Archive for the 'nascar' Category

Jimmie Johnson’s Among Greatest, Kirk Cousins Worth $$$$, UT Apparently Fires Strong

NASCAR

jimmie-johnson-2With his 7th Sprint Cup Championship, Jimmie Johnson established himself as one of the greatest drivers of all time. Johnson is now tied with the legends Dale Earnhardt Sr and Richard Petty. Johnson is only 41 years old, and in motorsports he’s considered young enough to keep going and possibly grab that 8th Title next year.

FOOTBALL

The Washington Redskins, led by QB Kirk Cousins’ 3 touchdowns, dominated the Green Bay Packers.  Cousins has been playing on a $19.95 million one year franchise tag salary instead of a longer term salary, as the team wanted to determine if he was their quarterback of the future. After a big win against the Packers, Cousins appears to be on his way to a very large guarantee in the off-season. The Packers, on the other hand, appear to be collapsing. Sunday’s meldown marked their 4th straight loss. Redskins 42, Packers 24.

In college football, the Texas Longhorns have apparently fired their coach Charlie Strong, but Strong seems to be the last to officially know. According to ESPN, reports point to Strong getting the boot, but Strong claims he hasn’t officially heard from the University. Strong has been the head coach of UT for three seasons, but the Team has had disappointing results and may not get a Bowl bid this season.

 

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Cole Hamels No Hitter, Kyle Busch Amazing, NFL Random Ball Checks

BASEBALL

Cole HamelsPhiladelphia Phillies’ star pitcher Cole Hamels had one of the best days of his career.  Hamels has always been one of the Phillies’ aces, but he has been heavily mentioned in trade talks.  So what’s the best thing to do when a team is ready to get rid of you?  How about going out and pitching a no-hitter? Yep, Hamels was marvelous on Saturday, and there were some incredible highlights in the outfield protecting his no-hitter.  In fact, the last out of the game happened when the center fielder slipped and still caught the ball.  Hamels is currently on cloud nine, and apparently the Rangers and the Dodgers are interested in his services heading into the last leg of the season.  Hamels is ready to help any team win the World Series.

NASCAR

Kyle Busch is doing amazing things on the track right now.  Even if you’re not a NASCAR fan, you have to take notice.  Busch won the Brickyard 500 on Sunday, and with the win, he became the first driver to win 3 straight Cup races since 2007.  That is pure dominance considering the level of competition out there.

FOOTBALL

In the NFL, the “Deflategate” Legacy lives on.  Ever since the Patriots intentionally reduced the air in some of their footballs in January, all teams are suspicious that their opponents will tamper with their balls.  To avoid this, the NFL announced yesterday that it will be doing random ball checks to ensure that all balls are up to code at all times.  Teams will think twice before letting out any ball air.  Seems a bit crazy, but the league can’t risk any more scandals of this nature.

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Kurt Busch Domestic Violence, Lebron Sets Another Record, Yoan Moncada Bids Skyrocketing

NASCAR

Kurt BuschStar driver Kurt Busch has been suspended by the league for a serious domestic violence charge.  He is one of the best drivers in the sport, who had a fantastic, wholesome image, but clearly we don’t know everyone’s true character.  Busch is awaiting a sentencing and will have to undergo a lot of therapy sessions. As of now, there is no timetable set for his return.

BASKETBALL

In the NBA, LeBron James set another landmark this weekend, passing Allen Iverson, and moving to #22 on the all-time scoring list.  It will be interesting to see how high LeBron can climb on this list assuming that he has at least 5 – 7 good years left in his career.  LeBron has become quite the team player at this stage of his career, and that could seriously affect how many points he scores.  He is focused primarily on winning championships, not personal stats.

BASEBALL

The game has become all about international scouting — primarily in Latin American countries.  There is a phenom named Yoan Moncada in Cuba, and teams are salivating to get their hands on him. Bids for Moncada have eclipsed $20,000,000.  According to reports, the teams most interested are the Yankees, Red Sox, and Padres.  The Padres could use a star player in their city just to draw some attention to their otherwise invisible ball club.  This guy must be truly amazing to garner so much money before ever playing a major league game.

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Kurt Busch Testifies Girlfriend Is Assassin, Jets Hire Bowles, Mike Greenberg’s Novel

NASCAR

Kurt BuschIn a completely bizarre court testimony, NASCAR driver Kurt Busch testified that his former girlfriend Patricia Driscoll is an assassin….yes, that’s right “a trained assassin dispatched on covert missions around the world”. These claims all came about in court because Driscoll wants a protective order against Busch for alleged abuse.

FOOTBALL

The New York Jets have a new coach and new GM. Arizona’s former defensive coordinator, Tom Bowles, will try and lead the dreadful 4-12 Jets into a new era.

OTHER

Mike GreenbergIf you’ve ever watched Mike and Mike on ESPN (the highest rated sports talk show in the country), you know how talented and entertaining this team is. You may also know that Mike Greenberg (Greeny) is also a great novelist. He’s come out with his second novel, “My Father’s Wives”. It’s in pre-release now and it’s gotten great reviews. I’m ordering now!

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Tony Stewart Not Guilty, Rain Delay Cost Hughes $500K, Cousins Classy Talk

NASCAR

Tony StewartTwo months ago, star NASCAR driver Tony Stewart accidentally struck and killed another driver on the course.  Stewart faced some serious legal charges.  And on Wednesday, the verdict came down.  It turns out that despite killing the driver, the judge ruled that Stewart won’t face charges.  The driver, who crashed his car, than inexplicably ran out onto the course, was accidentally struck.  It’s still a complicated issue, but the judge ruled in favor of Stewart.

BASEBALL

A rain delay cost a Minnesota Twins pitcher a lot of money.  Phil Hughes has a stipulation in his contract that if he pitches 210 innings in the season, he receives a $500,000 bonus.  He had pitched 209 and 2/3 innings, but then an hour rain delay postponed the game.  And when they came back, Hughes had been benched in favor of a reliever.  It’s hard to know if that was intentional to save the Twins money, or if the coach just thought Hughes needed relief.  Either way, it must be quite frustrating for Hughes.  Minnesota 2, Arizona 1.

FOOTBALL

Kirk CousinsFinally, in the NFL, the Redskins take on the New York Giants in Thursday night football.  The Redskins starting quarterback, Robert Griffin III, is battling an injury, and the Redskins had success with Kirk Cousins last week.  They looked like a different team. But, even with Cousins’ accomplishments, and the growing sentiment that Cousins may be the better choice for the Redskins going forward, Cousins still publicly says that this is Robert Griffin’s team.  That’s a classy move.
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Tragedy At Nascar’s Watkins Glen, McIlroy Wins PGA Again

NASCAR

In a horrific scene on Saturday evening, famed NASCAR driver Tony Stewart hit and killed Kevin Ward Jr as Ward was walking towards Stewart after a crash on the track. Ward got out of the car, crossed the track, pointed toward Stewart and got hit while doing so. It was dark that evening and Stewart apparently couldn’t see Ward.  There appears to be no criminal charges or criminal intent against Stewart and they are treating it like an on-track tragedy. Currently, the Sheriffs are asking for fans’ videos so they can get more information. Tony Stewart is cooperating in the investigation and even pulled out of Watkins Glen International on Sunday morning. He sent out a statement saying, “There aren’t words to describe the sadness I feel about the accident that took the life of Kevin Ward Jr.”.

 

GOLF

Rory McIlroyIn the PGA Championship in Valhalla, Tiger flamed out as many expected and 25 year old Rory Mcllroy took home the big trophy. He’s the first player to win three straight PGA Tour starts since Tiger Woods back in 2007.   It was an exciting finish with a head to head against Phil Mickelson and Rickie Fowler for most of the afternoon.

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Watercooler Chat: Tiger and Wrestling

Golf    tiger-woods.jpg

The biggest news of the weekend (not that we’re too surprised) was Tiger Woods winning the 13th Major Title of his career. (Golf has four professional majors.) Tiger might lose a tournament here or there just to prove his human, but he has never lost a Major when he’s been in the lead or shared the lead. This is one true sign of greatness. There are certainly other “great” golfers out there, but very few have the mental toughness of Tiger. Only Jack Nicklaus (with 18) has more Major Titles than Tiger.

Watercooler Discussion: Would you consider Tiger one of the greatest athletes of all time or just one of the greatest golfers?

 

Nascar    juan-pablo-montoya.jpg

Race car drivers and their fans are normally pretty well behaved…not like other sports (think hockey), but this weekend was a bit unusual. At Watkins Glen, NY, Juan Pablo Montoya and Kevin Harvick got into a huge fight toward the end of the race when another driver, Martin Truex Jr, hit Montoya who then hit Harvick sending both of them in a spin with 15 laps to go. Harvick thought Montoya hit him (not Truex) so he climbed out of his car and started up a fight. And then, oddly enough, a fan jumped the fence during this red flag delay and rushed over to Matt Kenseth with a hat and sharpie and asked for an autograph. By the way, Tony Stewart won the race (third win in four weeks) and is looking like he could be the one to beat when the Chase for the coveted Nextel Cup begins in five weeks. 

Watercooler Discussion: Should Drivers be fined for getting into fights during a race?

 

Football  pacman-jones.jpg

Did anyone see Pacman Jones’ wrestling debut. I saw a clip then read the story and am still confused. Pacman is suspended from his team, the Tennessee Titans, for the season for violating personal conduct rules including 6 arrests. The most recent of these arrests occurred in  February in Las Vegas where he is under indictment for coercion in a fight that caused the bouncer of the club to become paralyzed. Ok, so by all accounts, this man has some “issues”. Why then did he agree to go on a wrestling show when the Tennessee Titans got a court order prohibiting him from wrestling. Apparently he did not fight on screen but had policmen who were actors tackling him off stage.

Watercooler Discussion: Obviously the Pacman wrestling thing was some kind of publicity stunt, but is it just me or is this kind of a strange thing for someone who is already under a lot of scrutiny for being a “hoodlum”?

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Giuliani reads The Female Fan Guide to Motorsports

I opened up the New York Times this morning and had the greatest surprise. As I’m sipping my coffee and flipping through the paper, I noticed an article about former NY Mayor and Presidential Candidate, Rudolph Giuliani on his way to a Nascar race at Daytona Beach. To my COMPLETE surprise, the article mentioned my book, The Female Fan Guide to Motorsports which Giuliani said he read in preparation for the race. For the complete article, click here: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/07/09/us/politics/09rudy.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

On to the news of the weekend……

Tennis

After a tense 3 hour, 45 minute 5 set match, was there really any doubt that Roger Federer would pull out the win over Rafael Nadal? This is Federer’s 5th straight Wimbledon title, which ties the record set back in 1980 by Bjorn Borg. At only 25 years old, Federer is considered by many to be the best men’s player EVER. Even John McEnroe said on ESPN recently that he’s never seen a player like him.

Talking about best players EVER, Venus Williams won the women’s final (big surprise) for her 4th all time Wimbledon title. She beat Marion Bartoli 6-4, 61. Venus just makes this all seem so easy.

Indy Car Flare up

Scott Dixon won the Indy Car (open wheel) race at Watkins Glen Grand Prix, but that’s not what everyone was talking about this weekend. After the race, Tony Kanaan came over to “talk” to Sam Hornish Jr because he was upset that he bumped his car. Hornish Sr pushed Kanaan and then the fracas began as Kanaan’s team knocked the father over. According to Kanaan, he was only approaching Hornish Jr to talk about the race and never intended to get into a fight.

Tour de France

The biggest bike race has begun. I can’t really watch this on TV, but I do like to hear about who’s in the lead and every time I get on a bike, I completely appreciate and am marveled by the endurance of this grueling race. The Tour de France lasts 20 stages (plus the prologue which is a 4.9 mile race through downtown London) for a total of 2, 206 miles. Don’t worry if you missed the fact that the race is already underway. We won’t even crown a winner until the race ends on July 29th.

Floyd Landis, last year’s champ, is still trying to defend his 2006 title against claims that he used illegal drugs to win.

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