Friday, February 22, 2013

Miami Heat: Deja Vu All Over Again!

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Why are we even following the 2012-13 NBA season? We should all just go on vacation and come back when the Miami Heat play the Oklahoma City Thunder in the NBA Finals because, from the looks of it, this season is going to be a carbon copy of last season. The Heat (38-14, best record in the Eastern Conference) will (again) win the NBA championship and King LeBron James will (again) win the league MVP.

The MVP for King James is a no-brainer. LeBron is playing like a man possessed and is putting up numbers never seen before in NBA history. The title is a near no-brainer as the Thunder still have a shot if they address the mistakes they made during last year's finals and maybe give the Heat a run for their money. Last season the Heat beat the Thunder in 5 games to capture their second championship in team history and take a lot of pressure off of James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh who joined forces to form an almost unbeatable axis in South Beach. The trio have gone to the NBA Finals both seasons they've been together and there's really no reason why they won't make it 3 in a row. I honestly can't see anyone in the Eastern Conference beating this team 4 times, especially having to do it on the road. And besides, with the addition of Ray Allen, this year's Heat team is probably the best in the LeBron-D'Wade-Bosh era. Not to mention, this team is a lethal 3-point shooting machine, with Lebron, Allen, Mario Chalmers, Shane Battier, Rashard Lewis and Mike Miller all at or above 40% from the 3-point line. They can score and they can defend which is a recipe for disaster for the rest of the Eastern Conference.

The Thunder (39-15, second in the Western Conference) seem headed in the same direction as last year also. Once again the San Antonio Spurs (44-12, best record in the Western Conference) will have the best record in the league and capture the No. 1 seed. But once again, their age will show up in the playoffs and a much younger Thunder team will oust them on the road. There's no doubt the Spurs are the best "regular season" team year after year but having to beat a young and talented team like the Thunder 4 times is no walk in the park for these old-timers. More often than not the younger legs prevail. So look for the Thunder to once again clash with the Heat in the NBA Finals with the Heat winning in, let's say, six.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

What in the World was Oscar Pistorius Thinking?

"When I reached the bed, I realized that Reeva was not in bed. That is when it dawned on me that it could have been Reeva who was in the toilet." -Oscar Pistorius

Photo by Michael Steele

Ok, so I've read the Blade Runner Oscar Pistorius' account of how and why he accidentally shot and killed his model girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. Pistorius laid out a long manifesto explaining himself to a judge as to how it happened and why it was an accident and not premeditated murder.

All I have to say is: "WHAT DA?!!" "C'MON MAN!!!!!"

Does Pistorius honestly expect anyone to believe his bogus story that an intruder was in his bathroom?

EXCERPT: I grabbed my 9mm pistol from underneath my bed. On my way to the bathroom, I screamed words to the effect for him/them to get out of my house and for Reeva to phone the police. It was pitch dark in the bedroom and I thought Reeva was in bed.

Hey Oscar-- I know it was pitch dark but couldn't you have checked on Reeva to see if she was ok? Or at least woken her up to let her know that an intruder was in the house and that danger lurks? And if it was pitch dark how can you see a 9mm pistol underneath the bed but you couldn't see a full grown woman on the bed? And if you were screaming, how in the world didn't she hear you and woken up to your screaming?

EXCERPT: I noticed that the bathroom window was open. I realized that the intruder(s) was (were) in the toilet because the toilet door was closed and I did not see anyone in the bathroom. I heard movement inside the toilet. The toilet is inside the bathroom and has a separate door.

Hey Oscar-- What intruder in his right mind is going to use the "john" before robbing a place? Why in the world would he lock himself in your toilet?

EXCERPT: I fired shots at the toilet door and shouted to Reeva to phone the police. She did not respond and I moved backwards out of the bathroom, keeping my eyes on the bathroom entrance. Everything was pitch dark in the bedroom and I was still too scared to switch on a light. Reeva was not responding.

When I reached the bed, I realized that Reeva was not in bed. That is when it dawned on me that it could have been Reeva who was in the toilet. I returned to the bathroom calling her name. I tried to open the toilet door, but it was locked. I rushed back into the bedroom and opened the sliding door exiting onto the balcony and screamed for help.

Hey Oscar-- That is when it dawned on you???? Before recklessly firing shots at the toilet couldn't you have first yelled, "HEY REEVA! HONEY IS THAT YOU IN THE TOILET?" "ARE YOU STILL IN THE BEDROOM?" If Reeva comes out of the bedroom or yells "I'm in the bedroom honey, what's wrong?", then you know it's an intruder and you fire shots at the toilet.

It mind boggles me how (according to Pistorius) Reeva was "sound asleep" during all this. Unbelievable!

Good luck with this lame story, buddy!

Read Pistorius' full court statement HERE.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Nadal and del Potro Win First Titles of 2013

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It's back to the winners circle for World No. 5 Rafael Nadal, who is playing in only his second tournament after a 7-month absence due to a left knee injury. Nadal won the Brasil Open in straight sets (6-2, 6-3) over David Nalbandian of Argentina to win his first title of 2013 and 51st of his career. It was a sweet victory for Nadal who was stunned last week in the final of the VTR Open in Chile by Horacio Zeballos of Argentina.  The tournament in Chile was the first for Nadal in his latest comeback tour and it ended in disappointment with his final's loss to the unknown Argentine. Next up for Nadal-- a clay court event in Acapulco, Mexico in two weeks. 

Also back in the winners circle is World No. 6 Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina who won his first title of 2013 at the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament. Del Potro defeated Julien Benneteau of France 7-6, 6-3 in the final to capture his 14th career title. In earlier rounds, Benneteau stunned defending tournament champion and World No. 2 Roger Federer in the quarterfinals for perhaps the biggest win of his career.

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On the women's circuit--

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Congrats to Serena Williams who regained the World No. 1 ranking for the 6th time in her career. Serena lost in the final of the Qatar Open to current World No. 1 Victoria Azarenka, who successfully defended her title in DOHA, Qatar. You may ask, why is Azarenka losing her No. 1 ranking to Serena if she beat her to win the title? The way the complicated computer rankings go, by reaching (at least) the semifinals, Serena (ranked No. 2) gained enough ranking points to catch and surpass Azarenka, who, as the defending champion, gained no points from the tournament. All Azarenka could do is defend her points total from last year's title (which she did) and not lose any ground. In other words, she began the tournament with 10,325 ranking points and finished the tournament with 10,325 ranking points. Serena began the tournament with 9,970 points and gained 620 for a total of 10,590 and the No. 1 ranking.  

Sunday, February 17, 2013

FIRST LADY: History At Daytona

''I was brought up to be the fastest driver, not the fastest girl.'' -Danica Patrick

Getty Images

Yes, the fastest driver-- but nonetheless you did it Danica! You became the first woman ever to win the pole position, not only at the Daytona 500, but in any NASCAR premier event. WAY TO GO!


"It's great to be a part of history with Danica being on the pole," said Four-Time Sprint Cup Champion Jeff Gordon, who joked that at least he was the fastest guy. "I think we all know how popular she is, what this will do for our sport. Congratulations to her. Proud to be on there with her."


Thursday, February 7, 2013

Super Bowl XLVII: Not Quite A Record-Setter But The NFL Will Take It

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The Baltimore Ravens thrilling 34-31 victory over the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII was a ratings juggernaut (as all Super Bowls are) but it fell a bit short of breaking the all-time record as the most-watched television event ever. According to The Nielsen Company an estimated 108.4 million viewers watched this year's Super Bowl making it the third-most watched program in U.S. television history.

Here are the 13 most viewed television programs in U.S. history:

1. Super Bowl XLVI -- 111.3 million viewers (2012) [New York Giants over New England Patriots]
2. Super Bowl XLV -- 111 million viewers (2011) [Green Bay Packers over Pittsburgh Steelers]
3. Super Bowl XLVII -- 108.4 million viewers (2013) [Ravens over 49ers]
4. Super Bowl XLIV -- 106.5 million viewers (2010) [New Orleans Saints over Indianapolis Colts]
5. M*A*S*H* series finale -- 106 million viewers (1983)
6. Super Bowl XLIII -- 98.7 million viewers (2009) [Pittsburgh Steelers over Arizona Cardinals]
7. Super Bowl XLII -- 97.5 million viewers (2008) [Giants over Patriots]
8. Super Bowl XXX -- 94.1 million viewers (1996) [Dallas Cowboys over Pittsburgh Steelers]
9. Super Bowl XLI -- 93.2 million viewers (2007) [Indianapolis Colts over Chicago Bears]
10. Cheers 100-minute finale special -- 93.1 million viewers (1993)
11. Super Bowl XX -- 93 million viewers (1986) [Chicago Bears over New England Patriots]
12. Super Bowl XL -- 91 million viewers (2006) [Pittsburgh Steelers over Seattle Seahawks]  
13. Super Bowl XXVII -- 91 million viewers (1993) [Dallas Cowboys over Buffalo Bills]

As we can see only the M*A*S*H* finale and the Cheers finale spoiled the NFL's Super Bowl ratings party.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Congratulations to Ray Lewis and the Baltimore Ravens!

SUPER BOWL XLVII: Baltimore Ravens 34 - San Francisco 49ers 31

"To me, that was one of the most amazing goal-line stands I've ever been a part of in my career" -Ray Lewis

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You couldn't have scripted it any better. Congrats Baltimore!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Nadal Arrives In Chile!

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World No. 5, yes No. 5, Rafael Nadal has arrived in Chile where he will be playing in his first tournament after a 7-month absence due to a left knee injury. The 26-year old Spaniard is keeping his comeback low-key but we all know he wants to get into form as quickly as possible so he can begin his assault on the No. 1 ranking. Read more here.

As for the 2013 season thus far, it's no surprise that World No. 1 Novak Djokovic and World No. 1 Victoria Azarenka started the season by defending their 2012 Australian Open titles. For Djokovic it was Australian Open title #4 (2008, 2011, 2012, 2013) and for Azarenka it was title #2 (2012, 2013).

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But the big story out of this year's Australian Open was the semifinal run by 19-year old American Sloane Stephens who won the biggest match of her career in the quarterfinals when she defeated World No. 2 Serena Williams. There's no doubt all eyes will be on Stephens as the season progresses. Is she the next big thing?

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Hopefully, yes, because American tennis desperately needs a new superstar.