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Final Four? More like final one…kicking bass, happy birthday from Cracker Barrel and more: The update for March 27

Editor’s note: Neal Farmer is Executive Director of the Touchdown Club, a former reporter for the Houston Chronicle and an all around good guy. He does the Monday updates.

The NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament has been decided. Crown North Carolina the 2017 champions.

Two blue-blood teams partied hard on Sunday, and despite Kentucky’’s ability to make three 3-point shots in about a minute at the end of the game, UNC has enough of a lead to pull out the victory, 75-73. Both played poorly until the end — probably a function of respecting the other team — but the ending was something that only Hollywood could have cooked up.

The other teams in this week’s Final Four? They are happy to be there, but should be nothing more than gnats that the Tar Heels swat away.

I’m sure this goes against what most think the NCAA Tournament is for — cheering for the underdog. And who is more of an underdog that Oregon, Gonzaga and South Carolina?

Oregon won the NCAA men’s title in 1939 — when they had set shots and no jump shots, and Chuck Taylor high tops. In fact, there were only eight teams in the tournament that year, according to CBS Sports, so Oregon previously was only in the Final Two.

Gonzaga and South Carolina are making their first trips to the Final Four. Ten dollars says that the NCAA memorabilia and T-shirts for Gonzaga and USC are sold out within 24 hourof these teams checking into their hotels. They are happy to be there, and no matter what anyone says, post-season tournaments are the playground of the initiated.

UNC is in an NCAA-record 20th Final Four. They have players who will be professionals. And they have a coach who is as quotable as there is. At halftime against Kentucky, Williams said the Tar Heels needed to “make some daggum shots and free throws.”

Who do you cheer for in the Final Four? (Will the degenerates who read this page regularly cheer for the ‘Cocks?) It’s Un-American to cheer for anyone but the underdog. And that is any team but UNC this year, who will breeze through to the championship with two large, double-digit wins).

O-FISH-ICALLY RICH — There was another championship in Houston on Sunday, which was followed by more than 15,000 people. Jordan Lee of Guntersville, Alabama, out-fished 51 others in the GEICO Bassmaster Classic on Lake Conroe. The three-day event had the participants drive their catches from Conroe to Minute Maid Park, where judges weighed their fish. That’s a lot of Bassmobiles.

I would think that the jokes for this competition would write themselves. But there was a $300,000 first prize and a $1 million purse. Who wouldn’t want to be a participant and fish while drinking beer for $300,000? There was a 1.5-hour wait on the roads to Lake Conroe to attend the event and watch from the banks, which answers that question.

The best line of the event came from former Ch. 2 sportswriter Craig Roberts. He asked: “How could you not have (former Astro) Kevin Bass throw out the first fish?”

Yea, and if Mike Trout caught Kevin’s toss, it would qualify as inter-league play.

OWLS ON THE PROWL — The Rice women’s basketball team won their first-ever playoff championship, outside of a conference tournament, by slugging UNC-Greensboro on Sunday at Tudor Fieldhouse in the WBI. The school had won the Western Athletic Conference Post-Season Tournament in 2005. Senior Maya Hawkins has 17 points and was named the game’s MVP in her final contest with the Owls. The Rice women’s and men’s basketball teams combined for 45 wins this year, but it was the women who brought home a trophy.

PEOPLE HAVE SPOKEN – If you have not seen this, it is funny on multiple levels. Apparently a guy’s wife lost her job on his birthday at Cracker Barrel. It has become a tongue-in-cheek cause for thousands across the country. Justice for Brad. Although this could backfire, and just turn into free advertising for the business that shall no longer be named.


Philadelphia is the only city in the world where you can experience the thrill of victory and the agony of reading about it the next day.”

— Mike Schmidt, former Phillies third baseman



As RodeoHouston comes to an end, we secretly found out the real reason that they came up with the idea for the pig races.

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