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Newz Forum: OTHER: San Diego, the BCS, the NHL, David Blaine, Pedro Martinez plus more...

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posted on May, 29 2006 @ 12:24 PM
There are stories and themes that go on and on and on in sports and in life. Sometimes, we get so inured to them that we lose sight of some things within the stories that are worth mentioning. Today, I want to mention some of those things. For example, we've heard a ton of stuff about Reggie Bush and how his parents' living arrangements last year might jeopardize his eligibility. Fine, I'll let the investigation play itself out before deciding just how outrageous this situation might have been, but I can't help noticing that the house his parents were allegedly living in for free was in the San Diego area and was reportedly worth $750K. If that's correct, there's a lesson here:

You can't buy much of a house and property in greater San Diego for $750K.

People love to complain about how the BCS conferences in football prevent other schools from playing in major bowl games. There's a lot of hand wringing and emoting about equity and fairness and all that stuff. One of these days, someone will concoct an argument trying to make this a human rights issue. Next year, we'll surely hear it again; and when you do, please remember this. The NFL doesn't care about players from BCS conferences or players from the moon; they care about players they think can play football. And in the first round of the NFL draft this year, there was one - as in ONE - player taken who was not from a BCS conference. That would be running back, DeAngelo Williams, from Memphis. That's it; finito.

People like to say that the NHL playoffs produce upsets while the NBA playoffs tend to allow the cream to rise to the top. And people who are wont to point this out are having a field day this year since all four of the top seeds in the NHL Western Conference playoffs lost in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs. There’s no arguing with data, but the data do raise another interesting question:

Why should anyone care about the interminable NHL regular season when it is often rendered meaningless once the playoffs begin?

Please do not take the NHL pronouncements that a majority of teams are now operating in the black as some kind of indication that hockey is surging in popularity. NHL teams are operating in the black because they have been able to slash costs dramatically. The average TV rating for NHL regular season games on the Outdoor Life Network (soon to become 'Versus'), was 0.2. That translates to approximately165,000 households nationally; distributed evenly by states, that would be 8250 households per state. That is not an indicator of a sport on the rise.

Don't think that I cited regular season ratings to bash the NHL and ignored playoff ratings because the playoff ratings are super. They aren't. Naturally, the playoffs do attract more viewers, but the New Jersey/Carolina game last weekend pulled down a 1.1 rating on NBC and the Colorado/Anaheim game drew 0.9. Those numbers look good compared to one of the shopping channels when they are featuring do-it-yourself immolation kits, but they are down there with MLS playoff ratings and Arena Football League ratings; and that's not where you want to be if you want to pretend that 'hockey is back' and 'all is well'.

Am I the only one who has had it up to my eyebrows with David Blaine and his outrageously prolonged stunts?

Earlier this week, Greg Cote had this comment in the Miami Herald:

'The Horseshoe Pitchers Hall of Fame and Museum is set to open in Wentzville, Mo. Analysts call it proof there are way too many halls of fame/museums.'

You've got to hand it to Greg Cote here; he hit this one dead center. On a recent drive to Chicago, I passed a building that is going up in Indiana that will be the RV/Motor-Home Hall of Fame. I can't wait to go back and see the display of the Melmac cup that held the dental bridge of Joe Flabeetz in his last trip in the old Airstream when he and his wife visited Flatwillow, Montana.

There has been a lot of foofaraw about John Daly's book and much of the book focuses on his asserted gambling losses in excess of $50M. It seems to have escaped the notice of many commentators that the head of the PGA Tour has not indicated that he has any problem with any of that. Can you imagine what other sports commissioners might say/do if one of their active players - worse yet, one of their stars - wrote a book and talked about losing $50M while gambling when his earnings in the sport only amount to about $10M? Fay Vincent allegedly put Lenny Dykstra 'on probation' about 15 years ago when Dykstra was called to testify against a man accused of running an illegal poker game in Mississippi; as I recall, Dykstra’s losses amounted to about $100K at the time.

I may not always have nice things to say about Tim Fincham and the PGA; but in this case, he's got it right. Daly is one of the five most popular golfers on the tour and people already knew he had problems with alcohol and anger management and that he had been married four times and his wife is now in prison after a conviction for money laundering and etc and etc. Fincham realizes that mention of the word 'gambling' in association with 'Daly' is not going to ruin the PGA Tour; so he's doing the best thing he can; he's keeping his mouth shut. Fay Vincent still hasn't learned how to do that.

By the way, is it possible that golf fans don't care about Daly's gambling habits because golfers always gamble on their games? Is it possible that one of the attractions for the game of golf is the persistent - even sanctioned - atmosphere of wagering on the outcome of the game?

Here's a public service announcement. Today is National Limerick Day. I'm not making that up. I suspect there will be celebrations of this event in lots of places but I do hope that there is no celebration in Nantucket...

Finally, someone asked Pedro Martinez what kind of woman would marry an umpire. Thankfully, Pedro dismissed the question with an answer that didn't allow for any follow-up:

'I don't know. I've never been a woman.'

But don't get me wrong, I love sports... ... ...


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