What an epic sports weekend we just experienced. This truly is the only one of the year in which all 4 sports are relevant, so lets look back and see what transpired.
NFL - The 2008 draft is complete, and the big story line is all the trades that took place. With 13 trades involving first round picks alone, this draft was one of the more topsy-turvy in many years. It sure does seem like teams like the Jags and Panthers overpayed to move up and grab Derrick Harvey and Jeff Otah, but the old adage is go and get who you want, instead of testing fate. The big winners of the draft seemed to be the Kansas City Chiefs, who acquired Glenn Dorsey and Branden Albert in the first round, and many more solid prospects in later rounds. Other teams that impressed me were Baltimore and the New York Giants. The best 2 picks I saw were Dorsey to the Chiefs and Sedrick Ellis to the Saints, who will make a huge difference on that team. Shout out to Georgia boys Marcus Howard, Thomas Brown, Brandon Coutu and Chester Adams for getting drafted.
NBA - While no series have been decided yet, the fishing boats in TNT headquarters are getting primed for many teams as we speak. In the East, Detroit won a critical game 4 over upstart Philly, while Cleveland and Orlando will both have close-out games on Tuesday. Out west, most of the championship contenders are taking care of business. The top 4 seeds are all one game away from the second round, and have shown no signs of letting their opponents back into the series. What this means is we're looking towards an epic 2nd round featuring matchups like Jazz-Lakers, Hornets-Spurs, Cavs-Celtics and Pistons-Magic.
NHL - We're down to the final 8 in hockey, and the way things are going it could be 4 really soon. Dallas and Detroit are handling their business out west, sweeping the first 2 games of their series. Pittsburgh is still undefeated in the entire playoffs and may bring the first title to the Steel City since Lemieux was tearing shit up. The Flyers-Canadiens series is 1-1, but with the way the Flyers are playing I see them winning this series. Its too bad I won't get to watch another game until Saturday, because nothing beats playoff hockey in terms of intensity and passion, but thats what you get when you have a fuck-up like Gary Bettman running your league.
MLB - It sure does feel as if 2008 may be remembered as a changing of the guard season in baseball. While veteran-laden teams like the Mets, Braves, Tigers and Yankees are all struggling out of the gate, younger teams like the D'Backs, Brewers and Rays are all building confidence and are showing signs of being in the race for the long haul. Props to the Angels for winning 4 of 6 against the Red Sox and Tigers on the road. When they get Lackey back they are going to be really tough to beat. Hopefully we'll get to see some of these younger squads play on TV this year, but since they are nowhere near Boston or New York i highly doubt that.
UEFA - The 2nd leg of the semifinals in the Champions League take place this week. First up is Barcelona - Man United. Thanks to Man U playing like pussies in leg one, things are still scoreless heading to Old Trafford. And while they have played great all year, it is a lot of pressure to put into one game, especially against a team with the weapons that Barca does. While the first game was pretty boring, this second should be anything but, because both teams will need goals and both teams have the talent in players like Messi and Eto'o on Barca and Cristiano Ronaldo and Carlitos Tevez on Man U to turn this into a shootout. Meanwhile Wednesday's game features Liverpool heading to Chelsea. Thanks to John Arne Riise's own goal in stoppage time, Chelsea are in great position to advance. They will also get back Mickael Essien from suspension which will make their defense even tougher. Its probably too much of a challenge for the 'Pool to get a goal, which means Chelsea should finally advance to a Champions League Final.
Nascar - Kyle Busch won at Talladega. No one really cares about Nascar, but Talladega deserves mentioning because it is without a doubt the most redneck crowd you will ever experience. The fans throw all their beer cans and bottles at every driver who wins except for Dale Earnhardt Jr., who hasn't won in years at the track. They also hate Jeff Gordon so much that more babies are conceived in the 15 minutes after he crashes then at any other point in the year. Nothing puts Alabamans in the baby-making mood like gasoline, crashes and Dick Trickle.
College Football - A few quick notes from the best sport in America. UCLA starting quarterback Patrick Cowan tore his ACL and will miss the entire 2008 season. This guy is great when he's healthy, ask USC if you don't believe me, but its too bad he's the Rocco Baldelli of college FB. UCLA will struggle to be a .500 team without him. Up in Big 10 country, the big news is that Michigan offensive linemen Justin Boren will transfer to Ohio State. I guess losing important games in the regular season wasn't enough for him, but instead he wanted the ultimate satisfaction of losing in championship games to superior SEC teams much more. Finally, the commisioners of all the Division-1 conferences are talking today about plans to add a "plus-one" championship game at the end of the season. I'm all for the idea, because it will maintain the importance of the regular season while bringing finality to the end of the season. Unfortunately the neanderthal commissioners of the Pac 10 and Big 10 will probably never agree to the proposal, but at least this will help increase the public outcry for a true championship at the end of the college season.