Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

March 7, 2013

All in the Game: Are the ladies taking over some sports?

By Jim Butler
Chronicle correspondent

CROSSVILLE — Though the female kicker didn't do well at all at the NFL combine, she at least did get the opportunity to try out. Danica Patrick did win the pole at the Daytona 500 and also finished well in the event. Is she going to be a factor in the Sprint Cup series or was the Daytona performance just a fluke? Some think that it was somewhat staged to help promote NASCAR, which has staggered a little in their ratings.

I personally have no idea, but the possibility will make me watch more of the events than I normally would have. I will surely be rooting more for her than Jimmie Johnson. It was good to see one of the really nice guys of racing, Carl Edwards, take the checkered flag this past Sunday.

As my buddy Ed Greif has already discussed, March Madness is just around the corner and this is one of the most exciting times of the year for us true sports fanatics. Of course, my excitement is somewhat lessened by the totally lackluster season of the Commodores that has necessitated winning the SEC tournament to make the big one. Of course, they did it last year, but this one seems really unlikely.

The Volunteers, on the other hand, stood a good chance of getting in the field prior to the unexpected loss at Georgia. They will have to show the selection committee something from this point on. They seem to be unstoppable at home.

It looks like the Blue Raiders of MTSU and Belmont have the best chances of any Tennessee teams to get into the tourney.

I guess I'll just have to hang my hat on Butler University as my favorite, though they have taken some really bad losses lately. They come alive at tourney time, though.

The SEC as a whole just doesn't have it in basketball this year and the reigning national champion Kentucky does not deserve an invitation to the dance. If they do make it it will be based on prior history, and that wouldn't be right. John Calipari has gone from the penthouse to the outhouse in a single season. Maybe the "one-and-done" philosophy just won't cut it after all.

Have another great week as the springtime weather approaches. That's always a good reason to smile. Gardening weather before we know it.

Go Jets ! Go Panthers! Go USA!

(Jim Butler is a Chronicle correspondent and his column appears regularly.)