For a lot of us, tonight is like Christmas, your birthday and finding your Dad’s stash of Swank Magazines when you were 12 all rolled into one: college football starts tonight. And unlike most opening week mismatches, tonight’s marquee match-up should be a doozy, with Pac-10 dark horse Oregon braving possible blindness from the Smurf Turf and the color-coordinated fans to America’s underdog, the Boise State Broncos (current listed as a 3.5-point favorite).
But this isn’t just a compelling game between two Top 25 teams with big aspirations. No, these two teams (in my best Jim Ross drawl) Just Plain Don’t Like Each Other, especially after last season’s win by Boise State that featured two Broncos getting ejected and Oregon QB Jeremiah Masoli getting KOed by a cheap shot while attempting his first pass of the game. Here’s some video if you want to judge for yourself:
Jenn Sterger’s plans for world domination are proceeding smoothly, according to her. Over the weekend she attended an Indianapolis 500 party where she promoted a new sports drink, before that taking time to brag on an Indianapolis radio show about her proficiency with Twitter.
But if that’s all you paid attention to, you missed the schadenfreude-tastic day of Brazilian driver Vitor Meira, seen above playing with fire before his race-ending crash. Unfortunately for poor Vitor, being set on fire was just the beginning of his troubles. Thanks to JALOPNIK, we’ve got video documentation of Meira’s terrible, horribly, no-good, very bad day after the jump.
Danica Patrick turned in the best finish in the history of the race by someone wearing a bra (except of course for AJ Foyt). She did it in part because she was able to avoid a multitude of crashes, including the likes of Tony Kanaan, Marco Andretti, Graham Rahal and a most gnarly episode involving Brazilians Vitor Meira and Raphael Matos on lap 173. Read more…
I like the Indianapolis 500 because it’s a lot like life: One minute you’re on top, and the next you’re hurtling into the wall, missing certain critical parts. Also there’s lots of beer. Your leader as of this moment is Scott Dixon of New Zealand, who won the race from the pole position last season. Wait, here comes Helio Castroneves!
Update: Your winner is Castroneves, who won his third Indy 500 five weeks after being acquitted of tax evasion charges. As CBS Sportsline said, what a country.
If anyone was going to step up and hit the game-winning shot in a must win game for the Boston Celtics, of course if was going to be Glen “Big Baby” Davis, right? I mean, just look at the guy’s track record. It’s…OK, basically it’s him getting screamed at by Kevin Garnett on the sidelines and crying into his towel. So what I mean to say is that there is no possible way that Glen Davis hits the biggest shot of the season for the Boston Celtics.
But there he was, with the clock running down on Sunday night against Orlando and the Celtics trailing by one, draining a 21-footer after the Magic had swarmed Paul Pierceto give Boston the 95-94 victory to tie their Eastern Conference semifinal series at 2-2. And there he was charging down the court like he was chasing down the ice cream truck as it took off down the street, taking out some helpless kid on the sidelines in the process. Make sure you keep an eye on the kid’s friend shooting daggers at Davis:
Yeah, kid, I’m sure you could have taken him down if he just wouldn’t have run away so fast. But back to the shot: it’s not that the shot was too uncommon for Davis to hit - he does have that kind of range from the outside. But to hit that shot in that situation is just uncanny. Almost as uncanny as Paul Pierce having the guts to pass to him and let him take the shot with the Celtics’ season basically on the line. Can you imagine Kobe Bryant passing the ball to Andrew Bynum in the same situation?
Meanwhile, remember how the Rockets’ season was supposed to be doomed when Tracy McGrady went out for the season? That didn’t happen, as Houston won a playoff series for the first time in 47 years (approximately) before giving the Lakers all they could handle in their Western Conference semifinal series. But the news that Yao “Bamboo Bone” Ming would miss the rest of the playoffs with a broken foot suffered in Game 3 was surely the end of their run.
Then what in the world were the Lakers doing trailing by as many as 29 points to a team starting a 6-foot-6 center (Chuck Hayes) before falling 99-87 to have their series evened up at 2-2? For one thing, the Lakers had no answer for Chris Rock Aaron Brooks, as the diminutive guard ripped Los Angeles for 34 points, while the combination of Ron Artest and Luis Scola held Kobe Bryant to just 15 points.
As Phil Jackson predicted, it may have just been a case of a team playing full of emotion after having their backs to the wall; and yes, the Lakers did still regain home court advantage during the two games in Houston. But watching the Lakers and comparing them to the molten hot ball of basketball destruction that is the Denver Nuggets right now, perhaps that Cavaliers vs. Lakers NBA Finals isn’t as much of a sure thing as we previously thought.
Meanwhile, in those “other” playoffs, the Bruins followed the lead of their basketball brethren from Boston, although their prospects are still far more bleak. Despite their 4-0 win over the Carolina Hurricanes, Boston still trails 3-2 and needs to win at Carolina in Game 6 (where the Hurricanes have lost just once this postseason) in order to extend things to a Game 7. And in the Western Conference, the Red Wings pushed the Ducks to the brink with a decisive 4-1 victory to take a 3-2 series lead.
While the Celtics and Bruins were in their playoff battle, the Red Sox were simply beating the Rays 4-3. But how could one fan celebrate everything that was going on in the Boston sports world on Sunday? BUGS AND CRANKS found one fan who had the perfect answer: a Celtics jersey pulled over a Bruins jersey, topped with a Red Sox cap:
Just to finish our Boston sports orgy: are you ready for a reality show starring Troy O’Leary as the baseball version of Simon Cowell? The BOSTON GLOBE says O’Leary hopes you are, as he’s developing a new TV show called “Play Big or Go Home” that is trying to find baseball diamonds in the rough. My choice for the Paula Abdul spot at the judges’ table? The San Diego Chicken.
England national team soccer star Ledley King was arrested over the weekend after allegedly assaulting a bouncer at a London nightclub and insulting his Pakistani heritage. THE SUN says that King got to sleep it off in the drunk tank, literally, as he passed out in the stony lonesome for five hours.
While that was happening, the TELEGRAPH says that Manchester United was throttling Manchester City 2-0 to put a stranglehold on the English Premier League title with two games remaining. But mercurial United star Cristiano Ronaldo found something to mope about, throwing a fit after being removed by Sir Alex Ferguson just short of an hour into the match:
NASCAR’s head of drug testing isn’t exactly buying Jeremy Mayfield’s claim that a reaction to an allergy medication led to his positive drug test, telling USA TODAY that “in my many years of experience, I have never seen a violation like this due to the combination of over-the-counter or prescription products.” But maybe he was trying to get pregnant?
With college athletes getting in trouble about Facebook postings on a seemingly daily basis, you would think that universities would avoid social networking sites like the plague. But the IDAHO STATESMAN says that Boise State is embracing the concept in a big way, complete with Facebook pages, YouTube channels and more. (h/t to THE WIZ OF ODDS)
I’m neither an economist, nor a safety expert. But I can think of at least one reason why it might not be the smartest idea for Indy Racing League to deal with the recession by cutting back on practice time for the Indianapolis 500. No matter how much money it’ll save, it’s probably good that the drivers get some time getting used to driving at 225 mph before throwing 33 of them on the track at the same time.
Two practice days will be cut from the Indy 500 preparations, along with all the other races in the IndyCar Series, as an attempt to save money. “It’s clearly a response to the economic times we’re facing,” league spokesman John Griffin said. He did not say how much it’ll cost to settle the lawsuit from injured drivers who didn’t get enough practice time.
While the hype involving Danica Patrick has reached a fever pitch for today’s Indy 500, it’s worth mentioning that there’s another female driver on the other side of the spectrum.
While Patrick is almost drowning in publicity and endorsements, Sarah Fisher, who started 22nd, is running her own team on a shoestring budget, and almost didn’t have a sponsor for the today’s race. Read more…