Monday, February 21, 2005

Wild, Wild, Wild Weekend


Gordon is NASCAR's equivalent of Barry Bonds and Kobe Bryant:  hated by many, yet loved by many. 

I’m not a NASCAR fan...nor do I claim to be an expert in any way. But, I caught the final 30+ laps of the Daytona 500 I "can" talk about that.  For more in depth coverage, check out The Diecast Dude's (Mostly) NASCAR Blah Blah Blog.

In my NASCAR fantasy league....I have Tony Stewart as my main driver. When I got home and picked up the race....Stewart was leading and had been leading for quite some time. So, I decided to keep watching to see if he could hold on. He couldn’t. That’s what gets me.

Again...I am not a racing fan. Only in the past few years have I even cared about what has been going on at a race. All I know is I cannot stand the cautions. I know they are necessary for safety reasons...duh....but I just don’t like ‘em. I mean...all the momentum of what is going on gets [pardon the pun] the brakes slammed on it. I saw a couple looked to be a those final laps. And that may have cost Stewart the 500. It seems to me that the wrecks enabled the field to "catch up" to Stewart...and when the restarts happened, Stewart then was crushed.

I guess "that’s racin’!" Which is fine....but I as a non-racing enthusiast didn’t enjoy it. I suppose it is like in basketball when late in the contest we get to see teams fouling to "lengthen the game". It isn’t fun to see...but it is a strategy to steal away a win. Maybe it is sour grapes. Dale Earnhardt Jr., who hadn’t done squat all race, took the lead from Stewart....then Jeff Gordon took it away from Earnhardt. Gordon kept it and won his third Daytona 500. Stewart ended up 7th.

There was 4 lead changes in the final 9 laps...and judging by the commentators it was great action. It was a heck of a sight to see. Unless you were rooting for #20. Crap!


               Vince Carter All-Star Game
                            Vince, to Vince, for the jam

The East beat the West in the NBA All Star Game, 125-115. Allen Iverson won the game MVP with 15 points and 9 assists.

This wasn?t, despite what Shaq said, one of the best All Star games ever. In a weekend where Josh Smith blew everyone away [and made a name for himself] with the dunk contest, Carmelo Anthony got off in front of the hometown crowd in the Rookie Challenge and Phoenix Suns Q Richardson, Steve Nash and a mixed bag of Phoenix hoopsters won other challenges....the game itself really didn?t have that kind of individual explosion.

LeBron, the first time All Star, didn?t try to make a statement. Kobe and Shaq, on the court for the second time as opponents, didn?t really have much to do with each other on the court [though Kobe was booed during pre game introductions]. Duncan and KG were their normal selves. Even the shoes, which tends to be a funny side note during the game, weren?t outlandish [aside from the Shaq Shoe-Phone that made it?s way around the front row]. Seven guys on both team averaged double figures with Ray Allen leading the game with a mere 17 points.

I am one of those idiots that enjoys the NBA All Star Game. To me, it works pretty well. It is the ultimate pick up game where you get to see greats play on the same team. I mean, a Duncan-Garnett front court with a McGrady-Kobe backcourt!?!?!? Sick! And that team LOST! You get to see that street ball mentality come out early in the game. Alley-oops. Crossovers. No look passes. But, when it gets crunch time...everyone buckles down.

My favorite play was the Kobe Bryant alley-oop to Amare Stoudamire. The Vince Carter dunk after the pass off the glass was nice. As was Shaq blowing by Yao for the dunk.

One suggestion. Instead of making fans vote for a center, two forwards and two guards....break the categories down a bit.Go ahead and set it up for one center, one point guard, one shooter, one slasher and one posting we don?t have TD and KG on one end and Grant Hill and LeBron on the other. Just a thought.


          Trevor Linden
                                                             What was that aboot???

Wow. That was pretty heart gouging! After the season was officially cancelled mid-week...Friday there was some hope and possibility that the season could be saved. ESPN made up the term "uncancelled" and many experts were reporting on the immanent 28-game NHL season.


Instead, it turns out they were just doing a autopsy on the deceased season...and found out why the passing occurred. Former players and current owners Mario Lemieux and Wayne Gretzky went to the players and tried to help bang out a deal....basically telling them that this was pretty much the best they?d get.

I?m not getting into the details...I?ve already done so [THE PUCK STOPS HERE].  But, how cruel is that to give hockey fans that sliver of hope [which everyone overblew into a deal] yet to pull the carpet out again. Congrats, NHL!!! Yet another obstacle you must deal with to win fans back.


              With Duke's win over Wake...Carolina pulls into the lead

Let me say this. I didn?t root for Dook against Wake Forest....but I can?t say that I am angry that Dook won that game, either.

Yesterday, Duke beat Wake Forest 102-92

A week ago, North Carolina, Duke and Wake Forest were tied at 8-2 for the ACC lead. The bad part for me, a UNC fan, is the fact that we had lost already to Duke and Wake. So we need them to lose. Duke immediately lost their next to Maryland and at Virginia Tech. Surveying Wake?s remaining schedule...this game against Duke may be the only legit shot for a loss. And it happened.

So, basically, the Carolina loss to Duke is meaningless...except for the smack talk. Carolina lost it?s ACC lead...but now has it back. Carolina dropped from its #2 ranking in the nation...but losses to Kansas and Kentucky will almost assuredly get that back.

So, as of now...the Tar Heels lead the ACC with an 10-2 mark, the Deacs are second at 10-3 with the Blue Devils at 9-4. Carolina wins out....and they win the ACC regular season title and the top seed in the ACC tournament. That is big, since it keeps them away from BOTH Duke and Wake....playing only the winner in a possible ACC title tilt.


                          Alex Rodriguez

I don?t live in the northeast section of our country. So, just a news flash to everyone up there....not everyone cares about your teams!  As an AOL blogger...I'll read Monponsett for Red Sox news or Coztanza's Commentary for Yankees views. 

Sure, we have to listen to the Red Sox World Series talk and the Patriots dynasty. Sure, the Yanks-Sox ALCS was one of the most classic moments in sports history.....but do we really, really, really, really, really need to have the Yankees-Red Sox thrown down our throats constantly??? OKAY!! WE GET IT!! YOU GUYS DON?T LIKE EACH OTHER!!!!

The freaking season opens up with *gasp* the Yankees vs Red Sox. Randy Johnson vs Curt Schilling...former Diamondback teammates [and World Series co-MVPs]...will be on the mound for the opening game, which ESPN gladly set aside for it?s own opening. So, we baseball fans, have to see ESPN and Peter Gammons drone on and on about the Yanks and Sox. Every strain, every pitch, every word.

It has already started. This week, there was smacked lobbed from several Red Sox at Alex Rodriguez...the "missing piece" to a championship puzzle that was never completed. We get the pleasure of having reporters implanted in their spring training sites to keep the hype going. Why not head down to the Marlins, Braves, Cardinals or Giants spring training digs?? They are contenders too...and only the Yanks OR Red Sox can get to the World Series. We have the "Countdown" to Jason Giambi?s arrival in camp so they can kill him loudly about the steroids.

Why isn?t anyone even worrying about Barry Bonds?? He, too, admitted to taking steroids...and he?s the much better player. And he?s set to do something significant soon. What is that?? Hmmm.. Oh, PASS BABE RUTH FOR ALL TIME HR HITTER FOR A LEFT HANDER!!!! Just a little focus there, please? I?d be willing to bet it will be ESPN?s Pedro Gomez that gets that assignment...while they?ll have 25 people in Florida to report on both the Red Sox and Yankees.

At least this does move Jose Canseco a bit off the map...which he needs to go.



Gotta love that NFL!

After people were trumpeting the idea of Reggie Fowler buying the Minnesota Vikings and becoming the NFL?s first majority minority [nice oxy-moron] owner. be safe, I'll say first African American owner....since Rams owner Georgia Frontiere is technically a "minority owner" since she is a woman.

Anyway, apparently, his business dealings aren?t all kosher. He?s been sued at least 35 times over the past 15 years for his business dealings. He borrows heavily against his commercial properties...and is the landlord for a business owner that has been involved is a college points shaving scandal.

Fowler?s Spiral Inc owns a flight-simulator factory in Colorado, a cattle ranch in Texas, real estate company in Arizona, "Shammy Man" car washes in Phoenix and some other minor holdings. The "Shammy Man" business relationship with Joe Gagliano is raising eyebrows as Gagliano was involved in the point shaving scandal that rocked Arizona State a few years back. Fowler?s people state that he only owns the land that the car washes are on....and Gagliano ?rents" the land for his businesses in a tenant-landlord relationship. Conveniently, Fowler is intending to sell those plots of land where those car washes sit when he moves to Minneapolis to watch over his biggest investment...the Vikings.

What may keep Fowler away is his non-payments on several [read: three-dozen] bills that have gone to court. Fowler dismisses them as minor...many people around the NFL are wondering why a multi-million dollar business fails to pay its bills and that it looks poorly on the NFL and a franchise that is already having issues with a new stadium. What that means is that many people don?t think that Fowler actually has the money to buy the Vikings...which the rumored price is $625M.

Fowler also has been taken to task about his athletic "achievements". He claimed to have played in the NFL for the Cincinnati Bengals, in the CFL for the Calgary Stampeders and in the Little League World Series when he was 11. Instead, he admits, he was cut in training camp by the Bengals and the Edmonton Eskimos [not Calgary]...and was in a All Star tournament when he was young that "they called a World Series".

He also doctored his resume that stated he had a degree in business administration from Wyoming....when actually he received a degree in social work. He admits that he did so to look good for employers...but that he hasn?t bothered to correct his resume since he?s his own boss now.

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