I used to watch the NFL draft, for this job; it was systematically destroying my senses. Then, in 2006, I made a tragic error: I watched the entire NFL scouting combine - again, this came in the line of column duty - and I have yet to recover from the psychological scarring.
NFL draftniks are the godfather of nascent NFL combinologists; in fact, as part of some twisted Frankensteinian sports experiment, it is possible the DNA of Mel Kiper Jr. and Mike Mayock have been fused to spawn the next generation of weakside linebacker watchdogs.
As for bracketologists - and what I'm about to tell you is a greater peril to our well-being than global warming - we are in the midst of ESPN Championship Week, in which our friendly worldwide leader in sports is televising 136 men's college basketball tournament games over 12 days on ESPN, ABC, ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPN3.
Everything is available on WatchESPN, which delivers live access to all the ESPNs on tablets, computers, smartphones and Xbox - I believe there is even an app now on which you can watch ESPN from the grave, regardless if the cemetery is wired for cable.
In closing, I'm asking everyone other than Nate Silver to turn off their TV sets this Selection Sunday - for the children!!! - and, in turn, I will provide you right now with all the bubble teams that won't make it:
Maryland, Arizona State, Minnesota State, South Central Louisiana State, Big State, Eastern State, Western University, UC Sunnydale, Hillman College, Faber College and Huxley U.
Ask The Slouch
Q. Why is it after every free throw, the shooter's teammates all slap his hand whether he's made the shot or not? Since when do we congratulate failure? (Dick Cree; Ballston Lake, N.Y.)
A. I guess you've never watched "Jimmy Kimmel Live."
Q. Is Dennis Rodman the next Henry Kissinger? (Kim Murphy; Colonie, N.Y).
A. Uh, Rodman visits North Korea, and a week later North Korea threatens the U.S. with a nuclear strike. We should've sent Metta World Peace.
Q. With The Weather Channel naming winter storms now, will truTV start giving names to each of your marriages? (Tom Garrett; Pittsburgh)
A. Pay the man, Shirley.
You, too, can enter the $1.25 Ask The Slouch Cash Giveaway. Just e-mail asktheslo...@aol.com and, if your question is used, you win $1.25 in cash!