Friday, March 12, 2010

Syracuse needs A.O. to be OK in order to contend for national championship

Never mind Selection Sunday and the decision about where the Syracuse University Orange men will play and be seeded. The real suspense plays out today as we await the results of Arinze Onuaku’s MRI.

If the news is good and it's just a sprained right kniee, there will be a collective sigh of relief in Orange Nation.

But if the test results determine that the SU center is done or severely limited, then the Cuse can kiss its national championship quest goodbye. Without A.O., I see SU advancing to the Sweet 16, but probably no farther. The Orange men would lose their major defensive presence in the back of that 2-3 zone, and would have to go with a six-man rotation, which won’t work when they begin playing the higher seeds and fouls and fatigue become an issue.

It would be extremely disappointing to see such an enjoyable season end on such a sour note. But sports and life aren't always fair.

* I was saddened to hear of Merlin Olsen’s passing. A 14-time Pro Bowl selection with the Los Angeles Rams, Olsen was as good a defensive tackle as I've ever seen. Marv Levy, a one-time assistant with the Rams, concurs. And he also told me that Olsen’s gentle giant persona off the field was the real deal. Many fans remember the big guy solely for his acting in "Little House on the Prairie" and "Father Murphy" and for his work as a pitchman for FTD flowers.

* After watching Mark McGwire tell us straight-faced that steroids played no role in his dramatic spike in home runs, we discovered that former Bush spokesman Ari Fleischer was the puppeteer behind the disgraced slugger’s ridiculous claim.

Now we learn that after that bang-up public relations job by Fleischer and McGwire, Tiger Woods has hired him to be his spin doctor. This ought to be interesting, seeing what foolish strategy Ari concocts for Woods sexual escapades.

* Speaking of sexual escapades, how dumb and arrogant is Ben Roethlisberger? I don’t claim to know if the two sexual assault claims against the Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback are true, but he clearly is guilty of poor judgment. Wouldn't you learn after the first incident not to put yourself in these situations?

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