Monday, February 27, 2012

Danica Patrick: Did The Stars Align?

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It seems "mother nature" had the last say on Danica Patrick's long-awaited Daytona 500 debut. Apparently, the Sunday, 1:00 p.m. start, just wasn't the appropriate time to showcase, what is perhaps, the most anticipated debut in Daytona 500 history. Monday night on PRIMETIME seems more appropriate.

Due to heavy rain all day Sunday, the Great American Race was postponed for the first time in it's 54-year history. The race was rescheduled for noon today but apparently mother nature (still) had other ideas. Due to more bad weather, the race will now take place at 7 p.m. on PRIMETIME, where many more viewers can witness Danica's long-awaited debut.

You don't have to be a fan of motor sports to know and understand the potential barriers a win by Patrick will tear down. In a sport long dominated by men, she became the first woman to ever finish in the Top 10 at the Indianapolis 500. In fact, in her seven Indy 500 races (2005-2011), she finished in the Top 10 in 6 of the 7 races. Not bad in a sport long dominated by the big boys.

Patrick raced in the IndyCar Series from 2005 to 2011 and made the move to NASCAR in 2010 on a limited basis in the lower-tier NASCAR Nationwide Series. The 2012 season is the first year she will be racing in what we can call the "major leagues" of NASCAR.

Her TALENT coupled, of course, with her BEAUTY has already made her the most popular driver on the NASCAR circuit. But I'm sure her male counterparts have no problems with that.


Saturday, February 25, 2012

Daytona 500: All Eyes On Danica!

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GOOD LUCK to the Princess of Motor Sports who is making her Daytona 500 debut tomorrow. Many, including Jay Hart of Yahoo! Sports, believe Danica Patrick has a decent chance of winning Sunday's Great American Race. Read Hart's article, here.

What a headliner it would be if she does win. So there is no doubt all eyes will be on Danica tomorrow. Well, as if our eyes weren't on her already.


Isn't she a WONDER to look at?!!!!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Chicago Cubs: Year 104 Has Arrived!

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With pitchers and catchers reporting to spring training on Saturday, Feb. 18, for the Chicago Cubs, it means that their road to the 2012 World Series has officially begun. And for the proud member of the "Original Two"-- it is yet another attempt to win the elusive championship that has betrayed them for oh (and I mean-- OH!) so long.

Will 2012 be-- I repeat-- Will 2012 be-- the year of the Cubs? Will they win their first pennant since 1945? Will they win their first World Series title since 1908?

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The good news is that new-sheriff-in-town Theo Epstein has been in this quagmire before. Epstein was the GM who helped the Boston Red Sox end their 86-year ordeal. But this time around he definitely has his work cut out for him. If and when he ends the Cubs drought, there is no question, the dude will be considered a "god" in the windy city.

And I do mean, A GOD!

FOR THE RECORD: The "original two" is a term I made up referring to the Cubs and the Atlanta Braves who are the only remaining charter members of the National League. They are the only two franchises that have been playing non-stop since 1876. I guess we can say they are baseball's version of the NHL's "Original Six".

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Troubled Dodgers Need Advice....

NY Daily News
With all the turmoil surrounding the bankrupt Los Angeles Dodgers these days, the question on many people's minds is-- what kind of year are they going to have? Will all the off-the-field distractions take it's toll on the players and deflate all the enthusiasm out of the Dodger faithful?

According to reports, MLB's ownership committee is working diligently on finding a new owner for the team and ending the more than a year-long saga with the current ownership, which, for the sake of the players and fans, should happen sooner rather than later.

But considering all the off-the-field drama surrounding current owner Frank McCourt and his soap opera-style divorce, the Dodgers weren't all that bad last season. Under first-year manager Don Mattingly they somehow managed to muster a winning season with a decent 82-79 record. They have a great nucleus, which includes the reigning Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw and the MVP runner-up Matt Kemp, not to mention the budding Andre Ethier and James Loney. So things are not all that bad in Blueville considering all the beef surrounding the team.

Steve Greenberg
But there's no question the troubled Dodgers need, at the very least, some good sound advice.

If I remember correctly, once upon a time, when the Dodgers were having problems, then-manager Tommy Lasorda sought advice from an unlikely source. If memory serves me correct, back in the early '80s, if you needed answers, Johnny the Shoe Shiner was your man. Of course Johnny was clueless about everything up until you wet his hands with a couple of bucks. So maybe once major league baseball finds a respectable new owner for the Dodgers and the troubled McCourt skips town, Mattingly should follow Lasorda's lead and locate Johnny the Shoe Shiner and ask him for advice on what he must do to return the team to glory.

Oh and Donny Baseball should take a few bucks if he wants to get any answers. Once good 'ole Johnny is taken care of financially, he will have answers for him.

Here's the classic Tommy Lasorda-Johnny the Shoe Shiner scene from Police Squad!:

Here's more Johnny the Shoe Shiner classics:

Gotta love good 'ole Johnny!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

The Novak Slam?

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Over the past two seasons, World No. 1 Novak Djokovic has won every major tournament on the planet, except one. The only blemish on his Hall of Fame resume is perhaps the toughest to achieve. Some say it's next to impossible. If he wins it, he would hold all 4 major titles simultaneously, completing tennis' version of the "Tiger Slam".

But in order to do so, he would have to defeat the man who has ruled this kingdom with an iron fist for the past 7 years. In order to complete the "Novak Slam", he will (more than likely) have to dethrone the "King of Clay" himself-- former World No. 1 and current World No. 2 Rafael Nadal.

Coming this May-- the 2012 French Open

Friday, February 17, 2012

Go Easy On A.J.!

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According to the AP, the A.J. Burnett Era in the Bronx is over!

The New York Yankees have officially traded the struggling pitcher to the Pittsburgh Pirates for, pretty much, whatever they can get. And oh yeah, the Yankees will have to eat $20 million of the $33 million still owed Burnett over the next 2 years. The Pirates only need to cough up the remaining $13 million.

Burnett's contract with the Yanks was for $82.5 million over 5 years, so if we do the math, the Yankees will pay him $69.5 million for a 34-35, 4.79 ERA stint in New York. It's safe to say, NOT GOOD for that kind of loot.


In A.J.'s defense, he did have two of the most crucial wins in recent Yankee playoff history. His win in Game 2 of the 2009 World Series was astronomical after Cliff Lee had taken all the air out of the Bronx Bombers in Game 1. In Game 2, Burnett out-dueled Pedro Martinez in a 3-1 Yankee win which shifted the momentum back to New York en route to their 27th world championship.

And in the 2011 ALDS, down 2-1 to the Detroit Tigers, Burnett saved the day by winning Game 4 and sending the series to a decisive Game 5. The Yankees would go on to lose Game 5 to the Tigers but Burnett came thru with some big-time clutch pitching in Game 4 to help the Yankees live to fight another day.

So even though poor A.J. will be run out of town as "public enemy #1" by the take-no-prisoners Yankee fans, I think those two shining moments he had in pinstripes are worth mentioning.

Personally, I'm still a fan of the tattooed and eccentric dude. My only question is-- who will (now) be the "pie man" when the Yankees get a dramatic walk-off win?

NY Daily News

Gary Carter (1954-2012)

"Nobody loved the game of baseball more than Gary Carter. Nobody enjoyed playing the game of baseball more than Gary Carter. He wore his heart on his sleeve every inning he played." -Tom Seaver

Farewell to The Kid.... Thank you for being a key component in what has been the greatest moment in my life as a baseball fan-- the 1986 World Champions New York Mets.

Gary Edmund Carter "The Kid". Inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2003. RIP.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

TSC Salutes Jeremy Lin

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I'm probably the only person in New York who hasn't jumped on the Jeremy Lin bandwagon but after his last-second heroics last night against the Toronto Raptors, I must say, I tip my hat off to him. Lin hit a last-second 3-pointer to give the Knicks a 90-87 win over the Raptors and extend their winning streak to 6 in a row.

In 5 games as a starter, the out-of-nowhere New York Knicks point guard has become an overnight sensation with his stellar play and his field-general-mentality. The Knicks are 6-0 since Lin has taken a major roll on the court and are back in the playoff hunt. He has, sort of, become the Tim Tebow of the NBA.

But as bandwagons go, I'm still hesitant to jump on this one. I've been around long enough to know that bandwagons are just a media ploy. They are good for business because they get eyeballs to the television set, ears to the radio and magazine and merchandise sales thru the roof. Personally, I have no problems with that because, at the end of the day, business is business.

But I'm happy for the young man for making the most of the opportunity. I wish him continued success and down the road when the Knicks are a threat to win a championship, I'll buy my ticket and jump on the Lin bandwagon. For now Lin-sanity is what it is-- a good rags-to-riches story that sells well. Lets wait and see if it has "legs".

Go get'em kid!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Whitney Houston (1963-2012)

Houston singing the Star Spangled Banner at Super Bowl XXV between the New York Giants and the Buffalo Bills. New York Giants 20 - Buffalo Bills 19. What a voice!! What a game!!

May she RIP.

Friday, February 10, 2012

NBA Standings: Some Thoughts From The Naked Eye!

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Every now and then I blindly stare at the NBA Standings because, at the end of the day, those are the only stats that matter. As for team analysis and blasé blasé, I'll leave that to the so-called experts and bloggers who enjoy writing about that stuff. As the New York Football Giants proved, analysis ain't worth the paper it's written on.


It feels like the NBA season just started yesterday and as far as the playoffs go, we are already halfway there. And as far as the playoffs go, some teams are already living on a prayer (yes, it's from a Bon Jovi song). We can call these "living on a prayer" teams the "single digit crew". In other words, if you haven't won at least 10 games by now, unless something miraculous happens, you ain't going to the playoffs. As of today, the members of this crew are: New Jersey, Toronto, Detroit, Washington, Charlotte, New Orleans and Golden State. These teams can start hoping the ping pong balls land in their favor. We can invite 10-wins Cleveland and Sacramento to this party also.

The Philadelphia 76ers (18-9) and the Indiana Pacers (17-9) are the surprise of the Eastern Conference. Both teams are having fantastic seasons without the luxury of a "Big 3" or a real name superstar on their rosters. Meanwhile, the Big 3-led Boston Celtics (14-12) and the Carmelo Anthony-led New York Knicks (12-15) have not played up to par thus far. The Boston Big 3 are looking more like the Boston Old 3 and it looks like they'll be a one-round-and-out team come playoff time. As for the Knicks, they are starting to show some life (winners of 4 in a row) thanks to the "new kid on the block" Jeremy Lin. Let's wait and see how long Lin-mania can last.

As expected, the Chicago Bulls (23-6) and the Miami Heat (20-7) are the elites of the East. One of these two will more than likely represent the East in the NBA Finals.

Over in the Western Conference, the San Antonio Spurs (18-9) are having their typical San Antonio Spurs REGULAR season. The question is, how much energy will the aging Spurs have when the playoffs come around? As for the defending champions Dallas Mavericks (16-11)-- it looks like they left it all on the court last season. Youth is not exactly on their side either. So Dallas fans, be glad ya got your ring because if you look at that roster, there are a lot of players 32+ years old on there. The entire core to be exact.

The LA Clippers (16-8) and the LA Lakers (15-12) are battling it out for the Pacific Division lead and for LA bragging rights. It looks like the Clippers have the upper hand on both. Who would've thunk it?

The Oklahoma City Thunder (20-6) are in a class by themselves. If I were them I'd start looking at game films of the Bulls and Heat and start setting up my game plans for the NBA Finals. No doubt.

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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Monday, February 6, 2012

Giants-Patriots III?: Will Deja Vu Happen Again?


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My, Oh My!!!! How About Them New York Giants?!!!!

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Super Bowl XLVI
New York Giants 21 - New England Patriots 17


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As a lifelong fan, I must say, I am totally and utterly SPEECHLESS!

Anyone who thinks that "deja vu all over again" isn't real, has never heard of the NEW YORK FOOTBALL GIANTS! No doubt.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Josh Hamilton And His NeverEnding Saga

“My life in general is based on making the right choices, everything as far as my recovery, as far as my baseball goes, it’s all based around my relationship with the Lord. You all know how hard I play on the field and I give it everything I absolutely have. When I don’t do that off the field, I leave myself open for a weak moment.” -Josh Hamilton

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Today in Arlington Texas, slugger Josh Hamilton held a press conference to apologize for what he called a "weak moment" in his ongoing struggle with alcoholism. To put it simply, Hamilton fell off the wagon and wanted to set the record straight.

Said Hamilton, "Things happened that me, personally, I’m not proud of after I drank, and they are personal and are being handled as that".

All I can say is, considering where he was when he hit rock bottom (between 2001 and 2006) and considering where he is now, I think he's done a fantastic job in keeping his demons under control. This is only the second known relapse since his return to the major leagues in 2007 and neither one lasted more than one night. He is not perfect and he's fighting a war against an enemy that is unremorseful and relentless. It's a tough gig, no doubt.

The 4-time All-Star and 2010 AL MVP just needs to keep his head high and put this unfortunate incident behind him. By admitting what he did and "manning up" to it, the young man has shown that he is serious about his sobriety. And for that he should be commended.


Thursday, February 2, 2012

Super Bowl XLVI: Here's The Story Of A Man Named Brady

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From Wikipedia:

Thomas Edward Patrick "Tom" Brady, Jr. (born August 3, 1977) is an American football quarterback for the New England Patriots of the National Football League (NFL). After playing college football at Michigan, Brady was drafted by the Patriots in the sixth round of the 2000 NFL Draft.

In Brady's ten seasons as a starter, the Patriots have earned trips to the Super Bowl in half of them (XXXVI, XXXVIII, XXXIX, XLII, and XLVI), winning three of them (XXXVI, XXXVIII, and XXXIX). He has also won two Super Bowl MVP awards (XXXVI and XXXVIII), has been selected to seven Pro Bowls (and invited to eight, although he declined the 2006 invitation), and holds the NFL record for most touchdown passes in a single regular season. His career postseason record is 16–5. He also helped set the record for the longest consecutive win streak in NFL history with 21 straight wins over two seasons (2003–04), and in 2007 he led the Patriots to the first undefeated regular season since the institution of the 16-game schedule. Brady has the fourth-highest career passer rating of all time (96.4) among quarterbacks with at least 1,500 career passing attempts.

Brady and Joe Montana are the only two players in NFL history to win the NFL Most Valuable Player (MVP) and Super Bowl MVP awards multiple times (2 NFL MVPs, 2 Super Bowl MVPs). Brady and John Elway are the only two quarterbacks to lead their teams to five Super Bowls. In 2005, he was named Sports Illustrated's Sportsman of the Year, and was named "Sportsman of the Year" by The Sporting News in 2004 and 2007. He was also named the NFL MVP in 2007 and 2010 (becoming the first player to be unanimously chosen as MVP in the 2010 season) as well as 2007 Male Athlete of the Year by the Associated Press, the first time an NFL player has been honored since Joe Montana won in 1990.

Brady holds numerous regular season and postseason records, including: most touchdown passes in a regular season (50); highest touchdown-to-interception ratio in a single season (9:1); highest single-game completion percentage, regular season or postseason (26/28, 92.9%); most consecutive pass attempts without an interception (358); most consecutive regular-season home wins (31); highest winning percentage of any quarterback during his first 100 starts (76 wins); most completions in one Super Bowl (32); longest streak of games with 3 or more touchdown passes (10 games); and most career completions in Super Bowl history (100), most touchdown passes in a quarter (5); most touchdown passes in a half of a playoff game (5), and most touchdown passes in a playoff game (6, tied). Brady is the fourth-fastest player to reach 200 career passing touchdowns (he did so in 116 games), and the first ever to reach this mark before throwing 100 career interceptions (he had 88).

He and Bill Belichick have also combined to form one of the greatest quarterback-coach tandems in NFL history, winning 124 regular season games and 16 postseason games together, as well as appearing in five Super Bowls together, all NFL records. Considering his many achievements, and his late draft selection (6th round, 199th selection), many analysts, including those at the NFL Network, have called Brady the best NFL draft pick (or draft steal) of all time, as well as one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time. Before the 2011 season, his fellow players voted him the best player in the NFL.

This post was inspired by a friend named Christine who thinks Tom Brady is the Second Coming. I put together the photo collages, the bio is from Wikipedia.