WATERCOOLER CHAT: BACKLASH ON CUTLER, HORNETS FRANCHISE SYSTEM, BIG EAST MIGHT GET 3 #1 SEEDS

FOOTBALL

In the NFL, the backlash on Bears quarterback Jay Cutler has been fierce.  Cutler came out of the Packers game early in the second half when the Pack had a healthy lead.  People weren’t sure if it was a serious injury or if Cutler was afraid to go back in.  Well, the team officials came to his defense yesterday saying that Cutler was genuinely hurt with a torn MCL and couldn’t finish the game.  But during the game, many current NFL players were tweeting some intense things jabbing Cutler’s spirit and will.  Arizona Cardinals linebacker Darnell Dockett had the best tweet, saying (in 140 characters) “If I’m on chicago team jay cutler has to wait till me and the team shower get dressed and leave before he comes in the locker room! #FACT.”

BASKETBALL

In the NBA, there has been a lot of speculation as to what will happen with the New Orleans Hornets franchise next season.  Unfortunately, Hornets have a putrid attendance rate and are doing horrible financially.  This is somewhat perplexing considering the Hornets had a strong first few seasons in New Orleans (even earning a #2 seed) and have been half-decent this year.  Last night, they won their ninth straight game when David West hit a buzzer-beater in the end to see a victory over a very tough Oklahoma City Thunder squad.  Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal said their plan to keep the Hornets is to boost season ticket sales from 6,000 to the typical 10,000.  Jindal added that there is a line for Saints’ season tickets, so it’s evident that the city supports its local teams.  But, for now, the Hornets will remain in New Orleans for at least another season.  New Orleans 91, Oklahoma City 89.

Finally, in college basketball, #2 Pitt was looking to protect its undefeated streak at home.  Plus, they have yet to lose in the toughest conference in the nation:  The Big East.  #14 Notre Dame hoped to put an end to both of those items.  It was a hard fought battle until the very end, but behind Ben Hansbrough’s 19 points (and yes, he’s the brother of former North Carolina superstar Tyler Hansbrough), the Fighting Irish handed the Panthers their first home loss in over a year.  The Big East this year will most likely deliver 8 or 9 teams to the March Madness tourney.  That is HUGE, and there’s a chance they might garner 3 #1 seeds.  This conference is the best thing in basketball right now.  Notre Dame 56, Pitt 51.

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