MLB is in high gear as is NASCAR and the PGA. Plus, the NBA and NHL playoffs are entering their final rounds. And sooner than later NFL and NCAA football will be prepping for another season. Here’s a look at what’s going on in the world of sports.
The Magic of the Magic
The clock read 1:46 left in the fourth quarter and the score was Orlando 101 and Cleveland 86. That pretty much said it all. The team that came to play won the game. The Orlando Magic, the third seed in the Eastern Conference, have proved themselves by beating Philadelphia, Boston and now Cleveland in the 2008-2009 NBA playoffs.
They will meet the number one seed in the Western Conference in the league playoffs. That means that the third seed Magic have beaten last year’s champs, the Boston Celtics, and the best club in the Eastern Conference this year—the Cleveland Cavaliers. Do you believe in Magic?
I don’t know Los Angeles has quite an arsenal. I’ll be previewing the series in one of my upcoming blogs.
NASCAR’s Johnson is One Week Late
About a week ago, I wondered if Jimmie Johnson might take the May 24th race at Charlotte. Johnson placed first from 2003- 2005 in that venue. But he ended up in 13th place. Still, he did pick up 129 points plus five bonus points. In the Sprint Cup standing, that put Johnson in fourth-place with 1594 points.
Well, today he certainly made a statement amidst all of the hubbub and controversy that has defined NASCAR this week. Johnson place first in the Autism Speaks 400 held at Dover International Speedway. Johnson did it in style, dominating most of the race and then moving back into second. He had to regain ground and did, coming from inside to pass Tony Stewart and win the race. That victory gave Johnson a total of 1789 Sprint Cup Series points, placing him third just behind Jeff Gordon (1807) and Tony Stewart (1853).
Next on the NASCAR circuit is the Pocono 500 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. Sparks should fly as the race season heats up. Watch for a Johnson-Stewart duel. Last year Kasey Kahne, who is in 14th place with 1501 points, won the event.
The Big Hit in MLB
Thus far, the big hit in MLB are the Los Angeles Dodgers. No team has scored more runs (287) than the former Brooklyn Trolley Dodgers and no club has a better runs for/runs against stat with a plus-87 mark. Their runs against mark stands at an even 200, making them the third best in the majors in that category. In the NL West, the San Francisco Giants would be a threat if they could score runs. They’ve allowed opponents only 196.
But they have scored a mere 193. The first stat is second best in the major, while the runs for total is the worst of all MLB teams. By the way—the Blue Jays of Toronto have started to lose their footing. They’re now third in the AL East and dropping quickly.
Can the Tiger Roar Again Soon?
Tiger Woods has not won a tournament since he took the Arnold Palmer Invitational on March 29. I’m thinking that Woods will win one in the next three weeks. Could he take the U.S. Open like he did last year? That tournament starts in three weeks. However, if you’re a Tiger fan don’t worry. He is dong fine. In six events this season, he’s finished in the top ten five times, earning a total of $2,166,813.
Michael Vick is out of prison and a changed man, according to his dad. Here’s hoping that he is. The question is, of course, will NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell lift his suspension of Vick? After that, you’ve got to wonder who he will play for? Falcons owner Arthur Blank has said that he does not want Vick back.
Bronco’s wide receiver Brandon Marshall has denied allegations regarding domestic violence charges. He has been arrested twice for domestic violence after complaints by his girlfriend. Marshall defended himself on ESPN’s Outside the Lines today.
The New York Jets, after being led by the geriatric former superstar Brett Favre last season, have two young bucks vying for the starting QB spot. Kellen Clemens, out of Oregon and in his fourth NFL season, looks to be the first choice for starter. But don’t count out recent draft pick Mark Sanchez. Sanchez, out of USC, was the fifth overall pick in this year’s NFL Draft. With the success of rookie quarterbacks last season, specifically Matt Ryan for the Falcons and Joe Flacco for the Baltimore Ravens, the Jets may just follow that trend.
Are the NHL Finals Final?
Is it all over? The Detroit Redwings lead the series two games to zip over the Pittsburgh Penguins. In goal for Detroit, Osgood is saving 97% of the shots he sees. He had 31 saves in each of the first two games. He’s allowed 1 goal per game. For the Penguins, Fleury has allowed 3 goals per game and has a save percentage of 89%. Osgood has seen 64 shots while Fleury has faced 56. The difference is in the goaltending. Let’s face it, when it comes to the NHL playoffs a hot goalie with superior instincts and skills is worth his weight in goal. It looks like the Red Wings will take their 12th Cup, their second straight and their third in this century.
College Football’s Top Ten
The college football season, which is one of the most exciting sporting seasons around, will crank up the beginning of September and end in early January. It’s time to start thinking about who’s going to be a contender. The Top Ten prior to the start of the season look like this:
4 Ohio State
7 Penn State
8 Oklahoma State
9 Virginia Tech
10 Ole Miss
Other contenders include Boise State, Oregon, Georgia, California and Florida State. Of course it’s early and there are bound to be a few surprises. Can Tim Tebow lead the Gators to another National Championship? Tebow already has two!
That’s a quick look at some of the major happenings and a few future possibilities in the sport’s scene.