Bristol's the most sought-after ticket on the circuit with a three-year waiting list. Where's the light switch? Is it not coming on anywhere? If I had a billion dollars, I'd build me another daggone Bristol and put me 160,000 seats in it like [Speedway Motorsports chairman] Bruton [Smith] did -- and laugh all the way to the bank.

"But they're not smart enough to do that."

Tony's a track owner himself.  He knows that LMVS and Speedway Motorsports, are motivated to try and improve racing and sell more tickets.

"They're trying to do everything they can to ensure that they're going to sell this place out every year," Stewart said. "Nobody wants a situation like we had two weeks ago in California, where the place was half-empty. ...

"This racetrack is owned by the same group as [Lowe's Motor Speedway], and we went through the same situation. It's a domino effect. Phase one was changing the racetrack. Phase two was tire troubles. Didn't they learn anything the last time they did something like this?

"I didn't go to college. I'm not an engineer. I don't know anything, but I've sat my butt in a racecar for 27 years of my life, and I think I'm somewhat qualified to say that this wasn't the right change -- this wasn't going to accomplish their goal."

Yesterday's Busch Series race on the track featured a whole lot of crashes, and did nothing to improve Tony's opinion of the track.  "I want pillows on the right side of my car, and basically all around, in case I get wrecked," he said. "All I want to do is see if we can get [General Motors] to put some air bags in there and some pillows on the outside and go from there."

Yep, Tony, we get it!  Let's see how today's UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400 goes.  Then we'll talk some more.
Kobe Bryant - The New Bully on the Block?
08 March 07 03:33 PM | scoutmom | 3 comment(s)
Tuesday night's shot to the face of Minnesota's Marko Jaric is just the latest by Los Angeles Lakers' Kobe Bryant.  Last time, it was San Antonio's Manu Ginobili.  Each time, Kobe misses his jump shot, and he follows through not by going for the ball, but rather by connecting with the face of another player.  And, it seems he's picking on the little guy, like every schoolyard bully.  "I don't think he would've done that to (Minnesota's) Ricky Davis," said one Eastern Conference scout Wednesday.  "In part, Kobe probably thought that if anything went down, he'd beat Marko's a**.  No question in his mind.  With Ricky, he's probably got a little more respect for him as a player, and probably a little more concern.  'I might be able to beat his ass, too, but I'm not necessarily sure it's worth the trouble.'  The respect factor, of who it is, plays a big role in it."

And, what was the league's reaction to this latest hit, especially coming so close after his shot upside Ginobili's head in late January?  Stu Jackson's office gave him a one-game suspension.  Almost seems to be condoning his action, kind of like when school officials look the other way when the kid wailing away on the weak and defenseless is the star football player.

And where did Kobe learn this from?  Maybe from his old teammate Shaquille O'Neal.  Of course, O'Neal was a little better at concealing it.  Shaq is the master of getting "accidentally" tangled up with other players on his way to the floor.  Then again, as big as Shaq was, guys were after him even more than they are Kobe, and he loved to beat 'em back.  He also did it on offense, not on defense, the better to conceal it a bit.

How do the NBA fans feel?  Based on what I've seen and heard, they're about evenly split between support for someone they say is only 'following through' on his shot (sideways?  really?) and that the other guys deserve it for coming in so close, and those who say he is nothing but a thug who deserves harsher penalties.  As one NBA fan commented "Talented?  Without a doubt.  Driven?  Absolutely!  Professional?  Hell No!!, and classless as can be.  Nope, he'll never be like Mike no matter if he scores 150 points in a game."

And it's about time the NBA stepped in and stopped all of this, from everyone.  Between the violence on the court, and what gets taken into the stands, enough is enough already.  I mean fights are for hockey games, right?
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Human Growth Hormone Net Snares Another "Victim"
07 March 07 06:59 PM | scoutmom | with no comments
On Tuesday, SI.com reported former league relief pitcher John Rocker showed up on a client list of Applied Pharmacy, a Mobile, Ala., company raided in connection with a nationwide investigation into the illegal sale of steroids.  His response?  He never bought it with a prescription.  Rocker claimed he was taking HGH after his rotator cuff surgery in 2003.  SI.com reported he had two prescriptions for a form of HGH, somatropin between April and July of 2003.  "I never had a prescription for any HGH," Rocker told ESPN Radio's "The Herd." "If somebody's got a beef to make with me, show me a prescription."

Rocker's publicist, Debi Curzio,  told the Daily News the pitcher admitted taking HGH, now banned by Major League Baseball, for medical reasons.  "That was a growth hormone that was prescribed by a doctor in relation to his rotator cuff surgery in 2003, so I don't really think there is anything to the story," Curzio said.  Okay, so he says no prescription, but she says it was prescribed?  Maybe they should get their stories straight.

Also named in the ever widening drug circle as Applied Pharmacy clients were major leaguer David Bell, 1996 Olympic wrestling gold-medalist Kurt Angle, and Victor Martinez, winner of the latest Ohio bodybuilding competition named for Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

What started with a whisper is growing to steroid-fed roar.  I fully expect more to come tumbling down, including a certain arrogant San Francisco Giant whose drug-inflated physique doesn't come close to matching his ego.


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Nextel Cup Points Leader Says "No" to Full Schedule; Car of Tomorrow
03 March 07 11:19 PM | scoutmom | with no comments
MARK MARTIN AND THE NEXTEL CUP

Mark Martin, a man of few words, gave his usual succinct response when asked if he will run a full schedule if he stays in contention for the Nextel Cup.  "No."

After the first two races, he is off to the best points start in his 25-year career.  The question was put to him after his win in California, and it was a fair one:  "Will your schedule change now that you're the points leader?"  His response "No." 

Martin is a part-time driver for Ginn Racing.  He doesn't want to be a full-time driver.  He wants to race the trucks and watch his son Matt race at short tracks in Florida.  More and more of a fan favorite these days, fan interest in him grows even more the longer he leads in the points.  People are asking "Will he be able to continue to lead?  Can he finally win a Cup championship?"  The way things are today...no.  He is willing to share the Nextel driving duties with Regan Smith.  He won't continue to lead the points, he won't drive a full schedule, and he won't win a Cup championship.  Period.  He knows what he wants.  And what he wants is to drive part-time and spend the rest of it watching his son. 

Will he regret his decision?  No, I don't think so.  Good for him.

CAR OF TOMORROW

Tests on the Car of Tomorrow (CoT) were run at Bristol this week.  What is the car of tomorrow?  Taller, wider, slower, and hopefully, safer.  The drivers roll cage has been moved back and the driver's seat has moved 4 inches towards the center of the car. This provides a larger crumple zone around the driver and will help protect him in a side impact.  After Dale Earnhardt, Sr. was killed at Daytona, NASCAR realized that changes needed to be made.  It started with the SAFER barriers at the track, the requirement that drivers wear the full face helmet, and additional safety precautions inside existing cars.  The CoT is the next step. 

It has taken over five years to design the NASCAR Car Of Tomorrow from the ground up to be safer, more competitive and cheaper for the race teams. Spending extensive time on the drawing board, computer simulations, in the wind tunnel and on the track to design the ideal NASCAR NEXTEL Cup race car.  The exhaust system in the Car Of Tomorrow has been rerouted and designed to keep heat away from the driver, to reduce fatigue the exhaustion and heat blisters that occur today.

Aerodynamics were borrowed from the Craftsman Truck Series. The windshield stands up straighter to catch the wind, increasedrag and slow the cars. The front bumper has been redesigned to catch the air instead of cut through it and a large "wing" has been placed on the trunk. 

Being less aerodynamic, the Car Of Tomorrow will also be less dependent on the wind for its stability. This will help the cars drive better in traffic and will reduce the "aero push" which causes difficulty for cars passing at high speed.

How do the fans feel?  Well, according to NASCAR.com:  Yes, it has that funny-looking splitter in front, and that rear wing that sends stock-car purists into fits of angry protestation.

But, as David Caraviello says, "Get over it. Because if the Car of Tomorrow truly is the great leap forward in driver safety that NASCAR makes it out to be, then all the competition headaches are worth it."

I wholeheartedly agree.  No sport is worth another death.
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