As I sit here today, the Pittsburgh Pirates have taken 3 of 4 from the Philadelphia Phillies and currently sit tied for 2nd in the division, ½ a game behind the Cardinals. I'll let that sink in.
As for what has happened in the sports world the last week or two, the biggest news is the NFL draft last night. I didn't see this being an exciting first round, with the possibility of multiple offensive lineman taken early, and the potential for a lot of trades into the 2nd and 3rd rounds where a lot of the talent lies. I guess that came true last night. The only surprise was the Geno Smith and Manti "Catfish" Te'o fell out of the first round, and the biggest news was that Detroit Lions draft pick Ziggy Ansah wore broken 3D glasses on stage. Fashion statement?
It was announced this week that the name of the brand new College Football Playoffs would be called...the College Football Playoff. I find it rather humorous that this required a press conference and press release. How long was this name debated on? On a more serious note, I did note that the letters NCAA don't appear in the name. I'm not going to read into anything with that just yet, but it could possibly signal a changing of the guard in the football world. The first title game will be held at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, TX on January 12, 2015, with two national semifinal games on New Years Day in both the Rose Bowl and the Sugar Bowl.
The NBA playoffs have tipped off this week, and it's really no surprise that the Miami Heat are considered overwhelming favorites to repeat as champions. Over the final 41 games of the season they went a combined 39-2...just a staggering number. The Kobe-less Lakers squeaked into the playoffs on the last day, and probably shouldn't even be mentioned, but if you're looking for a good team coming out of the west, it's hard to go wrong with the Oklahoma City Thunder and their superstar Kevin Durant.
On the NHL side of things, The Blackhawks and Penguins have wrapped up the number one seeds in the playoffs this year, with the Penguins going 22-3 over their last 25 games. Sidney Crosby has been cleared to practice and will be back on the ice on Friday, in time to hopefully play a game before the playoffs start.
If you're into video games, Barry Sanders is the new cover boy for Madden 25 (it's the 25th anniversary). Personally I voted exclusively for Tim Brown, my current business partner, and on principle as a Steelers fan voted against every Patriot, Bengal, Brown, and Raven! He's been out of the league for years, but it's nice to know people still recognize how amazing Barry Sanders was when he was playing. Sanders played 10 years in the NFL, making the Pro Bowl each year. He led the league in rushing four times, and had over 1,500 yards five times, holding the NFL record. He was 30 years old when he retired and is still third all time in yards. I look back at his Junior year of college, when he was the Heisman Trophy winner and see the following numbers: 2,850 yards rushing (237.5 yards per game) and 42 touchdowns. Those literally are video game numbers.
Until next time!