random sports thoughts

Last night, watching the Women’s World Cup of Cricket, England vs. Sri Lanka, I was amazed at how loud the women shriek after alleged outs. Yeah, I watch cricket. It took me a few months but finally am understanding more of the notation involved (run rate, strike rate, and their take on batting average).   I don’t have too  much emotionally invested in the sport to root for one country or a player or anything. I would like to know how teams figure out their lineup and how to plan their strategy.   Admittedly the T20 matches are addictive…120 bowls a side, highest runs before 10 wickets wins. Definitely not like The Tests (and I believe the World Cup as well) with at least 60 overs (360 bowls); these are matters of endurance. T20 is great for 3-4 hours.

Despite my living in Philly 2 years, I never liked Angelo Cataldi & The Morning Team’s morning show, and definitely not the Wing Bowl. Such crass, tasteless humor, and a real waste of livestock. Granted, by the dictionary definition, competitive eating IS a sport. But why should it be turned into a spectator sport? I find it disgusting, never mind that I’m generally turned off by watching someone eat.

Caleb Moore’s passing shocked me and I’m not easily shocked. I’m incensed that ESPN had to show that crash multiple times. He died trying a crazy X-Games trick on a snowmobile twice his weight.   It’s one thing to ride motorbike or race speedboats. Dirt and water probably can cushion one’s fall enough. But give me the death/serious injury rate of athletes in those sports compared to participants in X-Games competitors all told.  To be fair, limit it to snowmobile trick riders.   I say, ban those machines.  Can it be safer? Sure it can be safer. What does ESPN have to lose? A small percentage of their audience?   As mentioned on Twitter, I compared this incident to drivers in autoracing in your classic oval race doing high-speed turns on high-degree banking (Daytona, Talladega, et al.) racing over oil and water, for kicks.  That’s the rough equivalent, and I don’t like it.  I don’t watch NASCAR for crashes. Hopefully ESPN will not encourage those who have precious little experience on a snowmobile to take part.  One other competitor reportedly had as little as 4 hours on one.  Why not take the cue from NASCAR and have a thorough testing practice? A driver’s test at least? Maybe some sort of tether to stay on the bike, regardless of the exoticness of the trick?

The Big Noise, Yahoo!Sports‘s Brad Evans reports this Super Bowl prop bet on Twitter   “Longest SB Nat’l Anthem past 10 years was Jennifer Hudson’s which clocked in at 2:10. Keyes’ O/U currently 2:12. Stack cash on UNDER. #SB47 ”
Now THAT is one you can take to the virtual bank.

Fox Sports Radio weekend host Ben Maller (a must listen for his own brand of humor and gaming in the sports idiom) shares this bit of news on his Twitter feed: “Proposed law: Texas and Texas A&M would lose scholarships if they refuse to renew their “sacred” annual football game.”
Kidding, right? There’s no reason to tie in scholarships into rivalries.  There are 300+ colleges at the Division 1 level. And they all play 11-12 games a year. Rivalries are held sacred mostly by the fans. If x amount of games have to be locked up into these rivalries, 1 or 2 a year, that’s one thing. But, why must a school lose the huge incentive in having scholarships for the sake of keeping a rivalry game scheduled?  I can respect tradition as much as I can. But I also recognize that some must change with the prevailing economic winds along with conference realignment. Is it too much for a rivalry to be put on hold for a year or 2? Maybe a cooling off period to allow both schools to get that extra high school prospect and set up a rivalry worth chomping at the bit for? It could be treated like other events, such as the Olympics, or World Cup of football soccer.  There’s too many other teams out there for one college team to match up against; for teams like TX and TX A&M there are a multitude of others especially right inside the Lone Star State.  I don’t proclaim to know how scheduling works in college football, but there should be an automatic way of settling these, like there is in the NFL.

I’m resisting the temptation to look at past performances for tomorrow’s series of Kentucky Derby preps. I’m saving my brain for next week’s Kentucky Derby futures pool. First of 3 pools, this is an ideal way to make some $. I predicted the winner of the 2011 race in Pool 3, and last year out of Pool 2.   Frankly, I’m still smarting over the tough 2 days I had in the Breeders Cup handicapping experience.  I just took a clean break from watching and handicapping.  Right now, I’m wondering just how I’ll approach wagering.  My main approach was to track trends over the last 5-8 racecards to see what might happen the day of.  I will post my thoughts on the first pool once that field is about set. Wagering begins 2/8 at noon ET.

Worth watching tonight, if you need your beisbol fix, is the Caribbean Series  on ESPN.

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