Pardon The Pulse

Look I’m a cowboy…Howdy Howdy Howdy!

HOWDY FOLKS and welcome back as Triggs sitting in a dark room somewhere thinking about how he can sneak into Soldier Field and plant flowers in Lance Briggs’ locker with a card saying “From Jerry Angelo…with love!” to have them make happy. Kinda sick when you think about it…but at least Chuckles, myself, and the great back-up Paulie are all here this week to give YOU what you want to know.

And I wouldn’t really consider Paulie so much a back-up cuz the guy has some great insight on things, and I was contemplating letting him join us for the NFL Draft Special PTP even if Triggs was back by then…but you guys just don’t know. At this point in time I feel like I may end up doing that special by myself because Chuckles has doubt about how it can be done, Triggs is AWOL at times, and Paulie would draft the entire 2nd unit of Duke in the first round.

Sheesh! Buncha morons. I mean…ROLL CAMERA! Now let us…

1.) March Madness

Paulie: Oh the madness of March. The drama. The mayhem. The classic games. Oh and there’s that 65 teams mess that’s gonna be on TV a lot. Yeah, the NCAA tournament for the national title is going on, but, hell, that won’t really be interesting till at least next week. The whole ever conference champ gets in thing waters that tourney down to the point of absurdity in the first two rounds. Yeah, every now and then you’ll get a little diamond chip coming out. But you know in the end its either gonna be an ACC, Big East, SEC, PAC 10, or Big 10 team that wins it. Hell, my boys at NC State could probably beat half the conference champs out there and they finished 10th in the regular season in the ACC. Speaking of my boys though. That was a pretty nice run last weekend. Played 38 good minutes against a NCAA #1 seed. Too bad those two bad minutes were at the end of the first half that provided the final margin of victory. BUT. It was good enough to get into the NIT. Now the NIT field is pretty sweet. There was a time, not too long ago, when a 20 win season pretty much assured you of a birth into the NCAA. But not anymore. That plateau has probably been upped to 25 now (but don’t tell that to Vermont). But look at the NIT field. You’ve got Michigan, Florida State, Clemson (who opened the season 17-0), West Virgina, Syracuse, UMass, Drexel, and about 20 other 20 win teams. This is where the excitement is going to be for the next couple of weeks. I’m just hoping for State to make it into the quarterfinals to get some revenge on West Virgina so my step dad will finally shut up about that game earlier in the season.

Oh, yeah, as for that other tournament. Looks like I was right in my prediction for at least 7 ACC teams making it in. Though if the play in the ACC tournament was any indication, the only one of them playing with anything resembling heart right now is UNC. And they have possibly the toughest road to Atlanta of any #1 or #2 seed in the tournament. I’ve seen a lot of noise about Georgetown winning out of the east and taking the whole thing. George-who? No one has talked about these guys all season and suddenly they’re the favorite to win it all? I don’t buy it. I’m gonna call a UNC/UCLA final with UCLA winning it. Look for Villanova and Boston College to make decent runs to possibly the Elite 8.

Chuckles: Wow…breathe Paulie. As I’ve said before, March Madness is my favorite time of year. The opening weekend is the best 4 days in sports. Upsets, buzzer beaters and an occasional blow out. People have been talking about Georgetown all year, but they’ve started talking more because they’ve been playing tons better later in the year which is what you want to look for. With their bigs (Jeff Green, Roy Hibbert) they have plenty of inside scoring and good guard play and are a serious threat to win it all. That bracket is the most loaded though. UNC, Georgetown, Texas all three of those teams could win the whole thing. My player to watch in the tournament is Acie Law IV. Guard for Texas A&M. He’s a great defender, and a good outside shooter with the ability to get to the hoop. So he’s basically everything you look for in a leader for your team.

My brackets don’t have much for upsets, I see Davidson winning two games, George Washington can do some damage, but I think for the most part this year will be a little calmer than usual. My Final Four looks like Wisconsin (everyone is hating on them, but they have good senior leadership, and Arlando Tucker is amazing) Kansas has amazing depth and scoring balance, Georgetown probably the second best overall team in the tourney, and Texas A&M. Finals match-up of Kansas/TAMU with Acie Law IV leading A&M to the National Title.

Spaulding: My Tigers from LSU didn’t make it into the NCAA Tourney or even the NIT after a Final Four trip last year. Damn, talk about turn around. Anyway…this is just an exciting time of year and I love it. Oddly enough like Chucklebutt, I don’t have many upsets in my bracket either. But I do have Georgetown going all the way and winning the whole thing. Florida, North Carolina, and Duke have all shown me nothing this year that merits them winning this thing even though I still think Florida will make it to the championship game. Ohio State has racked up wins, but they also haven’t impressed me much.

Creighton is my Cinderella this year making it all the way to the Elite 8 before the Buckeyes barely take them out. This Creighton team is damn impressive and the most underrated 10-seed I’ve ever seen. All in all it’s a really nice field of teams this year except for one missing one…Syracuse. 22-10 and they don’t make the field of 65…are you kidding me??? How is that possible? I can understand it if you’re Clemson who started out 17-0 only to go 4-10 down the stretch, but the Orange played a damn fine season all year and were SCA-REWED!

2.) Pokey Chatman’s Resignation/Scandal At LSU

Spaulding: When long time LSU women’s basketball coach Sue Gunter passed away, I never thought there would be anyone who could even begin to step in her shoes. I was wrong. Pokey Chatman came in and has lead my Lady Tigers to two Final Fours in 4 years and led them to being one of the best teams not only in the SEC but in the country. Now this? A sexual relationship with a former player? I have no problems if she’s a lesbian, but come on now. You know damn well that relationships with players or students or whatever are just asking for trouble.

And to think, one of her assistants and “close” friends is the person who ratted her out. It just really sucks that this all has to happen right now as the team is getting ready to enter the NCAA tourney (with a #3 ranking which is too low and bullshit) and go for a championship. Sure Pokey has stepped down immediately and the assistant head coach has taken over but you know those girls are going to have their former head coach on their mind. I just hope they can overcome it and carry on. I like Chatman, but she made a very poor decision here and got busted.

Paulie: OH NOES! TEH SEX! Ya know, if this was high school or lower, I could maybe see the problem with this. I don’t care if it was a player/coach relationship. They were two consenting adults who decided to have a closer relationship. It apparently didn’t hurt anyone that much since the team was still successful so it’s not like the boss giving the big promotion to the cleaning lady they were boffing. It’s just ridiculous to me that something like this would be at all scandalous. BUT ITZ TEH LESTHBIANS! So? People need to get over that crap too. I mean hell, people joke about female athletes being lesbians all the time, and they’re SURPRISED that sometimes the stereotype proves correct? It’s in the past, it didn’t hurt anyone, it was perfectly consensual between two persons of legal age, let it go.

Chuckles: I kind of agree with Paulie. This was an ex-player that she had the relationship with and it obviously didn’t affect the team when that player was on board because as Spaulds said, they’ve been one of the best teams in the nation the past few years. Had it been a current player I could see how it could be seen as being a problem, but considering it was an ex-player, so what. The friend that turned her in kind of tripped my “WTF? Unit.” This “friend” was an ex-player, so I’m guessing she was on the team when the relationship started and she may have felt that relationship took some of her playing time and may have planted a seed that grew until now. I don’t know why she would have came out with it now, but this is all just a conspiracy theory I’m cooking up. Who knows, maybe it was even her that the relationship was with.

3.) NHL Cheap Shots: Cam Janssen/Chris Simon

Chuckles: Neither of these plays have any place in the game. Janssen’s hit was blatantly late and he went in high. Intent to injure? Maybe. But he knew what he was doing and knew that it wasn’t legal. Chris Simon’s play is just utterly disturbing. Holoweg drove him into the board and it was kinda from behind, and it bordered on boarding. If I was an Isles fan I would have been upset that it wasn’t called, but for him to get up and swing his stick like a baseball bat right at Holoweg’s face is completely unacceptable and he got off light being suspended for only 25 games. It’s been said other places, but 2 inches either way and we’re looking at a possible fatality. 2 inches down and its right in the larynx, two inches up and its right on the nose. The games are getting more intense as we wind down to the playoffs which lead to more hits and dirtier play, but these two actions were deplorable (ooo…big word).

Spaulding: This shit was just ridiculous. I am one who is all for any kind of nonsensical violence and hard hitting, but this was crossing the line. As Chuckles said, a little higher and Holoweg could have been laying on the ice…dead. Sure intensity can go up as the playoffs get closer, but that’s in every sport. You don’t need to kill or maim your opponents to get an advantage. Its blatant battery and they aren’t even trying to be secretive about it. Here you’re in front of thousands of people, on camera in front of millions more, and surrounded by security and people with sticks and blades on their feet…are you that frickin stupid? I honestly wish Simon’s suspension would last well into next season, if not at least half of it.

Paulie: I’ve often joked about having a coach send in the last guy on the roster to just wallop the hell out of the opponent’s star player and put him out of the game. But c’mon guys. I was joking. This kind of stuff along with the stunt Bertuzzi pulled a couple seasons back may be part of the reason hockey isn’t catching on as much as Bettman would like. These are the things that make the mainstream news. Non-fans see this and relate it to the current crop of NHL’ers and view them as thugs and figure if they want to watch that they can watch boxing on ESPN or an NBA game. Though it’s not like tempers flaring to this point is anything new in hockey. There have been multi-game suspensions for taking things too far throughout the history of the league. But rarely to the point of having intent to injure. And since the missed season, hockey is under the microscope to see how well they recover and if they can regain the status they once had. But the more incidents like this happen, the more people will stop seeing the images of Gretsky, Messier, Howe, and Lemieux and start relating hockey player to thuggish ruffian.

4.) The “Boo” Ban

Paulie: Hoo boy, this genius idea. We’ve discussed this a lot in the forums. To sum up, I think it’s a pretty stupid idea. So, you ban booing at games. What’s next? The other team’s feelings are hurt that the home team is getting all the cheers so the make a rule that says you either have to cheer just as hard for both teams or not cheer at all? Most places, I’m sure, already have rules in place for particularly abusive people in the stands. They cross the line, they get to leave. But you deal with that on a case by case basis. You don’t tell everyone as they enter the gym, “Remember your manners, don’t do anything to hurt a player, ref, or coaches feelings. They’re people too, ya know.” Fan interaction is part of the games. It’s part of the fun of it. It’s what really makes for home court/field advantage. Our buddy, Trigs, who couldn’t be here this week posted some stats of how many high school and college players actually end up playing in the NBA, which is the point that he believes booing should be accepted. But, ya know, even high school guys know the drill. Even the 12th man on the end of the bench. And you can’t tell me that if that guy wasn’t sitting on the end of the bench, and he was sitting up in the bleachers that he wouldn’t be getting just as much into the boo birds as anyone else. Now, I’ll admit, some people take it too far. They let the adrenaline rush of being at the game take them too far. As I said before, those people should be dealt with on a case by case basis. But please, people, for the love of FSM, keep the jeers at high school level or above. Nothing pisses me off more than to be at a pee wee league game and see some parent or sometimes even the coach (HI COACH LAX!) getting so worked up over things. The children don’t need that. They’re still developing, not only physically, but mentally as well. At that age, it could really mess them up. By the time they’re playing varsity high school ball though? They know if they’re good enough. Their egos are set. They know their skills. They should also be able to block it out. Like every coach I’ve ever had has told me. Cheers. Boos. They don’t matter. You shouldn’t be listening to them anyway.

Chuckles: BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Nuff said. Booing is a tradition in sports. There’s no reason to stop it. It’s been said in the forums, but people need to toughen up and take some criticism. If you play sports at any level above pee-wee/little league, you should know that going into another team’s gym, or field and the home fans are going to boo you. When I was in high school we used booing as a motivating factor, like “hey, they’re gonna boo us, let’s give them something to boo us for, and go out there and kick their asses.” What’s wrong with that? If the refs can’t take, then that’s a true horror and you need to find better refs. If refs blow a call you have to let them know it. That’s what being a fan is about. Peoples feeling on the subject are just to damn sensitive on the matter. Booing is part of the reason the NCAA is trying to ban Indian related Mascots/Nicknames because apparently idiots think if you boo a school that has a Native American related nickname, you’re booing that Native American tribe. Not even kidding. That’s the reason the University of North Dakota is on the list. People at opposing stadiums would say something like “Sioux Suck” meaning the team, but idiots think they mean the tribe apparently.

BOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Spaulding: Seriously just how much does this whole idea piss me off! When I was in high school, I got kicked out of the basketball gym on numerous occasions for being overly excessive in the cheering department. So I left and re-entered the gym incognito…as the mascot. Ok, as Paulie said earlier, we have been discussing this in depth in the forums for a bit so I’m going to summarize my thoughts.

I get so into sports at times, especially Saints and LSU football, that if they lose…I’m not talking to anyone until the next day…if not longer. But I’m not planning on kicking anyone’s ass even if I do hit the sofa or wall or whatever. Take any form of booing/heckling and eliminate it from the grade and middle school sports. There’s no need for it there. In high school and college sports, go ahead and boo if you want, but leave the heckling and taunting at home. But I mean…if some coach wants to take his team to the eye of the tiger in LSU’s Tiger Stadium and have them jump up and down…then they deserve whatever they have coming to them. There’s a little more leeway as the kids get older, but still try and be respectful. As for the pros…everything is fair game as long as you don’t get personal. There’s no need for that shit, but it’s all in fun to get riled up and fight (verbally) with opposing fans and players.

Here’s where I think this will get out of hand. If this ban passes, then shortly after there are going to be those parents who have their kids in sports and their kid happens to play for a shitty team that never wins. The parent is going to come right out and say, “I don’t think it’s appropriate that the parents and fans of the other team are cheering while these kids sit over here dejected and upset. They shouldn’t celebrate when their team won since this team didn’t win anything and they know the cheers aren’t for them.” It’s at this point I would walk right up to that parent and say, “Ma’am (or Sir)…stop making your child a pussy!”

If this keeps up…before long we aren’t even going to be allowed into arenas and stadiums anymore, and all sports viewing will have to be done at home on the TV. Stupid asses.

5.) Kobe’s Foul Trouble

Spaulding: As if I needed more of a reason to hate this schmuck. The hits on Ginobli and Jarik were just so completely obvious that it wasn’t even funny. Who the hell swings their arms out like that after releasing a shot? Sure everyone has their own style, but he nailed them both square in the nose like he was aiming for it. Phil Jackson said he was going to watch tapes and put together at least one hundred instances where Kobe has thrown his arms back like that after a shot.

Save your time Phil. He was trying to slap them in the face and he got busted on it. Frustration surely sets in when you’re as good as you think you are Kobe and you still can barely keep your team about .500 huh? Kobe now has a flagrant 1 foul to his season as the league went back and assessed an elbow he threw at Philly’s Kyle Korver. Take your frustrations and anger out by screaming at your own team and getting their asses on the ball to win games. Stop taking out the talent on others hoping to get an advantage ya moron.

Paulie: Hmmm, can’t say I’ve heard much on this front as I’ve stopped following the NBA a lot. I’m sure if you put any player under the microscope you can find numerous instances of dirty play. But Kobe’s got to realize that him being who he is, he’s ALWAYS going to be under the microscope and take great care not to do anything stupid. If he’s stupid enough to hide his dirtiness better, then he deserves whatever the league gives him. Or, maybe Phil’s right. Maybe Kobe HAS always had the funky arm swing motion after his shots. And maybe his opponents have finally found ways to exploit it…by putting someone in the path of those flailing arms. Either way, Kobe needs to stop being stupid.

Chuckles: The Ginobli and Jarik instances we’re definitely fouls and intentional. The Korver one I’m not as sure about. Kobe was coming off a pick and was using his arm to help turn off the pick and caught Korver in the face. Was it a foul? Yes. Was it flagrant? I don’t think so. But he’s building a ‘Sheed-esque reputation for dirty fouls and for the rest of the year he’s going to be looked at closer. Anything close is going to be called. He’s done a terrific job repairing his image after the Colorado incident and this is hopefully just a hiccup from him.

We right well talked your damn heads off this week didn’t we? You know the weird part is that it was actually rather difficult coming up with five decent enough topics to discuss as you can tell by us talking about Kobe Bryant of all people. But it seems we felt strongly enough about the topics because this is quite possibly one of the longest PTP’s ever.

So with that I bid you a fond farewell until next week and you know how to reach us, so drop us a line by e-mail or go here in the forums. Or if you have something to say about the boo birds, head over to that link in Paulie’s comments above and see what some others have had to say.

And I am dead serious…I will pay $10,000 to anyone who can put an end to Mardi Gras.

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