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Sunday, March 12, 2006 

March Madness!

I think Andy Williams got it wrong when he penned the lyrics to "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year." He should have written about the NCAA Men's Basketball Tourney. It is truly a magical time where lots of teams, players, coaches, colleges, and fans find out if they have been "nice" enough to play on college basketball's biggest stage -- the Big Dance. From the NCAA Selection Show today until they play "One Shining Moment" I am hooked to the television screen. My name is D.R. and I'm a College Basketballaholic. But thankfully I am not alone. There are many of you out there that share my affliction and, if you are, here's some info for you.
  1. If you want to fill out a bracket and see how you are doing against other fellow Christian Basketballoholics, then you can go to Tim Ellsworth's site and join his ESPN Tournament Challenge group. Or you can just click here. You have to register for an account on ESPN.com, but it is well worth it, just for the fantasy sports games.
  2. A great new feature this year is CBS Sportsline.com's live streaming video of the games you can't get in your area. If you register on their On Demand site soon, you could get a VIP pass, which limits the waiting period to get into their virtual arena. I don't know about you, but for me the most frustrating thing about CBS's coverage of the NCAA Tourney is that you can only watch one game at a time. Now, you can watch at least two.

So, let the Madness begin. Oh, and one last thing:

GO TIGERS GO!

Tigers?

Please...

D.R. You've let that # 1 seed go to your head. Let's hope they don't have to play UAB again.

Actually, I hope they do. That means both teams made it to the final game. Woohoo!

opps, tva

DR, you dont know anything about sports. Youre out of your element. Barry Bonds is immensely better than Hank Aaron in every aspect of the game. The only thing Aaron had was longevity and consistency. Bonds in his prime (and I mean pre-steroids) was a three time MVP. He was also one of the greatest combinations of speed and power, oh, and let's not forget his defensive prowess, that ever played the game. Aaron was like an Eddie Murray that played for a really long time. Bonds is more like a Willie Mays (pre steroids, mind you). Keep your media formed opinions to yourself and off of Hammer's blog, wouldya?

Curt,
You are definitely a better poet than I am, but I disagree with your assessment of Bonds. I don't think he would have the longevity without steroids. And while he might have been better than Aaron at some point in his career, he still cheated the system and produced numbers fueled by his artificial substances, which Aaron never took (and probably hadn't even considered back then -- heck, they didn't even have basic suppliments like creatine). So, in the end I disagree with you. And while my opinions are formed by various sources, I definitely don't form my views from strickly media sources. Any cursory look at my blog rejects that notion.

But thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. Please feel free to come back, though it is rare that I ever post on sports. I ususually go to other blogs to comment on that (so I likely won't be back at Hammer's unless he has some more insightful things to say than what he did). Again thanks for visiting. I enjoyed your poems (especially the one about your wife).

all you need to know is that texas is going to win it all.

again.

has an NCAA school ever won the football, men's basketball, and baseball championships in the same year? gosh, texas has it all right now.

(not like my poor auburn tigers.)

TX was given a 7-1 shot at it by some guy over at ESPN.com. The same guy gave Oral Roberts University a 1sextillion-1 shot. So I would say it's not impossible for TX given the odds. And I am not sure about the B-ball and F-ball championships in one year (though I suspect it has never happened). And I have no clue what it would mean to have the Baseball championship as well. They would definitely go down in history.

Still I'm rootin' for my Memphis Tigers.

Dear DR,


I'm sorry I came on so strong, but I was faced w/ a mountain of Bonds criticism, something that I dont take well- and I guess I singled you out. I apologize for my harsh wording. BUT- I think youve got Barry Bonds wrong, my friend.

Forget what I said about Hank Aaron. I respect his accompishments and his integrity. I also think that longevity and consistency are truly two of the most important differences between a great athlete and a Hall of Famer.

I will however say this much about the subject of Barry Bonds: If he juiced, so did pretty much everybody. And if everybody juiced then they should just throw out all the records pre drug testing, right? WRONG!

But, since steroids were not illegal but a question of ethics instead, it makes the fact that Bonds is under such heavy scrutiny totally and utterly dispicable. In theory, Babe Ruth cold have been waddling his big beer belly down to BALCO since there were no tests and it was w/in the rules.

Now, do I enjoy the fact that my hero used chemicals to enhance his performance? Absolutely not. BUT, I do enjoy the reason why he used them: He wanted to be the best.

I'm sorry, but when a sure fire hall of famer is willing to risk his health and reputation to put on a better show and make more people love him, I admire his heart.

Maybe he would have just retired years ago w/ his god-given muscles if the media had not made it so that he possessed everything a great ballplayer possesses save the love from the fans. After all, the media is our only connection to these guys. If Barry blows off an interview like he always has(growing up rich and spoiled tends to do that to people) then what do we get? A slighted reporter who couldnt make his own high school team now has ammo to tear down a great.

It's been happening for way too long and as easy as it is to paint him as the villain due to his 'I dont care what you think attitude' it still needs to stop.

Again, I apologize and I thank you for your compliments on my poem blog.

Sincerely,
Curt

Curt,
Don't feel like you owe me an apology. I feel like I am one of the few people who still thinks it's ok to be passionate about something and argue your point vigorously. I was just messing with you about the "insulting my sports knowledge thing." I do appreciate your willingness to see beyond the media bias and I agree that Bonds has never been given a fair shake by the media because of his reclusiveness. And I am sure that is why many are quick to pound on his with smiles on their faces as they do it.

Still, I don't think that excuses his activity (and I am not suggesting that you believe that to be the case -- as I know that is not true), and though I agree wholeheartedly that he and McGuire and Sosa saved baseball after that dreaded strike year and that their records, regardless of whether there was steroids or corked bats involved, should not be expunged, I also feel that they (meaning Bonds specifically and anyone else who has been named as possible users and abusers generally) should step down in the midst of this or at least submit to regular testing for banned substances until their careers are over, so that the numbers they put up from here on out will not need to be followed by a proverbial asterick.

My reaction to Hammer's blog was more because of the flippancy with which he dismissed Bonds' retrators, as if people shouldn't be disappointed or angered by the steroid use (which by the way IS illegal, though substances like Andro and others are not, unless he has a legitimate perscription for it for the uses the FDA approved it for, which would disqualify all Major Leaguers). And also with his insistance that Bonds' not give account in some way. Maybe Bonds shouldn't quit, but that doesn't mean he shouldn't own up to his mistakes and make some type of amends, which could come in the form of retirement, thus ending his possible run at any other records, namely Aaron's home run one. He still deserves the hall, as does Palmeiro and consideration is due to McGuire and Sosa, as well as countless others. But this does constitute a black eye on baseball and it is definitely not something we should celebrate, but rather that we should lament. Yes, we the fans have helped to push these men to do these sorts of things, but we didn't give them the injections, and we certainly did not force them to stick the needles in their arms and pop the pills in their mouths. Competition is fierce and everyone is looking for an edge, that is why we need to insure that the playing field remain fair and level by stopping this right now. And with that I think you would agree.

Again thanks for your honestly and passion and I hope the best for you and success with your blog. Feel free to come back and comment on any other post, but only if you do it passionately and with convicition. We need more of that around here.

SCOTT,

I was just talking about you with David Kizziah the last time we talked. I hope things are well with you man. Send me an email by clicking on the "Email Me" link at the bottom of the side bar and tell me how I can get in touch with you or leave another comment and put in your email address in the form (but not in the body of the email - you don't want all that trash email). I hope to get to talk to you soon. Come see us up here in Louisville.

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Paul was not interested merely in the ethical principles of religion or of ethics. On the contrary, he was interested in the redeeming work of Christ and its effect upon us. His primary interest was in Christian doctrine, and Christian doctrine not merely in its presuppositions but at its centre. -- J. Greshem Machen.

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