Saturday, April 30, 2011

It was just Ozzie twitting Ozzie

Oh, Ozzie, you're such a wacky twit.

Gets me thinking:

What would Billy Martin have twitted about George Steinbrenner?

Thursday, April 28, 2011

I'm a cheeky little blighter

Can't write a new post. Resting up for the big wedding.

Because if there is one thing relevant to all Americans, it is an outlandish celebration involving faux royalty of a country from which we declared our independence 235 years ago.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Oh no ... I'm feeling a horrible draft coming on

We're on the clock, all of us sports fans.

The worst day in sports -- which now has morphed into the worst three days in sports -- is almost upon us.

The only way to survive is to program your cable box to skip all of the ESPN networks so you won't even accidentally watch one second of the NFL draft.

This year, The Mel Kiper & Co. Show promises to be more insufferable than ever, as there might not even be a 2011 NFL season for these young men.

Though I don't really believe the season will be lost because there's simply too much money for both greedy sides to sacrifice, one never knows. So the draft might be the only football left this year.

That's right: It could be Mel or nothing.

If so, isn't nothing the only real sensible choice?

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Trump's a real card

I sure am gonna miss The Donald when he's The Ex-Candidate.

The loudest of the many, um, interesting characters angling for the GOP presidential nod, Donald Trump is Ozzie Guillen ... with a more annoying accent and without something tangible like a World Series title on his resume.

The guy built his wealth by abusing bankruptcy laws. And most of today's Americans know him only as a reality TV buffoon. Yep, sounds like presidential timber to me!

Trump has only a slim chance to win the GOP nomination -- regardless of what polls say -- and, if he did, he'd have zero chance to beat Barack Obama in the 2012 general election. But that's besides the point.

He's fun, he says something outrageous every day and I hope he stays in the race until the end.

But he won't ... so I've already wasted too much time talking about him. Sorry.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Wistful end to fun week

Twas a bittersweet day in the Nadel household. I had to take our wonderful daughter Katie to the airport this morning after a week-plus visit, and we will miss her tremendously. But we bid adieu knowing she is doing well and making her small mark on society.

It's amazing we raised such a great kid. As much as I'd like to take credit, I'll give a big thumbs-up to my wife Roberta ... and to more than a little bit of luck.

Not only was it great to spend time with Katie, she even insisted upon mowing the lawn and washing the cars on her last full day here in suburban Charlotte. Really. I kept saying she didn't have to do it, but she said she liked doing those things and she wanted to be outside in the sunshine before returning to Seattle. Hard to blame her for the latter!

Katie's visit capped a whirlwind stretch in which we went to a wedding in Easton, Pa.; visited my brother in Philly; took in a game at the Phillies' (relatively) new ballpark; returned to Easton to visit friends; made the 11-hour drive home; and got to show Katie around our new town.

Now back to normalcy: getting stuff done around the house, coaching for me, real work for my wife, reading, TV, maybe a little golf. A familiar drill.

Though it's not a super-exciting existence, I suppose, I look around and see all the "exciting" stuff happening around the world, and the point gets driven home: Life is pretty damn good.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The baldest break

I'm planning to take a little time off TBT, as my daughter Katie will be visiting us in N.C. for the first time.

As you wait breathlessly for my next post, I welcome you to check back 1 million or so times -- thereby generating so many pageviews that I'll earn upwards of an entire dollar in advertising revenue.

Capitalism is alive, baby!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Do something with your life; take over GE or IBM

Sad because you haven't gotten a decent raise in years? Well, you're in the wrong profession, bucko!

Quit your job this instant and become a major corporate CEO.

Through good times and bad, the gentlemen (and though there are a few ladies, it's mostly a gentleman's club - and a white gentlemen's club, at that) who head the nation's largest companies pay themselves millions upon millions of dollars per year.

2010 was a pretty good year for most companies, so, according to the New York Times, CEO pay rose 12 percent to an average of $9.6 million.

Nine-point-six million? Jeesh! That's almost twice as much as the average Wisconsin teacher made last year. Just ask honorable Wisconsin Governor (and Marquette dropout) Scott Walker!

And the beauty of being a CEO is that even in cruddy years such as 2008, you still get millions and millions of dollars. Sometimes even while your company takes a taxpayer bailout. Don King was so right: Only in America!

So stop being a patsy. Quit your job as a teacher or cop or firefighter or nurse or other unimportant member of society and do something meaningful with your life ... while making a few extra dollars, to boot.

Become a major corporate CEO, people.

I mean, how much simpler could the road to riches be?

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Nice of Tiger to contend - and to choke

I have this weird observer/athlete relationship with Tiger Woods ... and no, I'm not a stalker.

On the one hand, I want him to do well, especially in the majors. Because when he's in contention, the tournament is always more exciting. I want him to set the bar high and make the other golfers leap to his level.

On the other hand, we all know that Wood is a reprehensible human being, the kind of guy none of us want to introduce to our daughters, nieces and nannies. He's crude, lewd and really quite a pathetic dude -- a club-throwing, foul-mouthed, self-worshipping jerk.

So even as I root for him to stay near the top of the leaderboard, I can't possible hope he wins.

As it turns out, then, this was a practically perfect Masters for me.

Woods roared back from a deep deficit to take the lead ... only to choke on a 2-foot putt and fall just short. It was part of a wild final round that saw a half-dozen golfers contend right to the end.

I don't follow golf quite as closely now as I did when I covered it fairly regularly, and I admit I never had heard of Charl Schwartzel until this weekend. That the South African seemingly came out of nowhere to beat Woods and the rest of the field made the tournament all the more dramatic.

The only way I'd have enjoyed it more would have been if 71-year-old Jack Nicklaus had played and won one more time -- tacking another major title onto his record and making it even more unlikely that a wretched cur named Eldrick eventually will equal one of sport's great accomplishments.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Mastered again

I dislike self-important people, overhyped events and attempts to paint athletes as heroes just for doing their jobs.

Why, then, do I like the Masters so much?

Is there a more self-important event in all of sport?

Is there any event (not rhyming with Schnooper Schnowl) that gets more overly hyped?

Is there any limit to the number of times announcers will call Masters participants "courageous," as if Tiger and Phil actually are risking life and limb for some noble cause?



And God no.

And yet the Masters is such compelling theater that I will have spent a high percentage of my weekend bolted into my La-Z-Boy, unable to avert my gaze at the TV set.

I like to think it's more about the drama than about the azaleas, Bobby Jones stories and hyperbole, but maybe it isn't.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Jereme Richmond: both victim and perpetrator

Jereme Richmond committed to playing basketball at Illinois when he was an eighth-grader. As he chased the hype surrounding him the next five-plus years, he stumbled far more often than he soared.

He switched high schools, argued with coaches and brawled with teammates. After arriving in Champaign, he rarely demonstrated what all the fuss was about in the first place.

And now he's gone after one unimpressive college season -- a season that ended in his suspension. What a waste.

We tell our outstanding, young athletes so often how great they are that they can't help but believe they are bigger than any team or institution. We coddle them and let them break rules and then wonder why they aren't team players.

Meanwhile, the system uses them, garnering significant gains in money and status at their expense.

Sure, some of these kids come out OK despite it all. But far too many end up like Jereme Richmond.

He is declaring for the NBA draft. There might not even be an NBA season next year. And even if there is, it's very possible Richmond either will be drafted in the second round or not at all, meaning no guaranteed contract.

His game isn't NBA ready. Neither is his skinny frame. His maturity level? He might as well still be in eighth grade.

His parting shot was made via -- you guessed it -- Twitter:

"Thanks to my haters and motivators. If I so happen to fail, I want my doubters to know that my failure is greater than your biggest success."

Whatever that means.

And so, Bruce Weber's one stud recruit ended up harming, not helping, the Illinois program. The buzzards are circling Weber more than ever, and it's hard to blame them. Since guiding Bill Self's players to the '05 NCAA title game, he has done little to show he has what it takes to be a major-college coach.

Weber did Richmond no favors by offering a scholarship to a kid barely in his teens -- a kid who, by all accounts, already had serious ego issues. Then again, if Weber hadn't, other coaches would have.

It's the system. It feeds on itself. And along the way, it eats unprepared youngsters for breakfast.


Tuesday, April 5, 2011

UConn? Champs? I beg to differ!

Six weeks ago, Marquette went into Hartford and beat UConn. Ipso fatso, my boys are the national champs!

See how easy it is to think positively?

Monday, April 4, 2011

For Hall of Famer Worm, still time to be truly outrageous

Dennis Rodman showed up at the Hall of Fame announcement wearing jeans, sneakers, sunglasses, a black baseball cap, a leopard-spot scarf and a white shirt with gold sequined cuffs. The other enshrinees-to-be wore suits, of course.

When he is inducted in August, Worm says, his personal designer will "make a lot of crazy stuff."

I'll say now what I told Rodman during one of our many fun conversations in the '90s: "Dennis, if you really want to be outrageous, show up with no facial jewelry and with your natural hair color (whatever that is). And for God's sake, wear a tux, tails and top hat. For you THAT would be outrageous!"

While I think it's cool that Worm got in the Hall of Fame based on his rebounding and defense -- he was a huge part of the personality of his era, not to mention an important contributor to five championship teams -- I fully understand the argument of those who thought his almost total lack of scoring ability should have kept him out.

What I don't understand is how it took so long for Tex Winter to get in.

One of basketball's great innovators and coaches deserved to be enshrined when he was young and healthy enough to fully appreciate it.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Big East didn't need UConn for validation

So I guess this means the Big East and the Horizon League are the two best basketball conferences in the country, right?

Seriously, all those who thought the Big East was overrated and therefore didn't deserve 11 teams in the tournament simply weren't paying attention.

UConn went 21-0 outside the conference but had to fight just to finish tied for ninth in its conference. One of the Huskies' last losses came at home against Marquette, which also was tied for ninth in the league and which advanced to the Sweet 16.

I don't think it's any coincidence that a UConn squad toughened by the Big East gauntlet for three months had what it took to reach the title game.

Still, this doesn't "prove" the Big East is the best, any more than some second-round losses "proved" the league was overrated. The conference didn't need this for validation. Anybody who really follows college ball knows what's what.

As for explaining Butler reaching the final for two straight years, well, I've got nothing. Except admiration for the program, that is.