Show of hands from all those who had Brown in the pool as the team that would piss on our parade and once again derail the men’s basketball team’s Ivy League season. Time to throw that in there with death and taxes. It doesn’t seem to matter these days where or when they play or even if each Brown player were to come down with a severe case of elephantitis before the game, the Bears just have Yale’s number like it was written inside a phone booth underneath “Call for a good time — Lee Amphitheater — we’ll front your big man and provide no weak side help.” Nah, that doesn’t sound awkward at all.
Honestly, though, it would be pretty disingenuous to complain about Tuesday night’s loss after the team’s showing over the weekend when it finally brought some life back to the program. At least now I don’t have to hear the senior class whip out the “You don’t even understand” or the classic “Back in the good old days” with reference to the team’s run in 2001-2002. That’s up there with the Naples liquor license getting revoked on the list of ways the Class of ’06 got the shaft.
Getting that weekend sweep of Princeton and Penn is more than any other Ivy program will accomplish this year aside from the Quakers — whose tournament berth will likely be assured this weekend — and the fans that were in attendance Saturday night at least got to witness something they’ll reminisce about until next year when Brown comes in here for the Ivy opener and goes to work. Both the team and the fans should be proud.
But predicting a Brown win over Yale at this point is like predicting that Osama bin Laden will soon release a video to al-Jazeera where he sermonizes about infidels while looking longingly at some donkeys or camels. So I’ll put my credibility on the line — I know, ballsy move — and throw out some other asinine predictions for upcoming sporting events that are slightly more difficult to foretell. I hate prognosticators as a rule, people all righteous about saying what is going to happen and then hiding when it all goes differently. But screw it, Miss Cleo has nothing on the Feit-cic Network.
San Antonio over Detroit in the NBA Finals. How about that for going out on a limb to start? In a matchup of the past two champions, the Spurs get their third ring of the Tim Duncan era. Miami gets to the East Final, but everyone on the Heat contracts some obscure disease from Alonzo Mourning prior to the series, and the team goes down. LeBron wins a playoff series, but while the Cavs get bounced in five in the second round by the Pistons, he’ll have one of those Jordan-for-63-in-the-Boston-Garden games in Detroit. Seattle loses in the first round, Chris Webber passes up no fewer than four shots with a game on the line, and Steve Nash collects his MVP trophy before Game 3 of the West Final.
Five playoff teams in the East not playing in Miami or Detroit will be falling all over themselves during the last two weeks of the season trying to get that No. 6 seed in order to match up with the winner of the Atlantic Division, a division that Paul Pierce, captain of the 27-27 first-place Celtics, has dubbed the worst in NBA history. This brings about rampant scoreboard watching down the stretch of games as teams attempt to determine whether they should be trying to win or lose on any given night based on what their competition is doing. It will be like a high-stakes game of odds or evens.
The Kansas City Royals, winners of the Cactus League, defeat the Cincinnati Reds, winners of the Grapefruit League, in the first annual Spring Training World Series. Baseball claims that this event restores some purity to the tainted game. Meanwhile, the three fans who tune in realize that the starters get two at-bats and then start jogging on the warning track, at which point the viewers decide they’d rather watch unaired episodes of “The Benefactor,” including the one in which Mark Cuban has his contestants see who can muffle their sneezes the best. Sneezing in public is unbecoming of a real successful person.
Final Four: Illinois, North Carolina, Wake Forest, Pittsburgh. Illinois wins out, takes the Big Ten Tournament but then falls to Carolina in the Final Four as Roy Williams realizes Bruce Weber only has that job because of the little coaching carousel he instigated before last season. The two ACC teams play in the championship game with Wake taking it, leaving Roy titleless for at least another season. Boston College gets to the Elite Eight; Kentucky is the first high seed to kick out; Penn loses by 30 to Arizona, and Jim Calhoun declares his team the favorite to win it all before each game.
I got the Ducks over the Hawks for the Stanley Cup. Straight up, Gordon Bombay just doesn’t lose to the Hawks these days. Quack.
Upset special: White over Blue in the Yale Football Spring Game.
Some no-name horse wins the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness, fueling widespread speculation that the 27-year Triple Crown drought will finally come to an end, only to lose in the Belmont to a horse that was favored to win the Derby and whose handlers sat it out of the Preakness. This is becoming a rite of spring like a Stiles 12th-place finish at Tang.
Finally, an aggregate total of six and a half people will tune in between now and May to listen to the radio show that fellow columnist Mike Menitove and myself host on WYBC on Sunday nights at 8, and six will turn it off when they realize it’s not a John Basedow infomercial. Thanks for meeting with us yesterday, Mr. Wilbon, and pardon the copyright infringement.