The 2013 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament continues to surprise. Ole Miss, LaSalle and Harvard all pulled off huge upsets in the evidently mis-seeded West region, but the Ole Miss Rebels’ rebellion is over. 13 seed La Salle hung on for a two point win over 12 seed Ole Miss, and advances to the Sweet 16. Also in the West region, 9 seed Wichita State upended #1 Gonzaga, and takes on La Salle, with the 2 seed Ohio State and #6 Arizona also in Sweet 16 action Thursday, March 28. With an average remaining seed of 7.5 for those 4 teams, this is easily the region that saw the most upsets, and could still provide a shocker. But the Arizona – Ohio State early game Thursday looks like an instant classic.
The Professional Golf Association (PGA) tour is often all about streaks. When a player can’t seem to get out of the rough or keep his ball in the fairway during one tournament, that poor play often spirals into a three or four tournament stretch where he cannot do anything right. Fortunately for the hot PGA pro, the opposite can also be the case. One good tournament builds confidence, and suddenly that players drivers, irons and putter seem to have laser-guided accuracy. That having been said, there are a few players heading into this year’s Masters at Augusta who are definitely riding a hot hand.
March Madness is here, and it is more maddening than ever before. Top teams are losing, the Top 20 has seen more movement than a five gallon drum of Ex-Lax, and many weak teams are looking strong going into the March 21 kickoff of this annual basketball tourney. And recent research from job outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas found that the men’s college basketball tournament will cost $134 million in lost employee productivity in just the first two days of the tourney.
NASCAR executives could not be happier with the way the season has started this year. Five-time Sprint cup champion Jimmie Johnson won the Daytona 500 to start the year, and Carl Edwards put an end to a 70 race winless streak by winning the Subway Fresh Fit 500 this past Sunday. Jimmie Johnson challenged for the win last week, and finds himself atop the Sprint Cup points standings in the early season. Fan favorite Dale Junior is second in the points standings, tied with last season’s champion Brad Keselowski. If it seems like everything is as it should be in the 2013 season with the brand new Gen 6 cars, get ready for an exciting shakedown.
Danica Patrick took the Daytona 500 pole, Jimmy “5 Time” Johnson won on a racetrack that generally hates him, and the DRIVE4COPD 300 Nationwide Series kickoff sent an engine into the stands. That is how the historic opening week of NASCAR 2013 went into the record books. Running in her first full season this year, just about everything that Danica Patrick does will mark history. She was the first female driver ever to win the pole for the Daytona 500, and finished a very respectable eighth on the day, another record as the highest finish for a female driver in Daytona 500 history.
First presented in 1929, the Academy Awards were officially re-branded The Oscars just this month. The annual awards are given in several categories for cinematic achievements of the previous year, and are a major highlight in the entertainment industry. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) is a professional honorary organization of over 5,000 members whose votes decide the winners of different film production disciplines and different branches of movie and film achievement. Primarily composed of working actors, AMPAS annually has a very difficult task ahead of them in choosing the best actor, best actress, best director and other important film achievements from the previous year.
NASCAR’s Sprint Cup is the big daddy of all the racing series held every year. And they do something a little different than other major sports. Baseball, basketball and football build up for a season ending finale with their biggest event. But in NASCAR, the Daytona 500 starts the entire season off with the biggest race of the entire year. Held annually at the Daytona International Speedway in beautiful Daytona, Florida, this single race can change a virtual unknown into a household name. No single race anywhere on the globe has the ability to totally change some driver’s life quite like the Great American Race.
As the top racing series of the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR), the Sprint Cup or Cup Series is named for its current sponsor, Sprint Nextel. And the champion at the end of 2013 will be the driver who outlasts his (or her in the case of Danica Patrick) competitors through a grueling 36 races. Sprint Cup pit crews are tasked with tweaking every bit of horsepower and fuel conservation out of their driver’s car each week, making changes as the Sprint Cup moves back and forth between flat tracks and restrictor plate tracks, road course tracks, short tracks and intermediate tracks.
Technically, the Daytona 500 is just another of the 36 Sprint Cup 500 mile stock car races, this one held in February at the Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida. But that is like saying Brad Keselowski had an “okay” year in 2012, or that Jimmie Johnson is a “pretty good” driver. The Great American Race every year is guaranteed to have at least one massive, multi-car collision which helps dictate the winner, as well as bumper tapping, paint trading excitement.
Randy Moss proclaims himself the greatest NFL wide receiver of all time. Sports Illustrated claims that Baltimore linebacker Ray Lewis huffed an illegal deer antler spray to enhance his abilities on the field. Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs prefers gumbo to jambalaya, and 49ers backup QB Alex Smith is frustrated about losing the starting job to Colin Kaepernick, expressing his feelings about being in the Super Bowl as “bittersweet.” Welcome to the annual madness that is Super Bowl Media Day. Every year the Tuesday before the upcoming Super Bowl is scheduled for the media to talk to the players and coaches, and it is always memorable.