Random Fire for March 7th

This season’s Kentucky Wildcats basketball team is awful.  That’s right.  Awful.  The players have talent.  Tremendous talent.  But as a team, they are God awful.  It all starts with Archie Goodwin.  I saw it early in the season.  I hate to be an “I told you so” kind of person, especially because I wanted to be wrong, but I told my friend so.  I recognized it during the early portion of the nonconference schedule.  Archie would go 1 on 4…1 on 3…with reckless abandon three or four times a game.  I would complain to my friend about it and he would call me a negative nelly and tell me it was early.  The good teams have been able to exploit it.  Why guard anyone else on the floor when the Black Hole is in the game and has the ball.  That ball isn’t getting out of the Black Hole.  Nothing gets out of a Black Hole.  It sucks too hard.  So Archie Goodwin would have the ball and the 1 on 3s and 1 on 4s mounted up as did the losses for Kentucky.  20-10.  That’s a Tubby Smith Kentucky team.  That isn’t supposed to be a John Calipari led Kentucky team.  A Kentucky team full of McDonald’s All Americans and the top rated recruiting class in the country.  However, when you get these high ranked recruits that have never played on a TEAM because they were always the star, sometimes they don’t know how to play a team game.  This Kentucky Wildcats team is like The Wizard of Oz.  Archie Goodwin is the Scarecrow because he doesn’t have enough brains to know to pass the ball.  Alex Poythress is the Tin Man because he doesn’t have enough heart to play 40 minutes and want to play to his abilities.  Ryan Harrow is the Cowardly Lion well because he is the third culprit and the other two fit the Scarecrow and Tin Man better.  Harrow plays a cowardly game most of the time anyway when he can gain more fouls than he has points and assists.  I love Calipari and the job that he has done at Kentucky.  I’m not a huge basketball fan.  It is my third favorite sport and it is miles behind baseball and football.  I had stopped watching Kentucky basketball the last few years of Tubby’s reign of mediocrity and I can’t watch this “team” either.  This Kentucky team can’t even blame the season ending injury to Nerlens Noel for their shortcomings because they were hot garbage when Noel was healthy too.  Noel was the only person that played with any heart and hustle but it wasn’t enough.  After tonight’s thrashing in Georgia, Goodwin and the rest of the team couldn’t understand where it all went wrong.  Archie needs to look in a mirror and if he can stop being in love with his reflection for five seconds, he’ll see the answer to the question of what went wrong with this team.


The NFL Draft is still almost two months away but that hasn’t stopped 100 mock drafts from taking place.  NFL free agency hasn’t even started so it is impossible to tell what positions most teams will be targeting in the draft…especially after the first round.  It will be an important draft for the Chicago Bears on several fronts.  Everyone knows that the offensive line is pathetic.  However, who knows what players will be available in free agency for the Bears to fill those holes.  Jake Long is going to be on the market.  I doubt the Bears will have the cap flexibility or even the desire to go sign Long.  There will be other options though.  The draft also has several linemen that could be available at that 20th pick.  Personally, I would like to see them end up with the Center from Alabama, Barrett Jones.  He was successful at Alabama at 3 different positions on the offensive line.  The Bears need a center.  Roberto Garza has a lot of wear and tear on him and won’t last many more years and he would probably be better being moved back to guard where he belongs anyway.  DJ Fluker from Alabama is another intriguing possibility.  I would actually love to see the Bears find a way to land both of these players even if it means trading up in the second round to land Jones.  Jones and Fluker are not only very talented, they have already played together for a few seasons.  That gives them that all so important “chemistry” that you always hear about when it comes to offensive lines.  I’ve seen several of the mock drafts having the Bears going with the TE from Notre Dame in the 1st round and I just don’t think there are any tight ends in this draft worthing of such a high draft selection.  There are far greater needs to fill than going with a tight end at number 20 in the draft.  ESPN’s Todd McShay has the Bears taking a WR from Tennessee with the 20th pick.  That would be a mistake as well.  The Bears need to get creative and find a way to sign Greg Jennings as a free agent.  If they could add Jennings, it would be double positive because it would improve the Bears AND hurt the Packers.  Jennings is much more effective in the slot.  The Bears could use him in the slot and have Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffrey as huge targets going down the field.  Land the two Alabama linemen in the draft and Jennings in free agency and the Bears are a much better offense next season.  It would also be a chance to see if Jay Cutler is a franchise quarterback once and for all.


At the Bullpen Buddies meeting the other day, I picked 74 as the number of games that the Cubs would win this season.  I love the direction that the team is headed under Theo and Jed but I think it is going to take a little more time to get there.  I’m looking forward to the draft and seeing who they end up taking with the second overall selection.  Right now, I would like to see them land the pitcher from Stanford that didn’t sign with the Pirates last season.  A college pitcher should technically be closer to the majors than a high school kid and they will need an arm or two that is ready by 2015 to go along with Baez, Soler and Almora.  Keep stockpiling talent and adding pieces because it is going to be some fun times in the next few seasons as they renovate Wrigley Field and become a contender.


Finally, a word about the Blackhawks.  Everyone that knows me knows of my dislike of hockey.  I have never watched a hockey game in my life.  I don’t know the rules.  I don’t know the players.  I can’t pronounce half the players’ names.  That being said, it is amazing what the Blackhawks have done to start the season 21-0-3.  I still haven’t watched a game and won’t BUT I am paying attention to the results to see if the streak continues.  Once the streak ends, I will go back to not caring.  I’m happy for my friends that are huge Blackhawks fans and glad that they are getting to enjoy this run.  I imagine it is like the excitement I felt watching the 85 Bears or Patriots fans from a couple of seasons ago that wondered if they could go undefeated.  My guess is that the streaks comes to an end tomorrow night in Denver.  They needed a goal in the last minute to win the game the other night vs. Colorado at home…this one will be in high altitude with high pressure on the road with a giant bullseye on their backs.  But what do I know?  I’ve never watched a hockey game!


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