Thursday, May 7, 2009

Sports Round-Up, Volume 3

Farve Away: Here we go again -- the annual story of "Will Brett Favre or Won't He?" I could really care less what he does -- to me, he will always be a Packer, like Michael Jordan was a Bull even after his stint in Washington -- but one question still bugs me: if Favre does come back, will John Madden come out of retirement, too?

No Shock: According to a report by The Los Angeles Times and on, Dodgers outfielder Manny Ramirez will face a 50-game suspension after testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs. Ramirez has escaped much of the scrutiny of the Steroid Era to this point, and has helped his team to a league-best 20-8 record so far this season. The impact on the Dodgers aside, who here's surprised? If you raised your hand, you are dangerously naive.

Simple Solution: Heading into this weekend's Players' Championship at the TPC at Sawgrass, I've heard the same question time and time again: "What's wrong with Tiger Woods?" Obviously referencing the fact that Woods has only won once since his return from knee surgery, and last week faded down the stretch in Charlotte, I think everyone's missing one very important fact: if you don't make putts, you won't win golf tournaments. Everybody breathe; Tiger's going to be just fine.

No-Brainer: The New Orleans Hornets are expected to keep head coach Byron Scott, despite his team getting blasted out of the first round of the playoffs by the Dallas Mavericks. This year's playoff showing aside, the move makes sense. Scott made the Hornets relevant again, and even though the team has one of the game's best stars in Chris Paul, it doesn't work without Scott pulling the strings. I'm glad management chose to stay the course rather than give in to a knee-jerk reaction.

Shame: It's too bad Sidney Crosby plays for an Eastern Conference team; if he were out west, how great would a potential Stanley Cup Finals match-up with Alex Ovechkin be? Gary Bettman would love that, I bet, and I'm sure a lot of people who don't necessarily follow hockey would, too. Their rivalry is what the NHL needs right now; if the league could get off Versus and onto a channel people actually get, that would be even better.

Deja Vu ... Kinda: I have to admit, Ron Artest going into the stands in the first round against Utah was pretty funny -- but not as funny as his post-game reactions. It's nice to see he's able to joke about one of his darkest moments as a player -- and indeed, one of the league's darkest moments -- even if no one if Detroit was laughing. It shows Artest has moved on, which is nice. Kobe Bryant should be a bigger concern right now anyway.

Say it Ain't So, Joe: You think Yankee fans miss Joe Torre? In 12 years with the Yankees, Torre took them to 12 straight playoff appearances and four World Series titles. Then the Steinbrenners run him out of town, and Torre winds up with Dodgers, where he had them close to the World Series last year and appears to have the best team in the National League this season (well, before ManRam's suspension). The Dodgers will likely still make the playoffs in the weak NL West, while the Yankees missed the playoffs last season and are toiling around .500 with a bad rotation and a Little League ballpark. I can't help but think the Yankees have the wrong Joe.

Priorities: What is Congress doing holding hearings about the flawed BCS system in college football? I'm as big a BCS hater as there is -- I still consider Utah the true national champion -- but don't the cronies in Washington have more important things to worry about? Like, say ... the economy? What about the budget and the banks and the automakers who are in trouble? I'm not saying the BCS should stay, but it's not that big a deal in the grand scheme of things.

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