I’ll run down my March Madness picks real quick. No point in getting too involved as everyone else is doing the same thing and, frankly, I have no idea who’s going to win it all.
One thing I look for in a team is balance. Good perimeter game, good inside game, good defense. They don’t have to excel in all areas, but they should be good at all three aspects. Just look at Kansas and Memphis last year (both made the Finals).
Teams I Like
Teams I Don’t Like
Connecticut – Calhoun has some karmic retribution coming his way after being a complete dick to members of the media lately. Plus they lost at home to Georgetown and Pitt, so it’s tough seeing them going all the way.
Duke – Just like the last few years, they live and die by the three. They’ll die by it again. Love Gerald Henderson, though. He looks as though he could carry them to the Sweet 16 all by himself.
North Carolina – First, as anyone in Kansas can tell you, never trust Roy Williams when he’s got the most talented team in the country. Second, what’s the status of Lawson?
Michigan State – I’ve seen them three times this year and their offense alternates between ‘patient’ and ‘atrocious’.
Oklahoma – depth is a big concern. Either of the Griffin’s get in foul trouble for extended stretches they won’t be around long. Is Blake Griffin 100%?
Clemson – nice balance.
Siena – all 5 starters back from last year’s team.
USC – peaking at just the right time.
Ohio St – basically playing at home the first two rounds.
BYU – great passing team.
Things to Remember
- Every year one conference is ‘exposed’ as not being nearly as good as everyone thought. Could it be the Big East or the ACC? My money’s on the Big East.
- Every year one conference is ‘discovered’ as being better than people thought. Consider Big 10 teams.
- Don’t listen to Dick Vitale. He picks the wrong champ every year. This year he’s picking North Carolina because Tyler Hansbrough is his fuck buddy. Go back and look at Vitale’s picks the last 25 years. He’s picked either Duke or UNC every single time. (NOTE: no idea if this is true, but I’ll bet it’s close).
- I, on the other hand, have been in my office pool right up until the last game the last four years; winning it outright once. Who you going to trust? Me or Dick Suck Vitale?
Onto something else.
Yesterday, Jay Cutler announced he wants to be traded. This came after a meeting with new head coach Josh McDaniels and General Manager Brian Xanders went badly ‘from Cutler’s perspective’.
I’m going to give you quotes from both sides then translate what I think is really going on. You, of course, can always make up your own mind.
Cutler: ‘I went in there with every intention of solving the issue, being a Bronco, moving forward as a Bronco. We weren't in there but about 20 minutes, [McDaniels] did most of the talking and as far as I'm concerned, he made it clear he wants his own guy. He admitted he wanted Matt Cassel because he said he has raised him up from the ground as a quarterback. He said he wasn't sorry about it. He made it clear that he could still entertain trading me because, as he put it, he'll do whatever he feels is in the best interest of the organization.
At the end of the meeting, he wasn't like, 'Jay, I want you as our quarterback, you're our guy.' It felt like the opposite. He basically said that I needed to tell him if we can't work this out, to let him know. I thought he was antagonizing me and that was disappointing because I was ready to move on, committed as a Bronco.’
McDaniels: ‘I really have wanted to avoid a he-said, she-said thing but it's only fair for us to present the Bronco side of the story rather than let things get taken out of context. There's been a pattern here for the past two weeks the way things [have been represented] in our communications. I don't think anything that happened was out of the ordinary. At the end of the meeting, Jay said he had thought about things quite a bit and requested a few more hours to mull things over. He said he wanted to talk to Bus on how to proceed. He was gonna call me on my cell phone and that never happened. Instead, Bus called [GM] Brian [Xanders].
Again, I think that's been a pattern. I couldn't get [Cutler] to talk to me for two weeks or to talk to Mr. Bowlen. Then when he came here this weekend, we couldn't get a one-on-one meeting, just me and him alone. He wanted Bus in there, so I had Brian sit in, too. And it was the four of us. There wasn't any yelling, none of that. I can't believe we get to a totally different [interpretation].’
Oh, yeah. This is getting U-G-L-Y! McDaniels and Bronco’s owner Pat Bowlen seem confused why Cutler is acting the way he is. Bowlen actually told the Denver Post that ‘he was disappointed with how Cutler has handled the situation’.
If you read between the lines, this is nothing more than a bruised Super Ego at work. Cutler is pissed that McDaniels had the balls to look into trading for Matt Cassel. Considering Cassel has worked with McDaniels and knows the offensive system better than anyone except Tom Brady. Of course, McDaniels is going to try to get Cassel on his team. It makes perfect sense.
Cutler, upon hearing that this rumor, confronted McDaniels who initially denied it. Big mistake on McDaniels part, but this is his first head coaching gig and not offending your starting QB if you can help it is a good idea. Once the truth came out, Cutler was understandably pissed.
After fuming for a while (during which time he refused to talk to either McDaniels or Bowlen which was mature), Cutler agreed to a meeting with McDaniels expecting to smooth things out. Only McDaniels didn’t do the one thing Cutler wanted: McDaniels didn’t kiss his ass. In fact, he was very straightforward with Cutler, explaining that he would do what ever is in the best interest of the team and not what was in Cutler’s best interest.
Typical Patriot thinking. Put the team first. That McDaniels didn’t tell Cutler ‘Your our guy’ (Cutler’s words) wounded Cutler’s apparently super sensitive feelings. Cutler clearly expected an emotional blow job from the Broncos so he would feel wanted and in charge. McDaniels basically told him that they weren’t looking to trade him, but if some other team made them a great offer it was his duty to consider if it helped the overall team.
Two things here.
First, if you’re a Broncos fan you have to love having a guy like McDaniels as your coach. Of COURSE you’re going to consider offers. That’s your fucking job! You put the best team on the field you can. If the Patriots offered to take Cutler for Brady wouldn’t he take that deal. Would you trade him for Cassel? I would. What if the Giants offered Eli Manning and a pick for Cutler?
Not that these would happen, I’m just pointing out that the job of head coach and GM is to put together a team that can win you a title. It’s not to baby a emotionally stunted, unrealistic player looking for constant approval. (Refer to Owens, Terrell)
Which brings me to point number two.
As a Broncos player, how can you possibly respect Cutler after this? Especially if you’re an offensive lineman who’s been released three times by three different teams. Or the wide receiver who was cut because his salary was half of what Cutler’s is? This is supposed to be the leader of your team. The guy that rallies and unites.
Instead he’s acting like a junior high school kid that never got asked to the first dance of the school year. You’re a fucking football player, Jay Cutler. Players are traded, cut, re-signed, waived and benched all the time. Have you really not noticed that? Are you that emotionally stunted that you need constant praise and reinforcement in order to maintain your self esteem?
Monday was the team’s first official meeting and Cutler refused to show up. Instead he’s going to sulk and pout and ponder life’s mysteries. Here, Jay, ponder these with your free time:
Your career record versus Matt Cassel’s.
How you managed to blow a four game division lead with four games to play and miss the playoffs.
That you have yet to prove you’re an elite QB and, in essence, you’ve had one good half season your entire career.
That McDaniels’ offensive system (if you can learn it) would make you better than ever and (if you execute) could put you in MVP discussions.
That McDaniels’ offensive system is fully suited for the receivers you have around you, as well.
That there is no negative to McDaniels being your coach other than he won’t cater to your emotional instability.
That any other coach and GM in their positions would consider trading you for a better QB in a heartbeat, too.
Finally, if you do get traded I hope you wind up in Detroit where you can waste away the next three seasons. Nobody deserves it more than you.
Today’s distraction: Murphy’s Technology Laws. ‘The first myth of management is that it exists’. True. So true.