Random thoughts on some of this week's happenings ...
A Player in the Stands ... I am not a fan of the NBA, more of a casual observer and follower of former Spartans now in the league. However, I'd be remiss if I failed to comment on the "Antonio Davis incident" in Chicago last night. Folks, this is so different from the melee at the Palace in November of 04 that it shouldn't even be a story. The guy was being a man ... a good husband to his wife and a great father to his kids. He didn't lay a hand on a person. He didn't go Artest or Jackson on some drunk Jake who threw a cup of beer. Guy was simply doing his duties as a spouse and dad. The real story here is what a fool fans can be. Take a page out of the college arena's books - don't sell beer at the games. I like a cold one myself - preferably a Black & Tan or a Guinness, but I don't need to be, not should I be, drunk at a sporting event. Antonio Davis is innocent. The fan - guilty as charged. His punishment? Banned for LIFE from The United Center. End of story.
A little respect ... I love how the talk of March Madness starts to creep onto sports junkie web sites like ESPN.com so early (Bracketology). I also like the respect for the Big Ten in this week's ESPN.com Power 16 Poll. Five teams with three or four seeds? Right on the money, although I think the winner of the Big Ten undoubtedly gets at least a 2. I mean come on, the Big Ten may get the respect of Rodney Dangerfield when it comes to the media, but when push comes to shove, give me the Big Ten any day over any conference in the land. Big East? Good only because of the power in numbers. In a one and done situation, I'll take my chances with Michigan State, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Ohio State and Iowa over the likes of Villanova, UConn, Louisville, Pittsburgh and West Virginia. ACC, good only because of Puke, er, Duke. Yes, the ACC won the ACC-Big Ten Challenge - again - but that was in November when nothing matters. The Big Ten's last place team (Minnesota) nearly picked off both Wisconsin and Iowa in the past week. There are six, maybe seven legit NCAA caliber teams here and one or two that could play their way in with a hot run in Indy March 9-12. It's January 19 and the Big Ten is getting a little national love, let's see if it continues when the teams really start to beat up on one another.
NFL Playoff Picks ... As a good Midwesterner, the only thing I'd change is that it would be Chicago with a shot at the Super Bowl. But alas, I've become a Steeler fan for this weekend. It was too bad that the Colts couldn't get it done last weekend given what Tony Dungy faced late in the season, but wouldn't it be great to see a blue collar team like Pittsburgh win the Super Bowl in a blue collar town like Detroit? I like the Steelers and Seahawks to get to Ford Field and the Steelers to finally get the big one for Coach Cowher.