Bracket simulator: Cal, Harvard in Final Four

Bracket simulator: Cal, Harvard in Final Four
March 20, 2013, 8:45 pm
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Aaron Rodgers is entering the fifth year of a six-year, $55 million deal, while Jeremy Lin is in the first year of a three-year, $25 million contract. (USA TODAY IMAGES)

Given our momentary fixation on the bracket – the greatest geometrical shape ever conceived other than maybe the dodecahedron --- more and more web sites have come up with new ways to parse the NCAA Tournament. One, by Payscale.com, may interest locals, in that Cal and Harvard pencil out as national finalists based on average graduate income, but since few of you went to either Cal or Harvard, Chris Mottram’s Beer Bracket is probably the most helpful.

That is, until you realize that (a) he couldn’t think of any Oregon beers, which is an outrage given the existence of Cascade’s Vlad The Imp Aler Northwest Sour, and (b) he chose Cal’s beer over UNLV’s, but got that one just wrong a bit, going with the Lagunitas Sucks Imperial IPA rather than either member of the Pliny family from Russian River.

Oh, and (c), the most prevalent beer in Las Vegas is Casino Free, which should have been given much more intensive consideration.

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Rumors out of Arizona have the Los Angeles Dodgers negotiating to acquire the World Baseball Classic and then eliminating it, holding up Hanley Ramirez’ thumb as Exhibit A. This is why major league teams hate the WBC, which is why it can never be fixed without the one thing that nobody wants to do – pay the players a bunch of money for doing their patriotic duty.

And let’s be honest here: What’s more patriotic than cashing in for looking selfless and noble? Your answer, in case you’re stumped, is “Are you kidding?”

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In case this is bothering you, the answer is no, the Cavaliers were not unlucky Wednesday night. They were the Cavaliers. And the Heat, which had been the Cavaliers, became the Heat just in time to remind everyone of this important and-should-have-been-self-evident truth.

A WINNING STREAK IS NEVER A BAD THING, NO MATTER HOW CONTRARIAN A DEBATING SCENARIO YOU TRY TO CREATE. IF LOSING EVERY ONCE IN AWHILE ISN’T A BAD IDEA, THEN LOGICALLY LOSING ALL THE TIME IS A GREAT IDEA, AND NOT EVEN ARNOLD ROTHSTEIN BELIEVES THAT.

Sorry to go all-caps, but this shouldn’t really have to be said, should it?

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Brian Urlacher found out that being the prototypical Chicago Bear counts the same as being the prototypical anything on any NFL team. In fact, he probably could have studied up on Dick Butkus to find out how it works. That said, he couldn’t have been surprised at how this ends for everyone, especially after New England owner Bob Kraft decided to get snippy about Tom Brady for his Wes Welker grumbles.

Plus, it’s been a few years since Urlacher was national ads-good, anyway. Good, yes, but his best days were nailed to the “You Are Now Leaving XXX: Come Again Soon” highway sign.

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The NHL general managers, meeting in Death To Tourists, Nova Scotia (ha ha ha, just kidding), have decided to recommend only shortening the height of a goalie’s leg pads as a rules change to be taken to the league’s competition committee, meeting in St. Maarten (way more like it).

Makes sense, too. Nashville’s Pekka Rinne, who is 6-5, had his pads rezoned for residential use so he could use them as walls for his backyard shed.

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And finally, Fresno State president John Welty is the new voice saying that his school will drop football if forced to share its revenues with the athletes who deliver the money. This preposterous bluff should be called, and it may be, but since Welty is retiring, it won’t be called on his watch. So we will leave you today with this:

[RATTO: Commissioners follow one thing and one thing only: Money]

“John, for the good of society, stop speaking. If you really think it is noble to take opportunities away from student athletes just to prove a point to a judge, then you’re getting out of the business at just the right time. Oh, but that’s a nice touch leaving this smoldering bag of the dog’s business on the front porch of your successor. Quality move, J.D. Top shelf all the way.”

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