Tuesday, March 30, 2010


Party Crashers!
This year's Final Four resembles just that as the "favorites" have gone by the wayside and only Duke University enters this weekend as a number-one seed from the South Regional.
The Butler Bulldogs and Duke Blue Devils are slight favorites as the Final Four of the NCAA Basketball Tournament tips off Saturday in Indianapolis.
The Bulldogs (from Indianapolis) face the Michigan State Spartans while Duke goes against West Virginia.
Duke is the lone number-one seed remaining from the field of 65 teams and will face a chippy team in the Mountaineers, who won the Big East Tournament after finishing second in the conference during the regular season.
The Blue Devils are a senior led team with Kyle Singler and Jon Scheyer up front going against the tenacious West Virginia defense, led by Da'Sean Butler, Kevin Jones and Devin Ebanks .
The Mountaineers are emboldened by Head Coach Bob Huggins, who was in one Final Four with Cincinnati back in 1992. Look for the Mountaineers to buckle down against Duke and look to force turnovers, which would lead to easy fast break baskets.
As for the Butler vs. Michigan State game, the Spartans are no strangers to this stage as they lost in last year's National Championship Game against North Carolina.
The Spartans are in their sixth Final Four in the last 12 years.
Not too shabby.
The Bulldogs will be playing "in their back yard" as they reside in Indy and are literally minutes away from Lucas Oil Stadium.
Raymar Morgan, Chris Allen and Delvon Roe lead the way for the Spartans, who have made this run minus their star player, Kalin Lucas, who is out for the season with a leg injury.
Michigan State Coach Tom Izzo already has a National Championship under his belt from the 2000 season and he knows how to prepare his team for the big games.
The Bulldogs are the darlings of the tournament this year after knocking out mighty Syracuse and Kansas State to reach the Final Four.
Bulldogs Coach Brad Stevens has Willie Veasley, Matt Howard, Gordon Hayward and Shelvin Mack to look to against the experienced Spartans.
This Butler team is not all fazed by the competition they have faced this year, and they have the nation's longest winning streak at 24 games to prove it.

As for the games, here goes nothing...

Michigan State 62, Butler 58

West Virginia 71, Duke 66

National Championship
West Virginia 59, Michigan State 58

Hope everyone enjoys the Final Four.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

What a long, strange trip it's been

The Final Four for the NCAA Basketball Tournament is halfway set as Butler and West Virginia earned their spots in the spotlight next weekend in Indianapolis.
On Sunday, Duke will play Baylor in the South Regional final and Michigan State takes on Tennessee in the Midwest Regional final to complete the Final Four.
What a strange tournament this has been this year.
Starting with the mega upsets (too many to pinpoint) in the opening two days and the biggest shocker of all in Day Three with Northern Iowa (number nine seed) knocking Kansas, the top team in the land at the time, out of the brackets.
Who would have thought Michigan State, having lost to Minnesota in the Big Ten tourney two weeks ago, would be battling Tennessee (another underachiever in the regular season) for the right to face the mighty Butler Bulldogs and their 24 game winning streak?
Duke, another team that doesn't really impress, is a win away from their first Final Four appearance in six years.
If the number-one seed Blue Devils can top the Baylor Bears, they will head to Indianapolis to face the West Virginia Mountaineers, which is the final Big East school left in the tournament after eight teams overall from that conference earned a spot in the dance.
Not bad for a team whose coach (Bob Huggins) does not wear a suit and tie on the sidelines like the other 64 coaches in this tourney do.
Just asking, but does anyone know why that is?
Huggins never wears a suit. Is this for medical purposes or something?
Maybe that chip on the shoulder attitude will parlay into a national championship for the Mountaineers.
Personally, I'd like to see Butler, which is located in Indianapolis, win it all.
Last year, there was NO DOUBT which team was the best.
North Carolina rolled into the Final Four and then dominated highly touted Villanova and smashed surprising Michigan State in the Championship game two days later.
This year has proved to be a dart board thrower (meaning ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN) in that only one top seed remains and they are certainly no lock to get to the Final Four.
We could see Michigan State playing Butler and West Virginia against Baylor next week. Perhaps Tennessee vs. Butler and WVU against Duke as well.
The tournament is a great time and they have been talking about possible expansion to 96 teams.
If it ain't broke, then don't fix it.
But that is why they play the games and also why we call it "March Madness."
Fasten your seat belts for the wild finish.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Hey Tea Party protesters: Tea Bag This!

Health Care Reform is finally here!

HISTORY: House passes Health Care Reform Bill

The Health Care Reform Bill passed the House of Representatives on Sunday evening by a vote count of 219 to 212 and now it's just a matter of the Senate version of the bill being sent to President Barack Obama for his signature to make this the law of the land.
Finally, health care reform is coming to the United States of America.

It's all in the numbers

The health care reform bill will be voted on sometime this evening in Washington, D.C. and with it's passage will give health care to some 32 million Americans who currently are without coverage.
216 votes are needed in the House of Representatives and passage of the bill will happen according to Steny Hoyer (Democrat- 5th District of Maryland), the House Majority leader.
It's all in the numbers and the United States of America is on the brink of history making legislation with this bill's passage.
If (and it's an increasingly likelihood) the HCR bill passes the Congress and President Barack Obama signs it into law, will the Republicans continue to run their campaign message for the 2010 mid-term elections to "repeal" the bill?
I say bring it on if it comes to that.
The GOP will be cutting it's own collective throat if they actually try that strategy.
The bill is worth passing and once things start to take shape and it gets tweaked over time, people will be satisfied with the new health care reform.
Don't be afraid America... just as FDR once said ... "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."
Stay tuned.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


March Madness is in full swing as the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament gets rolling on Thursday.
The four regional top seeds include Kansas (Midwest Region), Kentucky (East Region), Duke (South Region) and Syracuse (West Region) as they seek to get to the Final Four in Indianapolis on April 3 and 5 for the National Semi-Finals and NCAA Championship Game.
Kansas (32-2) is the number-one team in the land and will attempt to win it's second title in three years in what is easily the toughest region to get through.
The Jayhawks will have number-two seed Ohio State (27-7) to contend with as well as surging Georgetown (23-10) from the Big East, which is college basketball's top conference in the nation.
Maryland, an ACC team, went 23-8 in the season and is primed for a run in the tourney. Another possible speed bump for Kansas is Michigan State, which shared the Big Ten season regular season title with Ohio State and Purdue. The Spartans (24-8) made the run all the way to the NCAA Championship Game last year before losing to North Carolina.
In the South, Duke (29-5) seems to have the easiest road to the Final Four. Villanova (24-7) is the number-two seed from the Big East, but they have been slumping late in the regular season and need to get it in gear if they want to get back for a second straight Final Four appearance.
Number three seed Baylor (25-7) is a contender as is another Big 12 team, Texas A & M (23-9). Purdue (27-5) is entering the tourney without their star player Robbie Hummel and will face a stiff test in their opener against Siena.
The West Region has Syracuse (28-4) as the top seed and the Orange was the Big East regular season champion. They will face some rugged competition as Pitt (24-8), Kansas State (26-7), Vanderbilt (24-8), Xavier (24-8) and Butler (28-4) all are headed West as well. In fact, the Butler Bulldogs boast the nation's longest winning streak at 20 games entering the tournament.
The East Region features the Kentucky Wildcats (32-2) and star player John Wall as the top seed and the 'Cats are hungry to get back to the top spot since their last championship back in 1998.
However, they will also have stiff competition in West Virginia (27-6), fresh off it's Big East tournament championship win over Georgetown in a thriller.
Number-three seeded New Mexico is a team at 29-4 that not a lot of people are familiar with simply because they play out West and generally late at night where not many of their games are viewable on television.
The Lobos will look to prove they belong at number-three as will Wisconsin at number-four. The Badgers (23-8) limp into the tournament after being eliminated by Illinois in their first Big Ten tournament game.
Temple (29-5), Marquette (22-11) and perhaps Texas (24-9), which was a pre-season number two team, loom as dark horses to emerge from this region and get to Indy for the Final Four.
There are always surprises as the tournament unfolds and this should prove no different again this year.
It's wide open folks!
There is NO dominant team like North Carolina was a year ago as they steamrolled to the championship.
The picks here are for Kentucky to beat West Virginia in the East; Villanova to beat Duke in the South; Georgetown to "shock" Kansas in the Midwest and Syracuse to knock off Xavier in the West.
Yes, that's right... three BIG EAST teams advancing to the Final Four along with Kentucky.
In the Championship Game, the call is Kentucky over Syracuse.
Let the games begin.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Just a hunch


AP Report: Ditka glad he turned down 2004 bid against Obama

Former NFL Hall-of-Famer and coach Mike Ditka says he has no regrets about his passing up Republican party overtures to run against Barack Obama for U.S. Senate in 2004.
Da Coach said he thought about it for perhaps two days or so before declining the offer.
"The hypocrisy of both parties" is what annoys Ditka about politics, he said.
"You are not there to represent a party, a special interest. You're there to represent America, the people that elected you. They (politicians) don't do that. I'm sorry, they don't do it!
"And you can't make all these promises when you're a candidate, and none of them happen."

Monday, March 8, 2010

Where's the moolah?

One simple question for the officials of Illinois... why is there a school budget crisis going on?
Where is all of that money from the proceeds of the Illinois State Lottery and, in particular, the money from the Lotto drawings that was supposed to be going to the Illinois School System?
If memory serves correct, the state of Illinois instituted the lottery in 1974 and roughly ten years later the Lotto drawings started, with proceeds going to finance schools throughout the system.
Show me the money!
Because I would like to know...
Wha' happened?
Why is there a budget crisis?
Does anyone have any answers?
We, the good (TAX PAYING) citizens of ILLINOIS would like to know!
But in the meantime, we will not be holding our breath.
That could cause health problems if prolonged and we do not even want to go there again.
If anyone (and I mean anyone) has an answer to these questions, please reply because I may have missed something over the past 35 plus years regarding this matter.
In the meantime, where's the moolah?
We demand answers!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

What's your status?

Blogging on the internet is certainly interesting.
There are many avenues to explore. Whether it be sports, politics, general topics, you name it and it is there.
A friend of mine recently asked me of this site and why I (or for that matter) or anyone bothers to blog about topics or themselves and what they are doing.
This came via facebook in a private message and I felt compelled to blog about this very subject.
This site deals primarily with sports and political views.
On occasion, heftyinfo strays from the norm and posts funny or sarcastic pictures of current political events and attempts to present them in a humorous fashion.
There are surely plenty of people who may get a chuckle out of these pictures and there also may be some who get offended because it does not represent their views.
That's okay because that is what blogging is all about.
That was the general message sent back to the individual who questioned the motives of bloggers.
What is your status on your own blog if you do blog at all?
Recently upon surfing the web, I discovered many new sites I had not checked out in the past and had a look-see, which is called trolling.
When one leaves comments on these sites (anonymously is the norm) they are referred to as "trolls".
That's funny because this site has had many trolls come along during the past nine months or so since heftyinfo was created.
It does seem there are a lot of bloggers who simply report on the everyday goings on in their lives and even they will get the trolls who may or may not have something nice to say about what they viewed and/or read.
On this site, there are numerous blogs listed that are "followed" on a regular basis by myself and they seem to have their regular "followers" as well.
This site doesn't get so many followers simply because "hot" topics are discussed (especially political topics) and many people simply will not comment on politics/religion and even sports these days.
Such is life and as long as the blogosphere remains open and free to surf, that will continue to be the case.
In the meantime, keep on blogging and surfing (or trolling if you prefer) and let us all hope that the rumors of more monitoring of the internet are just that ...
only rumors.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Here we go again?

With the signing of free agents around the National Football League, and the draft still some six weeks away, optimism abounds around the league, including here in Chicago.
The Bears signed three free agents this past week, including big names such as Julius Peppers (Defensive End) and running back Chester Taylor, who has been Adrian Peterson's sidekick in Minnesota the past three years.
The New York Jets inked cornerback Antonio Cromartie and probably feel they now have a "hands off" policy against opposing passing attacks with Darelle Revis already in the fold at the other corner spot.
Likewise in Baltimore, where the Ravens, known for their lethargic offense, signed wide receiver Anquan Boldin away from the Cardinals to hopefully bring some excitement to their team.
Let's face it, watching Baltimore play football (at least on offense) is like watching paint dry.
Same goes for the Jets, all defense and very little offense.
In Chicago, the Bears are going for broke it seems after all the money they spent to ink Peppers and Taylor to help quarterback Jay Cutler resurrect that franchise.
Not so fast ...
Super Bowls are never won in the off-season, except maybe in the weight rooms as players stay in shape for the grind that is the NFL season.
If football continues to be like baseball in regard to free agency and these players jumping all over the place, then the NFL just might begin to lose some of it's swagger as the king of all sports in the United States. Look at the problems baseball has had as a result of the big money being tossed around over the past thirty or so years.
Numerous work stoppages and already there are great rumblings of just that happening in 2011 for the NFL as well.
In baseball, there are only a handful of teams that really compete each year for the title and the New York Yankees won (or is that bought?) another title last season.
Do football fans really want to see the New Yorks and other major markets dominate the sport like the Yankees and Red Sox have done so in baseball during the past decade?
The NFL should cool it's jets and just let the game "market" itself rather than trying to tweak things and just end up with an eventual mess like baseball has had over the years regarding the lack of competitiveness in the sport.
Let's face it, rooting for the New York Yankees is like rooting for IBM or some other corporate giant and where is the fun in that?
So while it may be exciting to see the new faces coming to your favorite teams right now, the problems will rear their ugly heads most assuredly as the progress continues and the smaller market teams are squeezed more and more.
If that happens, then the letters in NFL will literally stand for the "No Fun League."
And that will be no fun for any fans.