In honor of March Madness, this seemed appropriate.


Blue Versus Red

The hot topic in the news right now is Health Care Reform. It seems most people agree reform is needed, but aren’t sure the plan presented is the option we should go with. I really have no idea what the best route is, but I generally say change is better than doing nothing, especially when the path we are currently on doesn’t have a happy ending. Obama’s legacy will largely depend on what his administration does concerning Health Care. For that reason, along with reform being essential, I wish them luck.

Tonight Kentucky plays Cornell in the NCAA Tourney. Cornell is this year’s Cinderella, media darling, and David rolled into one. Neither team has much NCAA experience. Cornell is playing close to home, but Kentucky travels well. West Virginia and Washington fans are likely to side with the underdog, Cornell, in hopes that they won’t have to play Kentucky to advance to the Final Four. Kentucky will win and advance to the next round because they are a more talented team, but more importantly the team had a few days to properly prepare for Cornell. A lot of the “upsets” in the tournament come in the 1st and 2nd rounds because of preparation and the difficulty of properly seeding teams. Favorites seem to lose early because they aren’t familar with their opponent and don’t have much time to prepare for them, especially between rounds 1 and 2. With more time between 2nd and 3rd round games that 1st and 2nd round games, better teams tend to prevail because they have coaches that can better prepare a team and the underdog teams have used up their bag of tricks during the first weekend.

Last week I spoke at the Illinois Coaches’ Conference. The conference director, Pamela Dorner-Saxhaug, was great and easy to work with. She was one of the founding members of the Association hosting the conference because she wanted to help educate the coaches in her area. My topics at the conference were stunt transitions and maximizing you score. For the stunt transition sessions I got to work with the girls from CheerTime USA (United Starz Academy), pictured below. They were a talented group and I enjoyed working with them.

I’m not sure when the Kentucky women play again, but I know they have a Sweet Sixteen game in Kansas City. Hopefully between victories they’ll have a chance to get some Arthur Bryant’s. I think that’s all for now.

Tourney Time & Jealousy

The NCAA Tournament field has been announced and Game One has been played. A lot of Kentucky fans are upset about our path, but I’m not too bothered by it. Assuming the higher seeds advance, we’ll play East Tennessee State, Texas, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Duke, and Kansas. I’m not upset with this path because it’s the national championship tournament, meaning you are supposed to play tough teams, and I’d prefer to play teams from major conferences that I’m familiar with than the mid-majors and small conference teams that turn into Cinderellas. Given that no 16 seed has ever beat a 1 seed in the men’s tournament, I’m not worried about our only non-BCS conference opponent. I think the second round game, against Texas or Wake Forest, is a bit harsh for a second round, but both of these teams had less than spectacular endings to their seasons and slid down the seeding totem pole. Once we make it to the second weekend we are theoretically supposed to play the 15th, 7th, and 3rd ranked team to make it to the final game, which match up well with Wisconsin, West Virginia, and Duke.

I saw a kid with a Batman mask and white cape in Kroger the other day. I must say I was a little jealous because I wish I could still get away with a stunt like that. If I tried it people would probably grab their kids and cover their eyes like I was Cousin It or on the FBI Most Wanted list. I’ve actually had several conversation about being jealous of children lately because they are so carefree and easily entertained. We also had one about being jealous of Justin Bieber. How cool would it be to have done a video with Usher and Ludacris before you could drive?

Last weekend was Athletic Championships’ Gatlinburg/Sevierville event, which was a great event. At one point in time I was going to take my gym there and I think they would have enjoyed it. The hotel connected to the event center has a water park in it and I think it would have been a lot of fun for my Showtime girls. The event itself had some good teams from some well known gyms and a few from some smaller gyms I wasn’t familiar with. We did have a few legality issues during the event. Most of them involved when a pyramid connection needs to be made (at or below prep level) and what type of connection is required (arm to arm or hand to foot). Coaches, please learn the rules. It’s part of your role.

During the weekend in Tennessee we were reminded of Stephen’s fondness of Carrie Underwood and Chris Sipes’ ability to tell a story (not that we can repeat many of them, but they keep us entertained). The coaches party remained much more under control than I imagined it would. It was at a decked out cabin in the mountains and reminded me of a college house party. Since it’s still Lent I just observed the games and talked to people, some I’ve known for years, and some I met that night.

Congratulations to the Kentucky women for earning a 4 seed in the tournament along with numerous awards including SEC Coach of the Year, SEC Player of the Year, and SEC Freshmen of the Year.

Next is the Illinois Coaches’ Conference and some basketball with my cousin.