Baseball’s offseason this year was overshadowed by Barry Bonds, the Game of Shadows, and the forthcoming steroid investigation. That’s a shame, because there are a lot of other interesting stories heading into this baseball season. The White Sox appear to have a good chance at becoming the first team to repeat as World Series champions since the Yankees dynasty ended in 2000. In speaking of the Yankees, they signed star outfielder Johnny Damon from the Red Sox, giving them a shot at the title. And in the NL, can anyone top the Braves and Cardinals from repeating again as division champions? Here are my team and individual predictions for the 2006 MLB season.
After a weekend that might have been the best in March Madness history, the Sweet Sixteen is set, and it is loaded with questions. Can Bradley continue their improbable winning streak? Will Connecticut finally start to dominate? Is Memphis a worthy #1 seed? Can JJ Redick possibly be any more hated? With these questions and more in mind, here are my rankings of each of the Sweet Sixteen teams in order of their likelihood of winning the nation title:
Filling out your bracket and entering into online pools is one of the more fun things to do as a sports fan, and it is something unique to the NCAA Tournament. Though it is almost impossible to get even a single region entirely correct, the whole process is so addictive that I filled out five brackets in the last 30 minutes. Usually, there is at least one team you can completely trust to make the Final Four. Not the case with this year’s bracket.
Usually in the NBA, it is quite obvious as to who will win the MVP at this point of the season, or at least the race is narrowed down to two or three top contenders. This year, however, that is not the case. In fact, there are eight different players in contention for the basketball’s top individual prize: Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, Dirk Nowitzki, LeBron James, Chauncey Billups, Dwyane Wade, Allen Iverson, and Shawn Marion. Here are their rankings as of now:
The NFL has easily the best offseason in sports. There’s the draft, free agency, cuts, trades, and this year, the argument over the collective bargaining agreement. 2006 in particular will be possibly the most chaotic in the league’s history. There’s the draft that everyone is talking about, star running backs who will be moving to a different team, and the great debate between the Union and the league.
Imagine if a team in the NFL had won their division every single year since 1990. Everybody would be talking about this team heading into the year, they would be one of the most popular teams in all of sports, and it wouldn’t even be a question if they were going to repeat once again as division champions. Why is it any different with the Braves current situation in baseball?
How many times have you heard someone say this:
“Oh, no! Duke lost!?! They aren’t undefeated anymore!?! How could this be? This could ruin their entire season! Now, instead of getting a #1 seed in the NCAA Tournament, they might get a 2 seed! This really sucks.”
Hopefully, nobody has ever heard that. Here’s why: the college basketball regular season has absolutely no point. Really. Its only objective is to decide who’s playing in the NCAA Tournament–which is one of the best playoff systems in sports today. Obviously the goal in any sport is to reach the playoffs, but none is more exclusively focused than college basketball. In what other sport do people worry more about their team’s seeding for the tournament than the team’s actual record?
I have nothing against college basketball. I really don’t. I greatly enjoy watching the Tournament in March where every game matters. My problem is that none of the regular season games matter at all. Here are the arguments against my theory and why they are all untrue.
The weeks following the end of the NFL season are some of the worst weeks of the year for football fans. Football fans like me now have to care about college basketball, the NBA, or hockey (great sports, but not exciting until their playoffs kick in). Since I don’t want to write about these sports, I’ll make 10 very early predictions for the 2006-2007 NFL season.