Falcons Crowd Noise: It appears that the Atlanta Falcons will lose a draft pick for pumping crowd noise into their stadium in an effort to disrupt their opponents. The Falcons are 6 - 9 at home the last two seasons, the alleged time period of the infractions. It looks to me that not only has Atlanta been inept on the field, but whoever was in charge of the volume control might not be all that competent either. They're definitely not the person you want handling the remote control during a playoff watch party...just sayin'.
College Basketball Firings: Rick Barnes is out as the basketball coach at Texas. All he did in his 17 seasons was get to 16 NCAA tournaments and make the Longhorns, traditionally a football school, relevant in a conference long-dominated by Kansas. St. Johns decided to part ways with Steve Lavin, who brought that program back from the dead, guiding them to their first two NCAA appearances since 2002 and graduating players at a high rate. I can understand it when coaches don't win, but Barnes and Lavin both put up good numbers in a very competitive environment. Over 300 schools now participate in Division 1 basketball, making it increasingly difficult to consistently get to the NCAA tournament, considered the Holy Grail of the sport. For Barnes to have gotten there in all but one season is remarkable. There aren't many Duke's, Kentucky's, Kansas' and North Carolina's, and for Texas to think they can get there in basketball is a little unrealistic, no matter how much money they throw at it. Look at Virginia Tech, which hasn't even been competitive since parting ways with Seth Greenberg, who consistently had the Hokies in the top half of the ACC.
Final Four: Three number one seeds and a seriously under-seeded number seven comprise this year's Final Four. Oh, and there are Duke and Kentucky, with a combined 19 appearances since 1986. Some very good teams, including Virginia, Arizona and Villanova are on the outside looking in. Can Wisconsin defeat Kentucky in a rematch of last season's semifinal game? Absolutely, considering how close the Wildcats came to losing to Notre Dame, which made up for a lack of size with excellent outside shooting. Can Michigan State beat Duke, something that Spartan coach Tom Izzo has difficulty doing in the NCAA tournament? Maybe, especially when you look at the run they've made to get to the Final Four.
Tiger Woods Drops: Once dominant Tiger Woods has fallen out of top 100 in the World Golf Rankings. It's been since Tiger's first couple of weeks on tour in 1996 since the golfer has dropped to that low a level. In a lot of cases, it would just be his inactivity that would be responsible, but this time he might really not be among the game's best players. When he attempted to return from injury earlier this year, his game was really not sound, especially around the greens. Is it possible for him to recapture a bit of his prior magic? Maybe, but I believe we've seen the best of who I believe is the greatest golfer of all time. It's a shame, but not particularly surprising that his body has decided to break down. He's pushing forty and has been swinging ferociously at the golf ball for thirty-four of those years.
Don't forget to check out my new book, "Roughing the Passer - A PK
Frazier Novel" and my first, "Illegal Procedure - A PK Frazier Novel",
available in print and e-formats at Amazon.com, iBooks and Smashwords.