ATHLETIC SUPPORTER Sports World Could Do Without a Few Things Well, Easter is upon us, so it’s about time for me to put together my Easter List. In no particular order, these are the things needed to make the world a better place. Well, at least make the sports world a better place.

Someone needs to muzzle Dick Vitale. Although excellent at stating the obvious, yelling and burying his nose in the butt of anything Duke, Vitale doesn’t actually provide any value-added to college basketball. He is only noteworthy because he has the social skills of a toddler yet gets more airtime on ESPN than college basketball itself.

Speaking of ESPN, the network really needs to shape up. The Duke-loving is bad enough, but the volume of biased reporting as a whole is quite poor. Although the best source of sports-related info on television and the Internet, ESPN risks alienating loyal viewers. And the obnoxious advertising on its Web site is even worse.

While on the subject of ESPN, everything Bob Knight-related needs to go away. I missed the made-for-TV movie, but from what I’ve heard I didn’t miss much. Another second-rate college basketball personality more famous for his lunacy than his coaching ability, Knight nonetheless gets credit for getting the most out of his talent.

This is hard to argue with considering the job he did with Texas Tech this year, but he has become a one-and-done coach, taking his team to the tournament only to see them fall by the wayside in the first weekend of play. Not that I’m complaining, because he isn’t missed.

One coach that I’d like to see more of is Arizona’s Lute Olsen, a class guy that runs a class program yet still manages to win – something you see less and less of in college basketball these days.

I wish another sketchy character, Mike Tyson, would just go away. His act is stale and predictable (in a Hannibal Lechter on steroids kind of way), but that’s the least of his problems. Once the most fearsome fighter in the world, age, prison and lack of focus have turned Tyson into a second-rate fighter with a hard right but no discernable skills beyond brawling.

At least Tyson still goes all out (be it fighting at press conferences or biting opponents), more than you can say about the Pittsburgh Pirates’ Derek Bell. Bell, who hit .173 last year (and was paid $5 million to do it – a cool $1 million per home run) and followed it up with a miserable spring training, has found out that the fact that he is very bad at the game of baseball might keep him out of the starting lineup. What a surprise!

Instead of working on his game to try and reclaim his spot, he has threatened to go into “Operation Shutdown.” This level of stupidity is remarkable, and what’s even sadder is that Bell might be a more valuable player when he’s in shutdown mode. Oh well, one can only wish that he’ll catch a baseball to the noggin during Operation Shutdown.

One player who has been shut down for another reason is Rick Ankiel, a player you just can’t root against. A sterling rookie two seasons ago, Ankiel has been mentally hobbled by a breakdown in the playoffs that season that sent him back to the Rookie League last summer.

Hopes were high this spring after Ankiel tore up the rookie league, but he again found his control on the mound to be elusive, only to have to sit out with a shoulder injury. Here’s to hoping that Ankiel finds his way once again and has a long and productive career.

My one final wish is for Georgetown to end its NCAA Championship drought. Sailing took home a National Championship last season, but it’s not an NCAA sport, while women’s lacrosse came as close as is humanly possible without winning it last year.

Whether it be basketball (probably not going to happen anytime soon), lacrosse (it seems only to be a matter of time, as Georgetown has two perennial top-ten lax teams), track and field (maybe if we actually had a competition-level track or even a field it would help), volleyball, football, whatever.

I’d just like to have one Hoya championship memory to look back upon (1984 being too long ago, and me being to young to remember). Is that asking too much?

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