Sports

Idle Thoughts- A Gaggle Of Spring Sports Bits To Chew On

(Photo by Vince Bucci/Getty Images)

(Photo by Vince Bucci/Getty Images)

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I’m not one to share my opinion, but since you asked…

  • After three games, Sidney Crosby looks good.   I’m rooting for it to continue, as I have been accused of ‘hating’ on Sid & his return to the NHL.  Who wants to be right about the possible end to anybody’s career, let alone a man who many regard as the game’s best.  Make no mistake, Sid is not the best player in the hockey world, (Evgeni Malkin is) but his long-term success, post-concussion issues is far from over.  So far, Crosby has encountered little physical resistance from opponents.  That will end come playoff time, or sooner.  How he handles a hard hit remains to be seen.  On a more positive front, Crosby played over 19 minutes Tuesday vs. Winnipeg, the most in his return and he registered four assists.  He has nine points in three games.  If this is all Crosby does over the next few months, it’s hard to imagine anybody winning the Stanley Cup other than the Penguins. 
  • The buzz of college hoops will center around a gym in the Indianapolis area when the long waited rematch between Pitt & Butler happens in the CBI semi-finals tonight.  Ohhh, I can feel the excitement.  It could also be a mild stroke.  I’m praying the stroke takes me before tip-off.
  • Hines Ward made the classy move to retire as a 14-year veteran of the Pittsburgh Steelers.  It wasn’t hard to shed a tear for his retirement speech.  He held himself in great fashion and nobly stepped away from a game he so desperately wants to play, but cannot on the level it requires.  Not bad for a 3rd round pick out of Georgia where he played three positions.  That BS about Ward not being a Hall Of Fame type player is narrow and those who choose to think that way can all go light themselves on fire.  Ward should go in and it shouldn’t be more than a 5-year wait.  Rick Goesslin from the Dallas Morning News says Ward is not a HOF candidate.  I guess that makes Rick Goesslin a Jagoff for saying it then.  Of course he is.  1,000 catches.  2 Super Bowls, one SB MVP with 4 Pro Bowls and over 80 TD catches.  He redefined how WR do more than just catch a ball.  His ferocious blocking led to rules changes.  Randy Moss & Terrell Owens were deep threats.  Ward covered more ground with less yards traveled.  If anything, Ward deserves to go in before Owens.  Moss is most likely a 1st ballot or 2nd year HOF candidate when he’s retired for good.   
  • Danica Patrick is a joke and yet another reason why women’s sports is so irrelevant.  What has she ever won?  Why do we need to know her opinion?  She can’t win, yet commands so much attention.  Yet another reason to hate the corporate driven media. 
  • If Jeremy Lin wasn’t offended by the ‘Chink’ headline that a now former ESPN.com editor posted last month, why should anybody else be?  So much to the point he was fired?  For saying something that wasn’t deemed offensive by the very same person it was written to describe?  PC/Knee-Jerk crowd-1, Common sense 0.
  • Without looking at Pitt’s upcoming 2012 football schedule, I will say they finish 6-6 with an outside shot of 7 wins, mostly because they have two FCS schools on the home schedule.  
  • Is there a better hockey player on this 3rd rock from the sun other than Evgeni Malkin?  Quite simply, no.  His 5 point night vs. the Jets was brilliant.  Had then Pens not be so far ahead, perhaps an open net would have allowed the possibility of two players registering hat tricks in the same game.  No matter.  Malkin is the engine that will take this team to possibly a 5 Cup Final.   Not bad for a franchise that has been on the verge of moving twice.  This is a great time of year with the Pens doing so well.  It brings a great summer energy that kicks things off right. 
  • Does anybody care to see a CBI Championship parade through the streets of Oakland if Pitt can continue this magical run through the bracket they paid to compete in?
  • Does it bother you that Jamie Dixon really hasn’t used many off his young bench?  Instead, he goes with guys who couldn’t do enough to get into the NCAA field of 68.  What’s the purpose of getting the kids who will be here next year better if your just going to keep starting the ones who won’t?  Let them start and play a few minutes before inserting those who would really benefit from the 15+ minutes they deserve. 
  • Anybody see Tiger Woods?  Anyone at all?   If you are looking at the top of any future PGA Tour Tournament leaderboard the chances are you won’t see Tiger either.  This man’s once dominating career is over.
  • If Pitt won the CBI, and it would only cost $100,000 to pay for a parade to celebrate it, would Pitt AD Steve Pederson approve it? 
  • Can anybody see five bona-fide Major League hitters on the 2012 Pittsburgh Pirates club?  Cutch, Neil Walker and possibly Alex Pressley.  After that, name two.  Can you?  I can’t. 
  • After watching my bracket bust, I am rooting for Ohio to reach the round of 8.  I’m thinking North Carolina would prefer to advance and so the Bobacts run at the slipper will most likely come to an end.  I still think Kentucky wins it.
  • With Peyton Manning signing with Denver, the NFL is taking shape for the upcoming season.  I don’t think Peyton wanted to call Nashville home when Denver offered big city, football tradition that couldn’t be passed on.  The AFC West is usually a crapshoot.  If Manning is healthy, the Broncos are playoff bound.  I think it will be a good fit.
  • If Steve Pederson pays for a parade to celebrate a possible CBI Tounament Championship, would he later explain the reason he did it ‘was so band members returning next fall to play at games get an opportunity to practice more and be better in the fall.” 

John Phillips is the author of this article and a former secret member of the Galactic Empire.  Once paid to chase down Jedi across Kennywood’s Thunderbolt, JP now serves as a sports anchor and dabbles with hosting the occasional sports talk-show on 93.7 The Fan, Pittsburgh.  Don’t forget that you can follow JP on Twitter at www.twitter.com/937Phillips

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