The last notable post with prose on TLBR: June 3, 2009.
Lots of memorable stuff has happened since then. Let’s recap:
It got hot; I moved to Pawtucket with Sara; the leaves fell off the trees; it got cold; Tiger crashed an SUV; it snowed; The Hangover came out on DVD; it thawed out; it rained a ton; it flooded; lots of basketball coaches got fired; I started blogging again.
(and WTF - there's another "Sex and the City" movie? In Abu Dhabi? Miranda joins the shampooing Taliban? Carrie wear a burka? Can't hurt. She still looks like a foot.
There were several events in between that I may have left out, but at least I closed strong (unlike Cinco Ocho, which was another event that missed the list).
As I’ve mentioned before, when the words were both plentiful and scarce, TLBR was born from boredom.
And it has suffered due to being busy.
And beyond busy, let's be honest, I lost it. Like Chuck Knoblauch trying to throw to first, I couldn't find my way. I lost my muse.
Here I was - your muse - and I was muse-less. Not even Scarlett Johansson - TLBR's former resident muse - could save me. Not even Zooey Deschanel - the second runner-up muse - could muster a pilot light for the TLBR inferno.
All the things that fueled the first full go-around - angst, uncertainly, a wee bit of unfiltered sarcasm - it's still there. I found them again.
But thankfully, they don't drive the ship. Just the blog.
Onto some topics.
1. The coaching carousel and the 96-team field
What in tarnation is going on in the college basketball world? Two Ivy League coaches get fired mid-season. DePaul was open for about seven months. Nobody wants UNC-Wilmington. And don't even get me started on the New Jersey corridor of the Big East Conference.
Head coaches are getting fired for being unsuccessful and not. Head coaches are taking assistant coach gigs. Hell, Oregon's offering $3 million a year and no one's biting.
TLBR's theory on this madness? The 96-team tournament is on the horizon.
What does that mean? Don't ask the guy who is supposed to be able to explain it, because he couldn't. Don't ask the folks at the NIT, which will go away should there be an additional 31 teams added to the Dance. Don't ask AD's with contracts for coaches based on a 65-team tournament.
Some coaches advocate for a 96-team tourney because it will help "save jobs." Doug Gottlieb argues - and I agree with him - that it will cause more upheaval because if you can't make a 96-team tourney...you should be canned.
My feeling? It's almost as archaic as basketballs with laces. The tournament as currently formatted allows for Princeton to almost beat Georgetown in 1989. It allows for Coppin State in 1997. It allows for Gonzaga to shed the pejorative mid-major term. It allows for George Mason to have the sun, the moon, the stars - and an underachieving UConn team - align for a Final Four run. And it allows for Butler to come one or two inches off the side of the rim from becoming the biggest story in Tournament history.
A 96-team tourney? Get used to the notion of chalk. It won't benefit the non-BCS schools - awwww, isn't that a cute way of saying mid-major these days? - it'll help the money schools and the money conferences, because that's what this whole thing is about.
It's not why I got into it. Cue up the David Barrett piano solo during the first two-and-a-half minutes of the original "One Shining Moment," but it's the best playoff system in all of sports.
Leave it to the folks who can't get a football championship right to make its men's basketball championship all wrong.
2. The Red Sox
Shampoo 'em. Ask me in May. Don't care right now. I've got a blog to restart.
And with that, we'll end today's missive.
Thanks again for coming and drive home safely.