A Jersey Guy Takes Note of the World

No TC winner–again

The Week That Was: They ran the second leg of horse racing’s Triple Crown on Wednesday and hardly anyone noticed it. Well, no they didn’t, of course. The Preakness Stakes will be held on Saturday afternoon and Kentucky Derby winner American Pharoah is the overwhelming favorite. But they did hold the post position draw for…

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And the Derby winner is…

The Week That Was: Horse racing and boxing are two sports that need life support which can not be provided by a dwindling fan base. Not this week. If you took a survey, you would probably find the Kentucky Derby and the welterweight title fight between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao running neck and neck…

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The Week That Was:

The NBA regular season is over. Thankfully.

Now the real basketball can start, two months of hoops where we actually will see things like defense and players playing like the season is on the line–which it is.

But the NBA playoffs needs to fix an imbalance and inequity, in which the best 16 teams are not playing and at least one first round match up seems unfair.

The Brooklyn Nets clinched the last playoff spot in the Eastern Division with a 38-44 record. The Oklahoma City Thunder with a record of 45-37 did not make it in the Western Conference playoffs.

In addition, the Los Angeles Clippers, one of the hottest teams (9 of last 10 victories) drew the equally hot San Antonio Spurs in a first round game.

The problem requires a simple fix which would not diminish the playoffs one bit.

Once the regular season ends, the division and conference affiliations end. The best 16 teams make the playoffs and the teams are seeded accordingly.

Preference is given to division champions, but after that, the teams with the best records make the playoffs.

Here’s the current first round playoff series schedule:

Toronto vs. Washington
Golden State vs. New Orleans
Chicago vs. Milwaukee
Houston vs. Dallas
Atlanta vs. Brooklyn
Cleveland vs. Boston
Memphis vs. Portland
Los Angeles Clippers vs. San Antonio

Using the best record format, Oklahoma City would bump Brooklyn and the opening series would be as follows:

Golden State vs. Celtics
Atlanta vs. Milwaukee
Houston vs. Oklahoma City
Cleveland vs. New Orleans
Portland vs. Washington
Clippers vs. Toronto
Memphis vs. Dallas
San Antonio vs. Chicago.

Better and fairer.

Will it happen? Not any time soon. “It’s not to say we don’t think there should be a change,” said NBA commissioner Adam Silver. “I think this is one of these issues that is going to require a fair amount of discussion and study, not just directly among the owners in the big room, with committees as well.”

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Here’s a key question now that Aaron Hernandez is a convicted murderer. With all the publicity surrounding the former Patriot’s conviction for murdering Odin Lloyd this week, how can any unbiased jury be put together for the double homicide charges against Hernandez that are still pending? It can’t possibly be held in Boston, can it?

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Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel is out of a winter rehab stay, competing for a job in which he is not even the front runner. Sounds like the career of Johnny Football may have peaked with his Heisman Trophy in 2012….It didn’t make much news but former Nebraska running back Lawrence Phillips, who is serving prison time, has been implicated in the murder of a fellow inmate. Phillips was the Jameis Winston of his time, a talented athlete who had numerous problems dealing with society. Speaking of Winston. The presumed No. 1 pick in the NFL draft in a few weeks still must deal with his actions at FSU. The woman who Winston was accused of sexually assaulting a few years ago has filed lawsuit against Winston.

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Keep an eye on the Dallas Cowboys during the next few weeks. With running back DeMarco Murray jumping to a new job with the Philadelphia Eagles, the Cowboys feel they are a running back away from making a Super Bowl run. With the NFL clearing the way for Minnesota running back Adrian Peterson’s return, look for the Cowboys to make a Godfather offer to the Vikings similar to the one they made 26 years ago to get Herschel Walker. The Vikings say they will not trade Peterson, but Peterson, who missed last season because of child abuse issues, says he wants no part of the Vikings. Stay tuned.

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For one round Masters’ winner Jordan Spieth tumbled back into the mere mortal class inn this week’s RBC Heritage Tournament at Hilton Head. Spieth honored his commitment, but spent the early part of the week making television and other media appearances and barely had time to play golf. It showed on Thursday as Spieth posted a 3 over par round of 74.
But with a night’s sleep and no commitments except golf, Spieth bounced back on Friday with a career-low round of 62 to jump back into contention. Simply Amazing. Not to be outdone, however, Troy Merritt, who has never won on the PGA tour, topped that a few hours later by turning in a course record 61.

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Chicago Cubs prospect Kris Bryant was brought back to the majors on Friday after a two week stay in the minors which had nothing to do with his baseball talents–Bryant was the star of spring training for the Cubs.
Bryant who batted .321 with three home runs and 10 RBI the minors had posted spring training numbers of .425 and 9 home runs in 40 spring training at bats in Arizona. Yet he was sent down to the minors for 12 days to keep him from being eligible for free agency until after 2021.

In a true Cub moment, Bryant made his debut on Friday night against the San Diego Padres by striking out 3 times.

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Scheduling quirk. The Baltimore Orioles won’t play a game outside of the Eastern time zone until June 1-which hasn’t happened in 83 years.

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Kentucky will simply reload

The Week That Was: Fab 5? How about the Super 7? When Kentucky basketball coach John Calipari makes his recruiting pitch to high school and prep basketball prospects, he talks about going to the next level. It is not idle chatter coach coming from Coach Cal, who calmly watched this week as 7 of the…

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