Posted by: Nate Fain | February 15, 2010

Weekend wrap-up

What a great weekend of sports! Some great college basketball, the opening of the Winter Olympics, great golf and a Daytona 500 that was worth the wait.

The Winter Olympics

OK, we all knew that the opening ceremony wasn’t going to be as visually stimulating as Beijing, but it still put sports fans in the mood!

By the way, send Canada to America’s East Coast to grab some snow!

As for you moronic anti-poverty demonstrators: isn’t there a better way to express yourself than rioting and damaging objects? When you damage objects, you force people to spend money to replace it. The more money they spend to replace the stuff that you broke, the less cash they can send to those in need. Use your head…

I’m not sure who was in charge of the luge course that led to the fatal crash before the games opened, but I can’t help but partially blame all of those bragging that this track was the fastest in the world.

Even the man who lost his life knew this track might be a little much.

The track was too dangerous and should never have been made to be that fast. These athletes have nothing to protect them except for a helmet. This isn’t NASCAR where the athletes (yes, they’re athletes too) are protected by roll cages and carbon seats. Speaking of NASCAR…

Daytona 500

McMurray survived a late charge by Dale Jr. to win Sunday.

Yes, I watched it. Yes, it took forever. Yes, it was worth it!

I know a lot of you don’t like NASCAR or can’t come to realization that the drivers are athletes, but even if you don’t like the sport, everyone should make it a habit of at least watching the last 15 laps at Daytona.

Go ahead and talk about how these guys aren’t athletes. Just because you don’t like a sport doesn’t mean you should hate on it. I’m not a huge fan of soccer, but I respect the effort and time these guys put in every day to be the best at what they do. I also appreciate the coordination any sport takes, even bowling.

It’s unfair to compare every athlete to an NFL cornerback, wide receiver, running back or a small forward in the NBA. These guys are the best athletes in the world. There is no debating that.

However, you can’t discount a whole sport just because the performers aren’t as supreme athletes as the absolute best in the world. Baseball players aren’t athletes? You try hitting a 95 mph fastball 400+ feet. Can you throw a baseball three hundred feet on a line and make it bounce once to a catcher faster than a runner can sprint 90 feet? Didn’t think so…

When’s the last time you hit a 300+ yard drive down a fairway lined with thousands of fans, cameras and trees? Sure, you can crank one out every once in a while with the boys, but where’s the pressure there? Also, how often do you do it? No mulligans or “practice shots” on the PGA, my friend.

Look, New Circle Road is crazy. Imagine it three times the speed with cars shifting lanes more, and cars bumping you from all sides. Pretty crazy, right? Try doing it for 500 miles without crashing! Good luck…

So, no. You don’t have to be able to run a four minute mile to compete in some sports. You don’t even have to be able to bench press over 300 pounds to hit a 300 yard drive. Your vertical leap doesn’t matter when you’re driving a car or rolling a ball down a lane, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a ton of skill and effort involved.

I’m not asking people to love all sports. I’m asking them to at least respect the skill these athletes have and the work they put into being good. It sure is hard for me to take your opinion seriously when the most competitive games you’ve played in were during gym class or intramurals…

***Stepping off soap box***

Basketball (not just college!)

A few things caught my eye this weekend in the world of college basketball.

First, I don’t mean to toot my own horn…but I will! Pitt beats WVa in 3OTs! A few weeks ago I said that I wasn’t too high on WVa and I liked Pitt as a team that might not win their conference but could be on the rise.

Also, John Thompson III continually proves me right by losing to teams like Rutgers. His Hoyas are and have been one of the most highly-talented teams the past few years, but he has nothing to show for it. I’m calling you out, JT3…make me a believer!

A very good win for Louisville over Syracuse. The Cards have been underachieving all year and were looking for a signature win. I’m not too worried about the Orange. I still like them to at least make the Elite 8.

Bruce Pearl is the second-best coach in the SEC. Let the blasting begin! He’s moving in front of Billy Donovan, in my opinion. Billy D has titles, but that was then and this is now. If not for an amazing recruiting class, Billy would have never gotten those titles.

By the way, if he’s such a good coach and recruiter, then why has he seemed to have lost his touch the past three years?

Bruce Pearl has his depleted Vols playing like a top-25 team. Pearl may not be the best babysitter, but he has done an excellent job with the players he has left. A great win by the Cats thanks to John Wall and a great second half by Eric Bledsoe. If the Wildcat frontcourt doesn’t show up in Knoxville, much like they failed to do in Lexington, you can mark an “L” next to that game.

For those that weren’t at the game in Rupp, I’m proud to announce that Kentucky basketball is back. Rupp was rockin’! Also, how about 22,000 showing up for College Gameday? Unreal!

Dwayne Wade showed why he is one of the top free agents this offseason.

The NBA All-Star game did not disappoint. I was so relieved that they gave Dwayne Wade the MVP instead of Lebron James. James played well, but Wade’s numbers could not be argued with. I only wish Kobe Bryant and Chris Paul could have played!

This was one of the more competitive All-Star games I can remember. It was also filled with a lot of new stars.

Shaq, Yao, T-Mac, Allen Iverson Vincanity and Ray Allen were all missing from this year’s All-Star game. This seemed like a new generation of All-Stars.

My only gripe would be the dunk contest. DWade, King James, Dwight Howard and another player of your choice should be competing in this. I don’t understand why the stars don’t compete in this anymore!

I’m not buying the “what if I get injured?” excuse. If you were worried about getting injured, you wouldn’t be throwing alley-oops to yourself off the glass during the actual All-Star game…

Please, guys! PLEASE! Save the dunk contest.

It was an awesome weekend in sports! With the NBA trade deadline looming, it will be interesting to see who starts making moves!

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Responses

  1. Soap box? What’s a soap box?

    300 yard drive down a fairway? What’s a fairway?

    Soccer? What’s soccer? (OK, I’m kidding on that one)

    GO FAST-TURN LEFT! This was a very good Daytona 500. Almost half the field led the race at one time or another. Dale JR’s charge from 10th to 2nd on the last lap was awesome.

    College basketball is only going to get better as the last weeks of the season are upon us.

    And yes, it does take a special person to give up so much of their time and so much of their energy to excell at the sport of their choice.

  2. Daytona 500 was long this year. The poor dears had to deal with a pot hole! I agree with Earnhardt (Jr.) though, they need some resurfacing of the track if it truly has been 30 years since the last one. The girl in me was hoping Danika would do well–hate that she got involved with the huge wrek but that is racing!

    Love it that Louisville beat Syracuse. Pitt beat WV. And Bruce Pearl does not allow law breakers on his team! And as far as Kentucky Basketball being back. . .did you not get that from the Louisville game? Game Day was Awesome!

    You are correct. . .the NBA needs to save the AllStar game, dunk contest and horse. All of them about put you to sleep. Did you see PTI discuss this? They agree with you as well.

    Go Olympics! Loved the Opening Ceremony and the events so far has been awesome!!

  3. I’ve had nothing but the most patriotic songs playing on repeat in my head.

    What is it about Olympic fever that makes me scream at the TV during figure skating for this week and this week only?


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