Happy Sweet Sixteen, Century No. 21. Now go get your driver’s permit and a work permit, because the local sports scene has a lot of duct taping to do.
But hey, not all is waist-deep in building code violations. Here’s all the parts you’ll need to hammer together a McMansion out of 2015’s sawdust.
▪ The Oakland Raiders are playoff ready for the first time since 2002. They’ve got the quarterback of the future in Derek Carr, a quarterback cruncher of the present in Khalil Mack, and a 1,000-yard receiver and running back bundled together like kicks and giggles.
▪ The NBA is DVR-able again. The Golden State Warriors are the greatest thing this side of the ’95-96 Chicago Bulls. LeBron James is a likeable villain who will keep the NBA Finals interesting. The San Antonio Spurs just won’t go away. They’re making the regular season feel like it matters.
▪ The San Francisco Giants are armed to the molars for their biennial World Series parade. The Los Angeles Dodgers still have Clayton Kershaw, which is to say they’ll matter at least once a week. This rivalry hasn’t been this loaded since the involved parties owned Hudson River-front property in the ’50s.
▪ Fresno State men’s basketball is senior-heavy for crash landing the NCAA Tournament. Sure, it’d take something magical to get there, but that’s a step up from the miracles the Bulldogs always needed before. Someone’s going to get hot come qualifying time, and it just might be them.
▪ Alabama football coach Nick Saban just said he won’t roll away from the Tide. Which means Saban is due to roll on the Tide, because every time Saban says he’s staying, his real estate agent is on due diligence patrol.
▪ Fresno State football coach Tim DeRuyter perp-walked his offensive and defensive coordinators out of their titles with matching headsets, both guilty of not finding a ninth year of eligibility for Derek Carr before he could get away. Now, he can hire play callers to get this right, or make it easy to know who’s got to go next.
▪ Fresno State wrestling is ready to hire a coach, who will be ready to recruit Clovis High School’s starting 14, who will be ready to give the Bulldogs a top-25 program, which will let former coach Dennis DeLiddo retire at last to the local mausoleum in peace.
▪ Tiger Woods says he is close to regaining his form, and we can only assume he means the form that has not won a major title since wrapping the family car’s bumper around a fine piece of arbor in Two-Double Aught-Nine. Good thing we’ve got Spieth, McIlroy and Watson to make it necessary to tolerate Jim Nantz on lazy Sundays.
▪ Ronda Rousey promises to come back and let Holly Holm kick her broken jaw back into place, which means we can still like the UFC enough to watch – but only if we know someone who fronted the pay-per-view cost and lets us in for free.
▪ Fresno State baseball coach Mike Batesole signed off on a supreme nonconference schedule that brings Creighton, Oklahoma and Long Beach State to the local yard. Only the rainouts of El Niño can ruin this spring.
▪ Soccer’s next World Cup isn’t until 2018, which means we the uncivilized don’t have to be told how little we appreciate soccer for at least another two years. Hold on … my email’s inbox just pinged again.