Jack Finarelli, aka The Sports Curmudgeon, spends a lot of time watching March Madness. One of his viewings resulted in this comment: “CBS keeps flogging me with the slogan: ‘The Masters, a tradition unlike any other.’ Can someone tell me why the tradition of the Masters is any different from the tradition surrounding: The Kentucky Derby, the Daytona 500, the Army/Navy Game, the Rose Bowl, Thanksgiving? Just asking.
” . . . A concussion has kept forward Clarke MacArthur out of the Ottawa Senators’ lineup since Feb. 16, but he feels that he is close to returning. As he put it: “I feel my marbles are rolling in the right direction now.” . . .
“This year,” writes Brad Dickson of the Omaha World-Herald, “Las Vegas is the most popular spring break destination. Sure, kids realize their only hope of paying off their college loans before they’re 80 is to get lucky at the gambling tables.” . . . Here’s Dickson, again: “A candidate for Lt. Gov. of Kentucky said he was arrested for failing to return a library book. . . . Ah, to live in a nation where the worst criminal offense politicians ever commit is failing to return an overdue book. We’ve got one politician in this country who apparently reads and they arrest him?” . . .
A tweet from Vancouver comic Torben Rolfsen: “Simple, fun solution to #NFL extra point angst: have them kicked by any other player on the team except the FG/KO guy.” . . . After Brock Lesnar walked away from UFC and re-signed with WWE, Rolfsen wrote: “He signed the contract with a pen knife he had hidden in the waistband of his trunks.” . . . Rolfsen had this precise analysis of the upcoming NHL draft: “In the race for the draft, the Sabres, Coyotes and Oilers all have the same magic number: 97.” . . .
Offensive lineman John Urschel of the Baltimore Ravens is the co-writer of a paper that has been published in the Journal of Computational Mathematics. Its title is A Cascadic Multigrid Algorithm for Computing the Fiedler Vector of Graph Laplacians. . . . “And to think,” writes Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times, “some of his O-line brethren can’t even remember the snap count.” . . . Defensive end Randy Gregory of the Nebraska Cornhuskers has admitted that he tested positive for marijuana at the NFL Combine. “His agent,” reports Richmond, B.C., blogger TC Chong, “said Gregory’s response was that he wanted to be a high draft choice.” . . .
I have to wonder how pleased the good folks of Winkler, Man., are with that Canadian Tire commercial that appears to point out every pothole in the community. . . . Loved this response from the Winkler Fire Department: “We got featured in this commercial! But didn’t know we had that pothole in front of the firehall! LOL!!” . . . The Chicago Cubs appear to be in midseason form as pitcher Edwin Jackson was scratched from a spring-training start when he drove to the wrong ballpark. Of course, as Jeremy Muck of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette points out: “Jackson once walked eight batters in a no-hitter, so he knows a thing or two about not finding the right location.” . . . Headline at fark.com: Steelers sign James Harrison to a 10-game suspension, $100,000 fine. . . .
“Maria Sharapova was upset by wildcard Daria Gavrilova in the second round of the Miami Open,” reports RJ Currie of SportsDeke.com. “I’ll go out on a limb and say Sharapova didn’t go quietly.” . . . Here’s Currie, again: “NFL owners voted 31-1 to end TV blackouts for the upcoming season. Fans in Jacksonville and Oakland immediately appealed the decision.” . . .
“Karl-Anthony Towns of Kentucky talks to an imaginary friend, Karlito, on one of his shoulders,” writes contributor Bill Littlejohn. “Karlito reportedly helps Karl deal with criticism. I hear Karlito’s cousin is Manti Te’o’s girlfriend.” . . . Littlejohn, again: “Report — Tiger Woods is ’50-50′ for the Masters. Does that mean 50 on the front nine, followed by 50 on the back?” . . . There are reports from Florida that Jeffrey Loria, the owner of the Miami Marlins, has changed his ways. How so? “His players have a new private team jet that includes a massage table,” Greg Cote of the Miami Herald offers. “They used to have to make their own bats on a wood lathe.” . . .
A note from Janice Hough, aka the Left Coast Sports Babe, about one of the most irritating things in life today: “When these companies put you on hold for 30-plus minutes and say periodically ‘Thank you for your time and patience,’ I am reminded of that little vulture statue they used to sell in gift shops . . . ‘Patience my a**, I’m going to kill something.’ ” . . . Here’s Hough, again: “David Ortiz says he has never ‘knowingly’ used steroids. Is Big Papi planning a future in politics?”
(Gregg Drinnan is a former sports editor of the Regina Leader-Post and the late Kamloops Daily News. He is at gdrinnan.blogspot.ca and twitter.com/gdrinnan. Keeping Score appears here on weekends, except when it doesn’t.)