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Lou Pickney's Online Commentary


March 22, 2005

"No commentaries since March 9? I know you're busy, but some of us want to procrastinate at work!"
-E-mail from a friend (name withheld), received earlier today

Well, it's been awhile. Since any in-depth story-telling could result in some really long tangents, I'll do my best to gloss over the little things and hit the highlights... and cover some stuff that I forgot from before.

First off, I did a lazy man's spell-check for the word tangent (trying it first as tangant) on Google, and the definition link gave me a bunch of info on the math meaning of the word. For the record, Merriam-Webster defines it as: "diverging from an original purpose or course." Of course, that's the second definition; the first one is a bunch of math jargon. But then here I go on a tangent about the word tangent. This is not a good start.

Last month someone spilled some oranges on the I-275 south bridge that passes over Lois Ave. in Tampa. This wouldn't be notable... unless you've seen the Godfather movies, where oranges are used as a symbol of impending death. I was glad when the oranges finally rotted away and disappeared after about a week. I'm not paranoid about that sort of thing, but in a way it was somewhat creepy.

No, I don't know when we'll have the official word on when Bubba will be signed with whichever broadcast outlet will be his new home. It should be very soon now. When it's set, we'll let everyone know. In the meantime, Bubba fans please be patient. E-mails continue to flow in on a daily basis, but it's a hurry up and wait type situation.

My other webpages are doing pretty good. is receiving between 25-30 thousand hits a day, depending on the day. A particular page on my page comes up as the #1 entry on MSN's search page for the term "ephedrine", which has helped increase revenue considerably. And of course is still fun to keep going, particularly with the changing landscape of hot talk radio.

The NCAA basketball tournament that started this past weekend was fun, as it almost always is. Mississippi State's near upset of Duke on Sunday was exciting, though State managed to miss too many free throws. The best two games overall I think took place back-to-back on the same court, with UW-Milwaukee's win over Boston College being incredibly intense and then WVU's double-OT win over Wake Forest containing more drama than most any college basketball game you'll ever see. WVU was shooting lights out, but Wake Forest was like playing the computer in "cheat week" mode -- every time they needed a three to stay alive, they hit one. It took Wake's big guns fouling out to finally allow West Virginia to win.

The toughest call though had to be for WOWK in Huntington, which faced the decision of airing the WVU/Wake game or the Kentucky/Cincinnati game. WOWK aired the WVU game (since it is in the state of West Virginia, after all), even though they no doubt angered scores of UK fans (and some Cincy fans, too). I hear they aired the UK game on some local cable companies and of course on their digital signal, but nonetheless I'm glad I wasn't having to work in that newsroom on Saturday night.

Without question, the best purchase I've made so far this year has been ESPN College Hoops 2K5 for the PS2. Maybe I got it at the end of 2004, I dunno, but I've gotten well more than my $20 out of it. I just finished season three playing as Lipscomb, in a season where I had only one regular season loss (to Belmont of all teams) and where I lost in the Sweet 16 in Albuquerque to Duke. My team ranked at an 80, while Duke was a 95, but I kept it close until about four minutes to go or so.

It's been strange to see the Terri Schiavo case receive so much national attention. If you're not up to speed on things, Schiavo has been in a persistent vegetative state since 1990; she suffered a brief heart attack (brought on by an eating disorder) which caused her to go into a coma. She suffered permanent brain damage, and in my opinion she should be allowed to die. Her husband says that they had discussed the issue before and that she had said that she wouldn't want to live like that (as a vegetable). And I can't blame her; I wouldn't either. If I'm ever in that state, pull the plug on me. That's not living.

Unfortunately, her parents are in denial of her condition and believe that she can recover, and they have battled in court for years to keep her alive in the artificial state in which she currently lives. It's a sad story all the way around, but after covering it for two years while at WTSP it's wild to see it making national news.

One final note about the NCAA tournament: it's great to see Bruce Pearl (head coach at UW-Milwaukee) having success. While I lived in Evansville from 1995-99, he was the head coach at Division-II USI (University of Southern Indiana), where he was a successful coach. Wouldn't it be something if Pearl's team could pull off yet another upset: this time against Illinois, in Chicago no less...

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