Yep, after months and months of watching College Basketball and one of the most exciting tournaments in history(Question:Shouldn’t College Basketball and fans embrace the one and done culture? If it produces a first weekend like this with Daytons wild opening weekend win and Mercer’s monumental upset, and toss in OT after OT and a string of close games, which I believe is directly linked with the lack of college basketball players longevity, then why would we not want players to just continue to pass through the revolving door. Its a gamblers nightmare, but a fan’s best friend. I am starting to warm up to it) and months and months of torturous and infuriating WWE storytelling, we have finally hit THE WEEKEND.
All the answers to our many burning question will be delivered concretely and I am hoping a let down won’t be as tremendous and so woefully miscalculated as the How I Met Your Mother Finale. We are Americans and we want resolution whether good or bad and not some type of toe the line, try to make everyone feel good, too smart for their own good finish.
We know that March Madness will give us that(If the refs just let the kids play), but the same can’t be said of the WWE, which has stepped into a possibly awesome and historic moment on accident. Very reminiscent of George Costanza’s brilliant scheme to have Jerry complete the Roommate Switch, only the switch does not occur and a menage a trois is accepted by the women, to which Jerry declines, and causes George to sum up the whole situation as, “Finding Plutonium by accident.” WWE, through various storytelling mistakes and blatant good luck, has discovered its Plutonium by accident. And we will tackle that plutonium rich accident coming up.
First, the Madness comes to an end.
I am a huge fan of and believer in the past being relevant in predicting sporting events. Unfortunately, the Universe does not believe that too. Which is why I have a terrible gambling record and an even worst bracket. But will I let that deter me from continuing this pattern? No. It is a DNA thing. An illness. It truly is Madness, but I like to compare the past and the present.
So, with that said, we shall bypass the semi’s and I will just pose the question- Is The 4th time a Charm for Kentucky?
Yep, it will be an all SEC final on Monday night as both Florida and Kentucky survive their dates against UConn and Wisconsin, respectively, on Saturday night and set up a flashback of sorts was two SEC foes, the only two SEC teams to make it into the tourney legitimately(Tennessee had to play a play in game just to make the tourney). What are the odds of two teams from the same conference meeting in the Finals Nate Silver? Riddle me that, buddy?
So how did I come to this conclusion? Thanks for asking. Lat saturday I watched the latest 30 for 30 creation: Requiem for the Big East. Excellent documentary and very sad how such a tremendous league could unravel and be consumed by the machine that it started in dealing with television revenue. I know there is no use crying over spilled milk, but it is a shame that the best basketball conference ever was so easily dismantled because Presidents wanted to line their pockets with football money. Sometimes tradition should trump money, and it does, when that tradition keeps money going to certain people and other people are exposed and manipulated for their talents. Its called college football. Big round of applause to the kids of Northwestern. Unionize the hell out of the NCAA, fellas.
So back to the rails we were on before, the big coming out party for the Big East was when they crashed the Final Four in 1985 and had three teams representing the conference in 1985(Georgetown, St. Johns, and Villanova). Georgetown led by Patrick Ewing and St. Johns headed by Chris Mullin, were expected to be there, but a catch fire, gritty, gutty team from Philadelphia, coming in as an 8th seed was not expected to be there.
Well, Georgetown dispatched of St. Johns and Villanova took down Memphis St, which led to a the Championship matchup of inter-conference rivals Georgetown and Villanova. Georgetwon was the undisputed #1 and Villanova was suppose to be the road kill on Georgetown’s path to the championship. But in the immortal words of Denny Green, “You wanna crown therir ass, you crown them. They were who we thought they were!!!” I am pretty sure Rollie Massimino said the same thing to his boys before they took the floor for the game.
The big misconception people had was that they did not know how well Villanova had played Georgetown that season. This was an era, The Golden Era, when college kids stayed four years and because familiarity breeds contempt, these two teams knew and did not like one another. That year in two games against Georgetown, Villanova lost by a combined 9 points in the two league matchups. With that said, it should have been viewed as a game that would be a slobberknocker of sorts, but because Villanov was flying off the radar and Patrick Ewing and Georgetown were such a known commodity, the writing was already spray painted on the wall.
And then the unthinkable happened. Villanova had the game of its life and Georgetown could not muster the same competitive spirit as its opponent. Game over.
That was nearly 30 years ago.
Fast forward 3 years and you have Danny Manning and the Miracles taking on the monsters of their conference in Oklahoma, a team that beat them the previous two times in league play by 8 points in each contest. But much like Villanova, Kansas was familiar with their in conference rivals and all it took was just confidence and the familiarity of having played this juggernaut twice during the season. No reason to be scared or nervous on the biggest stage when the familiarity of it all cushioned the nerves. It was just another regular season battle and Kansas was able to continue their roll to a title.
And since that time no two teams from the same league have played for the National Title.
Until Monday Night when the young Kentucky Wildcats take on the giants of their conference in the Florida Gators; a Florida team that has beaten Kentucky 3 times this season, but with each game the young kids from Kentucky have grown and grown and grown, taking down the murder’s row of the Midwest Region when everyone had left them for road kill. Now they are on a roll, playing the best basketball of their season and doing it in dramatic and thrilling fashion—by closing out close games. The mark of a team that “Gets It”.
And when the lights shine brightly on Monday and the Wildcats look across the floor and see a familiar foe, the lights will dim just a bit and that been here, done that feeling comes across they will settle in to playing a game they have been playing so well over the past month, all due to a springboard losing effort to Florida in the SEC Championship game. A game that showed them they belong.
And on Monday night they will hoist the trophy to show they truly belong.
Suggestion Box Time:
Does March Madness want to change their name to March Momentum Killer?
Can we somehow get the NCAA tournament to just go a week straight? Yes, it is only three days between Sunday and Thursday, but I feel the momentum of teams gets lost. I would like to see the magic continue. Classes? Aren’t these kids going pro? Don’t they have tutors? Isn’t this a business? Classes? They don’t need no stinking classes.
I just wish they could bypass the lag time and just continue the thrilling ride for a one week roller coaster ride of survival. And it truly would be a game of survival. Maybe a day off in between, but keep the ride going.
Also, can we cut down the TV timeouts to three 6 minute segments, instead of the under four TV timeouts currently being held. Yes, I know it is all about TV commercial revenue, but the flow of the game is so quick that basically the game is broken up into 4 mini quarters for a game. As a fan and as a player, I am sure it is tough to get into a rhythm playing that way. I know it helps in keeping games close as it cuts the kneecaps of momentum, but I want to see teams get a little more action and the best part is they get a two minute warning, a way to incorporate football into the game, a ploy that will help with the football craze of America. Just let the kids play.
The Sow of the Immortals is here and it is time for the WWE to fulfill 8 months of waiting for their fans and let Daniel Bryan become victorious at Wrestlemania. The Yes Movement wins out, the fans blow the Superdome’s roof off yelling it, and the months of waiting and hoping end on Sunday night at the Show of Shows.
How did we get to this point?
Do we really want to re-hash 8 months of waiting? I certainly don’t.
I will summarize it in one event. Watching The Elimination Chamber, I knew it was coming, I didn’t want to believe it, I hoped it wouldn’t be true, but when Kane came out I knew that Daniel Bryan would not be winning…again. As I watched in disappointment my wife looks at me and she says, “You look so sad.” I was sad.
As I have written before, Daniel Bryan is all of us. He is a modern day Rocky. He is the average looking guy who is doing great things. If he ran for Governor of California today I am sure he would win(We did elect Arnold) because we believe in him. He has everyone believing. And that right there is probably the greatest feeling an entertainer can give the masses—Belief that our dreams are possible.
Now I applaud the WWE for stringing this story line out, even if they had it wrong a few short months ago, divine intervention, like what saved Jules and Vincent in Pulp Fiction, has saved the WWE. Months of nearly killing the Daniel Bryan momentum, story, and everything associated with him, finally, karmically, has turned in his favor. Whether is has happened entirely organically or by the aforementioned divine intervention is now irrelevant. It is here and the WWE has discovered plutonium on accident. It is now time to use that plutonium for greatness.
Daniel Bryan now must turn up the heat on himself and opponents. He must be thrown into the fire of heavy hitters. How the WWE has misfired on Brock Lesnar being a formidable opponent to the Undertaker, the WWE must make every ‘Big” challenger that to Bryan. He must have a seesaw battle in which he doesn’t look weak, but he sure as hell can be beaten. Every angle has to toe that line of Bryan’s ability to take down the larger foe, but also that unnerving feeling that WWE does not want him as champ and thus will hand him to the wolves.
I though the better story line for Bryan was to give him the strap at Summer Slam and then have him wade through the “Giants” of WWE before Triple H brings back his handpicked henchman, Batista, to take down Bryan at Wrestlemania to no avail. All of this leads to SummerSlam when Triple H reluctantly asks Bray Wyatt, who by that time will be a huge superstar, to take down the hero, Daniel Bryan.
But the past is the past and all we have is this Sunday and the excitement and the anticipation of two matches on the cards where virtually anything can happen. And I mean anything. Vince McMahon can interject himself. CM Punk could interject himself. Hulk Hogan could interject himself. I mean the possibilities are so enormous that I try to deflate them quickly, thus not be disappointed when they do not happen.
The key is that since WWE has put all of its eggs into two matches and one title, they need to make those matches pay off in a huge, huge way. The biggest of ways is to get Daniel Bryan the belt and keep it on him. No swerve. No messy story telling. No hemming or hawing. It is time to pay off on 8 months of viewers hopes being dashed. It has been a great, great ride; a really smart move on WWE’s part to play a dangerous game with the fans on how they have dismissed the fans grumblings and pissed them off to no end, all so they could get the internet going, the water cooler buzzing, and have fans hate watch their product.
But it is time to give the fans what they want.
It is time for Daniel Bryan to be champion.