Monday, April 2, 2012

Ben is Back From Mexico - No Hay Deporte Durante una Semana

As if the lines at the airport at customs and security weren't enough "welcome back" from a week in Cozumel, then I sit down to wait out a four hour layover in Houston only to find out that Kentucky is in the Final Four and currently running Louisville out of the gym on their way to the Title game.  A week of relaxation down the drain.  Calipari and his boys are a Kansas miracle away from winning the title, and even though it's what I predicted would happen prior to leaving, I am still pissed.  I'll get back to that travesty for the college basketball world later though, right now let's talk about how missing a week of sports and world news has me feeling totally lost right now.

While in Cozumel, Mexico I had zero phone service.  That is my own fault for wanting to save 50 bucks (or more) a month by having cell phone service though Virgin Mobile.  Sorry, but I can't justify paying 100+ bucks a month for a cell phone.  So even though it would've been nice to be able to check headlines, with the money saved from just one month of not paying AT&T; or Verizon prices, I was able to pay for my snorkeling adventure while in Mexico, so I can swallow having my crappy Samsung be a paper weight the entire seven days.  With no cell service, and having to pay for internet usage on the resorts computer, I only checked emails once and that was just to see if my nephew had been born.  Not to see if Mason Plumlee had signed with an agent and officially ended his Duke career a year early.  

Even though I was cool with my total lack of awareness to what was transpiring in the world outside of the 184 square mile island of Cozumel while I was sipping pina coladas and downing more guacamole in a week than is probably recommended in a year.  I have to say coming back and trying to give opinions on any current sports or pop culture issues today is rather tough.  Oh sure, I'll still give a preview of the Kentucky/Kansas battle upcoming tonight. Likely it will still include wild predictions and viewpoints that I probably should keep to myself since I haven't seen either play in their Sweet 16/Elite 8 or Final Four match ups, but won't.  

Then there are the Wolves.  They have deteriorated in the past week into nothing more than an "also ran" in the NBA season.  I left and there were playoff hopes, although a bit optimistic, there was hope.  Now I look at the standings and have a tough time even with a homer outlook of finding that hope.  There are obviously still bright spots and I see in looking at some box scores that Malcolm Lee, my predicted bright spot coming out of the Rubio injury, is actually seeing some playing time so I guess this may not be all that bad.  I didn't expect the Wolves to make the playoffs coming into the season, but once that bit of hope entered my brain, getting it out of there now that it seems very unlikely is harder than I thought it'd be.

As for my Dukies, well the news isn't much better there.  Shabazz Muhammad, the prized recruit (ESPN #2 overall) is still weighing his options between Duke, Kentucky and UCLA.  Which team you think is impressing him the most right now?  So with the departure of Austin Rivers (not that upset about) and the almost guaranteed departure of Mason Plumlee (more upset about than Rivers and will explain why in a later post once official) leaves Duke's cupboards a bit more barren of talent than I would like or am used to.  They only have one recruit locked in for next year and are battling seemingly losing battles for other top recruits like Muhammad.  Leaving me feeling like next year could be a down year, which still isn't NIT down (unnecessary shot at Gophers? Check!  Just like riding a bike...), but down enough to start everyone talking about how K has lost his touch and that Duke will never be great again just like they did prior to 2010's title run.  Which will be annoying more than concerning.

So here I am, back at the writing desk of STOB, looking to get my sports mind up and running again after being drowned in tequila and Dos Equis for the past week.  It won't be easy, but it has to be done, so with that let me start my "NCAA Title Game" post now...

Before I do though, for those of you looking for a spot to take a trip, Cozumel is highly recommended by me as a STOB Approved "Fo Sho" vacation destination.  Great people, weather, beaches, snorkeling, drinks, beer, drinks, beer, drinks and relaxation with liquid libation.  We went all inclusive, and while I know that can feel limiting at times, if you go with the goal of just sitting around having blended drinks and beer thrown at you from 10 am to midnight (if you can make it until then) while sitting pool or beach side, then it's the way to go.  That was Mrs. Duke's and my own mindset and our resort achieved that goal perfectly.

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