Every day there are three things. Here are those three things.
1) Two teams, two players, two wins, and two milestones. The Cats won. The Muskies won. Neither had much of a problem. Cincinnati swarmed a Temple team that should be better than it is but won't be called out because of how much the media loves Fran Dunphy. Xavier trounced a Marquette team that played defense with the same indifference I show when someone starts with their bracketology projections in January.
The Bearcats and Muskies are both rolling right now, and I'll continue to insist that both can get better (I feel this way more about UC than X) between now and March.
Imagine for a second though, what this week would be like if we had the Crosstown Shootout happening say, this weekend, to talk about.
I know, I know, this is a stale topic. And it's one being brought up by a fan of the team that was trounced in this season's Shootout, so I'm sure I'll be accused of being sour about what happened at the Cintas Center in early December.
But think of how much fun this week would be. The Bengals are in the rear-view mirror. The Reds are too far on the horizon. There's no NFL this weekend (the Pro Bowl doesn't count). This weekend would be perfect for a collision of two tourney-bound, top ten teams reaching their peak. The buzz that's often missing when the game is played in early December would return. The product on the court would be more representative of what both teams really are. (And I'd expect XU to win)
There's reasons why this isn't happening. The coaches don't want the game played during their respective conference schedules, although somehow I think Bob Huggins and John Calipari will be able to steer the attention of their players back to Big 12 and SEC play, respectively, after West Virginia and UK meet this weekend. Scheduling non-league games during conference play is tricky. And this argument is easier to make when UC and XU are as good as they are this season.
But it'd be more fun if the Shootout was this weekend.
And more people would watch.
That brief aside aside, last night's wins by the Bearcats and Musketeers belonged to Gary Clark and Trevon Bluiett. Gary grabbed his 1000th rebound. Trevon dropped his 2000th point. Both are in elite company.
Clark will likely finish his career ranked third on UC's all-time rebounding list, in addition to his other statistical accomplishments. Bluiett will probably end his XU career as the program's second-highest scorer. Both have been cornerstones of their programs, each as directly responsible for their team's successes as anyone.
I've thought more than I should about where Gary ranks historically at UC (which means a 3000-word blog on the topic will be forthcoming), and Bluiett's run has come during a period in which a number of Musketeer players and Xavier teams have excelled, which might've made it hard to believe he was close to the 2K mark to begin with.
But both players have been incredibly fun to watch. Both are among the best who've played at their schools. Both are well-deserving of the accolades they are getting.
2) The Hall of Fame. I wrote a brief blog yesterday about the players on this year's ballot that I would like to have seen get elected to Cooperstown. Chipper Jones and Vladamir Guerrero, who I mentioned, got in. Jim Thome and Trevor Hoffman, who I didn't, did not.
Thome is probably a glaring omission on my part. He eclipsed 600 homers, got on base at a 40 percent clip, and had more walkoff taters than any player in history. His whole narrative seemed to be "hit homers and was a nice guy" and when "nice guy" is what leads your hall qualifications, it seems like glaring weaknesses are being covered up. But yeah, he belongs in Cooperstown.
Hoffman...I don't know. One point of view says that saves are overvalued, the other says that excellence in doing one's job should be good enough to get a player inducted. The tiebreaker for me is that unlike Mariano Rivera, Hoffman was not a standout postseason performer. Admittedly, this is a little harsh because A) Hoffman didn't have a ton of postseason chances and B) boiling a hall of fame yay or nay on a sample size as limited as a few playoff appearances is a little unfair.
But still, while I don't feel like his election to the hall diminishes the institution, there's just something about putting a guy in on the basis of piling up a bunch of saves that doesn't jive.
The biggest frustration I have with any Baseball Hall of Fame discussion is that it often becomes about something other than baseball. The more hall of fame debates we have, the less I'm interested in those discussions.
3) We don't need more football. Vince McMahon is apparently going to announce his plans for a new football league today.
Is there appetite for more pro football?
During a time when the future of the sport is a little hazy?
When the NFL, which has been around for nearly 100 years, has problems with staging a great product and includes more than a handful of teams that no one really wants to watch?
No. There isn't.
We don't want more football, we want more good football.
Vince McMahom isn't going to give us good football.
Recommended Link Of The Day: D-backs manager Torey Lovullo eats 30-year-old gum on 'Old Baseball Cards'
Radio Show: Chad Brendel on the Bearcats at 3:42. Jim Owczarski from the Senior Bowl at 4:20. Plenty of college basketball today, including a question about how Mick Cronin should coach his team, which seems to be a popular thing to discuss right now on Twitter. I'm excited to work today before another day off (this one planned) tomorrow. Be there at 3:05 on ESPN1530.