A busy week produced a ton of feedback. We'll touch on our three-day trip along Tobacco Road, where in three nights and 109 miles, four of the top eight teams played. Then we'll wrap up our BCS discussion (until next year) and finally get to the NFC playoffs.
As always, thanks for all of the feedback. Each and every email is read and appreciated. To improve your chances of being reprinted, please include name and city.
Now on to The People's Voice ...
THE ACC ("Where the action is" January 10, 2005)
Why do all you sportwriters praise the ACC? Chris Paul is overrated. Just another point guard in ACC who gets hyped up because he is in THE league per you writers. I can name many other point guards who are better than Chris Paul. Aaron Miles, Dee Brown, John Lucas ... etc.
Chris Paul overrated? Have you watched Chris Paul play basketball? And you think writers have a regional bias?
If you finish one game above .500 in the most competitive basketball conference in the country, it says A LOT about your mettle! Look at Georgia Tech, which was 9-7 in the ACC and went to the Final Four along with Duke. The ACC in January, February and March is WHY you get ESPN Full Court on Direct TV!
MARYLAND vs. WAKE ("Terra-fying" January 11, 2005)
Saw your article on the Terps. I've been a season-ticket holder for about five years now and I have to say I saw this coming. I love the heart Gary's players always seem to play with, but it seems this year the lack of outside shooting and a true big man will keep them from being competitive with the ACC elite.
With all the top players in the country headed to Tobacco Road, do you think Maryland is entering an era in which it will be very hard for them to keep up with the teams from North Carolina and even Georgia Tech?
This team struggles from outside and it can cost them this year. That said, long range, I think as long as Williams is in College Park, Maryland will get the necessary talent to be an ACC contender.
Is it your knowledge or assumption that Paul will go NBA next year? Wake Forest has never had a player not finish.
My assumption, but it is based on 10 different NBA teams telling me they expect him to be a top-two pick in June. Paul is a unique and mature person, but in 99 out of 100 cases a player in his position turns pro. This is your modern day Isiah Thomas, and Thomas lasted only two years.
GEORGIA TECH vs. UNC ("This is No. 3?" January 12, 2005)
I enjoyed your editorial on NC being the "best team" and trying to remind everyone how good Illinois and Kansas are.
Just because NC beat Tech by 20-plus doesn't mean they're better than Illinois or Kansas. Remember, Kansas just finished off Tech and Kentucky. Illinois has beaten the like of Gonzaga and Cincinnati and let's not forget the 30 point "take 'em out to the woodshed" victory over then-No. 1 Wake Forest.
Thank you for actually reading the article, in which I clearly state that it's unfair to Illinois and Kansas to say UNC is No. 1. For some reason many, many Illini fans thought I was saying the opposite and wrote in to complain. Interestingly the KU readers seemed to understand. Better reading comprehension classes out there, I guess.
DUKE vs. N.C. STATE ("A different Duke" January 13, 2005)
Labeling the Duke Blue Devils a team of overachievers is just plain silly, no matter their injury situation. They are the New York Yankees of college hoops. They were in the Final Four last year and certainly get a high number of the top recruits each season. Is it really that surprising, Dan?
I said they were thin and moderately talented "by Duke's standards." Obviously the Blue Devils have players, but not like years past. If you like basketball (even if you hate Duke) you have to appreciate the intelligent, efficient way this team plays.
Thanks for giving Duke credit for being more than just a bunch of all-stars. I am enjoying watching this team play as much as any of our teams that had four or five NBA players on it. Coach K is at his best this year.
MORE BCS ("Unconcerned" January 5, 2005)
I agree with [your] comments on the BCS. There is an alternative way to get playoffs: Just schedule them. Invite conference champions. Start Dec 1. If the Pac-10 champ would rather wait and play in the Rose Bowl they forfeit.
Once upon a time teams chose to pass up the NCAA basketball tourney to play in the NIT. When the UCLA era came along, the ultimate achievement in the sport and the money changed. When Utah and Louisville play and are officially the first true NCAA champions, the BCS house of cards will fall.
Westlake Village, Calif.
Interesting idea. The NCAA could try it, but it would require a bold and potential divisive move by Myles Brand. The chance of alienating a major conference that might leave the NCAA and start its own organization is probably too much to ask. I can't see Brand, who wants to be popular, doing it.
This is in answer to Jeff's post in your mailbag comments on filing a lawsuit against the BCS.
I have already submitted my entire case against the BCS to an attorney's forum where thousands have the opportunity to take the case. My thoughts, being a former investigator myself, were factual and researched carefully. I went from the premise the BCS system was an Anti-trust issue and violated key issues of that law.
To date, I have four lawyers willing to take it on. I'm working with them to initiate it and want to be the first to expose this "monopoly" for what it is. I won't give up and this should send a message to the conference commissioners that their names will be specifically included in this lawsuit and they will, equally, be held liable for resulting damages, awards, etc.
So, get your network of friends going and let everyone know this process has now started. Look out BCS conglomerate; we're gonna get ya!
Keep me posted.
Great comment on the 2008 election and the BCS situation. You should really think about running for president yourself on the platform "BBQ on every plate and a I-A college football playoff every year." This would undoubtedly bring our country closer together!
I may form a political action committee if only so I can take tax-free payoffs from both sides of the argument.
VIKINGS vs. EAGLES ("Eagles are a loose group" January 16, 2005)
Don't even compare the Eagles to the Red Sox referring to team spirit or otherwise. This is the same Donovan McNabb who pouted on the sidelines during three consecutive NFC championship losses. Team leader he is not. Inspiration for fans and players he is not. And world-class athlete he is not. He is the most overrated passer in the game today. Rush Limbaugh was right and the whole world knew it.
I was willing to listen until the Rush-Limbaugh-was-right part. I thought we put the notion that McNabb is just a media creation behind us.
The Eagles did not "steal" anything from the Boston Red Sox. The whole "laughing and being loose" thing has nothing to do with the Boston Red Sox. It was convenient for your story but it is factually untrue. Donovan McNabb, the team's leader and captain, is as relaxed and loose as they come. That is just how he is. It is how he leads and it is how he has always been.
Donovan has been cool and relaxed in games since he started playing for the Eagles. This carries over to the locker room. So please don't just say that they stole it from the Boston Red Sox. They're simply following their leader.
Actually a lot of Eagles appeared more relaxed than McNabb on Sunday, but your point is taken. Although, the line was just comparative, since I doubt the Eagles sat around and consciously decided to be the Red Sox. Maybe they should though. There are worse teams to try and emulate.