The Week In Sports Recap 5/7/12
Have you ever spent the entire weekend, on your couch, drinking, smoking, and watching sports? Welcome to my life. Check out my thoughts on aftermath of Junior Seau's suicide, the ridiculousness that is Floyd Mayweather, and why Jimmy Smokes Leyland is stressing me out.
NFL: Junior Seau Commits Suicide/Eli Manning On Saturday Night Live
It's always awful news to hear, but I'm never shocked hearing about mental health issues in men who played gladiator sports. Junior Seau took his own life this week, in the most brutal of fashions, at the young age of 43. Seau was a phenomenal line backer for the San Diego Chargers and New England Patriots, and was still playing in the NFL as recently as 2010. Seau was a fixture in the San Diego community, and it's been reported that his suicide came with no warning.
People have speculated on if playing football had any impact on the mindset of Seau, considering the recent suicides of former NFL players Ray Easterling and Dave Duerson, who intentionally left his brain intact to be studied for trauma related depression. Seau's family is considering doing the same, but, at this point, the link between head trauma and Seau's suicide is based in speculation.
It's a pretty complex topic, because everybody knows the risk you take when you play football at the highest level. The NFL hasn't always been as protective of it's players as it currently is, and legally, the league has an obligation to keep it's players safe. A lawsuit is currently in the courts, where over 100 ex-players are suing the league for an unsafe work environment. The treatment and prevention of concussions and brain trauma has improved over the years, but players are stronger and faster than ever before. Big hits are a part of the game, but the truth is, whenever you see somebody who just got their bell rung, you see somebody with head trauma. Long term effects of brain trauma include memory loss, impulse control, depression and other serious problems. The NFL has changed rules in recent years to protect players heads, but many accused the league of losing some of it's toughness.
In funnier NFL news, Eli Manning hosted Saturday Night Live, and he killed it. The youngest of the Manning brothers once again stepped out of Peyton's spotlight and delivered a great performance. Check out this sketch he does for little brothers everywhere.
Boxing: Floyd Mayweather Defeats Miguel Cotto; Cotto isn't Pacquiao So No One Cares
Don't get me wrong, Floyd Mayweather always makes it worth watching, but when you're coming to the ring with 50 Cent, Lil Wayne, and Justin Bieber, you really are on another level of showmanship. Mayweather outclassed Miguel Cotto this past weekend and now faces 90 days in jail for domestic violence charges. Mayweather talked about retirement after the fight, and he really has no financial need to step into the ring again. Money Mayweather is estimated to have made $72 million on the fight, and that's before any money he may have made by gambling on himself, which Mayweather has been known to do.
Many people are wondering if the match up of Mayweather Vs. Manny Pacquiao will ever happen, and honestly, I really I don't think it matters. Boxing is on it's last leg, and while the fight would get a lot of attention, it wouldn't be enough to save the sport from the new king of fighting, MMA.
Horse Racing: I'll Have Another Wins the 138th Kentucky Derby
Horse racing is so stupid. I like horses, but everything else about it bothers me. I hate how short the race is, how short the jockeys are, and how people drink mint juleps. Stupid. But I'll Have Another beat 15-1 odds to take the most important trophy in horse racing.
NBA: Miami Heat Or The Field
As the NBA post season continues, one thing is for sure, the NBA will have a new champion in 2012. The defending champion Dallas Mavericks were swept out of the first round of the playoffs, which just goes to show how hard it is to go back to back in championship seasons. The hang over after a title is almost inevitable, and lightning doesn't strike twice.
With the Mavs out and the Chicago Bulls a loss away from going home, all eyes and expectations fall on the Miami Heat. The Heat have played effectively against the New York Knicks, and face an easy road to the championship game. The rest of the East looks either too old in the case of the Boston Celtics, or too young as with the Indiana Pacers and the Philadelphia 76ers.
The only hope to beat the Heat seems to lie out West, as both Oklahoma City and San Antonio are looking like championship caliber teams. Both teams are deep, and playing great team basketball. No matter who locks horns with the Heat in the title game, I'll take over Miami. Wade, Bosh, and LeBron in particularly will have the weight of the world on their shoulders and I don't think they have the mental toughness to get the job done.
MLB: Too Early To Give Up On The Tigers/Cole Hamels Hits Bryce Harper
The Tigers haven't looked awful, but they certainly haven't looked great. Jim "Jimmy Smokes" Leyland did a good job changing up the rotation this weekend against the Sox, but Smokes is known for constantly changing his order and I don't want him to start doing it every game. You need to be flexible when it comes to the lineup, but when you start moving guys around every day, guys start to lose faith in the system. The Tigers do not need that problem right now. What they do need is for Prince Fielder and Jose Velverde to step their games up, and the good news is that they've got a lot of baseball left to do that. The bats in general have been pretty anemic, as the Tigers are near the bottom of the American League when it comes to team hits. I'm not thrilled with the way the Detroit Tigers have been playing, but I haven't lost faith.
Another big story coming out of baseball is Bryce Harper. The 19 year old rookie has put the Washington Nationals into the national spot light, as he was intentionally pegged by Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Cole Hamels. Hamels went on to admit he intentionally hit Harper, which isn't necessarily new in baseball. After Harper took his base, he went on to steal home, on Hamels, for his first stolen base in MLB.