My bracket's been busted... my life is in shambles... and so I sit, forlorn by my keyboard... with lunatic-like rambles. In other words, my latest Broo View.
Before I go any further, if this is really a peek into the future of how the NCAA Tournament will play out from this day forth, I don't know what part of the country would be more delirious -- Lexington or Victory Parkway in Cincinnati.
Now then, reality calls...
If this NCAA Tournament teaches us nothing, it teaches us this: the best teams in the country don't win the national title. More often than not, at this time of the year, the teams that are playing their best basketball of the season usually get to advance.
Villanova, in my mind, was the best team this season. But the Wildcats' season ended in the round of 32. In my mind, Duke, Louisville and SMU were all better teams than the teams they lost to.
But South Carolina, Michigan and Southern Cal all are (or in the case of Southern Cal, were) playing better basketball at the most important time of the year. In a sense, that's the beauty of the NCAA Tournament.
The downside is, you pay an inordinate price for not playing your best. Matchups are so important. Teams like Xavier, who feature quick players and great ball movement, can give an athletic team like Florida State the worst night of its season.
Usually, as you get deeper into the tournament, the upsets dry up. I'm not so sure that happens this year.
Kansas appears to be the top dog. Wisconsin can grind teams down. And West Virginia has an offense operating at such a high level, it plays right into what the Mountaineers like to do defensively.
I'm not looking for any big upsets the remainder of this tournament. But anyone who tells you they know exactly how it's all going to play out, is lying to you.
And I would never do that. I'm on local television. I could never do that...
Hadn't heard this one yet about the Xavier Musketeers. But whatever floats your boat...
The Bengals continue to try to rebound from a horrid start to NFL free agency. They officially announced the signing of linebacker Kevin Minter this week. This is Rey Maualuga's replacement. Is it an upgrade? Considering Maualuga came off the field on most series after the second down, yes. Is it a move that will make the Bengals better on defense? In theory, yes.
But they still need another edge rusher. Maybe they get that in the upcoming draft. And they still need to address the weak position of cornerback. The Bengals had to overpay to keep Dre Kirkpatrick. They still don't know what they have in William Jackson III and if Darqueze Dennard can stay healthy for this entire season, that would be a first.
And then there's that thing about the offensive line...
I think Fox Sports One's Colin Cowherd had a good read on this. He says teams started resting players AFTER the NBA scored its new TV deal with ESPN and Turner Sports.
His contention, and I think It's spot on, is that the NBA has so few big-market marquee teams, that it's serving up the Cavs, Warriors, Thunder and Celtics on a consistent basis for their national broadcasts. So a short supply of good teams and prime exposure on Saturdays and Sundays is fueling the problem.
Kerr thinks shortening the season is an option. But there are financial considerations. Who's willing to take a pay cut because they have to play fewer games?
Cowherd thinks if NBA teams want to rest players, they should do so on Tuesday and Thursday nights, not Saturday and Sunday.
NBA television ratings, by the way, are tanking...
I don't think this season will be the disaster of 2016. They're not contending. Don't even use that word around the Cincinnati Reds until 2019.
And sure, Homer Bailey and Anthony Desclafani are starting this season like they did last season. That's not good. Got it.
But the bullpen will be better (it really couldn't be any worse. No Jumbo Diaz = instant improvement). Jose Peraza, Zach Cozart and Jesse Winker are all hitting well this spring. Joey Votto is not, but he will.
I'll make my 2017 predictions next week, but I could see a 75-win season. Better than 2016? A little bit. 2019...
Critics hated the show. NBC-TV scored big with it almost 40 years ago.
Can't let the day pass without mentioning the passing of the great Chuck Berry, who checked out this past weekend at the age of 90. He was the starting point for rock and roll. And this is how it all started:
Sixty years ago this spring, Chuck Berry traveled to Chicago looking for a big record deal. He paid 50 cents to see Muddy Waters in concert and got the nerve up to ask Waters for an introduction to Chess Records owner, Leonard Chess.
After much consideration and after hearing Berry play, Waters made the introduction. Berry played this adaptation of a country song "Ida Red". It became a big hit and ushered in rock and roll to American culture. Johnnie Johnson is on piano. He was an early collaborator with Berry. Willie Dixon, the Chess Records house bass guitarist is playing on this song. And, of course, Chuck on lead guitar, playing a basic 12-bars blues.
Back in the day, to get a record hot, you sometimes had to pay off a DJ to get air play on his radio station. You can't do that anymore; federal laws have outlawed it. But back then, DJ's like Allen Freed were given things to play a record, like, in this case, a songwriting credit. Freed got that from Chess for giving this song constant airplay on his popular New York City radio show. Freed didn't write anything, but got royalty payments for his cooperation. It worked. The song peaked at number five, back in 1955