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!

Eagles claim DT Bruce Gaston off waivers

Eagles claim DT Bruce Gaston off waivers

The Eagles' roster now stands at the max of 75, as the team claimed defensive tackle Bruce Gaston off waivers on Tuesday from Chargers. 

The roster, which had to be cut to 75 by 4 p.m. on Tuesday, must be at 53 by 4 p.m. on Saturday.

Gaston has played for the Dolphins, Cardinals, Packers and Bears since entering the NFL in 2014. He's also spent time with the Patriots, Vikings and most recently the Chargers.

The 6-foot-2, 310-pounder had eight total tackles and a sack in seven games for the Bears last season, his last NFL game action.

Gaston, 24, played collegiately at Purdue.

The Eagles take on the Jets at Lincoln Financial Field on Thursday (7 p.m./NBC10) in their preseason finale before opening the regular season on Sept. 11 at home against the Browns.

Eagles head coach Doug Pederson talks protesting anthem, Myke Tavarres doesn't

Eagles head coach Doug Pederson talks protesting anthem, Myke Tavarres doesn't

A day after flip-flopping on whether or not he planned to stand or sit during the national anthem, Myke Tavarres had nothing to say about this complex issue.

Tavarres, a rookie undrafted linebacker with the Eagles, told ESPN on Monday he planned to emulate 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick and sit during the playing of the national anthem Thursday night prior to the Eagles’ preseason game against the Jets at the Linc.

Tavarres said he wanted to draw attention to racial inequality and social injustice with the demonstration.

"We’ve got an issue in this country in this day and age, and I feel like somebody needs to step up and we all need to step up,” Tavarres told ESPN.

But within a couple hours, Tavarres had changed his mind.

“Myke plans on standing for the national anthem,” his agent said in a statement. “Myke does not want to be a distraction to the Philadelphia Eagles organization. Myke's goal is and will always be to make the Eagles’ 53-man roster and help the team win a Super Bowl.”

Kaepernick, who four years ago led the 49ers to the Super Bowl, spoke for 18½ minutes about his decision to sit during the Star-Spangled Banner.

Tavarres said at his locker after practice Tuesday he had nothing more to say.

“I made a statement through my agent last night,” he said. “If you have any other questions, please talk to him.”

Head coach Doug Pederson said he did not talk individually to Tavarres, a fringe prospect who is unlikely to survive this weekend’s roster cuts.

But he did discuss the broader issue in a meeting with the full team and said he believes his players should stand during the anthem.

“Listen, I can appreciate everybody's opinions and I respect everybody's opinions,” Pederson said.

“But at the same time, I feel that [the national anthem] is important and it's obviously out of respect for the men and women of our country that sacrifice in order for us to coach and play this great game.

“So I get it. I understand it. But at the same time, I encourage everybody to stand.”

If not yet suspended, Lane Johnson would start at RT in opener

If not yet suspended, Lane Johnson would start at RT in opener

The Eagles are just 12 days away from the season opener against the Browns. 

And Lane Johnson still isn't suspended. 

The Eagles' starting right tackle is facing a 10-game PED suspension once the B sample returns and shows the same peptide from an amino acid that his A sample did. Johnson expects it to, but it hasn't happened yet. On Aug. 13, after news broke about the looming suspension, Johnson said he thought the results from the B sample would come back in two to three weeks, although there's no set timetable.  

... Nothing yet. 

So, at what point do the Eagles, who shifted the offensive line in anticipation of the suspension, have to plan for Johnson to be active for the opener? 

"[That’s] a great question, and this is something that we wrestle with every day," head coach Doug Pederson said Tuesday. "The conversations are such that we've got to have — especially offensively — just have a plan ready to go. 

"I'll tell you this: If he's ready to go, then he's our guy." 

Since news of the impending suspension broke, Johnson has been working with the second team at right tackle. To replace him, the Eagles moved Allen Barbre from left guard to right tackle and inserted rookie Isaac Seumalo at left guard. Seumalo stayed there until an injury forced Stefen Wisniewski into the lineup. 

If there's no suspension and Johnson is able to play in the opener, things would then shift back. Johnson would take his job at right tackle, and Barbre would go back to left guard, sending Seumalo and/or Wisniewski to the bench. 

"I think he had a tremendous camp and tremendous offseason at left guard, and you kind of put the pieces back in place," Pederson said of Barbre. "We've seen enough from the Isaacs and Wisniewskis, and Allen over there at right tackle that we know we've got the combination of guys — and ‘Big V’ (tackle Halapoulivaati Vaitai) got plenty of reps — to sustain this thing through the duration."

For now, though, the Eagles aren't treating Johnson like a starter. The veteran will be playing on Thursday in the preseason finale against the Jets. It might be his last game until Nov. 28 against the Packers. Or not. 

The waiting game continues.