Five Lessons I learned in March

photo courtesy of Pherit/Flickr

photo courtesy of Pherit/Flickr

By Matthew Johnson, Sports Editor

Published Apr. 1, 2015

I hope you have been paying attention to March Madness as much as I have. Watching the nail-biting, edge of your seat, yelling-at-the-TV screen games throughout the day and night as you fold up and throw away the bracket you believed would had been the one bracket to rule them all in your office pool has been a yearly tradition which I enjoy. Of course, seeing the advancing UNCG basketball in the NCAA tournament has been–, sike! April Fools! UNCG basketball is definitely not worthy of joining the madness of March. Yet, while I learned that the Spartans were not going to the tournament in November, there is still much I learned this month.    

1. Commissioner Silver should look to shorten season

In the NBA, injuries to superstars such as: Chris Bosh, Kevin Durant,  and Derrick Rose have profoundly derailed what could had been a special year for the NBA. In the Association, especially in the Western Conference, it has been exciting to watch all season the competitive nature of the contenders for the NBA Finals. Yet, teams such as the Chicago Bulls, the Miami Heat, and the Oklahoma City Thunder (who could had been in the conversation as contenders) have been gutted due to injuries this season.  Commissioner Adam Silver should look into perhaps shortening the 82-game regular season, since the downtime would give players more rest throughout the six-month regular season and allow fans to see teams at their most healthy levels.

2. The NFL has reach goal of owning every month

The 9 billion dollar sporting league juggernaut has yearly captured the attention of the country in a manner incomparable to any other industry in the nation. In the highest rated presidential TV debate in 2012 between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, the final Nielson reports analyzed close to 67 million viewers watched the event. For Super Bowl XLVI in the same year, the Nielsen reported that 111.3 million people watched the 2012 Super Bowl. Showing that games do not need to occur to still be the talk around the water cooler, the exasperating personnel moves by Chip Kelly, the strengthening of the AFC East and the seemingly spontaneous combustion of the San Francisco 49ers have been the highlights of the offseason. With still plenty of free agents around and the NFL draft approaching, the NFL will still be the most talked about topic even with the NBA and NHL playoffs and Opening Day in baseball nearing.     

3. Yankees have no one to blame but themselves for Alex Rodriguez

The disgraced three-time baseball MVP has returned to Major League baseball after missing the entire 2014 season due to a suspension for violating the league’s Performance Enhancing drug policy. With all the disdain towards the third baseman from fans and opposing players, perhaps the harshest scorn has come from his own team. Team brass was reportedly disturbed that Rodriguez took the initiative to report to training camp a week earlier than the rest of the team. While what the 20-year veteran has done to the game has been indefensible, he has served his punishment and should be accepted back into the fold of the Yankee clubhouse. Perhaps upset that the 39 year old still has two years on his ludacris $252.8 million dollar deal, New York were the ones who offered the deal, A-Rod simply signed. For this reason, for all the bitterness that Brian Cashman and the Steinbrenner brothers feel towards Rodriguez, they are the ones who sought to bring back Rodriguez in a historical deal.

4. Little doubt that major college sports are unclean

Syracuse’s Jim Boeheim is still one of the greatest college basketball coaches in sport’s history. Yet, with the athletics scandal that hit the Syracuse Orangemen last month, it makes even the most diehard college athletic fan to contemplate, “is there a major school which has not bent the rules?” Coaches such as Boeheim, Jim Tressel at Ohio State, Pete Carroll at USC, Steve Fisher at Michigan have had troubled in some of the largest schools in college sports. With such a figure that had been considered a titan in college basketball, it makes a college basketball fan think if the best coaches have had some shady business in their careers, has most college programs done similar work.

5. Wes Miller extension good move

While the Men’s Basketball team has not been in the conversation as one of the best teams in the Southern Conference for far too long, having not made the NCAA Tournament since 2001, the move to extend Head Coach Wes Miller was a smart move from the school. Having taken over Mike Dement midway in the 2011-12 season, the Chapel Hill graduate has gone 29-38 in nearly four seasons at the helm. As critics can point out to the under .500 record for Miller, the coach has faced major injuries in each season as his coach and has yet to have a full season with all of his key players on the floor. For a basketball program, stability is just as important as a top recruiting class, and what Wes Miller brings is an atmosphere of security to the team. While the team has struggled, I would suggest giving Coach Miller another year since this will be his fourth full year in the program and the fourth season is usually when a head coach’s impact is fully felt by the program.

Categories: matthew johnson, Sports

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