This Week in Sports

NBA, Big Brown, Fastest 100 Meters

NBA

The Ultimate – Lakers vs Celtics

As far as the NBA is concerned, does it get any better than a Lakers vs Celtics finals? Either you grew up idolizing players from either team or like most people, grew up despising these two teams. The number of legendary players are mind boggling. Not counting Minneapolis Laker great George Mikan, the Los Angeles Lakers have Hall-of-Famers Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Jerry West, Elgin Baylor, Magic Johnson, Gail Goodrich. And future Hall-of-Famers Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal. Other notable Hall-of-Famers to play for the Lakers were Bob McAdoo, James Worthy and Connie Hawkins, even Karl Malone. Not to mention Hall-of-Famer coaches Pat Riley and Phil Jackson. With all that said, it pales in comparison to the Boston Celtics dynasty, who have beaten the Lakers in 6 of 8 NBA Finals. Hall-of-Fame players such as Bill Russell, Bob Cousy, John Havlicek, KC Jones, Sam Jones, Tom Heinsohn, Larry Bird, Robert Parish, Dave Cowens, Bill Walton. Other notable Hall-of-Famers to play for the Celtics were Nate Archibald, Bailey Howell, Frank Ramsey, Pete Maravich, Dave Bing and Dominique Wilkins. And how do you mention coaches without bringing up the legendary Red Auerbach. The only Hall-of-Famer to play for both the Lakers and Celtics was Bob McAdoo, 1978-79 with the Celtics, 1981-1985 with the Lakers. Bill Sharman is the only person to coach one team and play for the other. He played for the Celtics from 1951-1961. In his first year as Lakers coach in the 1971-72 season, he led them to an NBA record 33 consecutive wins.

What’s your opinion?


Horseracing

Big Brown a lock to win Triple Crown?

If you listen to Big Brown’s trainer Richard Dutrow, Jr., this coming Saturday’s Belmont Stakes is a “foregone conclusion”. Your not not even a little bit concerned about missing three days because of the slightly cracked left front hoof injury, in which stainless steel sutures have just been taken out, “Not an issue”. How about a wet track? “He would love it. It would work to our advantage”. OK, how about post position? “I don’t even care about the post position”. No kidding? Nothing can go wrong? “No matter what you want him to do he’s going to do for you,” Dutrow said. When Dutrow was about to be asked about the length of the Belmont, he didn’t even need to hear the entire question. “There’s going to be more separation,” he said. “The longer they go the better off for us”. And the kicker, “So I expect him to win this race”. I’ve been known to wager on a few locks in my lifetime, including Smarty Jones in 2004 when Birdstone pulled the upset in Smarty Jones bid for the Triple Crown. Believe me, Big Brown is not a lock. In fact if you even think of that word with a pari-mutuel ticket in hand you might as well tear them up. And no, even if Big Brown does win the Belmont Stakes by 20 lengths, Secretariat’s record time of 2:24 in 1973 will not be broken. In fact it won’t be broken in my lifetime. It is a full 2 seconds faster than the second fastest Belmont Stakes ever run, the 2:26 run by 1989 winner Easy Goer. Big Brown is a great racehorse, but Secretariat is a legendary racehorse. Second to none.

Belmont Stakes fastest times:
Secretariat             2:24                  1973

Easy Goer              2:26                  1989

A.P. Indy               2:26 2/5             1992

Point Given            2:26 2/5             2001

Risen Star             2:26 4/5             1988

Affirmed                2:26 4/5             1978

Tabasco Cat          2:26 4/5             1994

What’s your opinion?

Track & Field

Will a human ever run a sub-9 second 100 meters?

Ever since watching Ben Johnson temporarily smash the Men’s 100 meters sprint record at the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, clocked in an astonishing steroid enhanced 9.79 seconds. I’ve had this fascination with how fast a human being can eventually run, specifically at 100 meters. In the 20 years since Ben Johnson had his Olympic Gold Medal rescinded, there has been eight official Men’s 100 meter times that have been faster than the 9.79 Johnson ran that day in Seoul. There has also been four wind assisted times faster than 9.79 since 1988. So what are the limits on how fast a human can run? Jamaica’s Usain Bolt just broke the Men’s 100 meters sprint record with a time of 9.72 at the Reebok Grand Prix in New York on May 31, 2008. It should also be mentioned that the fastest 100 meters wind-assisted time ever recorded was the 9.69 seconds by Obadele Thompson of Barbados on April 13, 1996. In the 40 years since American James Hines ran the first sub-10 second 100 meter time at the AAU Championships in Sacramento on July 20, 1968 in 9.99, then again at the 1968 Olympics at Mexico City in 9.95, .27 seconds have been knocked off of the ‘Fastest Human’ time. In comparison, the Men’s 100 meters world record in 1928 was 10.4 held by American Charlie Paddock. He ran that on April 23, 1921 and held the record until another American Eddie Tolan also ran a 10.4 on August 8, 1929 eight years later. It took 11 years, from 1921 to 1932 to knock .1 second off the world record. That may seem like a long time but consider, from the time Canada’s Donovan Bailey broke the 100 meters world record on July 27, 1997 in 9.84 to when Jamaica’s Usain Bolt ran a 9.72 on May 31, only .12 seconds were knocked off in that 11 year span. Pretty similar. So lets see, using the formula that .1 second is knocked off every 10 years, the sub-9 second 100 meters won’t occur until the year 2088. The next obvious question is, can a human ever run a 8.99 100 meters? Ask me in another 80 years.

What’s your opinion?


Tennis

French Open – The Last American Hope

What’s up with the state of women’s tennis in the U.S? For the first time in 40 years the United States did not put at least one woman into the fourth round at the French Open. On top of that, having to rely on Serena or Venus Williams to get to the finals of a Grand Slam is getting kind old now. Having been our last hope for a women’s French Open champion, both Serena and Venus were knocked out in the third round on the same day. By the way, I had read somewhere that no #1 seed has lost in the first round of the French Open in 40 years. What, the French Open didn’t exist or didn’t keep records of their tournament before 1968? Why the ‘at least’ 40 years in the many columns I have read? Well, up until 1967, the French Open only permitted foreign players and was still closed to professional players. Ever wonder where the tennis term Grand Slam was coined? As applied to tennis, and according to Total Tennis: The Ultimate Tennis Encyclopedia by Bud Collins in 1933, it was first used by New York Times columnist John Kieran.

What’s your opinion?

You heard it here first:
May 26, 2008

* NY Mets manager Willie Randolph will be in a LA Dodgers uniform in 2009

* The NFL will have it’s own steroid scandal similar to MLB by the end of 2009

June 1, 2008 Posted by | Sports | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Race, Instant Replay, Gambling

MLB

New York Mets manager Willie Randolph uses the race card:

You can’t live in the New York area without having some kind of an opinion on Willie Randolph. I kind of have a different perspective on why he uttered his death quote “Is it racial?, Huh? It smells a little bit”. We’ve heard the last couple years that Mets GM Omar Minaya favors signing Latino players over black and white players to play for the Mets and that Latino players on the team go over Willie’s head and talk to Mets VP Tony Bernazard with any internal problems during the season because they are more comfortable talking to him. I believe his race quote was a backdoor stab at the Latino players, Bernazard & Omar, because we all know that any person working in a management position despises anyone who would go over his or her head with an internal issue.

What’s your opinion?


MLB to experiment with replay in the Minor Leagues, World Baseball Classic:

We all know that the quality of umpiring in major league baseball, and the NFL, and the NBA has deteriorated by leaps and bounds in the last decade or so. And having instant replay in major league baseball has been long overdue (the NFL implemented instant replay 22 years ago in 1986). But why must they first experiment with it in the minor leagues first? This isn’t brain surgery. It’s probably the easiest of all sports to use instant replay and get the call correct. I understand that you need to test out the technology and set the ground rules but why not use present network cameras at the major league level, experiment for the remainder of this season and by next spring implement it live during spring training games so they are ready to use it on next year’s opening day? Like I said, it’s not brain surgery.

What’s your opinion?

NFL

Steroids in the NFL:

Convicted steroids dealer David Jacobs has told NFL security the names of current and former NFL players that he says he personally sold steroids and HGH to. However, Jacobs declined to reveal which players bought steroids. I find it interesting that Jacobs was given just three years probation in federal court for conspiring to possess with intent to distribute anabolic steroids. Jacobs has publicly said he sold tens of thousands of dollars worth of performance-enhancing drugs to former Dallas Cowboy Matt Lehr in 2006 and 2007. Lehr’s attorney, Paul Coggins, believes Jacobs’ allegations are retaliation because Lehr wouldn’t pay Jacobs’ legal fees. I believe Jacobs agreed to spill his guts in exchange for a light sentence. I also believe in the next year or so, the NFL will be rocked by it’s own steroid scandal similar to MLB’s Mitchell Report.

What’s your opinion?

Pacman Jones stays true to form:

Now, at first glance you may say since joining the Dallas Cowboys, NFL cornerback Adam ‘Pacman’ Jones has ‘stripped’ himself of his criminally seedy nightclub habits by frequenting Las Vegas casinos instead. But it seems he just can’t shake his thuggery ways. Pacman paid Caesars Palace $20,000 to cover three casino markers he received. “We filed a criminal complaint. Within 24 hours, Mr. Jones found a way to make restitution,” said Clark County District Attorney David Roger. “Case closed”. In Nevada, unpaid casino markers, or loans to gamblers is considered a crime and can be prosecuted. Think Pacman was bright enough to know this? I think not.

What’s your opinion?

NBA

Sir Charles’ payback:

What is it with the Las Vegas casino gambling debts? For the second time in a week a large gambling debt has been repaid by a high profile professional athlete before a Clark County prosecutor got their dirty hands into the situation. First, it was Pacman Jones, now Hall-of-Fame NBAer Charles Barkley. Barkley paid Wynn Las Vegas $400,000 after the resort filed a complaint in Nevada state court. Apparently Barkley failed to repay four $100,000 casino markers. Obviously Sir Charles was less of a risk than Pacman (only $20,000 loaned). I don’t know about you but based on the large party turnout at last year’s NBA All-Star game in Las Vegas and problems in these two situations, I’d say gambling in professional sports has never been as prevalent as it is today. And there must be a lot of other young, rich athletes squandering their money away.

What’s your opinion?

NHL

NHL is a ratings nightmare:

I’d like to preface this by stating that I know virtually nothing about hockey other than I believe it’s played on ice. But anyway, I happen to be checking out the television ratings for the weekend of May 17-18. I had to do a double-take when I read that the WNBA TV ratings in New York were higher than the NHL playoffs ratings. What? You’ve got to be kidding me, right? No, I kid you not. This tells me that there isn’t a thing the NHL can do to jump-start hockey in the US. And forget about New York. I think there are more lacrosse fans than hockey fans in New York.

What’s your opinion?


Crystal Ball

You heard it here first:
May 26, 2008

* NY Mets manager Willie Randolph will be in a LA Dodgers uniform in 2009

* The NFL will have it’s own steroid scandal similar to MLB by the end of 2009

May 26, 2008 Posted by | Sports | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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