Speed Read: Michigan St. Gets Tar Heel Bruising

Is there any reason we shouldn’t have seen this coming?  Sure, North Carolina had more talent, depth and balance than Michigan State. They also had more experience. So why shouldn’t the Tar Heels have rolled up a rout in the national title game, cruising past the Spartans, 89-72, and validating North Carolina’s upperclassmen who decided to come back for a final year rather than head to the NBA.

north carolina celebrate

Yet, by halftime, this wasn’t a game so much as a massacre on hostile territory.  North Carolina built up the biggest halftime lead in national title game history, and the few moments when Michigan State climbed closer than that in the second half proved more fleeting and false than impressive.

In the end, the final game of the entire NCAA Tournament, the game for which we sat through a month of buildup, complete with a compelling Final Four David vs. Goliath script and 60,000+ screaming, green-clad fans in economically depressed Detroit, was almost like the early season North Carolina rout of Michigan state on replay. If we’d whitewashed the original, 98-63 score and written in 89-72, would anyone have noticed? We dare say they wouldn’t have.

michigan state bench cry

In fact, if there were overnight Nielsen ratings that cut off at halftime, we’d love to see them. Something tells us the second half viewers were significantly less than the TBS re-runs that preempted Game 7 of the ALCS last October.

Yet, as is always the case, there was plenty of celebratory violence/delirium in Chapel Hill as soon as the final buzzer sounded. In fact, it probably hit well before the final buzzer, given that the rout was fully on well before the game wrapped up.

tar heels fans chapel hill

According to the NEWS & OBSERVER, fans wasted little time ratcheting up the rowdy, starting fires and tossing around alcohol at a terrific pace. No, they didn’t temporarily relocate Franklin Street to College Park, Md., but you might not have known any better if you just shot a cursory glance at the post-title celebration.

And what was the motivation behind the fans’ craziness? Oh, it was all in good fun … and venting, naturally.

“It’s the culmination of the entire year of yelling at the TV,” said 24-year-old Elliot Rubin, who attended UNC, of the experience. “It’s the most jubilant feeling ever.”

“The crowd is definitely bigger this year,” said DeeDee Monzee, a 2007 UNC graduate, before jumping through a bonfire. “There’s a lot more alumni out here.”

Yes, you read that correctly. Those fans were giving journalistic quotes between leaps through bonfires. That, dear friends, is the way to live life on the edge.  Now, if only they could get the police on board …

What is it about Jacksonville wide receivers? Not only did Reggie Williams find himself arrested on a felony count of possession of a controlled substance (cough, cocaine, cough), he also may have been using the magical Sweet & Low, seeing as how his arrest blowback against the cops earned him a straight tasering.

jaguars reggie williams

Yes folks, you’ve got that right: For the second time in a year, a Jacksonville wide receiver has been arrested in possession with cocaine. And this is the second time in three months that Williams has been arrested for DUI and some sort of drugs. Clearly, these guys don’t believe in discretion, or learning from others’ mistakes. And they don’t seem to care, either. After all, Matt Jones opted for jail instead of probation just so he could keep hitting the sauce. What’s to make us believe that Williams will pull out of a steady nose sugar habit just because of one nasty arrest in Houston. After all, what else are drug test masking kits for?

The bigger question is what the remaining wide receivers on the Jacksonville roster — Troy Williamson (who knows what it’s like to get suspended), D’Juan Woods, Mike Walker and Nate Hughes –  are going to do now that Williams has burned his last possible bridge back to Jacksonville. Please say a huge party, please say a huge party, please say a huge party …

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Did you watch the second half of the title game last night?

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Favre Keeps ESPN From Attacking Cutler’s Agent?

Brett Favre has received doe eyes from the media since, well, since he became culturally relevant after taking over as Green Bay’s starting quarterback nearly two decades ago. In the process, handfuls of NFL reporters and talking heads had to get close to his agent, Bus Cook, to find out what Favre was thinking, and get inside enough to report on it. Now, they have to get through Cook to understand what in God’s name is going on with Jay Cutler, and there’s plenty of reason to believe that while Cook is one of the bus drivers pushing the entire Cutler-Denver controversy, he’s not getting any criticism from ESPN because the network so desperately wants to hire his other, more famous client as an NFL analyst.

brett favre bus cook

(The real reason for Bus Cook’s sudden deification is standing just to the right of him. Here’s a hint about who he is: He’s really famous and wearing a white t-shirt.)

The theory was first postulated this morning by PROFOOTBALLTALK writer Mike Florio, and we think he’s really on to something. After all, if you believe FOX SPORTS’s John Czarnecki, Cook was already asking Denver to trade Cutler, before the Broncos even started tossing his name out to the wolves of the NFL market. Instead of telling the truth about what’s really happening behind the scenes — that Cook is helping Cutler agitate for a trade — ESPN is deifying him as the most upright of all agents, hoping to make inroads into landing Favre for the network’s analyst chair.

Read more…

Packers Offer Favre $20 Million to Just Stay Away

There is some kind of weird-a crazy-off going down in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Either that or the water in Mississippi is more polluted than normal. Or, perhaps, Brett Favre’s farm is cursed.

Scrooge McDuck

One of those ridiculous explanations needs to be true in order to explain what the MILWAUKEE JOURNAL-SENTINEL is reporting: Packers President Mark Murphy met with Favre and his agent Bus Cook and offered the quarterback $20 million to stay retired.

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Agent: Favre Still Wants To Play; Maybe in Miami?

Even with today’s announcement, some folks aren’t totally convinced that Brett Favre is really ready to call it quits - including the QB’s own agent.

Brett Favre face close-up

The MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL reports that James “Bus” Cook believes his client still has a little more football left in him:

I think he wanted to play, I think he’s still got it. He knows he’s still got it. I think he felt he could play one more year. I don’t know if (the Packers) told him they really wanted him to play. That’s just the feeling I got.”

So, does this mean the Pack actually kicked their all-star to the curb? Read more…