The Sports Sermon


February sucks, you say. The NFL playoffs are over, and there’s nothing going on until March Madness, right? NO!

You see, February is the grandest month for true fans, and by true fans I mean the good people who realize that football is almost as boring as hockey and that the two incarnations of the truest sport-basketball-are in full swing.

There is, of course, the NBA’s masturbatory money-fest, the All-Star Game, this weekend. NBA junkies can watch Tony Parker dribble through cones in the “Skills Challenge.” Even better is the 1-800-CALL ATT “three-point” Shootout, which will feature superstars like Brent Barry and Wesley Person! And we can’t wait for the Rookie-Sophomore challenge, where an improbable matchup between Troy Murphy and Nene Hilario might just come to an exciting climax!

The main event on Sunday-not those silly warmup contests-will be this weekend’s treat. That is, if Vince Carter can overcome a nagging ingrown toenail and make it into the starting lineup. Wow, we really need to drop the sarcasm.

But the excitement of seeing Jordan and T-Mac on the same team will soon be overshadowed by the fact that the East will get waxed. When the West’s bench features Shaq, Nash, Nowitzki and C-Webb, you know you’re in trouble. Just pray to God that the East will get Pierce off the pine and keep it competitive.

Then, of course, there’s college hoops. Even though we don’t have the Hoyas to worry about anymore, there’s still plenty of excitement to go around. Ten or more teams have a legit shot at the Final Four.

Take a hot Kentucky team that redefined defense and soundly defeated No. 1 Florida, which in Spanish is pronounced “Floor-eee-da.” Or look down Tobacco Road to Julius Hodge and N.C. State, who have a legit shot to win the ACC this year, as they showed during last year’s conference tournament. Hodge for life.

There’s also Louisville, who look to be the first team in the history of the conference to knock Cincinnati off the Conference USA throne, though we hate to say it. How we long for a senile Denny Crum.

Say it ain’t so, Huggins. Say it ain’t so.

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