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Random musings on a playoff Sunday.

Do I really need to say out loud that I hope Bob loses today?

Patrick Smith

Quite a bit of stuff going on, so thought I would spout off a little...

...NFL Playoffs.
Yesterday's games were abysmal. Let's hope the action today is more entertaining.

I'm rooting for Indy and Seattle. I think it will be Baltimore and Washington.

First game after announcing he will retire? Ray Lewis might eat the entire Indy offense for a pre-game snack.

Bob. Words cannot do justice to my desire that he lose. I hate that for the rest of the Redskins. I really like the RB Morris, and it's because of him that I think they win. Hopefully I'm wrong.

...Cowboys lose to Kansas State in Manhattan.

For those who say there are no "good" losses, let me ask this...would you rather lose to the purple frog at home, or Willie on the road? Enough said. Oklahoma State is not a top 10 juggernaut, hell, not even top 15, so losing to a ranked team on the road is nothing to be embarrassed about. The much bigger issue going forward is how Coach Ford can get Le'Bryan Nash focused and interested. That will determine where this team goes. If Nash continues to struggle with production on BOTH ends of the floor, let's hope the team can keep their heads above water until Brian Williams returns.

Feels like Nash, and Williams' return, will be the difference between a potential 2-3rd place finish and a 6th place finish. If they can't stay ahead of OU, WV, Tech, and TCU, then Ford can pack his bags. That should be 8 wins in conference, they will pick up at least 2 more from the others (KU, Bay, KState, IowaSt) at home, and I think they pick off one of those on the road. That would be 21 wins, and definitely a trip to the dance, which saves Travis.

...OSU in the NFL
Love seeing so many guys having success, but Weeden and Blackmon break my heart. A very good QB with a crappy OL and WR's that can't catch consistently, and a fantastic receiver with QB's that struggle to get him the ball. If I was Jacksonville, I'd be trolling the disgruntled and impatient waters in Cleveland to maybe get Weeden. He would be worth it. I might wish for Blackmon to Cleveland, but they're not smart enough for that. And I don't want to hear about how complicated or impossible either would be. If the powers that be wanted either enough, it would happen.

Never mind, and I've tweeted this before, that every other team that has a rookie QB altered their system to suit the talents of their respective new star, most notably Washington. Cleveland didn't do a thing. Took a still green rookie QB (remember, this was only Weeden's 4th season as a starter, EVER) who was use to operating exclusively out of the shotgun, playing fast, and slinging it all over the place, and forced him into a slow, methodical, "under center" dominant offense surrounded by the worst pass catching group of wide receivers in the NFL. Oh yea, and an offensive line like swiss cheese for a fairly immobile QB.

...West Ham vs Manchester United
I'm not a huge soccer fan, but I love that it has found it's way to sports TV in the US. I tuned into this match when it was rerun last night, and watched some of the most beautiful play I've ever seen. I made my wife stop what she was doing to watch a replay of Manchester's first goal, and even she said "Wow."

Did something happen in hockey last night?

I care every so slightly more for professional basketball than I do for professional hockey.

Commercials already for The Masters? Thank heavens, or I might not know that it's the second weekend in April at that completely unknown track in Georgia. Almost as bad as Christmas.

...and a few comments about Le'Bryan Nash and social media.
We don't have to like it, but we have to accept it's existence. By "it," I mean throngs of knuckleheads with a voice. Social media is not like a driver's license, or the right to vote, or buying alcohol. There is no limitation for those who are young and immature to venture into what is an extremely adult world, filled with all kinds of potholes. It is world made up of those who love to look and those who love to be looked at. If you are out there, that's it. Full monty. No such thing as partial exposure. Freedom of speech. And no requirements for maturity or intelligence in order to participate.

If you haven't already done so, you should be following Kevin DeShazo and Fieldhouse Media. Great business focused on educating institutions, students, and particularly student-athletes, on the murky waters of social media.

Blogs are another outlet that, really, there is no filter for.

If you are going to swim with the sharks, and that's exactly what social media and the blogosphere are all about, you will get bit, even if you are being a good, diligent citizen.

And that leads us to Nash.

He showed up at a slam dunk contest, which he won, with a big orange cowboy hat on his head. He stated on several occasions, via various outlets, that championships were coming to GIA. He has tweeted about "upsets" and bringing the rowdy back to GIA. Ok, fine, nothing vulgar or out of line, but he established the expectation among the fans that he was hungry and ready to go full throttle on the court. If he is going to put it out there, then he better be ready for the backlash when the "fans" don't get what they are expecting. That's the life of a high profile athlete. Honestly, if there was no Twitter, this would not be an issue, but if you are going to open your mouth, you better back it up.

At the same time, we are all also to blame. We dumped ALL of our hoops hopes and dreams, fairly or unfairly, on this one kid. He was labeled a potential "one and done" prospect, not by him, but by the professional media. Maybe Ford needs to have a "I'm a man" moment of his own.

I have been a vocal critic of both Ford and Nash, and I don't shy away from that. I have a background in playing, coaching, and officiating basketball, so I'm not ignorant of the demands and requirements on both positions. But I will also freely state that I like them both, to the extent that one can like a person that they do not know personally. I want them both to succeed (unlike Bob), but that does not prohibit me, and others, from declaring in a dignified fashion their dissatisfaction with their performances.

Unfortunately they, and others, will have to endure the ravings of those not so dignified as long as things like Twitter are around.