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Stadium and Main: Off-Topic Tuesday: The NCAA Tourney and Cabbies

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Off-Topic Tuesday: The NCAA Tourney and Cabbies

*While I would like to keep all of my posts under the umbrella of Michigan Football, various other things deserve attention once in a while. Hence, Off-Topic Tuesday.*

The NCAA Tournament

After watching nearly every game of the NCAA Tournament this year, I give it a grade of C+. Take away George Mason's Final Four run, and what are you left with? A dud of a Final Four, some decent first round upsets (but certainly no more than in recent years), and very few "marquee" teams making runs (sorry UCLA - East Coast Bias here).

Early defections to the NBA are hurting College Basketball. There is little, if any, star power, and the impact players in the NCAA Tourney are now more likely to be "I'd never heard of him before" type of guys (Joakim Noah) than established stars (Glen Rice). Both can be fun to watch, but the latter usually have more long-term NBA success. I guess that is one of the many reasons I prefer College Football to College Basketball. Future NFL stars almost have to play 3 years (or more) in college. Future NBA stars need only play 1 (or play in Europe, or chill out for a year), under the new rules. Lack of continuity makes it harder for the vast majority of fans to follow, and, as a result, care about their favorite teams.

Cab DriversCabs for Smurfs

After taking a cab to the airport last night, I give my cabbie a grade of D-. Here's the short version: He picks me and my girlfriend up, knowing that we need to go to the airport (we had made an appointment with Yellow Cab). As soon as we step out the door, he starts telling us that there "could be a problem." I'm thinking that he is referring to the amount of luggage we have. But, he starts talking about how he has a bad back/hip, and just came from the doctor... blah, blah, blah. I stopped paying attention, because I noticed that the luggage WAS a problem, since his trunk was full of his own clothes and other random junk. He insists that we STUFF the big suitcase into his trunk, on top of his junk. I did so (remember - I had to do this, since he had a bad back/hip), with complete disregard for his belongings, because at this point, I was pretty P.O.'d.

Meanwhile, I start listening to him again, and realize that he is talking about how he doesn't think he can take us to the airport (due to back/hip concerns), but that he will take us to a cab stand nearby so we can get another ride. UM, HELLO?! Don't take the call from Yellow Cab if you can't take us to our destination! Also, don't have a bunch of crap in your trunk when you know you are taking people to the airport (or even to another cab stand)! I gave him the "death glance," and I think he got the message, because he said he would "do some stretches" and take us all the way there. But to top it all off, he had to stop for gas (out of the way) before we got going, and he only drove 45 on the highway (who drives 45?!). I am getting all frustrated again just thinking about it.

Thankfully, we had given ourselves plenty of time to get to the airport, so things ended well, I guess. It was just one of those situations where at the end of the ride, I was expecting to have to sign a release form to appear on "Punk'd" or "Candid Camera." Two thumbs down to you, Mr. Cabbie - you know who you are. The only reason you don't get an "F" is because you got us to the airport before the flight took off. Yay.


Anonymous JC said...

Man - I hear you on cabbies. It's like they're doing you a FAVOR when you get in their disgusting, germ-infested death traps.

I live in Chicago - within the city limits but not 'downtown' in the true cabbie sense of the word. So, I can't share a ride with anyone and have to wait in the long line with all the other losers.

When I catch a cab AT the airport and inform the highly-trained professional of my destination, I get one of three reactions:

1)Loud screaming - %#$@* - I waited for 3 hours and you're just going there?!? - ^&@%!
2)Silence and faint muttering of the above comments.
3)About 1% of the time, I get a thin grin, but if the cabbie is resigned to his fate of merely getting $30 for the fare rather than $45.

After my wife and I got back from our Honeymoon in London/Paris, the cabbie gave us reaction (1) above, followed by complaining about his back and kidney infection or we got no help with OUR heavy bags. Plus there was a driving rainstorm to boot.

Not sure about DC - but you should have gotten his medallion number and complained.

6:41 PM  
Blogger Nick said...

jc - I'm glad (or, rather, sad) that you feel my pain. I hope we both have better luck in the future.

7:39 PM  

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