Here are some what I find to be surprising (sometimes pleasant, sometimes perplexing and sometimes funny) developments in the world of sports.
Stanley Cup Game 7
I honestly thought that the Penguins would be out by now, but they made is a real series. Can Hossa come through for Detroit? Can Crosby take the trophy for Pittsburgh? It has been a home series. Neither team has been able to steal one when visiting. In goal, Osgood had outperformed Fleury. In the playoffs, Osgood has a better save percentage and goals against average. But in the last game, Fleury gave up just one score, notching a .962 SV%, while Osgood gave uo two, earning a .935 SV%. It is gut-check time at the Joe Lewis Arena in Detroit. It should be a great one. There’s nothing like a game seven for the Stanley Cup.
Yankees Cannot Beat the Red Sox
In some ways, I’m not surprised by this. I’ve written about the aging Yankees and the problems with their bullpen since March. I’m simply astounded by the total dominance the guys from Beantown have shown when playing the Pinstripes. Some have been blowouts and some have been close, but the fact is that the Yanks can’t seem to manufacture a win versus their recent nemesis. The Red Sox have outscored the Yankees 55 to 31. Also, Boston has a dominant bullpen. The two clubs have started some headhunting and plunking of batters. There can be some real fireworks when these two teams meet again for a four-game series in New York in early August.
NFL Road Trip
The Minnesota Vikings are traveling to Hattiesburg, Mississippi, to work with retired NFL quarterback, legend and future Hall of Famer Brett Favre. Favre had arthroscopic surgery two weeks ago to repair a partially torn tendon in his bicep. He will be assessed and it’s thought that if he makes steady progress, he’ll be wearing Viking purple this season. The Minnesota training camp is scheduled to start in seven weeks. I know that Favre is a hardnosed competitor but he has slowed considerably, his body is a wreck and he’s old. His best days are behind him and, quite honestly, I don’t know if the guy can make it through an entire NFL season. It is painful to watch him play. I wince every time the guy takes a shot. I admire him but he needs a mental health checkup too. Has he noticed all those young guys wearing numbers between 1 and 19? They’re the next wave of talented QBs about to wash over him and set him adrift.
Who Killed Cock Robin?
Ahn Shi-hyun did when she hit her first shot on the ninth hole of the LPGA Championship today. The shot found a robin, taking it out in an instant. There was a puff of feathers and then the bird dropped dead. Ahn, who is from South Korea, shout 2 under in the second round and was 1 under for the tourney.
The US Open starts on June 15. News is out concerning coverage and the many ways that fans can follow the Open, which will be held at Bethpage State Park’s Black Course in Farmingdale, NY. The USOPEN.com Web site will feature a range of IT applications. Here’s a quick rundown.
Live Marquee Group Coverage – There will be the U.S. Open Live! webcast. Fans can watch every shot of some of the game’s best golfers. Enthusiasts can write comments in real-time and interact with other viewers.
Real-Time Scoring – There’s a Desktop Leaderboard that allows you to keep up on action while still working on your computer. You can also access the Open’s latest videos, photos and news.
Interactive Course Section – There’s a new Virtual U.S. Open online golf game that American Express® Cardmembers can utilize to listen to Jim Furyk, the 2003 U.S. Open champ, as he comments on each hole of the tough course. You’ll also find video walkthroughs and HD flyovers on each hole. You be able to see numerous images of every hole.
Virtual U.S. Open – Fans can test their golf skills online in qualifying rounds for the Virtual U.S. Open Championship through June 21. The top 156 qualifiers plus ties will then square off for the Virtual U.S. Open title on June 22. The winner will be crowned the USGA Virtual U.S. Open champion and will be a guest of the USGA at the 2010 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach Golf Links in Pebble Beach, Calif. Players registering can purchase credits in the virtual World Golf Tour pro shop and receive double points when they use an American Express Card. These points can be redeemed for different equipment that might give players a better chance of improving their score and qualifying for the Virtual U.S. Open.
iPhone Application – If you’ve got an iPhone, you can get some great coverage, including video, photos, statistics and up to the minute scores.
m.usopen.com – There’s a mobile version of USOPEN.com for those with the Internet on their phones.
USOPEN.com Widget – With the widget, you can quickly get to the latest information plus additional insights. There’s connection via Facebook, Twitter and Google.
So, golf fans, you can have the US Open 24/7 wherever you have mobile phone service or are connected to the Internet. You’ve got to love it!
Finally, this one does not surprise me—the Atlanta Falcons severed their relationship with Michael Vick. Who do you think will pick him up?