Was trying to edit today's post and ended up saving myself the hassle and just deleting it instead. (There seems to be some sort of confusion that my deleting it was accidental. Hardly.) For those with an RSS feed, sorry for the re-send. Have a safe and enjoyable Memorial Day weekend.
Indy 500: Gender-fender-bender! I'm not embarrassed to admit that my entire motivation for following the Indy 500 is to see a woman driver win the race. This year, there are three chances (out of 33 drivers) to see it:
The ubiquitous Danica Patrick, the slow-n-steady Sarah Fisher and the mystery-hottie Venezuelan, Milka Duno. Danica came close in 2005, and it's going to happen eventually. And it will be the biggest gender-bending moment in sports history. Ladies, start your engines.
NBA: LeBron can't win, either way. LeBron passed up the game-maker in Game 1, and he got crushed for it. Let's see what happens today, after LeBron TOOK the game-maker at the end of Game 2 – and missed, dropping the Cavs into a 0-2 hole.
Was he guarded, um, "aggressively" by Rip Hamilton? Sure: But give the refs huge credit for not giving James the star call.
(Lesson for LeBron: If you've acted like a role player in Game 1, they're going to give you role-player calls in Game 2.)
For the record: I'm glad he took the shot, even if he missed. Was it a foul? The Pistons knew LeBron (undoubtedly thinking about Game 1) was going to take the shot, no matter what. I think it was just smart D.
Playoff breakout: Jason Maxiell, the undersized (6-foot-7) Pistons sub had 15 points, 6 rebounds and 2 blocks. Between Maxiell, Paul Millsap and Craig Smith, "tweener" is no longer a dirty word in the NBA Draft.
Vick Doggy Dogg: The prosecutor says he isn't sure if there's enough evidence. But, as places like Pro Football Talk and others have suggested, don't you think the NFL's CIA-style "security" department has got better intel? Well: They're offering to help, which is the right thing to do here, even if it means crushing one of the league's most marketable and popular stars.
Marvin Lewis' big mouth: A day after Bengals coach Marvin Lewis accused Cincy police of profiling his players, he took it back. Of course he took it back. But that doesn't mean he still doesn't believe it.
NCAA LAX Final Four: I'm sticking with irony as the guiding force behind my picks -- Duke to win it all.
MLB Feuds: I love this Marlins-Phillies thing. It's nasty and bitter, but it hasn't devolved into bench-clearing stupidity... yet. But, oh, it's coming. For now, though, they are straddling the fine line between enmity and entertainment.
MLB Stud, Pitcher Emeritus: John Smoltz. The future Hall of Famer racked up his 200th career win (and he did it against his buddy Tom Glavine and
MLB Stud, Batter Emeritus: Frank Thomas tied Lou Gehrig (and Fred McGriff) at 21st on the all-time home-run list (493 total). Another future Hall of Famer.
MLB Dud, Emeritus: Elijah Dukes. If he played in the NFL or the NBA, is there any doubt he'd be punished more harshly than being held out of a few mid-week games?
Josh Hancock Update: It was probably inevitable to find out that his father is suing the restaurant that served his son the alcohol, along with the tow truck and driver of the car on the roadside that Hancock struck. A parent's grief must be torturous, but he has done more to undermine his son's memory with this than he can possibly imagine.
Fixing the BCS, Cont'd: Thanks to John Radcliffe at AOL Fanhouse for picking out my idea of radically shaking up the BCS by having the SEC secede. (Or, I should call it: "Project SECede.")
He's right, of course, that the idea is ludicrous. But, as I mentioned in the comments of the original post, I'm simply suggesting the biggest power-brokers (in this case, the SEC) shake things up. I'm open to any of the leagues shaking things up.
(Radcliffe lost me when he said he could get behind the "Plus-One" system. If you look back over the history of the BCS, if you tried to apply the Plus-One, it would be even bigger mayhem than you have now. First: Try seeding 4 or 8 teams without controversy; good luck with that. Second: Without seeding, try figuring out how to determine who the top two teams are after bowls have been played, if more than two clear-cut teams are left standing. Plus-One is a zero.)
UFC: Chuck Liddell vs. Quinton Jackson. It's time for mainstream sports media to actually understand that MMA has eclipsed boxing (the pay-per-view popularity of Mayweather-DeLaHoya notwithstanding) – it has for a little while now. Boxing imploded itself, but MMA has done everything right. I'm not sure most casual fans understand precisely how huge and successful MMA is -- and it's getting even bigger. It's already a huge hit on cable. HBO is getting into it. ESPN is getting into it. (ESPN.com even partnered with an MMA-focused site, to boost its coverage.) And it's not even close to where it will be in a few years. (I have just learned that friend-of-blog Michael David "MDS" Smith will be live-blogging it for AOL Fanhouse. My drinking game will be: How many ways can MDS describe "Ouch?"
UPDATE: The Fan's Attic posts on MMA, noting the SI cover this week. OK: So what happens when it becomes SI's biggest-selling non-swimsuit cover of the year? SI's only problem is that it's treating MMA like some kind of novelty, while still giving stuff like "Boxing" its own pages and stories, played totally straight. I'm sorry: Between them, which is the sport that is more relevant right now with a bigger audience? (Hint: It ain't boxing.)
Must-Read: The Big Picture's interview with The Dugout.
Speaking of which: Have you checked out Varsity Dad yet? It's my new blog dedicated to raising a great sports fan. Check it out! (And sincere thanks to everyone who wrote in or blogged about it in the last 24 hours. This morning, you can catch it mentioned in MJD's daily must-read morning "Debriefing" on Fanhouse. Damn, that's a lot of Fanhouse props today. Mottram et al are doing something very right.)
Finally, thoughts and prayers with everyone who has lost loved ones who were serving in the armed forces.