Well, we made it to March. Time for a bunch of madness, and whatnot. TV will be following college hoops courtside, while Fury will be watching from afar, maybe at a beachside bar in South Africa. Two pretty good options, actually.
Anyway, let’s watch The Tapes, our version of the week in words:
* The first item is a tip of the cap to Fury’s pops, a renowned Dancing with the Stars fan. The new cast has been announced. It’s headlined by … Urkel? I mean, it’s sort of hard to decide who deserves top billing. That’s one of the fun things about each new season: It highlights what each of us is or isn’t into.
For example, I’m a sportswriter with an 8-year-old daughter. Therefore, I’m as familiar with Disney star Roshon Fegan as I am with Packers receiver Donald Driver. On a related note, there’s no way Fegan should be eligible for this. He’s essentially a professional dancer to begin with.
* In list-of-the-week news, Hawaii ranks first in America in terms of well-being. Yawn, right? Not exactly. My home state, North Dakota, ranks second. Color me surprised. Yes, I get that the quality of life is pretty good in NoDak aside from the winter weather – low crime, no traffic, etc. I just figured that warm-weather and picturesque states would dominate the top of the list. Maybe I equate happiness too much with weather. That or I’ve taken my birthplace for granted.
* The latest investigative piece making the rounds in college sports comes from Sports Illustrated and centers on the troubles at UCLA.
A couple of opinions on the piece: The lead was about how the current state of the program is so different than when John Wooden was around. There’s no question about that … sort of.
First, there has long been an elephant in the supposedly lily white room, the wide-spread belief that booster Sam Gilbert gave illegal benefits to players during the Wizard’s time. So let’s not blindly canonize the Bruins’ past even if Wooden was in many ways a model human being.
But more importantly, I’m not sure what might be going on in Westwood – allegedly attitude issues, partying and preferential treatment of stars – is all that unusual in the modern era. While that doesn’t make it right, it doesn’t necessarily mean that UCLA should immediately shut down the program.
Nothing wrong with SI digging into it. Surely there are benefits to shining light on the imperfections in college hoops. But the piece might have been stronger in a larger context. It’s hardly the second coming of Baylor.