Well, we've done exactly one radio show. We believe it went pretty well, and if you missed the debut, David Paschall and the sports editor are going to give it another go today at 1 p.m. on ESPN 105.1 FM here in town. The call-in number is 648-1051, if you want to chat. Radio activity... we like that.
The bomb set off at the finish line at the Boston Marathon is an act of evil. It intersects a wide array of emotions and facts high above the level of importance of sports.
The range of emotions that hit when something nightmarish like this happens is wide-ranging and complete. There's anger and sadness. There's rage and fear. There's grief and wonder.
We mourn the losses and cuss the perpetrators.
We vow venegance and viligence but we bemoan security measures at the airport or entering the ball park or wherever.
In truth, we're surprised a sporting event has not been a target before now, some 11-plus years since 9/11.
It revels a few things that are as certain as the sadness we feel for the three dead and the hundreds injured:
• We are a target. Now and likely forever. It's a real part of today's American way of life. People hate our freedom and what they perceive as the ripples of that freedom. To that we say screw them. And we're going to buy a police officer lunch today. Or someone in the military.
• There's no way to truly know how many of these acts have been stopped or foiled or even detered without us even knowing it.
• There's no way to comprehend or decipher the acts of the insane. Trying to figure out why is a fool's errand. Here's hoping we continue to look for the who's, the how's, the when's and the what's next.
• God Bless You Seal Team 6. Heck, we normally never use excalamtion points, but let's try that again. God Bless Each of You, Seal Team 6!
Our UTC ace John Frierson has the skinny on David Blackburn, one of the three finalists for the UTC AD job.
We're going to reserve judgement until we here from all three, and we'll have Johnny Frierson on the radio show Thursday around 1 (if possible) to discuss the situation.
Sweet buckets of endlessness and unmagical Magic, the NBA regular season ends this week.
Wow, it only lasted like 42 months. But rest easy, the 30-month NBA postseason starts this weekend.
Here's what we know:
• There's only one playoff spot open as the Lakers and the Utah Jazz battle for the final spot in the West and the right to be skunked by OKC. (Side note: Is there a sports team anywhere that needs to change their name more than the Utah Jazz, because we all know when we think the state's rich and vibrant Jazz history. Somewhere, Bessie Smith just spit up.)
• Speaking of the Lakers, here's saying they will be better, at least in the short term, without Kobe. Steve Nash will run Mike D'Antoni's system and the freak formerly known as Dwight Howard will actually get a chance to touch the ball on something other than a defensive rebound. It won't mean much against the Thunder either way, but it will make the offseason interesting as Kobe rehabs his torn Achilles' and the Lakers look at long-term plans with their roster and their aging franchise player. (Side note: If the Lakers do not show Kobe the love, dude will surely pull up stake and find somewhere else to play. Don't know if his ego would let him take a smaller role somewhere else, but if the Lakers tick him off, Kobe taking the league minimum - like he needs the money - and signing with the Clippers and turning L.A. upside down would be a home-run script straight from the pro 'rasling playbook.)
• We'll breakdown the playoff storylines later this week, but we wanted to share this: We're generally excited to see how LeBron and the Heatles approach these playoffs without the all-encompassing "can he win it" pressure circling above. James had one of the best NBA seasons in a generation - he averaged 26.8 points, 8.0 rebounds and 7.3 assists, leading the league's best team in each category. (Side note: Know how many guys led his team in points, rebounds and assists this year? Yep, just the King.) He also was ruthlessly efficient, shooting 56.5 percent from the field - and 40.6 percent from 3 - and making 75 percent of his free throws. If they give the MVP to anyone else, well, they are wrong.
- We spoke with UTC senior Steven Fox on the radio show on Monday after his two rounds at Augusta National. And after speaking with him and watching him handle himself on golf's biggest stage, the experiences and the mental toughness he's gained through all of these amazing opportunities will serve him amazingly well as he approaches his professional career in the coming days. Plus, dude has an AWESOME summer planned. He was at Arnie's tournament and Augusta, he's going to Tiger's tournament and Jack's (unless the Mocs make the NCAA tournament of course) and the U.S. Open and the British Open. Wow. The kid's going to check off a golf bucket list before he turns 25.
- After being the worst major conference in all of college basketball, the SEC is going to rebound nicely. With Jordan McRae coming back - and if the rest of the Vols do - and with the recruiting classes coming to UK and Florida, the SEC may have three teams in the preseason top 15. After last year, the SEC barely had three teams in the top 50.
- TFP UT football ace Downtown Patrick Brown will join Paschall and the sports editor around 1:10 p.m. on 105.1 today. Swing by and give it a listen. Don't cost nothing. We're going to kick around some UT spring football stuff getting ready for Saturday's Orange and White game.
- There are reports that the Oregon Ducks have acknowledged "major" NCAA violations. If these are fashion infractions, then yes, they are assuredly major. We kid. In truth, this is focused on the school's relationship with Will Lyles, the guy who ran a recruiting service and charged schools a ton of cabbage for what appears to be access rather than recruiting information. That of course is against the rules, and Lyle was super-tight with former five-star recruit, Oregon signee and current Baylor running back Lache Seastrunk.
Gang, remember the mailbag and feel free to discuss any of the above topics. If you need a talking point, let's go here:
If you could win hold one championship from an individual sport - Wimbledon, heavyweight title belt, gold medal, etc. - what do you pick? We take the Masters green jacket - and the 1.4 millions - and it's not even close.
These Atlanta Braves... riding a hot streak or the class of the National League? We can see arguments on each side, but we want your view.