Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Randomness while growing my playoff beard

- April is the best sports month of the year because it seems like every sport has a major event going on. Baseball begins, the NBA and NHL start playoffs, the Final Four takes place in the month, the NFL Draft is this month and this is the month when golf matters as the Masters takes place
- I love the Masters because there is a drama that you don't see in any other golf tournament. If you look at the other majors, the US Open is always too tough that it's about making pars, the British Open is too effected by weather and the PGA Championship is the clear No. 4. The Masters is the best major because of the setting at Augusta and the fact that the players have more control of how they play than most events. You can score low at Augusta or play awful, whereas most US and British Opens you can be +3 and still be alive on Sunday. You try to survive those Opens; you can't survive Augusta, you win the green jacket.
-Now that its said, last Sunday's final round was the best day of golf I've watched in my life. It was 5 and half hours of drama that left you feeling satisfied. Tiger and Phil were playing who can top whom and for once in his career, Phil outplayed Tiger. We have waited all these years to see if Phil can play with Tiger and do well when it counts, and he did. The second shot from the 7th rough that Mickelson stuck close to the pin was one of the best ever. The galleries at Augusta entirely followed Tiger and Phil while the leaders had almost no one around. Unfortunately, we were robbed out of perhaps the best final round in Masters history when both men ran out of gas and Phil made some dumb decisions, such as going with the 9 iron at 12 and hitting the water and overthinking his 5 foot eagle after Tiger missed his. As for Tiger, he didn't putt Tiger-like as putts he always makes he missed on Sunday.
- It almost was ruined until Kenny Perry bogeyed his last 2 holes setting up a three-man playoff with Angel Cabrera and Chad Campbell. I was surprised Cabrera made it as it seemed he had nothing going up until the 13th hole. Meanwhile, Perry seemed to wrap it up on 16 when he birdied, but he came back and we had the playoff. It almost seemed like all three men put themselves in big trouble and nearly all made a great shot to save par. Cabrera hit a tree from the brush and ended up on the fairway, then hit it within 6 feet. Perry chipped it 2 inches from the cup to save par, while Campbell got out of the sand to about 4 feet, but missed his putt and was out. Then on 10, Perry's second shot was back and left and Cabrera hit the green and won. Great drama and saved the tournament as the best in the 00s.
- Unfortunately, The Cycle was not able to gain access to either CitiField or the new Yankee Stadium for the openers. But to my faithful readers, who I hope are still faithful after my week off, I will try to get to both ballparks and give my review.
- It seems like this season of 24 has found a way to go from solved threats to new villians more often than I can remember. Of course, it's been two years since the show has been on. All I know is it's good to have Elisha Cuthbert back in my life without the phrase "sloppy seconds" attached.
- NFL schedules were released today and apparently this is big news seeing as ESPN must devote 3 hours on it. I understand the NFL network trying to make this a big deal, they have to fill programming, but I refused to watch ESPN's coverage out of principle.
- Of course, I had to take a look at the schedule. The Giants have a 3 game road trip after opening with Washington at home which isn't tough aside from the first game at Jerry Jones new palace. After that, the schedule gets easier as they get Dallas and Philly at home late and end with Carolina and at Minnesota just like last year. The Jets have the easiest schedule in the AFC East as they get to avoid Buffalo and play the Bills in Toronto and they close out Giants Stadium playing the Bengals. By the way, shame on you NFL for having the Jets close out Giants Stadium, this is named for the Giants and it's their stadium. They better have the Giants open the new stadium next year. Week 11 looks good as the Giants host Matty Ice and the Falcons, Dallas hosts Washington and the Jets go to New England.
- It's great that the Padres, Mariners and Orioles have had good starts; let's not get carried away. It's not football.
- Sad week in baseball, RIP Nick Adenhart, Harry Kalas and Mark Fidrych
- As we close another NBA season, I just want one thing: for once, I want the Knicks in the bottom 3. Please, just once let me get to the commercial of the NBA Draft Lottery with the Knicks not off the board.
Before the puck drops in Washington and Pittsburgh, I will have my Stanley Cup preview.
UPDATED 11:23 AM: I forgot to make mention of Oscar De La Hoya's retirement and as a boxing fan, I know that Oscar was overrated based only on the amount of attention he got. He was the face of his sport since Mike Tyson tattooed that face. From 1992-1999, he was in the conversation as best pound-for-pound fighter in the world along with Roy Jones Jr. Then he fought Tito Trinidad, led for much of the fight and decided to keep away for the last few rounds, which cost him the fight. He never was the same as the next year he lost the first of two to Sugar Shane Mosley. He still had good fights, particularly his win over Fernando Vargas, but by the end, he was fighting off his name when he stepped in against Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao. So where is his place in history? He will be remembered as the most memorable and polarizing figure in boxing for his era, in an A-Rod sort of way. Very good fighter, but never beat the best of his weight during his or their primes.

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