Thursday, March 12, 2009

Terrible Night

Wow, talk about a letdown of an evening in the Pittsburgh sports scene.

If you read this blog much, you know my ultimate sports passion is with the Pitt Panthers, and specifically with their basketball squad. So needless to say, that alone made this was a pretty atrocious evening for me.

And then that gets topped off with a Pens game that got my hopes up thanks to a superb comeback, and yet the Pens came up short in a dramatic shootout. Few things sting more than a close shootout loss, and this was especially true tonight.

I don't think I have the energy or the masochistic mentality for a big-time recap of either, so here are some random thoughts while I try to figure out what the hell I'm going to do for the next two nights in semi-abandoned Oakland now that the Panthers aren't going to be playing.

-I'm refusing to get too worked up over this loss, as there is a much larger goal in mind here than the Big East Championship. (By the way, what's with the decision to call the Big East Tournament the Big East Championship this season? I haven't the BET moniker even once. Weird.) If you play a solid team like WVU three times in a season, there is a very,very, very, very good chance that you lose once. They are too good of a team and have too many frisky players like Ruoff and Butler to expect to beat them three teams in a season. So don't go tip-toeing out onto the ledge for this one Pitt fans.

-All that said, I hate losing to the damn Hoopies.

-Is anyone else a bit unconvinced by the claims by several analysts that Pitt has a number 1 seed locked up despite this loss? I'm not sure I buy that it's locked up. Think about this hypothetical. UConn and Louisville both make it to the Big East Championship Game (note I am writing this before the UConn game has ended, so if they end up losing to the Cuse don't blame me for this being a stupid idea). That game ends up being a very close game that the Ville wins. UConn and Louisville both have to have number 1 seeds, right? Right. Then, North Carolina dismantles the ACC predictably and also has to snag a number 1 seed, right? Right. I would agree that Pitt is the odds-on favorite for the 4th 1 seed, but I don't think it's a lock. What if Memphis debacles the rest of the C-USA in their tournament? They'd have to be in the discussion right? Or say if Michigan State steamrolls the Big Eleven in that tournament, then they have to be in the discussion right? Hell, what if Wake pulls a big surprise and upends UNC in the ACC Tournament and wins that? UNC still probably gets a 1 right? Then Wake has to be given a long look for a 1, too. I'm just sayin' folks. It doesn't pay to back into the Big Dance.

-I've said it before, and I have a sinking feeling I'm going to have to say it again: DeJuan Blair really needs to grow the hell up. The T was him trying to get a stupid cheap shot in. That was useless and pointless and moronic. Why take the chance that the refs will call that? His other fouls were all just about as dumb. The attempt at taking a charge almost caused me to throw my HDTV out the window even though I was watching the game with about 7 other people at my apartment. DeJuan, you are a tremendous talent and one of the most superb talents I have ever seen wear the Panther uni, but you are driving me batty with the way you constantly have those brain farts out there on the court. Aaaarrgh...just maddening.

-There wasn't one player who played a good game tonight for Pitt. There. I said it. And that's all the further I'm going to get into criticizing of the players for tonight's game.

-Now I may not want to criticize the players...but be damn sure I am going to throw the refs under the damn bus and then back over them 12 or 13 times. I want to preface this complaint by saying that I don't think good refs (not that they exist in college hoops) would have helped Pitt, as they were flat-out outplayed tonight. Keeping that in mind: Jim Burr is a freaking joke. Seriously. I f-ing hate that guy. He is a waste of human life. He has mental capabilities equal to that of Bilo Sagdiyev. Or, as he's better know, this guy's brother. And in case you aren't aware, Bilo was kept in a cage, was described as having a very small head and 204 teeth, and was taunted sexually by his sister because he couldn't have sex with her until of course he broke out of his cage... and well I've probably gone too far. But to me that sounds like a dead ringer for Burr's personal life. And yet there he is, officiating college basketball games. That's encouraging.

-As for the Pens...I mean I'm just pleased we got a point out of that game. I was flipping to it during commercials, and after seeing the Pens go down 2-0 in the second and 3-0 in the third, I thought we were pretty much dunzo. The Pens showed a lot of heart coming back like they did, and there's no shame in squeezing a point out of a tough road game in which you came out totally flat-footed against a foreign opponent like the BJ's. (Infinitely better name than the Blue Jackets)

-Scoreboard/ Standing watching update:
So really we are about even with the Rangers, who have played 1 less and have 1 less point, and we are definitively ahead of Carolina and Buffalo and slightly ahead of Florida, which has 1 less game played and 2 less points. We now get Ottawa Saturday afternoon, and it will be worth watching how the Pens respond after finally having their win streak run out.

-I don't know where in God's name that burst of energy came from in the third period, but if we could've played like that for even an entire period this would've been going in the W column. Consistency still is an issue for the Pens, and I'm not sure how to figure that out exactly.

-I'm glad we at least managed a power play goal tonight. The power play has been the one lacking thing during the recent hot streak under Bylsma. One goal doesn't exactly do a ton to reassure me, but it is a starting point at least. I will be closely watching that unit in the coming weeks, as re-establishing the PP as a terrifying threat is a necessity to postseason success.

-Lastly, a TRS site update. I'm going to be putting together another NFL Mock Draft, my fourth, and it should be up either tomorrow or Saturday. I'm planning on making it a two-rounder this time, but we'll see what happens.

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