Luke Waltons Forehead presented by the Sports Dude.

Thursday, March 17, 2005 at 10:43 AM

March Madness Picks - just in time!!!!

I have been two things this week – extremely busy and some what lazy when it comes to the old blog here. I have missed the Sanchez release (good move) as well as some other things, but that is life. However, just sneaking in under the wire is my official NCAA Bracket, so have a look.

I know very little about college basketball this year, very little indeed. In fact, I probably have watched a combined total of ten minutes of college basketball all year. Those minutes were all by accident, mind you, due to there being very little on TV and my thumb deciding it needed a rest from channel surfing. That being said, it is tournament time and I am a sports blogger, so I suppose I should at least throw my picks out there. Laugh if you will, there is no method to my madness, just picking teams based on their names more than anything. That being said, I bring you the sports dudes first annual bracket, presented by yours truly, Luke Walton’s Forehead, so here we go:

Chicago Regional (Round One):
Illinois over Far. Dickinson
Nevada over Texas
Wisconsin/Milwaukee over Alabama
BC over Penn
UAB over LSU
Arizona over Utah State
Southern Illinois over St. Mary’s Calif.
Oklahoma St. over SE Louisiana

Round Two:
Illinois over Nevada
Wisc/Milw over BC
Arizona over UAB
Oklahoma St. over S. Illinois

Round Three:
Illinois over Wisc/Milw.
Arizona over Oklahoma St.

Winner of Chicago Regional = Illinois over Arizona.

Albuquerque Regional (Round One):
Washington over Montana
Pittsburgh over Pacific
George Washington over Georgia Tech
Louisville over La.-Lafayette
UCLA over Texas Tech
Gonzaga over Winthrop
Creighton over W. Virginia
Wake Forest over Chattanooga

Round Two:
Pitt over Washington
Louisville over GW
Gonzaga over UCLA
Wake over Creighton

Round Three:
Louisville over Pitt
Wake over Gonzaga

Winner of Albuquerque Regional = Louisville over Wake Forest.

Syracuse Regional (Round One):
UNC over Oakland (really wanted to put Oakland to be funny!)
Iowa St. over Minnesota
New Mexico over Villanova
Florida over Ohio
Wisconsin over Northern Illinois
Kansas over Bucknell
N. Carolina St. over Charlotte
UConn over Central Florida

Round Two:
UNC over Iowa St.
Florida over New Mexico
Wisconsin over Kansas
UConn over NC State

Round Three:
UNC over Florida
UConn over Wisconsin

Winner of Syracuse Regional = UNC over UConn

Austin Regional (Round One):
Duke over Delaware St.
Stanford over Mississippi St.
MSU over Old Dominion (really think MSU will lose, just being nice!)
Syracuse over Vermont
UTEP over Utah
Oklahoma over Niagara
Iowa over Cincinnati
Kentucky over E. Kentucky

Round Two:
Duke over Stanford
Syracuse routs/embarrasses/kills MSU
UTEP over Oklahoma
Kentucky over Iowa

Round Three:
Duke over Syracuse
Kentucky over UTEP

Winner of Austin Regional = Duke over Kentucky

So, my Final Four stands at:
UNC against Duke
Louisville against Illinois

Well, I am going to say my finals will be:
UNC against Louisville

NCAA Champ = UNC.

That is all, I am sure most will laugh, but these picks come from and uneducated basketball fan. Later – the sports dude.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005 at 10:02 AM

With Garcia it is not an "if" but more a "when".

You know how to tell if you are a Detroit Lions fan? It is quite simple – the loudest talk of this off season has been about a back up position. Not starters mind you, not even the draft or what young gun we might pick. Are we going to trade that pick for more picks later in the draft or how about those other free agent signings, Kennedy and Pollard. No, that is not the case here in Lions town these days; our excitement is reserved for a back up position, that of quarterback, because it has been so long here in Detroit since we have had a good one.

See, the key to this signing is not so much “if” but rather “when”. With most teams in the NFL, when they go after a back up quarterback, the signing is looked at like “Well, if our starter gets injured or goes down, then this back up we signed can come in and we know he will perform well.” However, with the Lions situation, it goes more like “When Joey fails, because we know he will, we finally have a guy that can come in and do a better job then him.” That is the key to this signing, that is why it is creating such buzz – because finally the Lions have a real quarterback behind Joey, not just some third stringer like McMahon was. The Lions actually have a back up plan they believe in, where as with McMahon it was just as bad as Joey, if not a little worse.

Look, I am not saying that Garcia is Joe Montana Jr. here, but he is a hell of an upgrade from McMahon. Furthermore, he is a hell of a greater threat to Joey, much more of a push, and maybe that is what Joey needs. Joey always knew the job was his, no matter what he did, because he knew, as well as everyone else did, that McMahon was never going to surpass him. Now he finally has a guy behind him that has a proven track record, has succeeded extremely well under Mooch, I think it is safe to say that this is the first push Joey has felt in a long time. I hope I eat my words on Joey; I really do, because the better he does then the better the Lions do. But my guess is that by the second game of the season, the third game at best, the Lions will have a new starter in Garcia and Joey will be where he should have been all along – on the sidelines with a clipboard.

I think the most telling sign of this plan will come in the draft. If the Lions anywhere in this draft pick a quarterback, even in the later rounds, I think that is a telling sign that they all but are putting the final nail in Joey’s coffin. Yes that might be a bold statement, but I feel it is also quite true and highly possible. I think Garcia has enough left in the tank to surpass Joey and become the starter. I think his lousy year last season is more a sign of the crap that is the Cleveland Browns than it is a sign of a quarterback on the decline. I think reuniting with Mooch, playing again in Mooch’s system and the success he had in it, you will see some of the Garcia that you saw in San Francisco. Joey is going to have to come out gunning, he is going to have to make plays, but I think his days are numbered. Couple that with the Garcia signing, throw in what I feel will be a Lions draft pick at the quarterback position and I think you can all but see the writing on the wall – the Lions are prepared to put Joey up there with Andre Ware, early QB picks that spell “B-U-S-T”. Garcia should be the starter at some point in time this coming season, and the sooner the better now that the Lions division is weaker than ever.

Well, that is really all I have to say on it at this point. I like the signing, I think that finally there is someone there to push Joey and perform better than him (not hard to do) if (or should I say when?) he fails. The Lions finally have that luxury, where in the past it was a joke backing him up, AKA Mike McMahon. Mooch finally got his man, he no longer has Morningweg’s puppet as his only viable option at quarterback, and if Joey falters for one second (or should I say when again?) then there is finally someone there to step in and out perform him under center. I hope Joey is looking over his shoulder, I hope Joey is sweating a little today (other than because he is playing his piano to hard!) and I think the Lions are an actual legitimate contender for a playoff spot now. I am excited about Lions football for the first time since Barry Sander’s glory days, and just like the Tigers I can’t wait for the season to get under way. Again, I ask this question – is it a matter of “if” Joey is the quarterback or a matter of “when” Garcia takes the job? Personally, I think it is just a matter of time before Joey holds the clipboard, but you can call me a slappy on that one all you want, I’ll take my chances with Garcia over Joey any day.

Here is a link to the ESPN article on the signing, later – the sports dude.

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