1. Quick Hits
- NBA Playoffs: Denver staved off elimination, but still trails Golden State three games to two. Memphis leads the Clippers 3-2.
- The Stanley Cup champion L.A. Kings opened the playoffs with a 2-1 overtime loss to St. Louis. Chicago and Anaheim came up winners on opening night.
- Whose fault was it that Geno Smith fell to the second round of the NFL draft? Of course it was his agents. So Smith fired them.
- The National League Least. Of the five teams, only Atlanta has a winning record. Even the heavily favored Washington Nationals are under .500. And in the NL Central, only the Cubbies (of course) have a losing record.
2. Bottom Line
Why am I not surprised? A top Los Angeles public relations man says that Jason Collins, who came out on Tuesday, might be more attractive to teams that play in gay-friendly cities. Howard Bragman told the New York Daily News, "If you are the general manager of the Golden Warriors, you are thinking 'We can sell a lot of jerseys if we sign this guy.'" OK, I'm not naive. I know that a part of Branch Rickey probably thought he could sell more tickets to minorities if he signed Jackie Robinson, but for at least five minutes, can't we celebrate a courageous decision on the part of a gay athlete without reducing it to crass commercialism?
3. Rule Book
I mentioned during the Masters how there was no one who is a bigger stickler when it comes to the rules of golf than Greg Norman. How he disqualified himself from a golf tournament because of a wrong serial number on his golf ball. Now he has ripped golf for its lax drug testing. He calls it a disgrace that golf doesn't use blood tests. He said "Any sportsman or sportswoman who uses an outside agency to improve their skills is cheating. It sickens me. They're putting a black eye on their sport. Look what Lance Armstrong has done to cycling." This on the heels of the PGA Tour saying that Vijay Singh would not be sanctioned for admitting he used the banned substance deer antler spray. If I'm the PGA, I would pay attention to what Norman has to say.
4. Politically Incorrect
A Washington D.C. Councilman wants to introduce a resolution to change the name of the Washington Redskins to possibly Washington Redtails. Redtails was a nickname given to the Tuskegee Airmen. All well and good. But without offending Native Americans, I know that calling a Native American "Red skinned" is wrong, but continuing to call the Washington Redskins by their known name is probably OK. I thought St. John's University was wrong to change its nickname from Redmen to Red Storm. But that's just my opinion.
5. Life of Pie
Yesterday I mentioned the "game of the night" was Oakland's six and a half hour 19 inning win over the Angels on Brandon Moss' second homer of the game. Well, the newish thing in baseball is "giving a pie" to the hero on the post game interview. This might have been a first. Moss pied himself. Soupy Sales would have been proud.
Happy Birthday: Denver Broncos (doesn't that sound odd?) wide receiver Wes Welker. 32.
Bonus Birthday: Country singer and son of Tug, Tim McGraw. 46.
Today in Sports: The great Citation, with the equally great Eddie Arcaro aboard, wins the Kentucky Derby. They went on to win the Triple Crown, the only one of course for Citation, but the second for Arcaro. 1948.
Bonus Event: Now we finally have a prop for King Kong. The Empire State Building is dedicated. 1931.
To sign up for Len's free daily Top 5 email click here.