Who’s hot and who’s not in sports
Anybody remember when it was 80° last Tuesday here in Pittsburgh? How about last Thursday when we saw a high temperature of 32°? This substantial plunge in temperature compares in magnitude only to the collapse of the 1964 Philadelphia Phillies or Jean Van de Velde at the 1999 British Open. Last Tuesday was hot like the Florida Gators athletics programs, while Thursday’s cold weather resembled the current play of the Milwaukee Bucks — cooler than the other side of the pillow.
The Gators not only took home the college football championship in January, but followed that up with the college basketball title a week ago, becoming the first school to hold both championships at the same time. Milwaukee Bucks fans can’t quite share in this happiness, with the Buck(s) stopping here, losing nine of their last 10, positioning themselves with the Boston Celtics and Memphis Grizzlies in the Greg Oden sweepstakes.
Sticking in the NBA, the Dallas Mavericks have been hotter than the Spice Girls in their prime, and will lock up home court advantage throughout the playoffs any day now. The Washington Wizards aren’t hot, having lost superstar Gilbert Arenas for two or three months with a knee injury and forward Caron Butler for six weeks with a fractured hand. They’ll limp into the NBA playoffs with a probable matchup against the Atlantic Division-leading Toronto Raptors.
Vladimir Guerrero of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim is eating pitchers alive in the first week of the major league baseball season. Through six games Guerrero is hitting .524 (11–21) with three home runs and 10 runs batted in. Alex Rodriguez is hotter than the girl next door, with his walk-off grand slam on Saturday putting him on Yankee fans’ good side for once. Micah Owings is scorching, winning his major league pitching debut on Friday by pitching five shutout innings as the Arizona Diamondbacks defeated the Washington Nationals. Dating back to last year, he’s now won 13 straight decisions.
Former major league pitcher Ugueth Urbina was sentenced to 14 years in prison in Venezuela (not hot) for the attempted murder of five workers on his family’s ranch. Make sure not to draft him in your fantasy leagues; it doesn’t look like he’ll be pitching any time soon. Xavier Nady of the Pittsburgh Pirates had a moment he’d like to forget in Saturday’s game against the Cincinnati Reds. The Reds’ Adam Dunn hit a blast to deep right center field and as Nady went to jump up about a foot from the wall to make the catch, the ball landed in his glove and then bounced out and over the fence for a home run. After the game Dunn said, “I owe him some beers. It doesn’t happen every day.”
In college hockey, one of the hottest teams in the nation won the Frozen Four Final on Saturday. The Michigan State Spartans came into the final as the underdog against the Boston College Golden Eagles. The Spartans, down 1–0 most of the game, scored to tie the game with 10 minutes left and then netted the game-winning goal with only 19 seconds remaining to stun BC. It was a tough way for BC to end their season, having lost in the Frozen Four Final last season.
Thursday’s cold weather was like the NHL’s Colorado Avalanche this season, missing the playoffs for the first time since 1994. Tuesday’s warm temperature was more like the Buffalo Sabres, the team with the best record in the NHL. It was like former Georgia Tech wide receiver Calvin Johnson and his performance (4.33 in the 40 yard dash) in the NFL pre-draft workouts. Thursday was like former USC wide receiver Dwayne Jarrett whose draft stock fell as he lacked quickness and explosion in addition to his unimpressive route running.
Radio host Don Imus is colder than ice, with his inappropriate comments about the Rutgers women’s basketball team. Nobiz like Shobiz is hotter than an ant under a microscope in Mississippi in July. The horse regained its reputation as a legitimate Kentucky Derby candidate with its performance this past weekend.
Never did I imagine I’d include Nobiz like Shobiz and the 1964 Philadelphia Phillies in the same article. With it snowing on Easter and warm on Christmas Day, the weather shows that there’ll always be things you can’t explain. Until then, we’ll just have to grit our teeth and put up with weather that’s as cold as Oksana Baiul.