Friday, April 18, 2008

Feeling the Burn

Rode down to Pinehurst last Thursday with my boss for a vendor-sponsored golf thingie that included dinner, overnight at the Pinehurst resort and golf on Friday at Pinehurst #5. Now, I've played maybe a dozen and a half rounds of golf in my life and hadn't played at all in about 8 years, so rusty is hardly an adequate description of my "game", if you can call it that. I did pick up some new clubs a couple of years ago after playing with an assortment of hand-me-downs from my father and grandfather and I did get out to the driving range a couple of times, but I was prepared to be embarassed and didn't disappoint. It was captain's choice of course and I did hit a couple of really nice chips onto the domed greens but for the most part it was as if I had never seen a golf club before AND had some sort of palsy. All of that said, I did have a lot of fun (not so much that I'm likely to want to start playing regularly).

Unfortunately, in the rush to get going Friday morning, I left my sunscreen in my overnight bag, so I played the round unprotected. That didn't seem too bad Saturday and even Sunday I was doing all right, but by Monday my arms and neck were covered with a really nasty-looking rash. Now I've gotten a lot of sunburns before and I've never had anything like this - the only thing I can think is that something I was taking (aspirin? Sudafeds?) or something I was eating made me very photosensitive. I still look like I've got some kind of horrible pox, but it's starting to get better (people aren't edging away from me in meetings quite as much as they were earlier this week). But yuck!


Why This is Not 2005

First of all, UNC did not win it all. Secondly, none of the UNC players are likely to be lottery picks. In 2005, four players were selected in the first 14 picks - projections this year would have Hansbrough, Lawson and Ellington going no higher than the second half of the first round. That's a big drop in contract money.

Ty Lawson and Wayne Ellington would clearly be better served with another year of college - both could potentially raise their draft status substantially, especially as next year's draft doesn't appear at this point to be as competitive. On the other hand, I'm not sure what Tyler can do to raise his stock and I suppose he could potentially fall off a bit. There's nothing that says this is an all-or-nothing deal (all three stay or go), but it does seem often to work out that way.

Tyler Hansbrough has got nothing left to prove to anyone other than himself. If he wants to come back and rewrite the UNC record book and try a last time to win a national championship, I would heartily applaud him but if he chooses to enter the draft, I'll say "thanks for everything" and hope he confounds the experts and becomes an All-Star. On the other hand, I'll be disappointed if Ty and Wayne jump (remember they're only sophomores) as I think they have potential to really help themselves with another year at UNC. Remember Joe Forte? No one else does.