Basketball Madness/Baseball Sadness

Three days & counting. In just three more days, the Final Four begins. Butler, VCU (Virginia Commonwealth University), Connecticut (UConn) and Kentucky begin their final quest to become the NCAA Men’s champion for 2011.

I am really hoping that the last few games live up to the tournament up to this point. We have had some amazing games, fantastic finishes and of course, in my case, heartbreaking endings (Arizona-UConn: ‘missed it by that much’). While you would expect that we will see great basketball this weekend, the question is, can they be what we want? Nobody knows for sure at this point but, all signs are pointing in that direction. That being said, I would be remiss if I didn’t give the Twitter Coaching updates today. So here we go:

Shaka Smart @coachsmartvcu :    5393 followers

Brad Stevens @BUCoachStevens :    10237 followers

(Forgot this one yesterday. Comparing new Tennessee coach Cuonzo Martin’s 2 Twitter accounts)

Missouri State account: @CuonzoLMartin 1799 followers

Tennessee account: @CuonzoMartin 3913 followers

I’ll to try keep following this over the next week. It will be interesting to see how much the followers jump after Saturday’s game between Butler & VCU. Will the winner of that game see a huge jump in followers????? We will see.

MY OH MY: The immortal words of legendary Seattle Mariners broadcaster, Dave Niehaus. Those words will never be uttered by him again. As many already know, Dave passed away last year of heart failure.

Being the college basketball fan that I am, I haven’t given much attention to baseball. I thought it was strictly because of basketball. Then I thought it was because baseball is so dog-gone long that you don’t really need to pay attention until the end of May or June right before the all star game; if for no other reasons that to see how far your team is out of it (excluding Yankee & Red Sox fans) or to find the latest rumors of which players on your team the aforementioned teams will be coming after. This year, with the Mariners, maybe by the end of April, we’ll begin to hear the rumors of the vultures circling (who am I kidding, we’ve been hearing it since the end of last season…not that there’s anyone other than Felix Hernandez).

But I read an article on ESPN today that made me realize how sad this baseball season is going to be without Dave’s voice. Musician Duff McKagan, who is from Seattle, really strikes a chord (pardon the pun) with his article about Dave. Speaking for many Mariners fans not only in Seattle but througout the entire Northwest. Dave’s voice was a constant for baseball fans from March-October. Like all great baseball broadcasters, he painted a picture with his voice describing every play to make you feel like you were right there in the ballpark. His was a voice that made you feel like everything was going to be alright. Things were okay as long as you could hear Dave’s voice on the Mariners broadcast. In this chaotic, crazy world we live in, sometimes we need those calm, reassuring voices in our lives to bring peace to the turmoil. Yes, even in baseball.

But this year will be different. No more ‘break out the rye bread & mustard grandma, it’s grand salami time’. No. Things will not be the same. I’m not sure how much I will pay attention this year. I know they still have Rick Rizzs, Dave Sims, Mike Blowers, et al. But they aren’t Dave and they would never try to be. His shoes are too big go fill, his microphone too much an extension of that voice. Mariners games won’t be the same. Then again, it’s like life. Life is never the same from year to year. Why should baseball be any different? 

CadChica Sports 

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