Nobody Cares Who You Picked in Your Bracket

Nobody Cares Who You Picked in Your Bracket


My March Madness, originally uploaded by showstoppa

March Madness is one of the most exciting, joyous times of the year for young men.  I've done it in Vegas, I've done it at the Metrodome watching live games, I've done it at the Boathouse in Malvern, I've done it in the library in high school with Mrs. Driscoll yelling at us for using the copy machine to duplicate our brackets, I've even done it in a conference room at my first job out of college with my manager having two of us put the games on our laptops so we could watch two different games at once.  It's March and it rocks.

UPDATE: From my mother, "You also did it on the couch when you came home from 'Nursery School.'  Honest to God, you used to watch the games when you were about 5."  That has to make me some sort of authority.

You know what I can't stand about March?  The "experts."  Mostly the guys who think they know everything.  Take the guy from Two For The Money, Brandon Lang.  He's a regular on WIP's morning show to talk picks.  I don't have a problem with that part at all.  Yesterday morning, he's on and he says he HAS THE FINAL FOUR NAILED.  God sent him the final four in a slab of rock and he's some sort of prophet.  Whatever.  Georgetown.  Texas Tech... yada yada.  Whatever, dude.  You pick sports games.  You get some right and you get some wrong.

Then last night I'm driving in the car and I had WPEN on after hours so they go into whatever National FOX has on, I think it was JT the Brick.  This guy makes me want to trade my sports fandom in for a subscription to the ballet or something.  Jesus.  This guy announces every single one of his picks like he's predicting George Mason to make it to the final four.  "LADIES AND GENTLEMAN, YOU HEARD IT HERE, I HAVE THE BALLS TO PICK KANSAS OVER UCLA!"  I swear he said that exact sentence.

These guys are all blowhard, and I concede that is part of their job as a radio personality, but I can't stand it when it comes to picking the tournament.  One out of every thirty of them will pick some crazy upsets and crown themselves sports geniuses.  You'll never hear the end of it.  In 2027, Brandon Lang will tell you how he picked 13 of the sweet 16 teams right in two consecutive years not ending in an even or prime number.  Whatever.  The thing is, if they get every game wrong they just make it into a joke about how stupid they are.  What's that fat guys name on 950?

So.. I love March Madness and I don't really care who you picked -- unless you're Sid from banking, who do you like?  I like hearing who normal people picked and why. 

I don't care who wins unless it's my team and B.C. would have to find some slippers; I want to see crazy games and sick performances.  I want to see the Penn Quakers shock the world.  I want to see Kevin Durant carry the Longhorns on his back to enter the realm of mythical NCAA legend. 

March Madness, baby.  I like Oregon and UCLA.  How bout them balls!

Report: Nerlens Noel upset with Sixers' situation at center

Report: Nerlens Noel upset with Sixers' situation at center

After being in the middle of trade rumors over the last few months, Nerlens Noel appears to frustrated with his situation with the Sixers, according to the Inquirer's Keith Pompey.

The Sixers have three starting-caliber centers — Noel, Jahlil Okafor and Joel Embiid, who's now healthy — heading into this season.

"I think it's just silly," Noel told Pompey. "With the departure of [former general manager and president] Sam Hinkie, I would have figured that management would be able to set something done this summer.

"Don't get me wrong. We all get along great on the court and off the court. But at the end of the day, it's like having three starting quarterbacks. It doesn't make any sense.

"And it's just not going to work to anybody's advantage having that on the same team. That's how I'm looking at it. I'm not opposed to anything, but things need to be situated."

The Sixers flirted with having two big men on the court at the same time last season, with Noel and Okafor but with no real success. 

He has a point, and the team knows it.

During the summer, reports swirled saying the Sixers were looking to trade either Noel or Okafor for backcourt help.

Noel, who's in the final year of his rookie contract, doesn't appear to believe the current situation will work.

"I think something needs to happen," he said.

Darren Sproles 'amazing' 73-yard TD set tone for fun 2nd half vs. Steelers

Darren Sproles 'amazing' 73-yard TD set tone for fun 2nd half vs. Steelers

When Darren Sproles caught the nifty touch pass from Carson Wentz around midfield, there was little doubt about what would happen next.

"Touchdown," running back Kenjon Barner said after the Eagles' stunning 34-3 shellacking of the Steelers (see Instant Replay)
 
Really? With that many yards to go?

"Touchdown," he said. "As soon as he caught the ball. There was nobody there. That guy in the open field — you're not going to bring him down by yourself. With that much space — touchdown."

Barner wasn't the only one.

"Man, it's Sproles! Did you think he was going to get tackled?" receiver Nelson Agholor said incredulously. 

Uhh …

"Man, listen, it's Darren Sproles, and if you second-guessed him, then I don't know what you're thinking," he said. "I'm surprised if he gets tackled."

So is center Jason Kelce. 

"I was actually celebrating before he scored the touchdown, because I watched the whole thing unfold," Kelce said. "It was just a great play. [Wentz] scrambles out and then has the common sense to when the defender comes to him to dump it over top to Sproles, and that dude, once he gets the ball in space, it's incredibly special."

It sure was. 

First, Wentz stepped away from charging defensive end Stephon Tuitt, who had gotten away from Allen Barbre. 

“I came out and saw Sproles and he just turned up the field,” Wentz said. “Anytime that you can put it in [his hands], something special can happen on any play, and he did the rest of it.” 

Wentz did a little more than that (see story). After escaping the sack, he rushed to his right and made a right turn. Then he parallelled the line of scrimmage, drawing linebacker Ryan Shazier toward him — and allowing Sproles to get wide open.

Whoops.

"I thought he crossed the line of scrimmage, so I ran up," Shazier said. "It was my fault."

Sproles caught the pass, snaked his way the remaining 50 yards, spinning Steelers rookie safety Sean Davis around a couple times and watching rookie corner Artie Burns flail at him helplessly right before crossing the goal line.

"When they do that, it kind of gets everyone off their job when he extends the play like that," Davis said. "Me being a deep player, I just tried to buy us some time once I saw that we got broken down and let the defense rally up, and it's just a good play [by] him."

An amazing play. It was a 73-yard touchdown on the fourth play of the third quarter, a 3rd-and-8, and put the Eagles up 20-3 (see 10 observations). It was the second-longest catch of Sproles' career and longest since 2009 while with the Chargers (an 81-yarder vs. Baltimore). It was easily the longest TD of Wentz’s career and a main reason he was able to become only the second rookie in team history to reach 300 passing yards in a game (Nick Foles is the other).

“It was so much fun,” offensive coordinator Frank Reich said. “Those are the kinds of plays you can’t design. It’s players making plays. … Sproles did his thing and wiggled down there, and it was fun to watch.”

That’s what Agholor should have done. Just watch.

"I was trying to chase him down and almost pulled my hamstring," Agholor said. 

"You see those moves he put on them? Pffft. And DGB (Dorial Green-Beckham) ran downfield — that downfield block. Think about that. We were having a lot of fun tonight man, and I'm very happy about that."

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