Crimson Fried

Happy Monday! Having lost an hour this weekend, sung “All That Jazz” at karaoke (crushed it), and helped my dog out of this “accidental elephant” conundrum, I am beat.

Thus today’s post title, an homage to my state of mind as well as football champion University of Alabama’s mascot, the Crimson Tide–part of my previous post asking the classic sports trivia question: What school mascots don’t end in “S”?

"Reportin' sports, sausage style!" says my dachshund news hound, Chester.

“Reportin’ sports, sausage style!” says my dachshund news hound, Chester.

(But like my dog, why does an elephant represent Alabama on the sidelines? Beyond the obvious reason that you can’t stuff a sophomore into a “tide” costume? See below.)

And this post will also be fairly brief, as I’m treating myself to a couple of much-needed (half-price, off-peak) days on the tide of Chesapeake Bay. Ahhh, the sexy life of a blogger…

Super Saturday!!! Sort of.
Two of basketball’s biggest rivalries played out Saturday, though neither final score would suggest anything more than a yawn of a game. #3 Duke rolled over arch-rival North Carolina 69-53 at UNC, and the #5 Georgetown Hoyas beat the #17 Syracuse Orange at home 61-39. The latter was especially poignant for longtime fans as the game was the end of a 33-year-old rivalry: Syracuse will leave the Big East next year for the ACC.

Far more exciting, yet also a rout, was Baylor’s 81-58 surprise crushing of #4 Kansas (as Baylor alum and my Redskins’ quarterback Robert Griffin III looked on). The two Big 12 teams aren’t really traditional rivals like Kansas and #9 Kansas State.

But unranked Baylor certainly didn’t see it that way – which is what makes college basketball so fun, especially in March. In football just one loss can pillage your entire season. But every day is a new day on the hoops court, and any team can win given the right spirit—thus the “Cinderella’s” you’re going to hear a lot about the rest of this month.

This is critically important as we enter conference tournament week. Any team with 20+ wins at this point has a pretty good shot at getting into the NCAA tourney, but for the larger conferences, it doesn’t matter if your record is 0-20, if you win the conference tournament, you receive an automatic berth. Which brings us to…

Selection Sunday
Ladies, if you want to experience Christmas morning without having to do any of the work, then plop yourself on that sofa Sunday night at 6 p.m. ET on CBS to watch the various bracket assignments made for the men’s tourney, which starts March 19 (sort of—Thursday is the real tip-off, I’ll explain in upcoming tourney tips posts). It’s really sweet to watch the guys’ reactions on live TV. And you can get a jump on Stu from Accounting as you fill out your bracket.

A few more notes for the watercooler:

  • Hockey’s Chicago Blackhawks fell 6-2 to Colorado Friday, ending the longest point streak to begin an NHL season and a franchise record 11-game win streak.
  • Yankees famed closing pitcher Mariano Rivera announced he will be retiring after the 2013 season. It is widely agreed he’s a Hall of Fame lock, which says a lot since not one player was voted in this year.
  • Tiger Woods won his 76th PGA Tour title Sunday with the WGC-Cadillac Championship in Doral, Fla.
  • Light heavyweight Bernard Hopkins, 48, defeated Tavoris Cloud unanimously on Saturday to become the oldest fighter in boxing history to win a major belt.
  • A bench-clearing brawl erupted between Mexico and Canada (yes, Canada) at the World Baseball Classic.

And about that Alabama elephant, he’s called Big Al, and he was born in early days when a fan likened the football players to pachyderms, and the name stuck. Like my dog in my shirt sleeve. But hey, it’s Monday…

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