Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Bring On The Madness!!!!

The World Junior Hockey Championship is probably my favourite sporting event. The raw emotion and passion that you get is second to none. With the event being in my backyard next year, it will be something that will be attended. Next up is the NC double A mens basketball tournament that starts today. Upsets, small schools defeating big schools, buzzer-beaters, dramatic finishes and that raw emotion and passion that CBS brings into living rooms each and every year. The first two days of this tournament are must-watch TV so needless to say there will be a lot of basketball being watched over the next little bit. My brackets are filled out and I say the final four will be Connecticut, Pittsburgh, Wake Forest and Oklahoma. Many have their brackets filled out including President Barack Obama and they are ready for the madness to start. I wonder what its like in Fargo, North Dakota right now as the North Dakota State Bison are ready to make their first ever tournament appearance against Kansas. That game goes Friday in what will be like a home game for the Bison as the teams play in Minneapolis. Don’t be surprised if you see an upset and the tiny school gets its 15 minutes of fame. Its already cashing in somewhat as their coach was on the Dan Patrick Show earlier this week. If you get interviewed by DP, you’ve hit the big time. He is the best—hands down!!

While ‘March Madness’ begins in the US today, Saskatchewan’s version of “March Madness” is happening in Regina. HOOPLA—the provincial high school basketball championships begin today with action in 10 different categories. Everything is happening at the U of R. When you see the high school programs in this province and the calibre of play that the U of R and U of S both bring in both the mens and womens division it does make me wonder why the NBA just doesn’t get any attention in Saskatchewan. Then again if there is a hockey game on one channel and a basketball game on the other, chances are the 5 on 5 that I’m watching is on the ice and not the hardwood.
Those who don’t want to anoint Martin Brodeur as perhaps the best goalie the NHL have ever seen are hanging on to the fact that Brodeur got credit for wins in the shootout which is something other great goalies including Patrick Roy never got the chance to do. That debate will go on for a while but one thing you can’t debate or won’t be able to soon is that Brodeur will break the record for most career shutouts set by Terry Sawchuk. There simply is no excuse for blanking the opposition over 100 times. Brodeur—nor any other goalie—will ever set the record of most shutouts in a year which is 22 set by George Hainsworth way back when and I can’t see Brodeur or any other goalie playing 500 consecutive games like Glenn Hall did but when the Devils goalie reaches the shutout record, I don’t think you will be able to argue the fact anymore that he is simply the best to strap on the pads. Do you think it will be Brodeur or Luongo guarding the goal for Canada in Game 1 at the Vancouver Olympics. That’s going to be interesting considering Luongo will be the favourite because he will be on his home ice.
FC Toronto is not the only Canadian team in Major League Soccer. The league announcing Vancouver will join in 2011. They will play their games at BC Place which is surprising considering Swangard Stadium in Burnaby is where many “friendlies’ with Canada’s national program are played. Its hoped the team can use the famous “Whitecaps” name which is synonymous with the sport in Vancouver. Will this do anything for soccer in Canada??? About the same as what FC Toronto has done…..and that is nothing. If it has, I’m not seeing it.
Many websites are making up their NFL mock drafts. One has the Seahawks with the number 4 selection taking USC quarterback Mark Sanchez and another has them taking Georgia quarterback Matthew Stafford. Is it time to start grooming a replacement for Matt Hasselbeck. He wasn’t very good last year thanks to a knee injury and the fact he was throwing to his 9th and 10th string receiver but he isn’t getting any younger. Maybe they should take a QB—but with the number 4 pick?????? I still think even though they grabbed TJ Houshmanzadeh in free agency that they need another receiver. Take Michael Crabtree from Texas Tech or Jeremy Maclin from Missouri. Speaking of Maclin, I wonder if the guy who threw him passes at Missouri will end up being taken in the NFL draft. If Chase Daniel doesn’t go, will he end up in Saskatchewan??
To Premier Brad Wall….thumbs up on the budget!!!
I miss football!!!! I need to see some of these—and soon!!!!
Go fill out your brackets if you haven’t done one yet and if you’re watching some hoops today. Enjoy the Madness!!!


Tyler said...

Nice banner. I notice MMA and pro wrestling aren't represented, though.

Portuguese Sensation said...

Interesting comments Mitch.

Toronto FC has rejuvinated a passion for soccer here in Canada. I know people who have never been soccer fans before, but after attending a TFC game at BMO Field they were instantly converted.

But it's not just TFC that's created a buzz - just look at the Montréal Impact. They not only beat both TFC and the Whitecaps to advance to the CONCACAF Champions League (where they lost in the Quarter Finals) but they had 55,571 fans inside the Olympic Stadium for the 1st leg of the Quarter Final!!!

Soccer is alive and well in this country. Now if only the CSA can get its stuff together and work towards making the Men's National Team competitive on the world stage - then we'll see a real explosion.

Anonymous said...

Hey Mitch

I'm guessing you have a lot more respect for Brad Wall then another Wall that we both know. Don't worry, I do too.

One of your former co-workers who misses you!!