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 …

bus cook agent

hasheem thabeet sunglasses

stamford bridge

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

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Speed Read: Obama Wins Election, Covers Spread

How ironic is it that the giant nail in the coffin of John McCain’s Presidential hopes last night came when the networks declared Ohio for Barack Obama. After all, McCain appeared to run his campaign like Jim Tressel cluelessly bumbling his way through coaching Ohio State to another BCS Title Game meltdown. In this analogy, Obama really was LSU or Florida: faster, hungrier and ready to deliver a hellacious beatdown.

John McCain as Jim Tressel

(Does this make Sarah Palin the Maurice Clarett of the ticket - initially exciting but eventually a total disaster? I’ll leave that up to you to decide.)

But while the Maverick of the Senate might have suffered an historic thumping on Tuesday night, the Mavericks of Dallas were taking a venerable but aging institution out to the woodshed, beating the Spurs 98-81 to drop San Antonio to 0-3 for the first time in the team’s NBA history. They can’t possibly be missing Manu Ginobli this much, could they?

Tony Parker

And what about Matt Lindland, the MMA fighter who was the Republician candidate for a State House seat? Unfortunately for him, he was about as competitive as Kimbo Slice, as he fell to a double digit defeat at the hands of his Democratic opponent. I would have said that having a campaign manager named Tootie Smith was a bad sign, but then again…Scooter Libby.

Matt Lindland

On to the other, slightly less significant news:

  • Don’t tase him, bro! The TRI-CITY HERALD says that an Arena Football player was zapped by airport security after busting through a window at the terminal and getting on the tarmac trying to get to his flight. That’s called dedication.
  • FARTHER OFF THE WALL has an offer for you: how about having Pete Arbogast, the radio voice of the USC Trojans, call your kids’ soccer game for just $500? And the Web site offering these services is just as professional looking as you would expect from a media type whoring himself out for a few bucks.
  • The NEW YORK TIMES dials in news that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is sending a letter to Senators blaming the cable companies for why you don’t have the NFL Network. Didn’t he get the memo that Obama’s first priority is getting a college football playoff?
  • The CHICAGO TRIBUNE breaks down the news that Illinois WR Jeff Cumberland is going to play this week despite breaking teammate Mikel LeShoure’s jaw in a fight last Saturday night.
  • Do they have any decent sushi places in Atlanta? The ATLANTA JOURNAL CONSTITUTION notes that the Braves have made an offer to 22-year-old Japanese pitching phenom Junichi Tazawa.
  • How far has the Tennesee football program fallen? The WINSTON SALEM JOURAL says that David Cutcliffe would rather stay at Duke than consider taking the Vols’ head coaching job.
  • The MOSCOW-PULLMAN DAILY NEWS reports that three Idaho football players have been suspended after being charged with battery after a fight at a house party this weekend. What do you expect from the players when you call the team the “Vandals?”
  • According to the LOS ANGELES TIMES, Oaks Christian High School - the school that has the sons of Joe Montana, Wayne Gretzky and Will Smith - might be in trouble for advertising its athletic department on local TV. The ads were OK, but still better than Hancock.
  • BYU quarterback Max Hall tells the SALT LAKE TRIBUNE that he’ll be missing Thursday night’s huge Mountain West Conference game between Utah and TCU because he can’t miss The Office. And I thought Dwight Schrute was Amish and not Mormon.
  • Bob Stoops tells THE OKLAHOMAN that he’s come full circle and now supports a college football playoff. Sounds like Obama’s minions got to him.

What would you like to see President Obama do for you the sports fan?

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Blog-Some: Wright Wrongs Willis With Wild Words

• Too bad they’re not division foes anymore: YOU BEEN BLINDED sips on some Hater-ade, as David Wright tells Dontrelle Willis he owns him.

(Classic quip around 2:48)

• Speaking of smack, DEUCE OF DAVENPORT discovers that someone at ABC apparently appreciates Jerry Stackhouse manhandling Manu Ginobli.

• TENNIS SERVED FRESH doesn’t skirt around Nike sending out a sneak preview of Maria Sharapova’s French Open outfit.

• SIGNAL TO NOISE offers some brand new ad copy for Coack K’s next American Express spot.

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