First of all, before I get to the sports stuff, I want to take this time to honor our members of the military both past and present for their service. I currently have a sister serving in the Navy, my Step-father is a Vietnam Vet, and I also have an uncle and another sister that served in the military in the past. Military service is part of my family’s history, and although I was unable to serve due to medical reasons, I have to take a moment and honor what my relatives and all that serve have done for our country. Thank you for your service, and please wherever you may be serving this Memorial Day, as always, stay safe..
NOW.. on to the Mash-up
The past week has been interesting, with not much action going on in the world of sports outside of Playoffs, the races yesterday (Including Morocco) and some golf, there really hasn’t been much excitement ON the field. As for off the field well we got plenty of storylines to look at, so brace yourself this is gonna be fun.
Lets start with on the field…
The NBA and NHL Playoffs continue to excite me, (well except for the NBA part), the Kings/Blackhawk series is living up to its name and my prediction of seven games is still alive, very much alive as the Kings beat the Blackhawks in game 3 in LA taking a 2-1 lead in the series. The Eastern conference Finals between the Rangers and the Canadians seems almost over as the Rangers gave the Habs a taste of their own medicine last night, winning in OT 3-2, in yet another great game. Game 4 of the West series is tonight in LA once again, and this nerd will be in front of the TV watching it. The NBA Finals… aww who cares.. NEXT!!
Yesterday was Christmas for all manner of race fans, no matter their favorite type of racing, whether it be NASCAR, Indy Car or Formula 1, cause three of the biggest races of the year all ran out yesterday and provided for some exciting stuff. First we had the Monaco Grand Prix where Nico Rosberg led from start to finish winning the most coveted F1 race on the circuit, in case no one has ever seen the spectacle that is the Monaco Grand Prix, well I suggest you look up the highlights and watch the first few minutes of just the Pre-Show that NBSS put on. The amount of pageantry, gaudy yachts, super wealthy and the uber rich, all congregate for this race every year. There truly is nothing like it here in the US that I can compare it to. Second we have the Indy 500 where Ryan Hunter-Reay traded back and forth with Helio Castroneves over the last 6 laps for first place. It was an epic finish and Reay managed to hold off Helio to take the checkered flag for his First 500 win of his career. What made this race so good was first, there were no yellow flags the first 150 laps, and second it was the battle between the top three finishers all day, Reay, Castroneves, and Marco Andretti, one of the most exciting finishes I have ever seen. Finally we come to the Coca-Cola 600 race at Charlotte motor speedway. this is the longest race of the year for NASCAR and Kurt Busch was planning on making it an even longer day as he was racing both the Indy 500 and the 600. He finished 6th in the Indy race, which is in of itself is amazing since he has NEVER raced Indy car in his career, so for a rookie to finish 6th in the most prestigious race in history, is pretty amazing. He catches a plane to Charlotte to compete in the 600, and because he missed the rivers meeting he has to start from the back of the field. Sadly his day ended early, not being able to complete the entire 1100 miles between the two races as he blew a motor 126 laps from the finish and ending up 40th. this was a good day for Busch, and he may have improved his image with the way he handled himself through this whole deal. I respect him a LOT more for what he did yesterday. On a side note, Jimmy Johnson won the race for his first of the season (meh).
Was gonna talk about Adam Scott’s win yesterday in Golf, his first since taking the World #1 ranking last week, when in fact he didn’t even play, but on my way to thinking about how to write that down and make it exciting, there was a flash to the left of my face and what do I see.. The Rays and Red Sox in a brawl!! FINALLY the season is heating up when two teams that completely HATE each other are finally showing some emotion. To top it off there was the season’s first No-No yesterday, so let’s switch gears to baseball. First, the Red Sox were in Tampa Bay over the weekend having lost 7 straight coming into the 3-game series. Tampa won both Friday and Saturday each by 1-run in walk off fashion, including Saturday night when they walked off in the 15th inning, but yesterday, they were up by 5 runs in the seventh inning, and Yunel Escobar for the Rays decided he was going to steal third due to what’s called “defensive indifference” (ESPN’s explanation not mine) and that set off the Red Sox, causing both benches to clear and the result being ejections of Not only Escobar and LF Johnny Gomes, but Rays DH Sean Rodriguez. I understand that Escobar can be a jerk, but for the Sox to have an issue with the Rays stealing a base in the seventh despite having a 5-run lead is hypocrisy at its best. Flashback to the divisional series last year. Red Sox had a SIX run lead in the 8th and Ellsbury stole second base, so yeah, they overreacted a bit. Rays won 8-5, finishing the sweep and giving Boston its 10 straight loss of the season. that losing streak is the Longest in 20 years for Boston. The other big story yesterday was of course Josh Beckett of the Dodgers throwing a no-hitter against the Phillies yesterday, the first of his career and the first of the 2014 season. Beckett finished with 6 Strikeouts and 3 walks, throwing 128 pitches. Remember folks, Beckett last year nearly had a career threatening injury with a nerve condition that left him unable to feel his fingertips. this is an amazing story and he deserves all the accolades he gets, even though it was against the lowly Phillies. In an unrelated nugget, the Chicago Cubs, yes those lovable losers, have signed, of ALL people, Manny Ramirez to a minor league contract as a coach/player for their triple A Iowa Affiliate, so there’s that…
Now on to the off field stuff, sorry this is so long winded, but it has taken on a life of its own and I cant stop now….
First.. Ray Rice and his new wife held a news conference Friday and all I can do is compare it to the theatre of the absurd. He stated that he was sorry for the situation and the affect the whole issue had on the Ravens organization and the fans. He DID NOT apologize to his wife, who was sitting right next to him during the Press Conference, but his Wife DID apologize for her role as well. My whole life, I have been taught, you do NOT hit a woman, you don’t raise your hand to one, no matter what she says or does, that’s a line you DON’T cross. I don’t care if Janay Rice smacked Ray in the face or kicked him in the nuts, Ray was WRONG, and he is the one that needs to apologize.
Second… Donald Sterling just needs to go away. After being adamant about not selling the Clippers (Yes this is the NBA) franchise, he has decided to give control of the team to his soon to be EX wife and allow her to pursue offers for the team. Gee Don, have a change of heart or realize that no one LIKES you or WANTS you in the NBA? go away, just go away.
Third… Johnny Manziel was sued for sexual harassment in a Florida Federal Court and it is an obvious hoax, but the reason I mention it is because of Johnny’s past, and what lengths people will go to in order to get a quick buck. If you want the details, they are posted here for all to see. Again, it’s an obvious Hoax, and in fact Johnny was so concerned about it, he was seen in Vegas over the weekend partying with Rob Gronkowski and a few of their friends. Take a look here and you tell me if this is bothering him.
Fourth.. Jim Irsay, owner of the Indianapolis Colts has been charged with two misdemeanors following his arrest in March, Operating while intoxicated and one count of operating a vehicle with a controlled substance in the body. The NFL released a statement saying that they are looking into the incident and that the personal conduct policy applies to everyone. Well la dee dah!! The NFL has spoken. where were they when Irsay was arrested? Also they have allowed Irsay to represent the NFL at owners meetings, the draft and be a visible owner since the arrest. This is Hypocrisy in its raw form, and I for one am PISSED cause they will be quick to pull the trigger on a player if he gets a freaking PARKING ticket, but the owner of a franchise. Lets monitor the situation for a few months and see what happens. Unreal.
Fifth.. Something that I forgot to bring up during the show last night and also because we ran out of time (Love it when we can fill 90 mins and NOT be done) was this lawsuit that has been filed by former NFL players regarding the distribution of pain killers to players by the NFL and its franchises while these players were active. Some of the names from our past that are involved in the lawsuit include Richard Dent, Jim McMahan, Kyle Turley, and Marcellus Wiley. This is again a matter of the NFL taking responsibility for how it has treated its players in the past and how they handle injuries. Bleacher Report has a good article on it and that link is Here.
My final thoughts on this week conclude with how much we love our favorite sports, how we cheer for our favorite teams ands players. remember that they put their bodies on the line every day or week in order to play a game, entertain us, and to support their families. they basically live two lives as professional athletes, the public one that we all see on TV or at our local stadiums and arenas, and the private one. The one we DON’T see. they interact with their kids, their spouses, they put their pants on the same way we do, they have to pay bills, they have to shop for groceries, they go out to eat with their families as well. I bring this up because of something Bob Pizor said during The Spots Nerds last night. Please remember that they have lives outside the spotlight, and try to respect those times where they are just enjoying being a normal person and not out there on the field or on the court doing their job. If you see an athlete out in public, spending time with their families, try and respect that, don’t approach them for an autograph, wait for when they are at the stadium, on the court or doing team related activities. When they are involved with their job, that’s when they expect droves of fans to come up to them for autographs, not when they are sitting in a restaurant eating their dinner with their spouse and kids. Have some respect people….
Have a great week, and thanks for reading…
Get in the game, or ride the bench…. the choice is yours…
Scott “The Sports Nerd” Wright