Hope you enjoyed the madness of March. Should be an interesting April, too. Baseball’s starting and a Tiger is coming out of hibernation at Augusta National next week. Here’s a look at this week’s grade book.We’ll break these down around 8:20 Wednesday on WGEM SportsCenter on ESPN 1440. If you have your own grades, feel free to text them into us at 217-617-9437 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org:
A — Gus Johnson. He’s been the MVP — Most Valuable Performer — during the NCAA Tournament. His call of the double OT thriller between Kansas State and Xavier last week was classic. He makes great games better with his enthusiasm. Some people would like for Gus to cool down. To those folks, I’ll remind them that this isn’t study hall, it’s a sporting event. You should be excited. Sadly, Gus was eliminated after the Elite Eight. He won’t be calling the Final Four this weekend in Indianapolis despite some people’s better efforts. If you’d like a taste of Gus, check this out — and don’t let the smooth taste fool you.
B — Dancing with the Stars. Watched the show for the first time in my life on Monday. As long as Erin Andrews, Pam Anderson and that gal from the Pussycat Dolls are on, this is some must-see TV. Chad Ochocinco and Olympic figure skating champ Evan Lysacek. I realize this is supposed to be about sports, but dancing is a sport, right? I think we’re all winners here — except for Buzz Aldrin (poor guy) and that baby machine from the TLC show with the dopey ex-husband. Get rid of them.
C — Fran McCaffery. Seems like some folks in Iowa are having a tough time spelling the new University of Iowa men’s basketball coach’s name correctly. Heck, even the school got it wrong on the first try. He’s done some nice things at Siena, which probably isn’t enough to satisfy a fan base that thinks its basketball program should be fighting for a Final Four berth every year. Will it work out? Who knows. I like the fact that his wife, a former University of Notre Dame star, was once kicked out of a game for yelling at the officials. Just wait until she gets a load of the boo birds in Iowa City.
D — Pro days. People were gushing about former Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford after his pro day on Monday. Because he was able to throw a few passes wearing some an Under Armor shirt and shorts are we supposed to be impressed? Let’s have someone push him to the ground on that creaky shoulder and see how it holds up. Then we’ll have a better idea if he’s ready for the NFL or not. There are more dog-and-pony shows like this to come between now and the NFL draft, which starts on April 22. The Rams can have Bradford if they want, and it looks like they may pick him No. 1 overall.
F — Jim Playfair. Considering what this American Hockey League coach did over the weekend, he has the most ironic name in sports right now. Playfair, who coaches the Abbotsford Heat and used to be the head coach of the NHL’s Calgary Flames, went absolutely nuts after a call went against his team. He broke two sticks and threw them on the ice as well as partially disrobing on the team’s bench. He was fined by the AHL on Monday, but said he wasn’t embarrassed by what he did. Probably the best minor-league coaching meltdown since this guy.