Category Archives: sports

I’m going to be honest with you…

…I like Nick Faldo. It’s true. Maybe it’s because he is from England, and I’m pretty anglo myself. Or maybe it’s because of his “velvet voice,” as the Ryder Cup home page describes it.  Whatever it is, I can’t get myself to hate the guy, or the team this year.  I’m not one to hate on Europeans, but usually world competitions (Olympics, Ryder Cup, Tour de France) get my blood a little hot. Not this time.

I realized though, that I didn’t give a rundown of the European Team, and so I’ll do that now…

How can you hate a group of men who wear pastel pink sport coats with mock neck shirts underneath? You can’t, really.

I’m going to be honest with you again, I could’ve sworn Paul Casey was an American. For real. He’s not, as he’s from England, and upon further reflection, this makes sense only because I don’t want to completely embarass myself. Anyway, he’s a captain’s pick and a solid one at that. He has a good record which began in 2004 and became stronger in 2006. Oh, and he beat Jim Furyk in singles, so what out for that.

Europe is less young as a team, with only four debuts this year, including Oliver Wilson, Justin Rose, Graeme McDowell and Soren Hansen. This might give Europe an advantage, if only because even in their youth, they have Justin Rose, who is used to competing on a larger stage. The other three are not so shabby themselves, sporting solid records and a smattering of international experience as well.

The big names for Europe are going to be Padraig Harrington, who is having a great year, Sergio Garcia, Ian Poulter and Miguel Angel Jimenez.  Jimenez is the only one I would count as unstable, if only because although he has a long Ryder Cup record, it includes 5 losses and only 2 wins out of the 9 matches he has played.

Lee Westwood will also be very important for Europe, as he has 14 wins by himself in Ryder Cup matches, and has played 25 matches total.  He comes in as one of Europe’s very experienced players, although he is still young (for a golfer, anyway).

I don’t have much to say about Robert Karlsson and Henrick Stenson, so I probably shouldn’t say anything at all. I just couldn’t leave them out.

So who will win?? The steak-eating manly men of the United States? Or the foie gras-girly men of Europe? Actually, neither team lives up to either stereotype because, let’s be honest, this is golf. And the US team has a lot more in common with the European team than they probably do with you or me.

In any case, let’s play ball!

Playoffs

Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin

No, not those playoffs, these playoffs. Despite the fact that temperatures are warming in all the states (and provinces) where NHL teams are based, they’re still playing hockey. I was lucky enough to be in Ottawa last year when they made a run at the Cup. I am also lucky enough to not be there this year. The Sens got spanked by the one and only Pittsburgh Penguins, and yet have lived to tell the tale.

Keep in mind that the NHL playoffs will be going on until June. That’s right, June. I feel in addition to getting Hillary Duff on board for promotions, the NHL needs to look at not trying to compete with the NBA at any point during the playoffs. That’s just bad news. Who would watch Sidney Crosby over Tim Duncan? A Canadian, that’s who. And the Nielsen ratings don’t include Canada.

Anyway, I wanted to direct your attention toward les Habs and the Pens for your playoff entertainment. You know, when you actually see a hockey game on tv. I think they will be they both have good chances, although technically they won’t be in the finals against each other. You know, that whole East-West thing. Whatever.

With this stunning report behind me, I’ll leave you with Sean Avery antics. Cause those are always fun.

Not the Best Week Ever

Don’t ask me why I arbitrarily choose Wednesday as Not the Best Week Ever day. Maybe it’s because I lack the time and creativity to come up with something new by the time Wednesday rolls around. Anyway, here are some people who are not having the best week ever:

Tiger Woods: You called it, right? It always comes back to Tiger Woods. After coming in second in the Masters on Sunday, Tiger apparently underwent surgery on his knee. Don’t worry, he’ll be back in time for the US Open in June, but I would say that “the field” just got a little better odds on winning.

Isaiah Thomas: With the hiring of Donnie Walsh, this just might be Isaiah’s last week on the job. Nevermind that he lost a lawsuit alleging that he sexually harassed female employees, the Knicks are going to lose 59!!!

Carmelo Anthony: Allegedly, he was really drunk and drove a car. Kids: don’t drink and drive, no matter how much money you make (or don’t)!

George W. Bush: Apart from people being excited about getting $600 back from taxes, and Pope Benedict hanging out at the White Hizzy, there have been reports that Barbara Bush (his daughter, not his mother) has been attending NY Rangers games. First of all, she’s not cheering on Texas and second of all it’s not baseball?! What has the presidential family come to??

Chad Johnson, for this video alone. And yes, this was on April 3, but what they hey…

Congratulations!

Trevor Immelman

If you didn’t hear it enough yesterday, Trevor Immelman, of South Africa won the Master’s. So basically, none of my predictions worked out. I was most disappointed that Monty didn’t show up in a rager. I almost thought for a second that Tiger had put the kiss of death on Trevor when he said something like, “Trevor’s been playing well all day, he just had one bad hole. He’ll wrap it up.” And then Trevor proceeded to dump it in the drink on 16.  But good for him, as he’s been through a lot, and it looks like the hard work is starting to pay off.

The thing I missed yesterday was that old Tiger excitement. Did you even see him get excited once yesterday? Maybe when he dropped the 80 footer? But where are the fist pumps? Where is the quick pace from green to the next tee because he just can’t wait to grip it and rip it? He just looked frustrated. Which is understandable. I still miss that old Tiger Magic. Is he just getting older, settling down? Don’t get me wrong, he’ll still win. Lots. No one goes out and has a “bad day” and still finishes second except Tiger Woods (and of course I had to make this into a Tiger feature..who doesn’t?!?!).

Anyway, this is from the last time Tiger won the Masters, in 2005. So you can enjoy that in lieu of me putting up Immelman and his delightful family.

Masters Magic

Arnold Palmer

As I sit here, a Trevor Immelman (?) sits atop the leaderboard at Augusta, with 8-under-par.  I feel as though he might have a better seat than I, even if it may be short-lived.  Meanwhile, Tiger Woods was set to tee off a few minutes ago.  Yesterday, “he bored” the crowds by coming in “only” at even-par.  As they say though, a bad day on the golf course is better than any day in the office.  My office being a cubicle in the library, writing about pollution in the Mediterranean Sea.

Anyway, I should have made predictions yesterday, but as I didn’t, I will go ahead and shoot them at you today: this Immelman guy is not going to stay atop the leaderboard through today, tomorrow morning at the latest.  Phil Mickelson won’t drop like a bucket, but he’ll play well and end up top ten. I see Zach Johnson as having the confidence to make a good showing, but I don’t think he’ll repeat. The hometown (my hometown, not yours) favorite, JB Holmes will look like he was born on the golf course.  He wasn’t, and I don’t think he’ll win, but he’ll continue building upon the notoriety he has been gaining in the past couple of years.  That Woods fellow will win.  This is a safe bet, but I know this because Jack Nicklaus doesn’t want to talk about it.  That means his record will fell soon enough…In the event that Tiger doesn’t win, I am voting for Retief Goosen.  Augusta is a democracy, right?

Also, Colin Montgomerie might just make the trip so that he can heckle the Chinese player, Liang wen-Hong.  Maybe they don’t want you, Colin, because you are pretty sour most of the time?  Also, anyone want to bet that Sergio spits on Rory Sabbatini at some point? I mean, let’s face it, Sabbatini will say something to piss someone off…

Not the Best Week Ever: Olympic Torch

Olympic Torch 2008

Clearly, Chinese Olympic organizers have had a tough week, explaining away the fact that in several cities so far, people have turned out to protest what in my mind is associated with local news anchors (when the torch ran through Louisville in 1996, all of the highlights were of local news anchors with the torch…funny how that works).

It’s been kind of an interesting juxtaposition of our reality: people are protesting for valid reasons, and no one I’ve read has really had a problem with this (maybe except for various municipal police); and Beijing’s reality: not reporting about the protests to the Chinese people, and their spokesman, Qu Yingpu, telling the West, “This is not the right time, the right platform, for any people to voice their political views.”

Well, I’m sorry, it might be inconvenient for you but (most of the time) in the countries were the protests are taking place, it doesn’t matter what’s convenient for you.  People protest when they want, and not often for frivolous reason.  Same applies here.  Incidentally, I am of the thought that people should protest US practices concerning human rights, but that probably a whole ‘nother blog.

Today, the torch heads to San Francisco, if you didn’t know.  I happen to live with some Chinese people (seriously), and they happen to be the nicest people I know (seriously).  Apart from some very questionable dietary habits, they’re good peoples.  I haven’t asked them what they think about the protests, and I’m not likely to.  I know they did not partake in violating human rights, and don’t have anything to do with it.  So just remember as all this fury goes up, the Chinese are people too, regardless of what their government does.  That’s the same thing everyone else says about the US.

Olympic protests

Tournament Highlights

Kansas basketball

I almost made this post a “Not the Best Week Ever,” but the only reason I had for that was the fact that I lost bragging rights.  Yes, the Canadian beat me in the brackets this year (by so skillfully picking chalk).  I would like to take this opportunity to mention also that I beat him in NFL picks this past year, as well as last year’s NCAA brackets.  Just sayin’….Anyway, on with your tourney highlights.

  • Bob Huggins trying to bring back the mock turtleneck.  I don’t know if anyone told you, Bob, but only Tiger Woods gets to wear those.  No one else.
  • The requisite Duke bow-out in round two.  I always think there is a chance my dreams of Duke going out early could be thwarted, just by the sheer personality of Coach K.  The performance they gave in round one however, assured me that this would not be the case this year.
  • Western Kentucky outlasting Kentucky.  Who would ever have thought?  A UofL team that went to the Elite Eight, along with the Hilltoppers.  The real highlight: this picture of Big Red
  • Psycho T now losing his insanity?  Now living in the triangle area of North Carolina (aka Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill), I have begun to dislike the in-your-face coverage of UNC and Duke (and not just because I am a partial to the Wolfpack).  This came to a head when the local CBS affiliate refused to break from UNC’s drubbing of Arkansas to cover the Butler-Tennessee game (I think).  So when UNC went out, I can’t say I didn’t mind.  This being said, I maintain I was ecstatic when they beat UofL.
  • Crean to Crimson.  Marking a new quickness in coaches leaving just after they get knocked out of the tournament. Can Bill Self beat the record?!
  • Memphis giving high school coaches across the nation another reason to make their kids practice free throws for hours on end.  You have to make those! WTF was that?!

And, while not a highlight at all, the Big Blue Nation lost Mr. Wildcat, equipment manager Bill Keightley.  I don’t think he was known much outside of Kentucky, but it won’t be the same looking at the UK bench and not seeing him there.

PS. Where is Ben Hansbrough going?!