Tiger, Trojans, and Other Idle Thoughts

(published June 9, 2011)

Random musings from the sports cornucopia:

If you’re looking for a good example of cognitive dissonance, consider the Bostonians who risked heat stroke yesterday by taking public transportation to a hockey game.

I don’t think I’d want Carlos Zambrano as my teammate, but he certainly knows a major-league team when he doesn’t see one.

With USC stripped of its BCS championship for 2004, can’t the NCAA bring the players from that year’s Oklahoma (lost to USC in the Orange Bowl) and Auburn (finished unbeaten) teams together to play for the title?  Surely there are boosters who’ll pony up for equipment and parole.

Do you really think you’re going to get an honest answer when you ask LeBron James – or any man – about shrinking?

The Miami Heat could sure use Mariano Rivera.

But the idea that Miami’s celebration triggered the Dallas comeback in Game 2 is silly.  It’s the NBA Finals.  If you need more motivation than that, you’re in the wrong business.

Forget about DiMaggio’s streak and Cy Young’s victories and Wilt Chamberlain’s 50.4 points per game.  The sports record least likely to be broken?  Li Na: shortest autograph.

Golfer Brandt Jobe picked up a check for $545,600 by finishing second in the Memorial Tournament last week.  Pretty impressive, considering that four years ago, he was picking up pieces of his left thumb and index finger from his garage floor after a freak accident.  On Monday, he shot 62-70 to qualify for the U.S. Open next week at Congressional Country Club.

Tiger Woods won’t be there.  He may well miss the British Open, too.  His body is telling him he’s pushed it about as far as he can.  There’s no reason to believe we’ll ever see the dominant Tiger Woods again.  It’s the most remarkably precipitous fall for a champion since Bobby Fischer.

Why does Rafa Nadal bite his trophies?

The Bruins came home trailing Vancouver two games to none, and in the next 120 minutes outscored the Canucks 12-1.  Vancouver goalie Roberto Luongo was lifted from the fourth game in an effort to preserve what’s left of his confidence.  The two vital traits for a goaltender are quick reflexes and a short memory.

How strange is it that the same action in hockey is a minor penalty if it doesn’t draw blood, but a major if it does?  NHL teams should hire Chuck Wepner to teach ‘em his secret.

Good thing I held off on writing that obituary for Albert Pujols’s bat.

Run scoring is down in baseball, to its lowest level per game since 1992.  This means… probably nothing.   It was an unusually cold April and May in much of the country.  Warm weather favors hitters.  It will be interesting to compare the stats for June, July, and August of this year to those of years past.

The Twins are 11 ½ games out of first place, and have given up 71 more runs than they’ve scored.  They’ve also completed half of their road schedule – forty games – while playing just 21 at Target Field.  This last fact makes me think they may not quite be finished for the season.

Sadly for Kansas City fans (how many times has that phrase been written in the past twenty years?), the Royals’ record so far has been inflated by the opposite effect.  They’ve played 40 games (20-20) at home already and just 22 (6-16) on the road.

Congressman, I know everyone said for years that Brett Favre could be elected governor, but that’s no reason to take him as your texting role model.




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