Monthly Archives: March 2015

Home on the horizon

My dad got out of the hospital before 8 a.m. today, much to my surprise. I thought it was going to be later today, which would have allowed me time to get my work done and then go pick him up at KU med. 

Instead, he was upset when I told him just before 9 I had work to do. Fortunately, they found a way back to the hotel across the street, and I was able to complete everything before 11:30, which gave me a chance to take them to Buffalo Wild Wings for lunch.

Lisa asked me about bringing my parents by when my dad had surgery in January. I obliged and introduced Lisa to them. She was impressed, and I think she impressed my parents too. 

I’m driving them back to Russell tomorrow. We’ll leave KC by 10 and that will put us back home by 2, plenty of time for dad to make his poker game at 7. Jack Krier will be in town as well, and he will have a surprise waiting for him at the office. One he’ll really like. 

It’s now almost 6:30. Lisa got off about 45 minutes ago, and Tori is behind the bar. Raymie and Rue are among those in the dining area. I’m not staying too late tonight, because I have work to get done for Russell, in addition to packing and getting out of Kansas City so my parents can get home at a decent hour. I thought about turning around and going to Salina tomorrow night, but I’m not sure. 

My Tuesdays at Buffalo WIld Wings end tonight, at least for a while. I’m busy with track and baseball starting next week. 

Monday madness

It has been quite a Monday. March is ending in 27 hours, and it’s ending with a bang for your intrepid blogger.

I got to Buffalo Wild Wings at 12:45. I wanted to get there a little sooner, but it worked out well. Lisa was bartending, Raymie was serving, although she got cut early due to slow business. I had the delicious New  Yorker, pastrami on a pretzel bun, for lunch.

Two beautiful ladies came to the bar just after 2. Of course, being the social butterfly that I am, I totally froze. I did give them one of my $5 discount coupons, however. 

I should have done a shot with them, because Lisa was begging me to drink alcohol. Actually, I did owe it to her, since she asked me to do a shot with her on my birthday in October, but Brittany said I couldn’t, since (a) I had work to get done that night and the next morning, and (b) I had to drive back to Russell the next day. 

Eventually, I settled on a black cherry moijito. It was delicious. I hadn’t drank an alcoholic beverage in four years, but I’m so big, it probably wouldn’t affect me that much. 

It’s been five hours now, and I feel pretty good. I’ll be careful going back to Overland Park, though. 

The one alcholic beverage I’ve wanted to try is, strangely enough, Kahlua. I love the Kahlua cheesecake from The Cheesecake Factory, and I would like to try a coffee flavored liquer. Maybe some day. 

I had a great night at The Pulse–following a fiasco with the first question, which was on Buzztime, not me. 

The first question asked which team did Wisconsin beat last Saturday to advance to the Final Four. Of course, that was Arizona. However, the computer said it was North Carolina, whom the Badgers defeated in the Sweet 16 last Thursday. I got only 244 on the second question, but got rolling after that.

My tally of 27,256 was enough to vault me to #1 nationally. First time that’s happened since September, but the 10th time in the last calendar year. Ironically, my first national #1 in The Pulse came almost exactly one year ago, March 31, 2014. 

I’m going to get out of here shortly. Got food waiting at Outback in Overland Park, and then I want to get some Kahlua (what else?) cheesecake. It’s been fun. 

Got to get some work done tomorrow, and then back to B-Dubs for one more go. I think my dad will be discharged Wednesday, so it looks like I’ll be going back to Russell with my parents. Knew it was coming. 

Sour on the Irish

I was very distressed to see Notre Dame defeat Baylor last night to advance to the NCAA women’s basketball Final Four.

First, I am a HUGE fan of Baylor coach Kim Mulkey. She not only has coached the Bears to two national championships (2005, 2012; the latter saw Baylor go 40-0, led by four-time All-American Britney Griner), she was one of the best to play the game. 

Mulkey was a high school All-American in Hammond, La., a college town 45 miles east of Baton Rouge and 50 miles northwest of New Orleans. She went on to enjoy an All-America career at Louisiana Tech in Ruston, helping the Lady Techesters win the first national championship sanctioned by the NCAA in 1982. She capped her playing career by helping the United States win the gold medal at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. 

If the WNBA existed in the mid-1980s, there’s no doubt Mulkey would have gone on to earn numerous All-Pro accolades. But instead, she returned to Ruston and became an assistant to Leon Barmore with the Lady Techsters. Tech won another national championship in 1988, and lost the champioship game in 1994 and 1998. It was assumed Mulkey would succeed Barmore once he opted to retire. 

Barmore stubbornly stayed on the bench, and Mulkey became impatient, wanting to become a head coach at a Division I school.

Turns out she had another route. 

The lady who began the Louisiana Tech program in the 1970s, Sonja Hogg, was about to retire at Baylor. Hogg, who was co-coach with Barmore when the Techsters won the 1982 championship, recommended Mulkey as her successor.

And the rest is history.

Tech has not been able to sustain its level of success since Mulkey’s departure. It has not advanded past the second round since 2003, and it is currently on its fourth coach since Barmore, Tyler Summitt, the only child of the one and only Pat Summitt, the winningest women’s basketball coach of all time. 

Mulkey has moved Baylor to the top of the Big 12, and it should stay there as long as she’s in Waco, but there will always be problems recruiting there, since Baylor is the smallest school in the Big 12 and doesn’t have the deep pocketed donors Texas, Oklahoma and Texas A&M have, although the Aggies are now in the SEC. 

I wish Mulkey were coaching at LSU. There’s no reason she should not be. 

First and foremost, Mulkey is from Louisiana. In fact, less than an hour from the LSU campus. LSU is the flagship university of the Bayou State, and it plays in the nation’s elite college athletic conference. 

Second, LSU has whiffed big time on its coaching hires since the tragic passing of Sue Gunter. 

Gunter was diagnosed with cancer in January 2004 and forced to leave the bench. She would never return, and died in August 2005. 

When Gunter took ill, her longtime assistant, Pokey Chatman, took the reigns. Chatman was an All-America point guard at LSU in 1991, and she proved just as adept at coaching, guiding the Bayou Bengals to their first Final Four in 2004, where they suffered a heartbreaking 52-50 loss to Tennessee in the semifinals at New Orleans. 

I wish LSU would have considered Mulkey for the permanent job, but I can understand the desire not to change captains of the ship when it’s full steam ahead. Pokey was deserving of calling the shots after the run to the Final Four. 

LSU got back to the Final Four the next two seasons, losing to Mulkey’s Baylor Bears in 2005 and Duke in 2006. 

Allegations of an improper relationship with a player came up during the 2006-07 season, leading to Pokey’s firing prior to the NCAA tournament. 

Bob Starkey, a longtime assistant for both the LSU men’s and women’s programs, coached the team in the NCAA tournmaent. The Bayou Bengals got back to the Final Four, crushing Connecticut 73-51 in the West Region final at Fresno. However, LSU found no more success on the big stage, scoring a meager 35 points in losing to Rutgers. 

Starkey wanted the head coaching job. He would have been a better hire than the man who got the job. 

Van Chancellor enjoyed tremendous success at Ole Miss for two decades before leading the Houston Comets to the first three WNBA championships in 1997, 1998 and 1999. He then coached the USA Olympic team to gold in Syndey in 2000.

But WHY? WHY in 2007 was he the right fit for LSU? 

Mulkey would have been the perfect hire. No reason why LSU could not have offered her the moon. If LSU had the financial wherewithal to make Les Miles and Paul Mainieri the highest paid coaches, or among the highest paid, in their respecitve sports, why couldn’t it do the same for Mulkey? 

Chancellor got LSU to the Final Four in 2008, where it lost by one to Tennessee. Combined with the men’s program, LSU has the WORST combined winning percentage of any major school in the Final Four. Zero and Eleven. At least there’s baseball and football. 

In the following seasons, LSU backtracked. It didn’t relapse into the pitifulness it experienced in the mid-19909s, when the team won 27 games in three seasons and played before crowds of under 500 at the PMAC, but it wasn’t anywhere near the elite level, either. 

Chancellor was fired in 2011, and LSU athletic director Joe Alleva had another chance to hire Mulkey.

Instead, he made another bad hire, picking Nikki Caldwell, a former Tennessee All-American who enjoyed moderate success at UCLA. Caldwell appears in over her head, and I don’t expect LSU to be back in the Final Four any time soon. 

Now, why I dislike Notre Dame’s women.

It all stems from its coach, Muffett McGraw.

There was a time I liked the Fighting Irish ladies. Espeically the 200-01 national championship teasm, which featured 6-foot-5 All-Amiercan Ruth Riley and 6-foot-3 Kelley Siemon, the daughter of former Minnesota Vikings All-Pro linebacker Jeff Siemon, who also was an All-American on two Stanford teams which won the Rose Bowl in 1970 and ’71. 

Now, I cannot stand the Irish, and I especially cannot stand McGraw, who encouraged her team to wear “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” t-shirts before a couple of December games in support of Michael Brown, the black youth in Ferguson, Mo., who was shot and killed by a police officer in August during an attempted robbery.  

I don’t know this for sure, but I would bet McGraw is an unabashed supporter of abortion rights. If she is, she has no business whatsoever coaching at Notre Dame or any other Catholic institution. Again, I hope I’m wrong, but I’m willing to bet she is. 

Notre Dame is Catholic in name only now. By allowing Barack Hussein Obama, the most anti-life, pro-abortion leader in the history of the free world, to speak at commenecemtn is a slap in the face to the majority of Catholics, msyelf included, who believe life is sacred and it begins at the moment of conception. 

I believe Pope Benedict XVI should have excommunicaterd Notre Dame president Rev. John Jenkins for extending the invitation for the anthesis of Catholic values to speak at a Catholic university’s commencement. 

I am not a fan of Geno Auriemma and Connecticut. But I will glady root for the Huskies over Notre Dame any day now. 

Out late

I’m still at Buffalo Wild Wings as the clock is approaching 10 p.m. Guess I’m making up for lost time tonight, since I didn’t get here until 7.

I don’t want to linger too late, though. I want to be back tomorrow in time to see Lisa and Raymie for the early shift. Tori is working tomorrow night behind the bar, and I

I’m disappointed I’ve missed two of my old trivia pals, Dan and Pam, and their kids during all this time I’ve been coming in March. I think they’ve been in four times, and each time, I haven’t been there. I wonder if they’re ducking me. I hope that isn’t the case. 

Just found out Notre Dame beat Baylor to advance to the NCAA women’s Final Four. EEEWWW. Not happy about that outcome. 

B-Dubs is buzzing

It’s 7 p.m. on a Sunday night, and it is absoutely nuts at Buffalo Wild Wings. Normally that would not be the case on a Sunday night which is not during the NFL season, or one of the (extremely) rare times the Royals are featured on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball

There is a HUGE group in the bar area just behind me. I just counted 20 people. There looks like there was a group of 10 to 12 which just left. No wonder the parking lot was more full than I thought it would be. 

I am at the bar with five other patrons, including Lindsey McClain’s husband, Justin. Lindsey has worked here ever since I started to frequent this Buffalo Wild Wings almost two years ago. She was pregnant last year, and she worked almost up until the day her baby boy was born. 

Tori is bartending tonight. She didn’t mention me sneaking off last Tuesday without saying goodbye, so it’s all good there. I just ordered a Southwest Philly. 

My parents are settled in at the Holiday Inn next to the KU Medical Center, so my dad is ready to go for his procedure tomorrow. This one is not supposed to be as involved as the one in January. He’s hoping to leave Wednesday so he can make it back to Russell for 7 p.m. and the weekly poker game at my office. Jack Krier is supposed to be coming back to Russell for it. I’ve got a nice surprise waiting for him. 

I’ve got to write a column when I get back to the Marriott. This week isn’t that hard; it will mostly be about the Final Four, both men’s and women’s, and the upcoming Major League Baseball season. HINT: the Royals will not be playing postseason baseball, at least according to my projections. 

So much for Cinderella at the Final Four this year. Three of the four No. 1 seeds advanced to Indianapolis, and the fourth team, Michigan State, has been there so many times under coach Tom Izzo that it can’t be a Cinderella, even though it won the East Region as the No. 7 seed. Duke and Kentucky are among the sport’s blue bloods, and Wisconsin has established itself as a superpower under Bo Ryan. If you like the little guy, watch something else Saturday night. But if you like high level college basketball, you’ll want to watch both games with great interest. 

What’s interesting is the last time a team entered the Final Four undefeated, it was played at Indianapolis. In 1991, UNLV was 34-0 heading into its semifinal vs. Duke. The Blue Devils weren’t expected to do much, having lost 103-73 in the 1990 championship game to the Running Rebels.

Instead of bowing meekly to the UNLV machine, coach K and his boys turned the tables, ousting the Rebels 79-77 before defeating Kansas for Duke’s first national championship. 

Weekend whirlwind

It has been quite a journey since the last time I posted. I’ve been to Russell and back–again–and had another incident which makes me question if I’m really making progress in therapy.

It happened Friday evening at Buffalo Wild Wings. I knew the place would fill up at night due to the NCAA men’s basketball tournament games which would be played that night. I wasn’t ready for the crush.

Three men I had never seen before wanted to sit around me at the bar. I got panicky, demanded my tab, and then picked up and walked away. I went out to the patio, even though it was quite cold, and sat there until someone came outside to smoke. I cannot stand smoke.

I went back inside and sat down for a few minutes. Liz suggested that I go back to the bar and sit at the end where there was open space. I did, but I felt really bad, because I felt I had embarrassed Brittany. Brittany said it wasn’t the case, and she calmed me down. She and Alex made me a smoothie–I drank it too fast and got a brain freeze–and I was able to get myself back under control. I sat out of trivia for awhile before getting back into the game.

I felt much better by time I left at 9:30. I picked up lobster from Outback Steakhouse across the street, then drove back to the hotel and ate.

I knew I had to drive back to Russell Saturday because I had to bring my parents to Kansas City. My dad’s next heart procedure at the KU Medical Center is tomorrow. Since I didn’t have a set time to be back home, I slept in.

Really slept in.

I didn’t step in the shower until after 2. By time I got out of the hotel, it was almost 3. I spent a little time at Buffalo Wild Wings because I wanted to see Brittany, and I also saw Liz and a few others before leaving a little after 5. The drive home was uneventful, and I was back at home before 9.

I’ve been back in my room at Overland Park since a little past 4. I’m about to go north to Buffalo Wild Wings for a little while.

The Final Four is set. Duke vs. Michigan State, and Kentucky vs. Wisconsin next Saturday at Indianapolis.

Key blunder

I am the biggest fool on the face of the earth.

I’m in Hays at the Quik Shop at the corner of 13th and Vine yesterday to get gas. When I’m done fueling, I go to my pocket to get my keys.

They’re not there.

I tried my other front pocket and the pocket on my sweatshirt…not there. Not anywhere in my car.

OH (feces).

I must have dropped them in the trash can when I threw something else away. I was really screwed.

I screamed at the top of my lungs, something I have not done in a very long time. I was panicked.

An employee came out to see what was wrong. I told her and she tried to calm me down, but to no avail.

After a couple of minutes, she fished the keys out. I got in my car, closed the windows, and screamed at the top of my lungs twice. Then I punched the horn four times. I was so angry at myself.


I called my dad and told him how stupid I was. He tried to reassure me everyone makes mistakes, but I had to remind him nobody had done anything as stupid as i had. We did come up with a new strategy, however–from now on, I will throw my trash into a bag in my car and fill it up before throwing it into the trash can. Also, I need to make sure my keys are in my pocket before getting out.

Before that moment of stupidity, things actually had been gong pretty well.

I left Overland Park at 3:30 Wednesday afternoon. I was late getting out because I was filling out all those guest surveys for Buffalo Wild Wings, mostly to help Lisa. I also filled out a couple for Tori, whom I still feel terrible about because I didn’t say goodbye to her Tuesday night when I left.

I picked up a steak at Hy-Vee to cook on my indoor grill when I got back to Russell. I drove through the rain and made it back to 1224 North Brooks at 7 :40, well in time to cook and watch the new episode of Law and Order: SVU. The steak, a bone-in strip, came out perfect–rare, but not undercooked.

I had my latest appointment with Crista Geyer yesterday in Hays. I got my hair cut first–it had been three weeks–then made it over with a few minutes to spare. The session was great, again. This has turned out better than I could have dreamed.

Following the key fiasco, I watched basketball. Wichita State was eliminated by Notre Dame, Utah ousted North Carolina, Arizona edged Xavier, and Kentucky demolished West Virginia 78-39. The Badgers and Wildcats play for the West Region title Saturday at Los Angeles, which will be followed by the Irish and Wildcats in Cleveland for the Midwest crown. The winners of those regional finals play in the Final Four April 4 at Indianapolis.

Tonight’s games are North Carolina State-Louisville and Michigan State Oklahoma in the East; and UCLA-Gonzaga and Utah-Duke in the South. Other than the MSU-OU game, I don’t expect any to be particularly close. I think NC State gets Louisville again, Duke eases past the Utes, and Gonzaga blows away UCLA.

April 6 cannot get here soon enough. Major League Baseball is overdue.

Ruined night (read down)

I’ve been at Buffalo Wild Wings since 2 p.m. Been pretty much a typical day of trivia, TV and fooling around on the iPhone, posting from time to time.

Lisa was bartending when I got here. A higher up from the corporate office was here, so she had to look busy, as did everyone else working. I committed a mistake by getting my own pop, which Lisa had to remind me not to do. Felt bad, because what if she had gotten in trouble? 

Tori is bartending tonight. Raymie and Rue are serving, so all is very well. 

Tomorrow I have a trip back to Russell, because i have things to do Thursday in Hays. Sunday I drive my parents over because my dad has a heart procedure next Monday at KU Medical Center in KCK. 

Next Tuesday will be the last Tuesday I can come in for awhile. Track meets will be going on pretty much every week. 

Two trivia players I have not seen awhile, STEELY and BRIAN, popped in. At one point, BRIAN made up a new account with the name CHEAT, accusing me of cheating. 

Sour grapes? Maybe. 

That has me ready to get out of here. If I don’t see those two again, it will be too soon. 

Bayou Bengals and Greenies again

LSU’s baseball team travels to New Orleans tonight to renew one of only two athletic series it maintains with one-time Southeastern Conference rival Tulane. 

The Bayou Bengals and Green Wave met on the gridrion every year between 1919 and 1994. The men’s basketball teams played regularly until 1983, when LSU coach Dale Brown discontinued it after Tulane insisted on playing its home games in its cramped bandbox areana on campus instead of the Superdome, where Bayou Bengal fans outnumbered Green Wave fans 15 to 1. 

The football series didn’t matter to LSU nearly as much after Tulane left the SEC in July 1966. Besides, the state school from Baton Rouge dominated the series to the point where the Green Wave were at best outclassed and at worst noncompetitive, as evidneced by three 62-0 losses in eight seasons between 1958 and 1965. 

Tulane kept demanding LSU play home-and-home. LSU said no, because they should not have to give up a large gate at Tiger Stadium to play in front of a half-empty Superdome. 

The blame for the end of the series rests with the Tulane alumni. They are the ones demanding LSU play in New Orleans. Tulane’s adminiatration probably realizes it would make more playing in Baton Rouge than it could anywhere else since there would be no travel expenses, and LSU’s stadium seats 102,000. Even if Tulane were given just 20 percent of the gate, that’s $750,000 minimum. 

The baseball series has always been played, but it began to take on a special intensity in May 1986. 

That season, Tulane had its best team up until that time. The Green Wave built a strong record by playing a national schedule (Tulane had been expelled from the Metro Conference after a point shaving scandal shut down the men’s basketball program) and was rewarded with a berth in the NCAA South II Regional.

LSU was even better than Tulane in 1986. In his third season as skipper, Skip Bertman had built a budding dynasty, one which won its first 18 games and eventually rolled to the SEC championship by going 22-5 in the league. The Bayou Bengals were ranked first for much of the season and earned the right to host a regional for the first time. 

To the delight of sports fans across Louisiana, LSU and Tulane reached the championship round, disposing of Eastern Kentucky, Jackson State, Loiuisiana Tech and Oklahoma. The Green Wave lost earlier in the tournament to Tech, while the Bayou Bengals defeated Jackson State, Oklahoma and Tech, meaning Tulane had to beat LSU twice to reach the College World Series. 

Tulane looked like it just might do that. They held the lead for most of the game and were on their way to forcing a second winner-take-all title game when the Bayou Bengals roared to life. 

LSU came back to take a 7-6 lead in the top of the eighth–the Bayou Bengals were the visiting team–when Mother Nature intervened.

As she is prone to do on a south Louisiana day in late May, Mother Nature unleashed her wrath on Alex Box Stadium. 

Not only did the field quickly become unplayable, many areas of the field became submerged. The game was suspended until the next day, Memorial Day.

LSU called in helicopters from Acadian Ambulance to dry the field, and by noon, it was ready to go. 

The Bayou Bengals held on to their 7-6 lead and were on their way to Omaha. They would go on to win five national championships under Bertman, and four more times (1987, 1994, 1996, 1998) LSU won a regional which also invovlved Tulane. 

Then came the first three days of June 2001. 

Bertman announced in July 2000, a month after winning the fifth national title with a dramatic victory over Stanford, the 2001 season would be his last. To help him go out on top, LSU aggressively recruited junior college stars and those at four-year schools looking to transfer.

Tulane also was a national power in 2001. In contrast to Bertman, Green Wave coach Rick Jones had built his team largely through recruiting high school players. Tulane is an academically stringent university, and while most of Jones’ players made the grade, a few were admitted with lower guidelines in place for select athletes. 

LSU and Tulane were locks to host regionals by mid-April. By the first week of May, the question was, could both also host super regionals, the best-of-three series for regional winners which was added in 1999 to determine the eight schools which went to Omaha? 

That’s when LSU’s season went totally south. 

The Bayou Bengals were ranked No. 1 in the ESPN/USA Today coaches poll following a three-game sweep at Alabama. Next up was a trip to Arkansas, which was mired in the SEC West basement for the second consecutive year and carried a spectacularly inept 4-19 conference record into the series with league leading LSU.

When the Bayou Bengals left Fayetteville, LSU was now the proverbial Sisyphus. 

The Razorbacks swept the series. Auburn then came to Baton Rouge and won two of three to close the regular season. LSU reached the SEC Tournament final, but the NCAA did not deem it worthy of hosting a super regoinal.

Tulane, however, did get the nod. If it could survive its regional at its on-campus Turchin Stadium, it would host the next round at Zephyr Field, the Triple-A stadium in the western suburb of Metairie. 

Both LSU and Tulane won their regionals, so it came down to three games between the anicent rivals for a trip to Omaha.

The Bayou Bengals won game one 5-4 in 13 innings. It would be the 870th–and last–victory of Bertman’s 18-year tenure at LSU.

The Green Wave roared back and won the next two games 7-1 and 9-4 to clinch their first CWS berth. 

The rivalry has cooled a bit since Tulane has fallen off, but this year, the Green Wave got off to a fast start and thus are chomping at the bit to get at LSU. 

Random Monday thoughts

It’s a lovely Monday in Kansas City, but it won’t be that way for long. Storms are moving in late tonight, and should be in town through most of the day Tuesday. Ugh. My last day before I go back to Russell–at least for a couple of days–and it’s going to rain. 

I’m back at Buffalo Wild Wings. Got here a little later than I had hoped, but it’s still early enough. I figure to be here through at least 8:30, because Buzztime’s The Pulse is tonight at 7. 

The only basketball on tonight is the NBA and NCAA women’s tournament. If anyone comes close to UConn, it will be a total shock. 

NFL owners have just voted to suspend blackouts of exhibition and regular season games for the 2015 season. Under NFL rules in place since 1973, if a team’s game does not sell out within 72 hours of kickoff, the game is blacked out to any station whose signal penetrates within a 75-mile radius of the home team’s stadium. In some cases, the NFL will allow for an extension of deadline to 48 hours, or in rare instances, 24 hours. 

In the case of the Chiefs, the stations in Kansas City and Topeka are blacked out when the Chiefs do not sell out, leaving Wichita and Omaha as the closest markets which will show the games. The Chiefs have rarely had that problem, with the only recent blackout in 2011 vs. Cleveland. 

Prior to 1973, all home games, sold out or not, were blacked out in the local market. This also affected the first six Super Bowls, two of which were played in New Orleans. My father tells me the story from time to time of how he went to a relative’s house to watch Super Bowl IV, since that house had an antenna which could pick up WAFB, the Baton Rouge CBS affiliate. Baton Rouge was blacked out for Saints regular season games, but not Super Bowls IV and VI.  

The NFL blackout rule has come under heavy fire. Many in Congress have threatened the NFL’s antitrust exemption over it. The Federal Communications Commission repelaed the rule last year, but it has no bearing on how the NFL operates, meaning the blackout rule is still in effect.

In 2011, the NFL offered a new program for teams struggling to fill their stadiums. They could lift the blackout when 85 percent of non-premium seats were sold, but in return, that team would have to give all visiting teams a higher percentage of gate receipts. A few teams, including the Colts, Chargers, Jaguars and Bills, balked at this proposal and kept the blackout threshold at 100 percent. 

Pedro Gomez is on SportsCenter right now, talking about how the defending World Series champion Giants are struggling during spring training. SO WHAT? It doesn’t matter for another two weeks.