Monday, April 18, 2005

April Madness

So as the Conclave of Cardinals gets underway in Rome, it gets the staff here at 19 Minutes World Headquarters to thinking about the College of Cardinals.

More specifically, it gets us to thinking about why, after 946 years, has the College of Cardinals never made it to the NCAA basketball tournament, much less the Final Four?

A few thoughts come to mind, none of which is especially appropriate. (But we'll continue anyway.)

First, some of these guys are over 80 years old. It's tough for a coach to count on his veterans for leadership if half of them lost their eligibility in 1956. Also, some of them are still on probation for that point shaving scandal under Pope John Paul I.

Second, it's been only relatively recently that the College has reached out to Africa. And places with enormous potential, such as China, are still essentially untapped. As long as the Houston Rockets are grabbing future stars like Yao Ming, the College of Cardinals will have a hard time competing with the likes of the College of Charleston.

All the other top basketball schools are employing a full-time nutritionist to keep their players performing at high levels. The Cardinals are still relying on their old standby, the Diet of Worms. And the marble floor of their practice gym has led to countless knee injuries over the years.

And finally, the previous athletic director, er, Pope, devoted more time and energy into developing the College's hockey program. Really.

But the cagers from the Vatican are still in good shape for next season -- they have some spiffy uniforms that not only make it extremely difficult for opponents to see around them, but their use of the innovative "white smoke" offense is practically impossible to defend against.

Frankly, I'll be disappointed if, under the next Pope, the College of Cardinals doesn't at least make it into the "play-in" game next year. Of course, they'll have their work cut out for them. That team from the Electoral College is tough.

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One other note, for those of you who can't get enough of the riff on the President's iPod: The Washington Post's Reliable Source has an entertaining interview with Doug Fieger, front man for the 1970s band, The Knack, about the inclusion of "My Sharona" on GWB's personal playlist. Still no word on whether the President has ever worked to decode the lyrics to "Spirits in the Night", by Bruce Springsteen.

1 comment:

Carol Davidson said...

The College of Cardinals team has a terrible graduation rate. Only University of Mississippi is worse.