Wow, there has certainly been a flurry of activity here at BSR!  With the O’s season almost upon us, we can start turning the over-optimism or defeatism into actual wins and losses.  However, there is a lot of other excitement going on in the sports world, starting with the thrilling conclusion of the NIT (kidding).  Nevertheless, we have a lot of idiotic decisions, meaningless games, and other random bits of sports to cover, so let’s line up for the kick…

If Dayton Wins the NIT and No One’s Around…

…does anyone care?  Dayton took the NIT with a 79-68 win over North Carolina, denying the Tar Heels any chance to salvage their season with a postseason championship.  But is it any bit of salvation to win this Tier 2 Tournament?  Winning the NIT basically means you are the 65th best team in the country, though I know others will take the autobids from mid-major conferences out of consideration and make it the 33rd or 34th best team.  Either way, it is not something to raise banners about in my mind.  If you put enough mediocre teams in a tournament one HAS to win at some point, but it doesn’t make that team any better than when it started the tournament.  Is it a good learning experience for a young team?  Absolutely.  Is it a stepping stone for a rebuilding program?  Certainly.  But the shear meaninglessness of the tournament is another piece of evidence that expanding the NCAA tournament to 96 teams would just add a heaping helping of mediocrity into the tournament.  If the NIT is a novelty act, then why wrap it up into the NCAA?

Shaun Rogers Makes the Cleveland Browns Proud

Shaun Rogers, one of the few quality defensive players on the Cleveland Browns, attempted to bring a loaded gun on a commercial flight on his carry-on.  Let me repeat that- his carry-on.  Was he anticipating a rough flight?  In the current security climate even bring an unloaded gun is a stupid idea that shows not only a sense of entitlement but a disconnect with what the rest of America is going through with security.  An act like that speaks to utter irresponsibility and a willingness to put everyone else on that plane at risk.  Regardless of any excuse or extenuating circumstances that Rogers tries to invent, the sheer negligence of the lives of everyone else, not to mention the ignorance of the most basic airport security laws deserves a suspension from the league.  The NFL cannot allow their players to put others lives at risk in such a sensitive area of security.  Perhaps in recognition of September 11th, Mr. Rogers can sit out that month of play.

A Couple of Random Musings on the Final Four

-Yes, I will count Butler as an underdog regardless of whether Vegas has them favored against Michigan State.  They have a 33 year old coach, play in a conference no one actually follows, and haven’t been this far in the tournament in the history of their program.  Against an established power like State, yea that counts.

-West Virginia vs. Duke… this is hard.  I can’t stand West Virginia, either the state or the institution (being a Michigan fan their inane whining and burning-in-effigy after Rich Rod left was spectacularly childish).  At the same time however, Duke is Duke.  Do I root for the ACC?  But… it’s Duke.  I will take an antacid and root for the Mountaineers, but it isn’t a particularly appealing game for a Maryland/Michigan fan.