'Circle' closes with thoughts on summer

"To be a winner, surround yourself with winners."

Dennis Conner

Captain of Stars & Stripes

In what may be the last installment of The Winners' Circle, I would like to send everyone off with some things to think about during this summer, with random blasts and notes from the world of sports.

First things first: The above quote is one that appeared in an ad for Sears, commemerating Team Dennis Conner and Stars & Stripes for winning the America's Cup Defender's series, and a chance to defend the America's Cup against New Zealand's boat, Black Magic.

Great quote, Denny. Yours truly named his column after winning, but really, when you have the entire San Diego Yacht Club in your back pocket, how can you lose. I don't claim to be an expert on sailing, but the strings this guy pulled just to get his boat in the defender's final were bogus. I even heard that Conner would have been the skipper of whatever boat won the defender series whether it was his boat or not. Unbelievable, even if it is just sailing. ...

NBA Playoffs: Has anyone noticed that the Seattle Supersonics are quickly becoming the Arizona Wildcats of the NBA. I mean this team was supposed to contend for the title last year before being booted from the playoffs in the first round by Denver. This year they are in jeopardy of losing in the first round after a 105-101 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers Monday night. One more loss and Seattle will be watching the rest of the playoffs from their homes. ...

How about those Boston Celtics? After being blown out by 47 in game one against Orlando, they stormed back to win game two.

Now the Celtics can close out the Magic with two wins at home. It probably won't happen, but the Magic's collapse Sunday just shows that Orlando is still a year away from a title. ...

Referees: Speaking of the NBA, I am just baffled by the officials' inconsistency in the playoffs. In college at least the refs are just bad, but in the NBA the referees are so inconsistent with their calls that it's nauseating. Some players get all the fouls, some get away with traveling, and some, like Charles Barkley against the Lakers two years ago, even get away with goaltending. We have the best players in the world out there, at least we could get some decent officiating.

UA Basketball: The recent addition of Jarvis Kelley to Rice Univesity brings up a question of what exactly is going on with the Arizona basketball team. Sources close to the team have told me various things ranging from preferential treatment of star players to exclusion of lesser players from team strategy sessions.

I also learned that many plays that all players are supposed to know are not shown to, or taught, to anyone on the team except for the top seven or eight off the bench. The others are just expected to learn them through trial and error, a system that is really bogus in my opinion.

The whole family atmosphere that Lute Olson and the media attempt to portray is just a myth. Maybe if Arizona, or even Olson, had a national title under their belts, this news may be easier to take. But this just shows that the trouble Arizona has in the tournament every year may stem from

a lack of preparation of the players rather than just running into a hot team in the first round....

Final Predictions: In the NBA, it will be the Lakers and Chicago, a rematch of 1991. In baseball, it will be the Dodgers and the Yankees a rematch of 1981. Football will again come down to the 49ers and Cowboys in the NFC and in hockey, it will be Quebec, and Joe Sakic, against Detroit and Steve Yzerman...

Hope the summer is a winning one.

Patrick Moran is a business and public administration senior, and despite what some people may think, he is always right.

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