Ok Firstly let me get this one done with... Roger Clemens may or may not have used steroids, and then may or may not have lied about it.... who cares?
I mean seriously, the only ones who should are Roger Clemens and Brian McNamee because one of them is getting a perjury charge eventually... News outlets are busy wasting time drowning us with it that I barely even put any sports TV on these days, plus lets add in some BS "Greatest Highlight" thing plus Nascar NOW is back but lacks content when if it were an all-inclusive motorsports show it'd have a ton to report... thats my little rant, but here are some things that are taking us into the weekend starting with what should be the #1 story in sports right now:
1. Richard Zednik has been upgraded to "good" condition. For those of you who are unfamiliar, NHL player (Zednik) was seriously hurt in a freak accident 2 nights ago when his teammate Olli Jokkinen was upended and his skate hit Zednik in the neck cutting him badly, cutting an artery, he was rushed to the hospital and underwent emergency surgery... fortunately he has now been moved out of intensive care, and doctors are even speculating that they may be able to discharge him in 48 hours.
2. American Open-Wheel merger or not? If merger articles were ninja stars, I could probably be pretty deadly with all of these things. Unfortunately I have no "my guy" "my source" in racing unless its the IMPBA, if this were USM sports I've got a guy that knows everything there, but unfortunately I'm stuck to reports of all kinds but none with concrete announcements, and its become very apparent that the teams know nothing as well, and that strikes me as very dangerous.
What do we know?, IRL officials went to Japan to talk about possibly moving and they came back and said nothing to anyone; CHAMP Car officials deny everything though many outlets report they may be going bankrupt and even one of its own teams thinks so, then reports yesterday that Kevin Kalkhoven (one of the main 2 owners of CCWC, yes I realize there 4 in all) has packed up and left the building and taking parts of the operation with him, reports of Dallara chassis being delivered to CCWS teams various team leaving reports, a its fun to see all the news going around, and I'm starting to think this is the real definition of Silly Season... so what's happening on the IRL side... Tony George is saying nothing, either he knows a deal is done or he's done trying.. either way he's gone off to Great Britian for the weekend for...
3. Scott Dixon's wedding to Emma Davies. Just wanted to say congratulations to IRL driver and 2003 champion Dixon and his finance Emma. Being just a year younger than Scott and now newly married, I can say its the best thing to happen to me and judging from all the photos you see of he and Emma, they not only look genuinely happy but I'm sure this is the best thing that has happened to them. I've always stated I'm a fan of all drivers, but I have to admit if you've ever gotten the chance to meet or see him talk or react to anything on camera he's a guy that makes it so easy to be a fan of.
(on a side note about age, life's getting to that interesting stage where the people in sports are the people my age... in High School we lost twice to the young Eli Manning, some guys my brother and I know are making their way into and even out of baseball and football)
4. Danica Patrick in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue.
Unfortunately while this was done so well and classy, it comes off the heels of of that stupid GoDaddy ad. Everything is in the eye of the beholder, and while some think that she is the next Anna Kornikova; I think they should look at her race track record, people want to quantify by wins, but thats hardly a stat to judge anyone on; just ask Dan Marino, or maybe Andy Roddick is a better comparison.
5. In a bit of concrete Indy Racing League news. Scott Sharp has been found in breach of contract by the judge over the double lawsuits of Scott Sharp vs. Rahal Letterman Racing. Now it doesn't mean he's actually lost yet, but it means the judge is throwing out Sharp's counter-lawsuit against RLR. RLR's breach of contract lawsuit can now go to a jury, meaning Scott will either at this point have to settle or go to court to find out just how liable a jury will find him.
6. ESPN is stupid. Theres tons of news in hockey, NASCAR, Indycars, basketball, college sports yet its like as soon as football is over they lose their f'n minds. I just cannot honestly believe someone thought this greatest highlight thing was a good idea, sure I imagine its cheaper that paying reports to do pieces on those things I mentioned above but it just seems like over time ESPN is losing touch with actually COVERING sports and just inflating the NFLs ego more and more...done rant
7. NBA All-Star weekend is upon us. and the story you need to know about is Rudy Gay and the slam dunk contest. Why? People have said over time that it gets old and we need something new, well THIS is the something new and great. Rudy Gay has made a call to the world to post videos on You Tube of their best dunks and he's going to do the best ones in the slam dunk contest for his dunks! Now thats awesome.
8. NASCAR engine problems. this will be forgotten about if it goes away but it seems very eerie that Hendrick has replaced all its engines after 3 of them blew out all within minutes of each other and a bunch of Toyotas have had similar problems... (apparently a bad coating on a lift rod is the problem)
9. Which means all those guys need to start at the back of today's Gatorade Duels... what does that mean... honestly nothing; the Duels have historically been one of the more confusing setups in motorsports. Why even run qualifying times, what does it all mean... Dale Jarret needs to root for Kurt Busch so that it'll give him a chance to get into the Daytona 500 and even though Carpentier was a top half qualifier in speed he may still not make the race.. the madness the madness!!! Still if you are off, someone can explain it to you if you watch them on TV I'm sure.
10. Which of course brings us to the 50th running of the Daytona 500 this weekend. If you need a reason to watch here it is. for all motorsports fans, its opening day. the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona is like that Thursday opening NFL game or the MLB opening night games or the ones in Japan, but the Daytona 500 is like Major League Baseball's opening day, or that first Sunday in the NFL or that first real Saturday in college football, just being a fan of racing is reason to watch, its the BIG start of race season.
11. Upcoming is of course March Madness, and if you are like me, its conference tournament time that you start to pay attention as the brackets get set for easily THE best playoff in sports. Why? because 65 teams get an equal shot, and there are no second chances or a best of 7. here you guys go, win and move on, you get 1 shot. The big note going in, Memphis is still undefeated, and unlike the Memphis of past seasons, they've got a schedule to better back up their clout going into March this year.
12. NCAA baseball starts next week. I'll leave the preview for next week but they've finally gotten one thing done that should have always been done (and should be done for football) An official opening day (Feb. 22nd). It doesn't matter where you see a game, the pings of the bats officially start on the same Friday.
13. For those of you who have never been, I highly recommend a college baseball game; some might argue about hating aluminum bats, but its no more a matter than arguing the different chassis styles & engines in various auto racing; no matter what kind, its still racing, and this is still baseball. If you can just appreciate the different variations of sports, college baseball is one not to miss. Guys coming up, cheap tickets and cheaper concession prices than MLB, not a bunch of nonsense on the PA system throughout the games, and genuine talent and also developing talent on the field; and like college basketball a true playoff system at the end of the season with plenty games for comebacks and time to get going...
I recommend one thing for everyone to try this year, a road trip to any or between venues. My friends and I started taking trips between MLB baseball stadiums, and last year threw in Kentucky Speedway and the Ford Museum in it and there is nothing better. This year we're going college with Alex Box Stadium (LSU), Privateer Park (Univ. of New Orleans), Turchin Stadium (Tulane), Pete Taylor Park (Southern Miss); and maybe a second trip somewhere for a race. Either way if you can spare even 1 race, or 1 game; get out, you might see more on TV but nothing beats the sound of engines or the sound of "Put me in Coach" during pre-game baseball, the endurance of a soccer game and the experience of being there at least once no matter where IT is.
My goal is to hit as many stadiums, tracks, theaters, venues as possible for all things in life but no doubt sports is the best; I'm young yet, but check my progress, its a heck of a start, start your own map.