In Association with

Just like a Lamb

By Dean Shutt

Ahhh March, the month when spring begins to peek through the veil of winter and lend hope to the cold huddled masses that sunshine and long lazy days are just ahead. It is also the month when it rains cats and dogs on a regular basis and you feel that you'll never be dry again. You take the good, you take the bad, that's the way life works sometimes.

With that in mind it's time for another random sporting thoughts column. March lends itself to such an undertaking, too much is going on in the sports world to focus on just one thing. You need to expand your horizons and cover the whole, vast panoply that is sports in America. Besides, writing a thousand coherent words on a single topic is hard. So without further delay, let's dive right into...

Random Sporting Thoughts

I find it odd that the same pundits that decry the offensive explosion in baseball howled about two excellent defenses playing in the Super Bowl. How anyone could watch the Ravens' defense in the playoffs and say they weren't Championship material is beyond me.

So let me get this straight, Team A beats Team B in a head to head match up and come playoff time, when the teams finish with identical records, Team B goes to the playoffs and Team A stays home? How is that justified? How do you even begin to explain that? Forget about rankings and polls and all the rest, that's just not logical.

And don't give me that crap about Washington. We aren't talking about "I beat you and you beat him, so I'm better than him." We are talking about "I beat you, so I'm better than you."

Maybe if the NFL installed the BCS system of rankings and polls, the Colts would have advanced past Miami anyway.

No wait, Miami is a Florida team.

Daniel Snyder, providing joys to untold millions of non-Redskins fans.

I'm not going to say that Manny Ramirez is the missing piece. I'm not going to say this is the year. I'm not going to say it, I am not going to say it.

A-rod, I get why you left, but did you have rundown the franchise that gave you your start? Couldn't you have just said that the money was better in Texas?

So how much do you think Jeter is gonna get?

Give Dan Duquette his props (though he is still going to receive my foot up his ass for letting Mo Vaughn go) he's added legitimate superstars to a team that hasn't had any in a while. I think he might be OK.

Note to the drunken yahoo sitting behind me during the Super Bowl, "IT'S TELEVISION, THEY CAN'T HEAR YOU!!!"

Anyone that tells you that was a boring Super Bowl is out of his head. Yes, the score was one-sided, but there was enough hitting and big plays in that game for three Super Bowls. That was defensive football at it's best folks.

BTW, congrats to Trent Dilfer. He not only returned to the city that spurned him to win a title, but refused to gloat afterwards. Nice to see somebody on that team with some class.

When betting on the big game, stick to basics, bet the spread and the over-under. Please for the love of god, avoid and prop bets, they will just break your heart. Trust me on this one.

Much as I try, I can't help wishing that the big comeback story in the NHL was the Great One instead of Super Mario. Don't get me wrong, it is a wonderful story and good for hockey and all of that, but I really miss watching Gretzky play.

You know, it turns out that I don't really hate the NBA after all. With the Sixers and Kings both threatening to be the number one seeds in respective divisions...I LOVE THIS GAME. Not really, but it is more fun to watch when your teams don't suck.

That being said, I'd still rather watch the XFL, NFL Europe or hockey than a basketball game. You will note that I did not include the Arena Football League. That is because, as regular readers are no doubt aware, the AFL is nothing but basketball with pads anyway.

When betting on the big game pt. II, never ever listen to your friend that claims to know everything about football, betting, etc. They will invariably be wrong and have perfectly valid explanations for their faulty picks. This prohibits you from kicking their ass all over the parking lot of the sports book, as they so richly deserve.

So the XFL opens with a monster rating and Vince is a genius. Then they proceed to lose two thirds of that rating over the next two weeks and Vince is an idiot. The word for the day in sports writing is perspective.

And please, for the love of God, stop comparing the XFL to the USFL. The USFL didn't fold because its ratings were down or because people stopped attending its games. The USFL went down the tubes because they started a bidding war they could never win, tried to move to the fall to compete head to head with the NFL and pinned their hopes on a big anti-trust judgment that they were never going to see. When the XFL starts making these errors you can start comparing the two leagues. Until then just shut the hell up and see what happens.

Mark Cuban is a young guy with no discernable social skills and a truckload of money. That is pretty much all you need to know. We could get into his overwhelming need to A) be noticed, B) win basketball games, C) succeed in a non-technical arena, but for now let's just stick to the no social skills, way too much money explanation for his behavior.

This is the year. Bookmark this page and return often to remind yourself that I picked my beloved Red Sox to finally overtake the Yankees and nearly 100 years of torment and win the World Series. This is it, this is the year.

There I said it.

Dean's House of Pain Joy

The Official Site for the Colts The Official Site for the New York Rangers The Official Site for the Boston Red Sox The Official Site for the San Jose Rhinos