By JOHN P. WISE
One Great Season
A few topics made headlines in the sports world today. Here are some nuggets for you:
+ The Kentucky Derby should never be run at night. I understand the sport could use some new money, and an evening telecast certainly would address that issue, but the Derby is one of those events that should just stay where it is. Modernists love to rip the traditionalists who appreciate the pageantry of sport, but the tradionalists never get their way with anything. Just look at the NFL Draft, which was moved from Saturday at noon to Thursday and Friday evenings. I read today that it rated well and I'm sure the NFL pockets are deeper, but does it always have to be about the money? Is maximum profitability the only way to do it, or can just being profitable ever be enough?
+ Ben Roethlisberger said Monday he won't appeal the six-game suspension the NFL handed down last week. Smart move. The only way to climb out of the hole he's dug for himself is to do it slowly, and I think he will. He clearly had advisers write that statement for him today. No reason to think they'll abandon him going forward.
+ A buddy of mine called today to say he was in a restaurant recently and overheard a National League pitcher say, "Yeah, I met her at Gretzky's house. She was playing tennis and she was hot as hell." No link. Just funny.
+ I love how people are asking whether Kobe Bryant and the Lakers are losing their edge. Remember when the Cavs began the regular season 0-2 and ESPN was freaking out in November? Remember how the Cavs lost to the Bulls on Thursday and suddenly LeBron and company were being pushed to the limit? Remember how LBJ carried his Cavs to a Game 4 win in Chicago Sunday, putting his team one game away from advancing? Prior to both the Cavs-Bulls and Lakers-Thunder series, most folks said they wouldn't be surprised of the top seeds lost a game in the early round. I wish people would calm down, stick to their guns and quit changing their philosophies or abandoning rational thought just because of the outcome of one game. I realize the Lakers are tied 2-2, but the defending champions are still a very dangerous team in the Western Conference.
+ I'm embarrassed that I haven't watched much of the NHL Playoffs, especially considering I wrote this about the Stanley Cup back in December.