Andrew Monaco's M-Blog March 2013

Andrew Monaco serves as studio host and sideline reporter, along with play-by-play on select games, on Fox Sports Southwest, KENS and KMYS. He is the TV and radio play-by-play announcer for the Silver Stars, continues to do TV for the Rampage, (where he served as radio voice until the 2007–08 season) and handles TV on Austin Toros' telecasts. Prior to joining the SS&E family spent more than a decade covering a variety of teams.
M-Blog Archive: Nov. 2012 | Dec. 2012 | Jan. 2013 | Feb. 2013

No Brackets For Me This Year
by Andrew Monaco | Mar. 18, 2013

Photo by joey.parsons

This is the year.

This is the year I just say no.

No, to all the people asking.

No, I will not contribute eggs, chits, bones, or any other alternate term for dollars, to enter your pool, thank you for asking.

This is the year I will abstain from filling out an NCAA Tournament bracket.

So, this is the year I will not care about who has to play in Dayton.

I will keep calling them “play-in” games.

This is the year I refuse to worry about the backcourt of Valparaiso, the frontcourt of LaSalle, the senior leadership of Akron, or lack thereof for Western Kentucky, and if any one of those schools can pull off a first round (oops, sorry, second round) upset.

I will not dig into the media guides of Florida Gulf Coast, Liberty, Albany nor Northwestern State.

I will not take my first look at the strength of schedules of South Dakota State, Belmont, LIU nor Bucknell.

I will delight in the joy all those teams display during the tournament.

I will not care at all when the so-called experts pick their bracket busters, their upsets, their locks.

I will not worry about all those miles some teams have to travel for their first, second, or third round games.

I will not fill out my bracket in pencil and wear out the paper deciding, and then changing my mind, about 8/9 or 12/5 games.

I will watch the tournament unfold and experience the joys of the winners, root for the underdogs and longshots.

I will argue and say that Teddy Pendergrass’s version of One Shining Moment is the best ever. Better than Luther Vandross. Better than Jennifer Hudson. In fact, when I am finished typing this, I will look them up on YouTube.

I will miss any and all references to the Mideast Region.

I will have to remind myself it is the Field of 68, not Field of 64.

I will enjoy the pep bands, cheerleaders and mascots.

I will watch as much as I can on Thursdays and Fridays. There is just something special about sports during the day.

I will learn where trutv is on my cable system. And promptly forget until next spring.

I will remember fondly the triumvirate of Dick Enberg, Al McGuire and Billy Packer.

I will remember fondly Kenny Loggins’ “This Is It” serving as NBC Sports’ intro to the National Championship, with Bryant Gumbel serving as host.

I will thank CBS and Turner Sports for teaming up and providing wall-to-wall coverage.

I just will not fill out a bracket. Or 2. Or 3. Or 4. And lose track of who won, in what bracket, in whose pool.

Nope, not me.

Not this year.

But if I did, this would be my Final Four …

by Andrew Monaco | Mar. 8, 2013

(D. Clarke Evans/Getty Images)

I have to admit, I was a little bit envious when Bill Schoening had his own theme song for his terrific feature, 20-Second Timeout. Well, he has Adios, Auf Wiedersehen and I am proud to announce that the M Blog has a theme song as well.

Cue M Squad music by non-other than the great Count Basie.

Don't see an audio player? Click here

Now I’m starting to add a little class to the M Blog.

I’m a child of the TV generation, so TV theme songs have always been a favorite of mine. As have stadiums, arenas, uniforms and logos.

Then end of the Rodeo Road Trip sure provided uniform fodder, didn’t it? Beginning in Sacramento when the Kings wore their Hardwood Classics uniforms, a throw-back to the glory days of the Kings, when they were on the cusp of breaking through, only to be thwarted by the Lakers.

Then it was on to LA to face the Clippers, who really should rethink and redo their uniforms. In a way, charmingly retro (not San Diego Clippers charming, or even Buffalo Braves charming) but they would look great as an alternate uniform.

Then on to Golden State where the Warriors unveiled (unleashed?) their new jersey (with sleeves!) Those new uniforms are incredibly light. The Warriors’ folks were kind enough to let us see them and we showed them off that night on our telecast. They were kind of reverse-Charlotte Hornet, though, weren’t they. When Alexander Julian designed the Hornets’ uniforms, they had pinstripes on the tops, but not the shorts. Golden State went the opposite: solid yellow shirts, with pinstripes on the shorts.

Phoenix also went retro in the final game of the trip, bringing out the black unis they wore from 1994-2000.

So it got me thinking, what have been the worst NBA uniforms? Three stand out immediately.

The gawd-awful, cartoonish Philadelphia 76ers’ uniforms they wore from 1991-94. If you remember Shawn Bradley as a 76er, that’s his uniform.

The powder-blue tie-dyed New Jersey Nets from the 1990-91 season.

(That’s not the only Nets uniform in contention. Remember the script New Jersey uniforms they wore?) The tie-dye was just too much to ignore.

The original Toronto Raptors jerseys, with, as one writer called it, “Angry Barney.” Perfect description.

Other contenders: The New York Knicks’ break from tradition in the mid-80’s, and the Detroit Pistons, the teal years.

Hmm, I think this may be another topic for another M Blog.

Oh, as for the Spurs’ uniform? Crisp. Clean. Classic.

Oh, and we’ll show off our third jersey, too. As soon as you see that logo on the chest, you immediately know it’s the San Antonio Spurs.