Purdue Will Win the NCAA Tournament…

Your 2010 NCAA Tournament Champions?

Nearly everyone I know who has filled out a bracket for this year’s NCAA tournament is either completely out of the running or barely hanging on by a thread.  Remarkably, Alex Herman, a 17-year-old Chicago resident, has picked every game of the tournament correctly so far.  And, we’re not talking about a tournament that has gone according to the script.  There have been some major upsets.  How has he done it?  He has autism and has a wizard like grasp of statistics.   Even though his remaining picks would leave me high and dry (I have Syracuse winning the whole thing, and he has Purdue), I can’t help but pull for him.  It would be a magical story if he could continue on this streak.  How can you pull against magic?

BTW – His Final Four? Tennessee, Kansas State, Kentucky, Purdue

His finals match up? Kansas State vs. Purdue

His National Champion? Purdue

You can see a video of Alex here.

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The Colts made a mistake.

The smartest man in football may have pulled the bonehead move of the season in the NFL.

I admire the Colts President Bill Polian.  As much as one can be in the game of football, he is a genius.  He built a winning organization at Buffalo, and he was the man at the helm when the Carolina Panthers made it to the NFC Championship in only their second year in the league.  He knows football.  He knows talent.  He knows the NFL, and Sunday he spit on its history.  His Indianapolis Colts had the opportunity to pursue the ultimate achievement in the NFL, a perfect season.  Instead he devised a strategy that pulled his key players from the lineup by the fourth quarter, effectively giving the game to the New York Jets and ending a historical run at perfection. 

Ostensibly, it was done to protect the starters from injury as they head into the playoffs.  1.) I don’t buy it.  I think Polian believes that pursuing a perfect season was too much pressure to carry into the playoffs.  I think he believes his players will play loose and have more focus going into the games without the added stress of remaining perfect. 

If  we’ve learned anything this season, we’ve learned the Colts thrive on pressure.  In fact, they don’t seem to play with focus until the game is on the line and it’s do or die on each remaining possession.  I think Polian took away that sense of urgency that seems to give the Colts the edge. 

2.) The Colts have one more game in the regular season, and they get a bye week in the playoffs.  If Polian is concerned about injury to his key players, that means they won’t see any significant playing time in the last regular season game.  Manning and the gang didn’t look too sharp last week when they were in the game.  We’re looking at three weeks of a preseason type atmosphere for those key players.  Can you say “rusty?”  I don’t like where this headed.

Look, Bill Polian knows more about football than I could ever know if I lived three lifetimes studying the game.  That being said, I think he made a mistake for his team.  I think he disrespected the game, and I think he robbed the Indianapolis fans.  Bill as Ricky used to say to Lucy, “You got some splaining to do!”

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Coolest Uniforms Ever

Took a lunch break from rewrites and watched a little of the Army-Navy game.  In the football world, the game hasn’t meant anything in a long, long time, but I was totally psyched watching the game.  Not because of the quality of play, but because of the super cool uniforms, particularly the Army uniforms.  Sweet!  Only a true redneck like me would get excited by camouflage uniforms.

Duty, Honor, Country

"Duty, Honor, Country"