IX - First things first, the Final Four is being played tonight! This past week, the best rivalry in college basketball that people outside the state of Kentucky rarely talk about has been pushed back into the spotlight -- but why is it one of the best rivalries? There are a myriad of reasons, all of which were new to me, but I think all you really need to know is that Kentucky and Louisville fans really don't get along - not even a 68-year-old Kentucky fan and 71-year-old Louisville fan who just happen to be next to each other in a dialysis clinic. Being in a clinic AND hooked up for dialysis is apparently not enough to keep punches from being thrown and the police from being called.
X - Where do you stand on these Bill Parcells as Saints interim coach rumors? Bomani Jones has a great analogy for it, and the real kicker is at the end:
Bomani Jones on Bill Parcells (via sbnation)
XIII - This one was up on our Facebook page earlier this week and it could be problematic for us - former GM Charley Casserly (now of CBS Sports) and Patriots owner Robert Kraft have both said that the NFL salary cap is expected to remain pretty flat through 2013 and 2014, and the jump probably isn't going to happen until 2015. We're in for some more "restructures for everyone!!" aren't we?
XIV - How tough is it going to be for the NFL to keep fans in the stands? Ron Cook writes:
If you attend an NFL game, you must buy gas at $4 per gallon to get there, fight traffic, pay a big price to park, pay a bigger price to get into the stadium, stand in line for the restrooms and the concession stands, pay an exorbitant amount for food and drink and maybe, just maybe, have to deal with drunk, abusive, vulgar fans, who spill beer at your feet or vomit in the aisle next to you or, at the very least, ask you to get up 15 times during the game so they can go to the restroom.
If you stay home to watch an NFL game, you can see it on your fabulous new television which practically puts you in your team's huddle, make it to the refrigerator or bathroom quickly during the TV timeouts, avoid most expenses and -- depending on which friends you invite to the house -- not have to deal with spilled beer or vomit.
Cook does note that the allure of the stadium experience of places like Heinz Field is always going to have a magnetic draw, but there are franchises like the Bengals and Jaguars that keep having to black-out games because they can't get fans in the stands. Couple that with a few, well publicized instances of criminally extreme cases of sports fan violence, and it's not a surprise that owners are very concerned about it in the long-run.
XL - While we're on the subject of ticket prices, stadium beer prices, and game day experiences, let's get a glimpse into the life of a Cleveland Browns season ticket holder:
Dear The Cleveland Browns... (via mikepolkjunior)
XLIII - Our Facebook page is now a timeline, and Tony Henson's design was chosen to be our inaugural cover photo! Congratulations to Tony!
Just a reminder - his design is definitely going to be up for a few months, but we're always looking for new submissions because we would like to be able to rotate our cover photo in the future to keep things fresh. Feel free to come up with a design of your own and send it in to us at any time!