What now?

Raheel Ramzanali: A 16 beating a 1? What's next in the sports world?

Yes, a 16 beat a 1. Now what? Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

There are certain things in sports that I thought I would never see in my life, but here we are and a 16 just upset the OVERALL No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament. Maybe because it was anti-climatic since UMBC slapped Virginia around in the second half, but not a lot of people were as moved by this as I was on my radio show (which can be heard on ESPN 97.5 FM daily from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.).

I thought a 16 upsetting a 1 would rank as an all-time “whoa, they really did it!” moment for sports fan, but the reaction was just a “cool, it happened - now what?” for the most part. I get it, we live in a time where we’re really desensitized by memorable moments because they keep happening, but even a 16 over a 1? In the last year we’ve seen a player average a triple-double in the NBA, Lebron make it to seven straight finals, a player hit 59 homeruns in a non-steroid era (albeit a juiced ball era), and Nick Saban win his 900th National Championship in an era where teams are getting better and better, yet he keeps winning. These are things that aren’t supposed to happen, but they have and we as fans are starting to believe this is normal. Heck, we’ve even seen a female basketball player compete in a Slam Dunk Contest in the last 15 years.

I thought on Monday morning I would be greeted with the same enthusiasm as I had about seeing history being made, but it was more of a, “Raheel, we get it, a 16 beat the number 1 OVERALL seed - let’s move on.” Maybe I’m more disappointed that I no longer have something to cross off my sports viewing bucket list, but I can’t be the only one that will remember where I was when the Retrievers upset Virginia. I knew this would be the year we saw it. Just ask my good friend Dustin on Twitter. I was calling the upset of Kansas by Penn as we watched the first wave of games on Thursday. Y'all, we witnessed history! All those close calls and “I think this is the year” moments finally paid off and we cashed in with a historic upset.

This also leaves me with an important “What Now?” update of my sports viewing bucket list. I’ve been lucky to experience some cool sports moments, but here are two that I need to cross off before I call it a day and give a shout out to heaven:

  • United States National Soccer Team winning a World Cup

  • Texas Basketball winning a championship

I guess I have something to look forward to for the next 33 years. Here’s to you, Shaka!

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Many of the games have been hard to watch. Photo by Ronald Cortes/Getty Images

They say that breaking up is hard to do, then comes the rebuilding, and that's where the real pain happens. Last week, the 4-9 Rockets lost a tough game, 103-91, to the very average San Antonio Spurs at Toyota Center. That night, Ben McLemore scored 21 points, while P.J. Tucker contributed four points.

Every other point for the Rockets was scored by a player who wasn't on the team last year. That's no way to build a fan base of young people, or older people, or anybody. Because of COVID restrictions, the Rockets can sell only 3,000 tickets to games, and they're still having to offer special deals like four tickets and four drinks (soda, water, wine or beer) for $79.

The night the Rockets fell to the Spurs, DeMarcus Cousins was out with an ankle injury (surprise), John Wall was out with a sore knee (shock), and Eric Gordon sat with a lower leg injury (stunning). They were not sidelined by COVID protocol, it was age creakiness. All three are on the other side of 30. All have a history of missing games because of injuries. Danuel House also missed the game because of a bad back and COVID protocol.

The Rockets took to the floor with able-bodied Mason Jones, David Nwaba, Rodions Kurucs, Kenyon Martin Jr., Jae'Sean Tate and Christian Wood. They're nice players, for sure, they're on an NBA roster. But the NBA is a megastar-driven operation. How many of them would you recognize if they were standing behind you at Costco? The way the Rockets sign, trade and cut players, many or most of the current roster won't be around next year. Becoming a fan of a current Rocket is like falling in love with the Rug Doctor you rented for the weekend at a supermarket. It's going back Monday.

Last year, the head coach was Mike D'Antoni, the general manager was Daryl Morey. Both are established and respected figures in the league. Would you recognize the Rockets new coach Stephen Silas? Can you even name the Rockets new general manager?

And that's how you sink to 14th place in the Western Conference standings, inevitably a lottery team, the end to the Rockets' eight-year run of making the playoffs … the longest current streak in the NBA. The 2021 Rockets aren't just a lousy product, it's worse, they're a boring team. Gordon and Tucker, maybe the two most popular Rockets veterans, are rumored to be traded soon. Fans will have abandonment issues.

Maybe the Rockets should offer something stiffer than beer on "Guys Night Out" next Thursday when the Portland Trail Blazers visit Toyota Center. Good seats available.

That's not what you want to see

Did you see where the New York Mets fired their general manager Jared Porter because he sent explicit, uninvited, unanswered text messages to a female reporter?. Porter absolutely deserved to lose his job. What he did was awful and cruel. More than just losing his job, he should be committed to a home for the terminally stupid. Who does something that moronic? So unconscionable and abusive, on top of being job-killing.

But not all junk shots are meant to be hurtful – here's one that's actually funny, and totally inadvertent and innocent. Several years ago, a local sportscaster not only took a photo of his naked, anatomically correct body, he posted it on Facebook for all of his friends, indeed the world, to see. I won't name the local sportscaster because he was the victim of his own innocent lack of focus. It could have happened to anybody. Not me, thankfully, but anybody else.

Here's how it happened. The sportscaster was taking a shower, and when he emerged, he noticed his kitten curled up in the bathroom sink. Aw, isn't that cute? The sportscaster grabbed his phone and took a photo.

And posted it on Facebook. He didn't notice that, in the background of the photo, in the mirror, was his naked body. You can't say he was butt naked because it was full frontal nudity. You can't say it was a wardrobe malfunction because there was no wardrobe involved. Fortunately his wife noticed the mishap and told the sportscaster to delete the photo.

Here's the real problem, and his solid alibi. Whoever thought it was a good idea to put huge, wide mirrors in the bathroom, especially opposite the bath tub? There's a good look, you're naked, dripping wet, with patches of soap you missed rinsing off. This should be a fleeting disturbing image, not one to be preserved on film or online. Solution: don't bring your phone, or any photographic equipment, into the bathroom. We've all taken accidental photos. Nobody needs to see a photo of your disgusting body. You are not Michelangelo's statue of David. I don't let my dog watch me take a shower or any other business conducted in the bathroom. There is a reason that bathroom doors have locks. Use them.

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