Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Wild First Weekend

Wow. That was one hell of a first weekend, and I'm going to assume that not only are you out of the running for Warren Buffett's billion dollars, you're also out of the running for your office/online pool unless you are a) incredibly lucky or b) Nostradamus. Double-digit seeds won ten games (discounting the four they won in the opening round on Tuesday and Wednesday), and three of them (Stanford, Dayton, and Tennessee) will play in the Sweet 16. Six games required overtime to complete, and a whopping twenty-two of the fifty-two games played so far have been decided by single digits, nine of them by a single possession. Six of the twelve highest-seeded teams will be watching the rest of the tournament from their couches. Let's recap some stories.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Influential Coaches #3: Robert Joseph Ahola

Previous entries:
Series Overview
January: Paul Westphal
February: Tara Gallagher

"Your mothers left you a long time ago. I'm your mother now!"

I suppose that IF there is one quote with which to sum up Robert, the longtime pro bono rugby coach at Pepperdine (he's the old man kneeling in the center of the blog's background photo), that would be it. He was tough, demanding, hilarious, and occasionally nonsensical. But I don't think that there is any coach I have ever been around who has as clearly demonstrated his sheer love for the game as Robert, and that infectious enthusiasm sustained the Pepperdine program through some lean years until a mini-breakthrough, which happily coincided with my senior season, turned it into something of a southern California powerhouse.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

March Madness Preview

It is once again time for the best three weeks on the sports calendar, and as such, time to spill some pixels about this year's tournament, which has a lot of promise. There are maybe as many as fourteen or fifteen teams that have the ability to go the distance, although each of them has a fatal flaw or two that could just as likely crop up somewhere and doom them to an early exit. Let's get to the regions and see what there is to see.

Friday, March 7, 2014

A Pioneer Passes

Baseball lost one of its most significant non-playing contributors yesterday when Dr. Frank Jobe, longtime medical adviser for the Los Angeles Dodgers and the original developer of what we know as Tommy John surgery, passed away at the age of 88. Dr. Jobe retired from his everyday practice in 2008, but remained on the Dodgers' payroll as an adviser through three ownership changes and several front office overhauls. He was honored by the Hall of Fame last summer for his work, although not given the plaque he deserves for saving countless careers and changing the game more than any other non-player except for Marvin Miller. His story, of course, is intertwined heavily with that of John himself, the pitcher who gambled on what at the time was a shoestring chance of saving his pitching career.