B-ball king in March

Published 11:13 pm Wednesday, March 12, 2008

By By Matthew Nascone
It is time for another trip around the Wide World of Sports. And I would be stupid to not lead with the biggest buzz generator in sports outside of the Super Bowl, March Madness.
It is time for all us so-called sports whizzes to put our hunches together onto a single sheet of paper lined with brackets of the 65 teams competing for the title of national champion.
This is always an interesting time to be a sports fan because anyone who is at all competitive wants to take a shot at winning a pool. Now these pools are such an adventure because one day you can be leading the way, but then your upset doesn't happen and your dreams of being the king of the water cooler conversation is dashed in an instant.
This is such a grand time and this Sunday will lay out the field for all those interested in laying it all on the line with the 65 teams involved in the Big Dance.
If you have an Internet connection and a finger that works, you will be able to fill out some kind of tournament challenge. If you feel like grabbing a couple friends and putting a friendly bet on the games, that is all right too, as long as there is no money involved.
A friendly wager with buddies is always a good way to keep the competitive spirit alive and kicking. Those so-called bracket busters always seem to hurt more when the competition is between people you actually know.
In other news, Major League Baseball has kicked into high gear with spring training hitting on all cylinders. It feels like the Red Sox just won the World Series yesterday, but there is less than a month until the 2008 season starts. I can't believe that because it seems like time just flies by.
The sad part for me about this season is that my beloved Pittsburgh Pirates did nothing to improve on a team that lost more than 90 games last season. They stunk last year and it looks like they are going to stink this year unless their young talent finally shows up and plays their hearts out.
I don't see that happening and I see the Pirates tying the worst record any one team wants to hold, the most consecutive losing seasons mark.
I am 25 years old and I have not seen a winning Pirates team since I was 9. That is how bad the Pirates are and it makes me sad. But I am a faithful fan that has a renewed sense of hope each year for a winning season.
There is not much going on in the world of the NFL that is worth talking about. The free agent signing is winding down and the big signings seem to be about done. The biggest news as of Tuesday night was Larry Fitzgerald resigning with the Arizona Cardinals for four years at $10 million per year. That is a good sign for the Cards because Fitz is a great player.
And that wraps up this edition of the Wide World of Sports. We hope you enjoyed today's column and have a great day.
Matthew Nascone is the sports editor of the Atmore Advance. He can be reached at 368-2123 or online at sports@atmoreadvance.com.

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