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By the Book

by Archives March 22, 2006

If you see a bunch of people jumping up and down for the next few weeks, just ignore it. It is probably just hockey fans jumping on and off of their favourite team’s bandwagon as they fight for the playoffs.

With both Eastern and Western Conference races for the final playoff spots tighter than Santa Clauses’ pants, fans of teams in the hunt could be saying “we’re out, it’s over” one day and then “we still have shot” in the span of a hockey game.

I have an example of this. I happen to have a Maple Leafs fan in my household (no need to pity me) and in the span of a few days, I kid you not, he went through four stages. The first one was the “if we lose this game, the season’s over” stage, which was followed by the Leafs losing the game. Then, the next day there was a key Leafs win sparking the “oh wait, we’re only six points back!” stage. Then, a Canadiens win put the Leafs back a little farther – without even playing a game – forcing fans to say “alright, season’s over.” The fourth and final stage was after the Canadiens lost to the Penguins on Saturday and the Leafs beat Pittsburgh on Sunday. What was the reaction? You guessed it – “they are still in it!”

This is just one of the crazy stories about how teams and their fans deal with winning and losing close to the playoffs. I’ve also heard about fans starting a pre-playoff beard just to “help” their teams qualify for the playoffs. I have to admit I’m pretty superstitious when it comes to being a fan, but I never went as far as a playoff beard. but that’s just me.

There is still a lot of hockey to be played. Most teams still have between 13 and 15 games remaining and it should be an extremely close race. In the Western Conference, Anaheim jumped from ninth to sixth with a win on Monday. In all, there are six teams fighting for the final four playoff spots with only six points separating fifth from tenth.

Things are a bit more spread out in the Eastern conference, but Montreal needs to win to keep the Thrashers off their heels. I think Montreal needs to pass Tampa Bay or New Jersey to make the playoffs because the Thrashers scare me as a Habs fan, and I wouldn’t want to face them if I was their first round playoff opponent either.

The playoffs have already begun so watch the scoreboard, watch your team, and watch the standings. I guarantee you dizziness.

Bracket Busters

Alright, everyone who had Wichita State, Bradley, George Mason and Georgetown in their Sweet Sixteen, put up your hands.

Put your hands down, liars.

Honestly, has there ever been a span of four days where two number 2 ranked teams and two number 3 ranked teams were eliminated. probably, but man is my bracket limping home. Not to mention one of my final-four picks losing in the first round. who names their team the Orange anyway? Stupid Syracuse.

It is definitely the year of the mid-major conference. If any of those teams I mentioned earlier can win their regional semi-final match up, it will be an incredible upset and will make March Madness even more Madness-y.

There have been some great games so far, and I feel that it is just getting started. If you ever want to enjoy basketball, I strongly urge you to watch the final week of March Madness when play resumes today and tomorrow.

Who were those guys?

Major League Baseball had to swallow hard when they saw Cuba and Japan take the field for the final of the inaugural World Baseball Classic. The two teams had a combined. two major league players. I bet you can’t even name the other one not named Ichiro.

But, MLB can take solace in the fact that this match up was the one that will help the future of this tournament the most.

This tournament featured some of the most exciting baseball I’ve seen in a long time. It was better than the playoffs, better than the Olympics and better than Spring Training. It was a great way to get charged up and ready for the baseball season.

Kill McGill

Well, the men’s hockey nationals start this Thursday in Alberta, and I don’t care who wins, Lakehead, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Laurier, Acadia. just not McGill. It is my duty as a Concordia student to make that loud and clear. so consider it done.

Ravens dynasty flies

This weekend, the Canadian version of March Madness came to an end when Carleton beat the University of Victoria Vikes in the final. It was Carleton’s fourth straight CIS Championship, and Osvaldo Jeanty’s fourth straight MVP award. Impressive to say the least. However, I can’t help but say that I would love for the Final-10 to become the Final-16 and make it a little longer. Teams in the United States can afford to lose a conference playoff game and still get in March Madness, so maybe the CIS should take a look at extending the Final-10.

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