The Climate

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The Climate is a look at what's good and what's not so good in the world of sports. Since adding "-ologist" or "-iatrist" to your subject of expertise seems to give you instant credibility, I'm now your "Dean of Climatology." Wait, that's an actual word, so scratch that, I'm liking "Chancellor of Climatiatry" better anyway. Let's see how I do with my new highfalutin title:

Day 1 of the NCAA TournamentThere are so many good things about Thursday, it's hard to figure out where to start. Your options for optimal viewing include:

A) Play hooky, create an epic couch groove, take a break to grab a sandwich, taunt friends about how you knew Binghamton would take down Duke the whole time, pass out.

B) Watch from work on CBS's great live video player, try to pretend you're doing actual work even as your bracket falls apart thanks to Binghamton somehow putting it all together for 40 minutes, and then leave early due to some sort of mysterious "sickness." For dramatic flair, I recommend acting like you've been caught in the time flashes from Lost.

C) If you're in the vicinity of a host city, grab some tickets (I'm guessing they're not nearly as expensive as expected), take in four games (two will probably be good), and try not to pass out by the end of the last game (nearly impossible).

D) Watch your winning 38-footer bank in (call it) to take down a top seed and become the new Bryce Drew (admittedly, this is extremely specific).

Dwyane WadeNot to say that he hasn't been doing it all year, but Wade's been playing like he's downright offended that so many people consider it to be a LeBron/Kobe MVP race. If you listen closely, you can hear the sound of Chuck Norris buttoning up his Dwyane Wade pajamas. Ridiculous.

Mascot FightsThere are always going to be a number of different aspects that entertain people at a sporting event -- the actual action, the atmosphere, the bright lights and greasy food -- but a human has yet to be found that doesn't enjoy a good mascot fight. The most recent is the basketball fight between Utah State's "Big Blue" (a bull) and New Mexico State's "Pistol Pete" (a cowboy), and predictably, it was excellent. It had every element of a good mascot fight -- at least one fully costumed mascot, physical violence, and a fake mustache. It's probably too hard to pick a "Best Ever" for mascot fights, but please take in a classic for your consideration.

Mike BellottiNow that he's officially retired and becoming the new A.D. for the Ducks, I'm now going to shamelessly use this space to give the greatest Oregon football coach ever his due. With an expert offensive mind, shrewd assistant coaching hires, and the most intimidating mustache in recent Pac-10 history, Bellotti led the program into the consistent national spotlight. It also should be noted that when brought up, most people immediately think of the crazy uniforms or billboards , Bellotti embraced the idea that the Ducks' image paved the way to awareness, improved recruiting, and subsequently, success. To simplify the equation:

Victory = (Offensive Juggernaut + Loud Uniforms) x (Swoosh + Loud Crowd) x (Premium Facial Hair)

Syracuse over UConn in O.T. X 6If you can't get excited for a Big East sextuple overtime affair at MSG, you're hereby considered to be an emotionless robot. Actually, if you can't get excited for anything that can be best described as a "sextuple affair," you definitely feel nothing running through your cold, automated veins.

NCAA Tournament Selection AnalysisAt this point, we pretty much know that the selection committee doesn't even know how they arrive at the wacky conclusions that they do every year, so why waste your time and effort caring and watching the talking heads who yell at each other trying to prove irrelevant points. If your team isn't in, they probably should've just won more games. If your team is in, be happy and start working on that couch groove.

See? Now you can move on to more important things like reading about juiced-up cage fighters and spineless closers.

Ken ShamrockWait, you're telling me that this guy tested positive for three different types of anabolic steroids? Whaaa?? My world, much like the Fresh Prince of Bel Air's, has now been flipped upside down. Black is white, night is day, right is left -- forget everything you know. Sure, baseball players want every advantage so that they can put up otherworldly numbers, and football players need every advantage to build strength and recover from injuries, but as soon as you throw the possibility that an MMA great is on the juice, you've gone too far, sir. This is going to be the worst St. Patrick's day ever.

Jonathan PapelbonPapelbon sat down with Esquire where he proceeded to call Manny Ramirez a "cancer," and that he "had to go." You've got to hand it to the timely Papelbon to come out over eight months after the fact and take a public stand against Ramirez. While all indications point to things continually coming to a head in Boston, surely Manny's 4.285 playoff OPS could've maybe/sort of/possibly given the Sox a boost in their one-run ALCS Game 7 performance. Crazy talk!!

The Golden State WarriorsIt's one thing to be an NBA team that just can't help but be completely inept, but the Warriors appear to genuinely capable of being competitive -- they just prefer to not care about any sort of team success, if it at all interrupts their individual basketball pursuits. If Jessica Alba actually followed this team, she'd be totally bummed.

United States BaseballListen, it's pretty clear that countries all over the globe are capable of putting together baseball teams that are as good (or better) than whatever the good ol' US of A can field, but there's never an excuse to be mercy-ruled by A TERRITORY OF YOUR OWN COUNTRY, like Puerto Rico did Friday. Just in case the World Baseball Classic should someday affect our national pride, some sort of provision needs to be written that negates any supposed win by a commonwealth or unincorporated territory. I'm looking at you, Guam.

Dan Rubenstein hosts and produces the SI Tour Guy video series for and co-hosts The Solid Verbal college football podcast with's Ty Hildenbrandt.