Monday, June 01, 2009

From the Weekend That Was

Ole Miss baseball pulls off one for the ages. Well played, sports gods, well played. You let us get comfortable, start dreaming of a Super Regional in Oxford next weekend and then with one ferocious backhand slap, you casually remind us that we are indeed Ole Miss. It was an especially nice touch when you consider that we had not suffered a soul-numbing loss in quite some time. A small payback for football season I suppose.

If you missed it, Ole Miss, one game away from probably hosting a Super Regional since paired top seed UC Irvine lost, had a 9-3 lead in the eighth inning with our best reliever, Jake Morgan, who destroyed Western Kentucky the night before, pitching. He promptly surrendered six runs then gave way to in the ninth to Nathan Baker, who gave up a solo home run to complete the collapse. Now, after the 10-9 loss, Ole Miss plays again tonight. If they win, they most likely host a Super Regional next weekend against Virginia. Lose and the season is done.

If they manage to lose tonight, this will be another impressive chapter in The Book of Great Ole Miss Collapses: Baseball Edition. You may already be familiar with previous chapters “A Top Three Team That Doesn’t Make the SEC Tournament.” “Beating Texas Once is Easy; Losing the Next Two is the Hard Part,” “We Beat Miami Once, Who Knew We Had to Do It Again?” and “Yet Another Super Regional Loss: The Arizona State Chronicles.” All of those were truly award winning work. It’s hard to believe that Western Kentucky could be cause for a chapter, but you never know what the sports gods have planned.

Lakers and Magic set to produce mediocre NBA Finals ratings. It won’t be the worst Finals ever or the best, but the 2009 version of the NBA Finals should fall right in the meaty part of ratings history. The Lakers are obviously one of the bigger draws nationally and the Magic, while in a bad TV market, have a superstar in Dwight Howard and play an exciting enough brand of basketball that casual NBA fans will tune in for most of the series. Or at least until Fox starts airing a four-part “We didn’t land on the moon” special, which revisits the evidence that says we never landed on the moon. I love summertime TV.

Ohio State baseball has something in common with Ohio State football. It appears that being beaten without mercy is a common theme for Ohio State sports teams when they make a postseason appearance or play a quality opponent. The Buckeye baseball team’s season ended yesterday with a 37-6 loss to Florida State (By comparison, the football team lost to USC 35-3 last September). At this point, for the sake of Ohio State players and fans, the Buckeyes should only be allowed to play games in the states of Ohio and Michigan. That’s pretty much what they do anyway so all this rule would really do is ban Ohio State from postseason play, which is something we can all get behind.

The SEC passes the Houston Nutt Rule. At the meetings in Destin last Friday, the SEC presidents voted to cap the number of football player signings at 28, just nine players less than Ole Miss’ 2009 signing class of 37. Fortunately for Ole Miss, the rules requiring the Rebels to play with only nine players on the field at a time, forcing Jevan Snead to throw left handed and giving Ole Miss’ opposing quarterbacks a non-contact jersey did not pass.

Some Tennessee fans really, and I mean really, hated Jonathan Crompton. The Tennessee quarterback revealed that he was emailed at least two death threats during last season’s 5-7 disaster. I’m going to ignore what kind of a loser thinks that something like this is a good idea, takes the time to find an email address and then actually goes through with it. Everyone should know that when you’re angry at how your team’s quarterback is playing, you never take it out on him. Instead, you bury it deep inside and finally allow it to erupt in a 12 minute, profanity-laced tirade in which you denounce the school, the coaches, the players, everyone associated with the school and finally end it by swearing off sports forever and that you’ll never set foot on campus again or give another dollar to the school. That’s the way bad quarterbacks should make you feel. Any other way is completely unacceptable.

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