Saturday, March 24, 2012

College Hoops Or Pro Football: Which Has Brought The Most "March Madness?"

image via blogs.villagegreen.com
College basketball usually takes the cake when it comes to bringing "Madness" to the month of March. But this year, the NFL has given Hoops a run for its money, with an unprecedented flurry of off-season activity this month.

Don't get me wrong, the 2012 NCAA Championship Tournament has been great.  I didn't watch a lot of college ball during the regular season, but I've made up for it by indulging in many of the tournament's games.

I'm a die-hard Michigan Wolverines fan - they've been my favourite team since their 1989 championship run (Glen Rice, Rumeal Robinson, Terry Mills, Sean Higgins .....Steve Fisher as the bench-boss).  But this year they shit the bed in the first round.

Disappointing, but whatever I'm over it. And there's been plenty of other reasons to stay tuned into the action.

The tournament team I've been paying special attention to are the Baylor Bears, who feature this kid named Brady Heslip from Burlington, Ontario (he played with my nephew in high school).  Dude's been shooting the lights out from 3-point land, and his team is now set to face Kentucky tomorrow at 2:20 Eastern. Winner books a trip to the Final Four, which this year will be held at the Superdome in N'awlins.

Lots of other good teams are left as well.  Syracuse is playing great despite not having the services of Fab Melo.  Plus, Louisville dropped a rather decisive victory on Michigan State's head on Thursday night.  Coach Rick Pitino outfoxed Tom "H-to-tha" Izzo, and now his Cardinals are facing the Florida Gators in a tight ballgame as we speak (65-64 with 3:58 left in the 2nd half).

Indeed, some very exciting basketball is being played.

But March has also been an extremely intriguing month in the life of the National Football League, making offseason news this month that has had everybody talkin'!

To start, the whole story behind the Peyton Manning signing by the Denver Broncos was unquestionably one of the most dramatic, soap opera-type story lines in pro sports' history, much less NFL history!

The Broncos then shipped off QB Tim Tebow, who lead them to a division title and playoff victory, to the NY Jets.  We'll see the effect that Tebow's presence will have on Jets starting QB Mark Sanchez, who has got to be looking over his shoulder despite signing a contract extension.

We also had the New Orleans Saints Bounty Scandal suspensions.  Head Coach Sean Payton suspended for the entire season??  Former Saints Defensive Coordinator Gregg Williams (now with the St. Louis Rams) suspended indefinitely??  Are you kidding me?

Talk about laying the smack down.  Commissioner Roger Goddell is NOT PLAYIN'!  And with the potential class-action lawsuit against the League by former players looming, the Commish had no choice but to come down with a heavy hand (props to The Hustler and DiLo for their thoughts on that issue).

Plus, throw in the Detroit Lions signing superstar WR Megatron Johnson to a ridonkulous 7-year, $132 million contract, and you've had one of the most bananas NFL offseasons in recent memory.

"March Madness" is usually reserved exclusively by NCAA Basketball, and this year's tourney has not disappointed.  But the NFL has also given us it's share of headline-stealing news.  And with the draft coming up in April, I'm sure things are just heating up.

-Turnbull

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