The Good Friday Fizz

Marcus, Dice K, Bonds and Smush are this week's headliners. Honorable mentions go to the most hated man now not residing in Manhattan, Kansas as well as several of his colleagues. Agent Zero is also in the mix as is Mr. Double Duty. So, here's to the Fizz and a great weekend of sacramental wine, Easter Egg Hunts and shots of Tequila when your wife isn't looking.

First off, how is that I'm sitting at my desk working today? How is today not a holiday? I mean, at the very least, lawmakers could combine Good Friday with Easter Sunday and give us a half day off from work. By the way, no surprise it's dark and gloomy today in Los Angeles as it's been dark and gloomy on every Good Friday since I've been born. My guess is it'll be warm and sunny on Sunday.

Smush Parker is unhappy with Hall of Fame Coach Phil Jackson for being benched in the fourth quarter Wednesday night. Seriously, Smush should be lucky Phil even lets him sit on the bench. This guy should be in the Developmental League, not the NBA.

Speaking of the D-League, the Lakers' Jordan Farmar became the first NBA player to ever play in a D-League game and an NBA game in the same day. I'm betting this ex-UCLA star had higher aspirations when he decided to leave the Bruins after only his sophomore season.

More on the Lake Show – the Lakers D-League team is called the D-Fenders. This is brilliant. I wonder what other potential team names were on their shortlist before deciding on this gem. I'm guessing the following were all near misses: ST-Eals, CH-Archges, T-Urnovers, B-Locks, or the A-Ssits.

It was awesome to see Arnold Palmer step into the ceremonial role as the 71st Masters' honorary starter yesterday morning. No further commentary is necessary.

The Fizz would like to wish Marcus Williams great success in life as he moves forward with his decision to leave the University of Arizona early for a career in the NBA. Despite any criticisms of his play I may have made, overall Marcus was a very talented athlete who provided us all with many memorable performances. If he continues to get stronger he will have a long career in the NBA by creating separation from defenders with that great one dribble move he has when out on the perimeter.

Spencer Hawes has also announced his intention to make himself available for the NBA draft. Unlike Williams, Hawes does not plan on hiring an agent at this time. That should change soon as Hawes is currently projected as the 10th pick in DraftExpress' mock draft. Right now, the website has Williams going 21st to the Washington Wizards. Wouldn't that be something, Arenas and Williams on the same team? I'm guessing Direct TV NBA Season Pass sales would go up in Tucson next season if this were to occur.

News from the Wizards camp is that Gilbert Arenas will be out the remainder of the season after tearing the lateral meniscus in his left knee. He'll be back, no doubt, but we as fans will be deprived of watching this supreme talent in the NBA Playoffs this season. If you're shrugging as if to say "who cares" right now, then you obviously did not see Arenas and King James go head-to-head in the Wizards/Cavs series last year. They weren't exactly Bird/Wilkins-like match ups from back in the day, but they were pretty close with three of those seven games being decided in the final seconds.

The word of the week is amalgam (n.) – a mixture or combination. Used in a sentence, "We've only gotten a small taste, but the offense seems like an amalgam of several spread offenses that we have seen." I'm quoting our own editor-in-chief as he cleverly described what Arizona's version of the spread offense might be when our football team kicks off the season against BYU. Nice word, Brad.

Let the college basketball coaching carousel begin. Somebody better put Kansas State's Athletic Director on suicide watch. Better yet, book him on a two week vacation to St. Croix and by all means keep him as far away from Bobby Huggins as possible as he sounds anything but happy about Huggins' decision to leave K-State for the West Virginia gig. It's hard to blame Huggins for wanting to return to his alma mater, as well as the NCAA spotlight. But it's also hard to blame the K-State AD for wanting to hang Huggins by his feet and then pull out every follicle of hair on his body one at a time because let's not kid ourselves, top-level recruits weren't committing to K-State because they were enamored by K-State's Manhattan, Kansas university setting.

The Huggins decision came on the heels of Rick Barnes pulling out of the running for the Kentucky job which ultimately went to Texas A&M's Billy Gillispie. I have two opinions on this – actually three. First, Billy Donovan was smart to stay at Florida. He's a great recruiter and he'll recruit more talent to replace the departing four Gators who are all heading to the NBA. Plus, he's now officially reached god-status in Gator Nation and you just can't put a price tag on that kind of respect from your fan base. Second, Barnes was EXTREMELY smart in opting out of the Kentucky job because Wildcats fans would've eaten this guy alive. His teams consistently underachieve and as a result he would've been run out of that state faster than a carton of cigarettes fresh off the assembly line. Third, Gillispie is the absolute perfect hire for Kentucky. Gillispie is an under the radar kind of guy, but is also an excellent X's and O's kind of coach. He'll rival uber-egomaniac Rick Pitino but he won't have any problems living in Pitino's shadow as King Taco in the state. This will prevent Pitino from pulling a Clinton-esque public relations hatchet job on Gillispie in the media and the two will coincide, peacefully. Also, Gillispie is a defensive-minded coach and that will serve to maximize the talent already at Kentucky. Lastly, Gillispie is a proven winner and will not only win games but will also win over the hearts and minds of Kentucky fans. And considering Ashley Judd might be the biggest Kentucky fan of all, this makes Gillispie one lucky ex-Aggie.

Mark October 6, 2007 on your calendar as this is the day Stanford visits USC at the L.A. Coliseum for what could be one of the biggest blowouts in years. New Cardinal Head Coach Jim Harbaugh played the oldest dirty recruiting trick in the book when telling reporters that he had heard from a guy who talked to a guy who knows a guy on USC's staff that Carroll was gone after next season. I don't know if Harbaugh was auditioning for a cameo on the Soprano's or what, but the whole "I heard a thing about that thing from that guy" routine was not the wisest thing to do when you're the new coach on the block in the highly competitive Pac-10 Conference.

Dice K made his major league debut last night and looked great. He struck out 10 while walking only one Royal. The key word in that last sentence though was Royal as is in Kansas City Royals so let's not crown this guy the next Pedro just yet. Still, Dice K handled the media scrutiny, the crazed fans and all the pressure that goes along with being a big league pitcher and pretty much dominated.

Like most others I assume I've got the MLB Season Ticket package for free this week through Direct TV. Let me just say that the eight game mix channel is awesome and because of this channel alone I'll most likely be dropping the $180 it'll take to purchase the remainder of the season. I have one suggestion for MLB to boost sales even more. You know how all of these sports packages are offered periodically throughout the season at reduced rates. I would suggest that they offer the MLB package at a reduced rate for the first six weeks of the season. This would make the price package much more attractive to fans of teams such as the Nationals, Pirates, Royals, Rockies, Blue Jays, Orioles, Reds and other perennial losers who are usually mathematically eliminated from the playoffs by the All Star Break. I would love to watch my Nationals play every night in the early going when I could still rationalize a way for them to win the pennant despite having a 10-23 record.

It'll be interesting to see Bonds' first game outside of San Francisco's AT&T Park. So far, the home crowd has been chanting, "Barry, Barry, Barry," when the slugger comes to the plate. He's rewarded them too by batting .300 and already chalking up one home run in his first three games.

On a personal note, I can't wait for Barry to break Hammerin' Hanks home run record. Not because I like Barry or I dislike Hank. In fact, I like Hank Aaron much better than Bonds. I'm just tired of the media and the fans making Bonds their poster boy for anti-steroid, HGH use by professional athletes. The fact is until someone can prove to me that Barry and the handful of others who have been accused of using illegal products are the ONLY players doing these bad deeds then to only attack them is ridiculous. How many players have seen their production numbers drop significantly since this whole drug thing blew up three years ago? The answer is too many to count.

I received the nicest compliment the other day from my sister. She said her husband loves to print out my weekly Friday Fizz article, grab a beer, and head to the patio for some quiet time and maybe a few laughs. This is especially nice because Dave has been the butt of a few jokes in the Fizz over these past months. Anyway, that's what the Fizz was designed for so to all, have a great weekend and hopefully you get as much enjoyment out of reading the Fizz as I do in writing it.

Oh, one last thing. Still no Internet at home. Actual Arizona articles will come in bunches once things get ironed out.

Until then, or at least until next week, Bear Down!

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