Mitch Perry Report 3.22.13: March sadness begins

Here's a quick note for broadcasters, writers and everyone else who gushes about how March Madness is one of the greatest events in all of sports.

College basketball teams shot a composite 43 percent this season, on pace to be the worst in 48 years, and averaged just 67.6 points a game, the lowest since Harry Truman was president.

Then there's the fact that unless you're a serious college basketball junkie, you probably don't know too many of the players who make up the NCAA tourney.

It has become somewhat of a ritual for me to rain on the parade of those who enthuse about the tournament, but I'm only harsh because I love basketball, and the college variety ain't nearly as good as it used to be, even less than a decade ago. Blame it on the fact that anyone of any talent stays in the game for one year and then boogies, a fact that has hurt not just the college ranks but also the pro game that I appreciate much more — these days — than college ball (USA Today's Eric Prisbell has his own theories).

Having said that, I'll definitely watch my share of games this weekend, when it truly is madness, as the tournament drops from 48 teams as of this morning to 16 by the time 60 Minutes airs on Sunday night.

I know I've been driving this narrative in 2013, but I think it's true: For years, Tallahassee and Florida's leadership have been Republican and mostly "hard right" in the parlance of former House Speaker Dean Cannon, to the point where I don't believe they fully represent this large state. Latest evidence of this is yesterday's Quinnipiac poll that shows a majority of Floridians support a variety of gun-control measures. Meanwhile, all of the related bills promulgated by Democrats this session are dying on the vine ...

The World Wildlife Fund has created momentum for people to think about energy conservation called "Earth Hour". It takes place tomorrow night at 8:30 p.m.

Remember that upcoming conference about international affairs that I wrote about in last week's paper? Energy expert Dr. Edward Glab will be in attendance, giving a different take on the Keystone XL Pipeline than most environmentalists.

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