July 3, 2015

2000 Olympic Trials Part 2: She's Still Not OK

Anything worth doing is worth doing twice. Especially if it's horrible. On to day 2 of Little Bela Shop of Horrors. (Don't you think Bela would actually make a really good Audrey II? Any time he speaks, I already hear "Feed me, Seymour!") Let's see who shatters into dust today. Spoiler alert: It's Shannon. And everybody.



Chapter 1, Minute 0: Paging Dr. Bela
-Remember the first day of competition and how it was a traumatic disaster where everybody had a nervous breakdown into a chalk bucket and then Beckerman just stopped in the middle of her bars routine out of emotional catastrophe? (HOW MANY TIMES ALYSSA?) Child's play. Brace yourself.

-We haven't even started yet, and Shannon is already in several pieces on the floor. At least she could have had the common decency to wait until after the intro fluff. Al didn't even have a chance to butcher any American history this time! ("As Abigail Adams once said, 'Give me liberty, or give me Bela.'")

-Oh yes, the WAG blue plate special, an extended closeup of a woman in tears while her coach goes, "You alright?"
-Let me think. Oh right, no. I'm not. That's why I'm on the ground, weeping.

-Bela's helping.

-Larry: Let's maybe be safe and get that thing looked at right now.
-Gymnastics: NO! MUST CONTINUE WITH 50 INJURIES! LEGS ARE FOR WIMPS.

-Let's pretend these closeups of her ex-husband never happened. Move it, creepy.

-"Hey, Shannon, either you can do a vault right now on your glass knee, or you can look after your body and shatter all of your dreams and mine in front of everyone. Your choice. No pressure. Do whatever feels right." 

-Shannon's knee, you need to cool it. We have an important fluff piece to get to! You've seriously cut into our lights-turning-on-in-a-quiet-gym and softly-lit-allusions-to-past-fuck-ups time. You know, gymnastics.
-The title of this piece is Gonna Dress You Up In Beige Drapes (You're a Disappointment). Note that neither Ray nor Maloney is even mentioned. Their lack of potential drama and disappointment is too disrespectful to the cause. Yet, there was time for a thousand shots of lurking Bela. THE STAR.

-The mascot of 2000 Trials:

-Al mentioning Survivor for no reason other than "the summer of 2000," because no one during those months spoke sentences that didn't end with "the tribe has spoken." Remember when there were TV phenomena that 70 quadrillion people would watch? Me neither. Also, I'm surprised NBC would be like, "Yes, please give a shout out to our biggest rival during the broadcast. Thank you."

-On night 1, Elfi and Tim were cruelly denied the chance to unleash their withering disdain on Vanessa's bars routine since she hit, sort of. So rude. Thankfully, her routine doesn't go great this time, which means they finally get to have their "How many times, Vanessa?" moment and tell us 50 times about how historically awful she is at life. On the spectrum of Atler's bars errors, though, this is like a child's medium.
-"You could tell from the leg separation on her mount that the seas would run red with the blood of orphans."

-"Shannon White." Sigh. 

-Oh look! A little skit about whether or not Shannon should stay in the competition. You know the production went, "Nunno, we're going to hold you on this event until Atler finishes bars, then you can go. Just jump back three lines, and we'll cut in. Take it from, 'If you're going to be considered.' And this time with feeling."

-Also, have you ever looked directly into the face of a shark?
-Now you have. Those are some serious dead eyes. I love how Nunno is trying to pretend like she might still be named to the team, and Shannon is like, "..........." and "............." and "I just destroyed Tokyo with my eyeball lasers."
-Now, yes, that's a nice sentiment from Steve about being respectful to the rest of the meet, but really, what was Shannon going to do? Jump up onto the vaulting horse and perform "Don't Cry for Me Argentina"? (But also, yes please)

June 23, 2015

2000 Olympic Trials: Special Victims Unit

I decided to rewatch the 2000 Olympic Trials. I guess because I just haven't been feeling jaded and flabbergasted enough lately and really needed to work harder to grab that golden ring. It's a process. You've got to get your nose to the grindstone if you want to see results. A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single Trautwig.

This meet is insane, and this broadcast is traumatic. I have some horrible thoughts. Come. Join me. Let's see who can last the longest before jumping straight into a volcano.

Chapter 1: Everything Is Completely Healthy Here


-Look how everyone is smiling in this opening montage! We're all happy! Great time! Fun! I don't need any therapy!

-Parkettes hair. Never forget what happened here. Kristen Maloney, look at yourself. Think about your actions.

-"We don't need Paul Revere to climb to the Old North Church and yell out, 'The Olympics are coming.'" Stop. Everything about that sentence is historically inaccurate. Please return to the third grade.

-Tim Daggett is a DUCKLING here. Apparently, sitting next to Al for 20 years is the equivalent of being president. WATCH OUT NASTIA. SAVE YOURSELF.

-Bela and Martha hanging over a super cool laptop.
-100% they're reading Dawson's Creek fanfic. There's literally nothing else I can imagine them needing that computer for.

-Tim says the word "mutiny" with such ravenousness. He was totally rooting for pitchforks. So was I.

-"Elfi, a year ago, Jamie Dantzscher was a withered piece of useless garbage. How did she stop being garbage?"
-"Well Al, Bela Karolyi talked to her for 30 seconds, and then she was fixed." YAY GYMNASTICS NARRATIVE.

-Jamie Dantzscher on bars. "Plays gymnastics on this event." What does that mean? That's not a sentiment.
-I would describe the Dantzscher family's level of fervor for that routine as vaguely Spanish Inquisitiony. 

-Next up is Shang Chunsong. I mean Morgan White.
-But first, let's enjoy a video retrospective of her having a Level 50 nervous breakdown. YAY. It's like in romantic comedies when they have a musical montage of an unbearable trash couple trying on oversize sunglasses by a pier, except instead of that, it's a lifetime of emotional trauma. I know we all watch that replay and think, "This is normal. She's doing fine. I don't have any questions."
-And then after Morgan White vaults, and you're also going, "Oh God, Oh God, Oh God..."

-Not putting a mic on BLT is always the wrong decision. Yes, I meant to write MLT. No, I'm not changing it.

-And then, in a world of chaos, emotional collapses, and unfortunate misunderstandings of American Revolutionary history, the sun breaks through the clouds and bestows upon us Elise Ray Of Hope. Thank you. There is good in the world after all.

-Remember when Beth Rybacki was really into saying, "Stoi!"? Like really into it? Elise is like, "Oh. Yes. Stoi. Fine."

June 9, 2015

Brenna, Brenna, Brenna

In this week's edition of Things I Don't Really Understand, Brenna Dowell has elected to defer the 2015-2016 season at Oklahoma to train elite again in the run-up to Rio. Because she hasn't endured enough national team trauma already in her career and needed to give Martha yet another chance to name her to a team and then decide she shouldn't compete? No Brenna, this year we're going to put McKayla Maroney's Youtube channel up on bars in prelims instead of you. Enjoy the training gym.

Sigh. The unending power of that Olympic dream. "Unfinished business." This happens from time to time. Her Holiness (and by Her Holiness, I mean Kristina Vaculik, but you should know that by now), took a year off from Stanford to make Canada's 2012 team, though that was a more likely prospect than this is. But, you know, go for it? Or whatever? Dreams? Reach for the stars? The more the merrier. I wish she didn't have to take a year off from NCAA to do it, but it's extremely difficult to do both at the same time. We saw Zam try to go straight through NCAA season-elite season-NCAA season, and it ended with an Achilles tear. And she was more in the "I want to have the elite experience and see how it goes, whatever I'm Zam, let's smile and dance" camp. Brenna has had the elite experience. She's not going back just to have the experience. She wants THE PRECIOUS. 

In the short term, this does kind of suck for Oklahoma. Oh, you were relying on Brenna's scores on at least three events? Sorry bye now. It does give us something else to talk about this elite season, though. Team selection just got that little bit more interesting. 

Brenna is always going to be at least in the mix for a World Championship team given her Amanar and high D score on bars.



Those are valuable tools, but if that wasn't enough to make the team last year (though she was returning from injury in the first half of the summer), it's hard to see how that will be enough to make the team this year, with the addition of Douglas (most significantly because Douglas can fill a big spot on bars) along with Raisman, Key, and Dennis making selection even more challenging this time around. The possible opening for Brenna comes from the injury to Ashton Locklear and the "when exactly are you not injured?" career history of Madison Kocian, two bars specialists and some of her most direct competition. Presumably Dowell will try to D score everyone else into submission again this time, but boy, she cannot afford a single fall. She can't give anyone a chance to doubt her consistency.

As for Oklahoma, this one will sting a little bit, even though it doesn't stop the Sooners from being a title contender in 2016. They still have solid depth, but that's going to be tested now. Finally getting a healthy season from Charity Jones becomes that much more important because she can be that strong score on vault and floor that they would have expected to get from Brenna. Bars also just got a little bit interesting for the Sooners. Now just three members of last year's final lineup are returning: Wofford, Scaman, and Kmieciak. They'll have Nicole Lehrmann coming in, and several other possible 9.850s who have been hanging around the backup ranks, but they'll have to reinvent that lineup a bit and find some new big scores. They've done it before.

Elsewhere, in Opposite Of Brenna news, Lexie Priessman instannounced that she is, in fact, going to LSU in the fall. I didn't know there was still a question about that, so...good?

The other big chatter going around the gymternet has been about some pretty dramatic changes to NCAA for next season, including but not limited to devaluing the Yfull to 9.950, stepping up bars release requirements, and getting rid of event finals. I've decided to wait until we hear official things and details before thinking about this and formulating extended and dramatic opinions (we have plenty of time still), but you can read about it here. These are all areas that have been crying out for fixing. 

Also, Elise Ray is now Associate Head Coach at Washington as David McCreary is leaving to go Yim it up in Arizona. Elise will make a top program very happy one day.

June 1, 2015

2010 US Nationals, NCAA Style

We sort of know what's going to happen to former elites when they enter the NCAA ranks. Sort of. If you're crazy good, you probably shouldn't stop being crazy good all of a sudden. But there are all kinds of subcategories below crazy good that most people occupy, and when the NCAA CoP comes into play and limits what can be gained simply from mashing in the difficulty or absorbing errors, it can disrupt the previous balance of power.

The example I always use, because it's still recent (except I just realized it kind of isn't anymore) and pretty stark, is one Shayla Worley on bars. As an elite, Shayla was all about them bars. She was Duchess Tkatchev of Orlando. She made the 2007 team specifically to do bars in the team final (and floor, but mostly bars), and when we all agreed to pretend like the 2008 team selection came down to finding a bars worker to be the 6th member of the team, she seemed right in the hunt. 



In spite of her pedigree and accomplishments, however, Shayla's bars never became a major NCAA routine, mostly because of the dismount. That double front was never going to cut it in NCAA, both in the scoring department and the staying-alive department, so instead, she had to learn a DLO that never really became comfortable for her. (Elyse Hopfner-Hibbs had to do the same thing at around the same time, and also developed a mostly troubling DLO that was the primary culprit keeping her from weekly 9.9s). Because of that, and in spite of her clear talent on bars, Shayla was usually stuck at 9.850 instead of becoming the big fat star her elite success seemed to foretell. 



On the other side of the argument, we now have Alex McMurtry. (Not an elite, but) she was known for having a bars routine that fell clearly below the level of her other events and her top JO contemporaries. I believe in my preview of the 2015 season, I may have invoked the word "Brestyan's" when describing her bars work, which was probably overstating it a bit, but she was not expected to make an impact on bars for Florida.


(This commentary is a complete LOL now, by the way. No, she would never water down. How dare you suggest such a thing. Also note how Tim compared her gienger to Nastia's. Nastia laughed way too hard. Then immediately ran to a closet and snapped 50 pencils.)

But in the 2015 NCAA season, McMurtry managed to pull off the very rare Reverse Shayla, turning her routine from a nope into something that won Super Six. (And bested Shayla Worley's career high on bars in the process. Welcome to 2015 Super Six scoring, as we've over-discussed already.)



Florida definitely refined this routine quite a bit, but that's easier to do when you take out the hard parts. It's all about having a dismount. That's the difference between McMurtry and Shayla. Getting back that exceptional tuck full makes the whole routine. In spite of having no previous reputation for success on bars, this routine becomes a winner because of one vital, excellent skill. (And exposes some of the holes in the CoP, but holes exist to be exploited.) Get to NCAA, and the balance of power changes. An 8.9 in JO ends up with a better career high than a Worlds TF competitor.

Which is to say, we don't always know what will happen. Part of the joy of watching gymnasts move from elite/L10 into NCAA is in seeing how expectations shift, quality and stature evolve, and previous hierarchies are abolished. It happens all the time, and it can be fun to go back and compare how things stacked up in elite gymnastics compared to how they eventually played out in NCAA. (I should note at this time that I don't know what fun is.) This is the kind of rambling that the post-NCAA, pre-major-elite-events season is for.

I was just checking the standings from 2010 US Nationals, GREAT WEEKEND PLANS, and it's amusing to look back on those results knowing what we know now. Since I've already been talking about bars, I'll keep things there. These are the final rankings on bars from 2010 US Nationals, with the gymnasts who competed NCAA (excluding Whitcomb and Lee, who didn't really have NCAA careers) noted in bold.

1. Rebecca Bross
2. Cassie Whitcomb
3. Mattie Larson
4. Mackenzie Caquatto
5. Chelsea Davis
6. Morgan Smith
7. Vanessa Zamarripa
8. Sophia Lee
9. Samantha Shapiro
9. Bridgey Caquatto
11. Aly Raisman
12. Jaclyn McCartin
13. Kaitlyn Clark
14. Kytra Hunter
15. Georgia Dabritz
16. Rheagan Courville
17. Annette Miele
18. Lauren Beers
19. Brandie Jay
19. Briley Casanova

May 17, 2015

2015 Level 10 Nationals Results

Over the weekend, a medium-sized army of Level 10s gathered together in the void between the dimensions to contest their national championship. This is our annual opportunity to start to learn the names of the people who will be scattering 9.825s all over NCAA gymnastics in a matter of months. As always, the competition is broken down into 8 age groups (Junior A-D, Senior A-D), and my attention is primarily on Senior D and Senior C, since those are the gymnasts who will be joining college gymnastics this fall. For the rest, there will still be plenty of time to try to care about them later.

Full results for all the sessions can be found at USAG, and all the various commitments can be found at collegegymfans and here, but here's a basic breakdown of the key competitors in the senior ranks. 

SENIOR D



Top 10 AA
1. Alicia Boren – Florida 2015-2016
38.800 (VT - 1st; UB - 2nd; BB - 2nd; FX - 3rd)
Alicia Boren wins JO Nationals every year. And when I say that, I'm not exaggerating like I usually am. She actually wins her age group every single year. It's a guarantee that she will be given the "new Kytra" moniker within a millisecond of arriving at Florida. She's not Kytra, but she did manage to get third on floor even with an OOB and will be expected to contribute on at least three events, joining Peyton Ernst to try to replace those Kytra routines and add a few others to the pile.

2. Kirah Koshinski – West Virginia 2015-2016
38.475 (VT - 2nd; UB - 13th; BB - 15th; FX - 1st)
I love to see gymnasts going to not-top schools place well in JO. It doesn't always translate to sudden stardom or a boost for those programs, but these vault and floor routines are the real deal. 

3. Emma McLean – Michigan 2015-2016
38.350 (VT - 4th; UB - 11th; BB - 12th; FX - 2nd)
Michigan had a very strong JO Nationals overall with a number of top finishes, and seeing McLean in third in particular is very encouraging. Karas has been the more heralded of the two newbies for next season, but Michigan is not an extremely deep team and will remain so next season, so McLean showing the ability to be solid across the board is important because they may need to rely on that. And that vault should be a thing.

4. Sarah Means – Boise State 2015-2016
38.175 (VT - 4th; UB - 19th; BB - 4th; FX - 8th)
Beam. After that beam showing at regionals, this 4th place is a chorus of angels.  

5. Sabrina Garcia – Penn State 2015-2016
38.050 (VT - 27th; UB - 3rd; BB - 4th; FX - 5th)

6. Jaclyn Sampson – Sacramento State 2015-2016
37.900 (VT - 25th; UB - 8th; BB - 3rd; FX - 21st)

7. Jenna Bresette – Alabama 2015-2016
37.875 (VT - 11th; UB - 3rd; BB - 36th; FX - 5th)
8. Amanda Huang – Alabama 2015-2016
37.625 (VT - 32nd; UB - 3rd; BB - 12th; FX - 33rd)
Even though Alabama is losing another crop of essential routines (4 from Clark, 2 from Williams, 1 from Frost), there is reason for optimism in the fairly large, yet relatively unheralded, class they are bringing in. These L10s boast some usable routines that can pad those lineups, at least in the spots that a please-be-healthy-now Kiana Winston doesn't swoop in to take up. And by "pad those lineups," I don't mean it in a coach-like "she'll be great depth for our team...and will never see the light of day" kind of way. They'll actually pad the lineups and contribute.  

Bresette, a chief member of the "former GAGE gymnast" club, was felled by the dreaded beam here, otherwise she would have comfortably been top 5. Huang excels on bars, a lineup that was a little too 9.850 for Alabama at times this year.

8. Haylee Roe – Illinois 2015-2016
37.625 (VT - 15th; UB - 36th; BB - 9th; FX - 21st)

10. Ciara Gresham – ?
37.600 (VT - 10th; UB - 33rd; BB - 25th; FX - 8th)

Notables
Samantha Cerio – Auburn 2015-2016
UB - 1st; FX - 5th
Cerio is another who could have been top 5 in the AA with a hit beam routine. Auburn is losing some serious scores after last season, with Megan Walker's bars routine pretty high on that list. Someone is going to have to pick that up if they want to double down on magical seasons.  

Angelina Giancroce – Alabama, now, apparently 2015-2016
BB - 4th; FX - 4th
Weren't you going to Georgia? Another addition to the Alabama depth parade. How does Alabama always manage to have 16 new contributing freshmen every season? We always make fun of "we have a really young team this year..." but Alabama truly always does.

Shannon McNatt – Utah 2015-2016
VT - 4th; UB - 9th

Stephanie Brock – ?
VT - 7th; BB - 9th

Sarah Lippowitsch – Kent State 2015-2016
BB - 1st

Ashley Hiller – Florida 2015-2016
VT - 2nd
Amanda Cheney – Florida 2015-2016
BB - 4th
A few casual bonus JO standouts for a team that doesn't need them. 2nd on vault in Senior D would be something to boast about...if you weren't competing with Sloan, McMurtry, Baker, and Boren for vault spots.

Brooke Kelly – Missouri 2015-2016
BB - 4th

Sienna Crouse – Nebraska 2015-2016
UB - 6th

Mary Jacobsen – Oregon State 2015-2016
UB - 6th

Lauren Schmeiss – Sacramento State 2015-2016
VT - 7th

Madeleine Huber – Missouri 2015-2016
UB - 9th

Nicole O'Leary – New Hampshire 2015-2016
VT - 9th

MaryElle Arduino – Towson 2015-2016
BB - 9th

Sidney Dukes – Kentucky 2015-2016
FX - 10th

Gracie Cherrey – Georgia 2015-2016
Notable as a Georgia recruit who will be relied upon for real contribution next season, but a bars disaster took her out of the top 10 AA spots.

SENIOR C



Top 10 AA
1. Macy Toronjo – UCLA 2015-2016
38.650 (VT - 4th; UB - 5th; BB - 3rd; FX - 1st)
It's reasonable to assume that UCLA will take a hit next year without Sam Peszek. Ohashi is amazing, but she's not the same type of gymnast. She doesn't have that "there is literally a 0% chance you will miss this routine" Peszekness, and I worry about her fragility. That's why Toronjo is going to be so important. She's no Peszek, but she is your prototypical second-tier elite, with all the skills and 9.850+ potential, who can jump in and buoy those lineups, ensuring that they aren't full of...ahem...ratty old 9.750s at nationals. Also, a DLO and a full in at JO Nationals? Yes you did.

2. Makenna Merrell – Utah 2015-2016
38.625 (VT - 2nd; UB - 4th; BB - 4th; FX - 2nd)
Even though Skinner has decided to pass on this year to see if she can do a vault with zero hands make the Olympics, Utah still has another bang-up class of L10s coming in who all placed well this weekend. It's unrealistic to expect them to live up to the quality of the routines lost, but they will be able to combine with this past year's freshmen (who should contribute more) to try at least to minimize the damage and ensure that team depth remains a thing. Note the cleaner line and toes that Merrell has on bars, at least from this angle. That's my big pet peeve about Utah's bars, so get this girl in the lineup.

May 10, 2015

The Position Has Been Filled



All of those coaching vacancies we had just a few days ago are disappearing. Because they have to. This is such a vital period of the year for recruiting, and a team like Florida cannot afford to go even a month without a head coach in place. The longer they're without a head coach to snatch those recruits up, the prettier UCLA, Oklahoma, and Alabama start to look. Someone absolutely had to be in place by JO Nationals.

So, as Florida announced yesterday, former Auburn associate head coach Jenny Rowland has been hired to take over the position of Rhonda 2. Jenny Rowland's was one of the first names bandied about once Rhonda resigned because she is among the biggest rising-star associate/assistants in the country, is a Rhonda favorite, and seems to fit the profile of a replacement Rhonda pretty exactly, considering her age, competition history, coaching history, and areas of expertise. It's a logical fit, and if she does decide to keep the same assistants, their strengths would complement each other very well. Rowland's best recent claim to awesomeness is her role as Auburn's beam coach. That beam lineup this past season was on it.

Florida is clearly not going for a sea change here. They're hoping for Rhonda Part 2, which may provide a few more initial challenges of the "but that's not how Rhonda used to do it!" variety for those expecting her to be an exact clone, but ultimately may result in less boat-rocking than some other choices would have. Still, she is new to the program, so some degree of uprooting is inevitable.  She will need to change certain things to fit her style and develop the program identity she wants. Everyone else will have to adjust. It won't be the same situation as Alabama this year or Utah next year, with new leaders who are more than familiar with the current system and clearly and openly want to keep things the same.

I suppose the one knock against Jenny Rowland is that she hasn't been a head coach before, but meh. Many of the most successful current coaches were not head coaches before they took over their positions, and she's hardly new to the world of top-program college gymnastics and the expectations of that. Inevitable growing pains? Sure. Major stumbling block? I seriously doubt it.

Not to be completely overshadowed (that much), Tabitha Yim has also been announced as the new head coach at Arizona to follow Bill Ryden after he "chose to resign." I'm slightly obsessed with Tabitha Yim, so I'm all about this decision. What's the Arizona choreography going to be like now? There's a little bit more reason to have "enough experience?" questions in Tabitha's case because she hasn't been around very long and hasn't held a leadership coaching position at a program before (in my mind she has still been in that "recent former team member, #3 coach on the team" slot), but at the same time, she's Tabitha Yim. Don't bet against that. It's an exciting choice that helps usher in the newest generation of coaches, and I'm eager to see what she does to try to change a program that has stagnated in that 15-20 ranking territory. It's time to have higher hopes and Tabitha Yim-level expectations for Arizona. Hopefully, she does not bring with her Stanford's general attitude of unnecessary secrecy around the program if she wants to build it into something more. 

April 24, 2015

Championships Ended, Then Everything Broke

http://dehaanradcliffe.tumblr.com/post/67039693840/tom-what-rons-in-bloosh-donna-ron-is-in

"I'll take some time," I thought. Let the events of the season and that thoroughly thrilling Super Six sink in for a while, and then at some point I'll put together my final season thoughts and begin the way-too-early looking forward to next season. Surely there will be nothing major to talk about right away.

At that very moment, Rhonda Faehn swooped in going, "Mwahahahahahahahaha."

This is a big deal. Two of the most prominent coaches in NCAA gymnastics (and the #1 and #2 finishers at last weekend's championship) called it quits this week. Let's start with Greg Marsden, because that was the not-so-surprising one. Marsden has been the head coach at Utah for 1150 years, won 10 national championships, singlehandedly invented women's college gymnastics, and has been the sport's most vocal and influential advocate for growth and improvement. (One of the silliest things about that "Sarah and Suzanne" doc last year was the implication that Sarah and Suzanne created women's college gymnastics as a spectator sport. Everyone was like, "Um...Marsden?")

College gymnastics without Greg Marsden will be strange and unfamiliar land, but his retirement doesn't come as a shock because, over the last couple years, he had started scaling back some of his duties, with Megan taking on a lot more, and this year Tom Farden taking on more as well. A succession procedure had been put in place, and now Greg is stepping aside completely to allow Megan and Tom to be the new stars. Of all the recent major coaching changes, this should be the least disruptive to the team in the coming year. The only blip I would expect for Utah next season is the no-Dabritz blip. Otherwise, it really should be business as usual with the same group, style, and system.

But as one last tribute to Greg Marsden, the rest of college gymnastics really needs to pull itself together and finally adopt some of the good ideas he has been talking about for the last several centuries and that have never come to anything, like overhauling the postseason format and giving us a four-on-the-floor championship. Regardless of any live TV considerations, having four teams is just a better, more logical, and more fan-friendly format. The Marsden Cup. Get it done.