It makes perfect sense that 10 days ago there was 8 inches of snow on the ground and the weekend was that nice. Perfect sense. In Haiti.
All of us in the Chatta-Vegas were winners this weekend because of the weather. But not everyone lives in Chatta-Vegas — poor them.
From the "Talks too much" studios, somewhere Dale Sr. is smiling. And drinking a beer.
NASCAR wins big
The No. 3 started on the pole. An Earnhardt was in victory lane. With the possible exception of the six-hour rain delay, NASCAR could not have scripted a better opening weekend.
Dale Jr., long the sports most popular driver, looked the part of the kid that was supposed to be the next great driver by winning the Daytona 500 late into the night Sunday. It was a victory that was hard not to enjoy, the kid looking older than we remember and the driver looking better than ever.
Maybe it's time. Maybe it was a flash in the pan.
Either way, it was a big Sunday for a sport that needed a big debut in the worst way.
The ultimate winners and losers from this weekend's draft combine won't truly be known until the first week in May.
But the running and lifting and jumping and (limited) throwing that has happened in Indy and that will continue today and Tuesday is shaping the draft class and the perceptions of those in it. And in no other place in sports is perception as close to truth and truth as valid as perception as in the draft.
It's part of its charm and at the heart of its enigmatic core.
We love the draft. You know this.
Here are our takeaways from the combine (and the answer is absolutely, we watched more of this than just about any other sporting event this weekend):
• There was a punter who benched 225 more times than Jadeveon Clowney. That seems less than good. Miami punter Pat O'Donnell benched 225 23 times; Clowney did it 21.
• Former Auburn tackle Greg Robinson, the highly regarded 320-pound tackle, ran faster than Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron.
• Mike Evans, the former Texas A& wide receiver, made himself some money on Sunday by running a sub-4.6 40 at 6-5, 235ish. He also looked effortless catching the ball. Dude looks like a surefire No. 1 receiver.
• There was a lot of talent at wide receiver. A lot. Evans looked great, as did former Clemson star Mr. Sammy Watkins and Kelvin Benjamin. Also, Brandin Cooks was legit fast and Odell Beckham may have jumped into round 1. Know this, as more and more high school teams convert to spreads and passing games become more and prevalent, the old-school, pro-style quarterbacks are going to be more rare. The reverse of that is there will be more and more polished and explosive wide receivers. Add that fact to the knowledge that the overall value — and career span — of running backs is dwindling every year, more and more talented and athletic guys who would have been tailbacks a decade ago are lining up wide. This — starting with Megatron an AJ and Julio and Co. — could be the golden age of wide receiver.
• Best line from a lineman: Louis Nix on dropping 20-plus pounds to get to a svelte 331 at 6-2, "I just feel sexier." Here's his exchange according to CBSsports.com: A quick sampling:
On why he lost 23 pounds:
"I enjoy my weight. But people wanted me down, so I lost it ... My stomach doesn't stick out as much. That's nice. I just feel sexier."
On if he'll stay slimmed down after he's drafted:
"If they want me to stay, I'll stay. If they want me to get sexy, I've got it."
When a reporter asked how his knee, the source of some concern, is feeling:
"How's the knee? It's fantastic. How's your knee?"
There are a lot of the numbers and drills that mean very little when it comes to making plays on Sundays in the (cue Ron Jaworski...) THE NATIONAL Football League. Offensive linemen rarely need to run 40 yards to go make a play. Doing a slew of bench reps would be more helpful in the National Pushup League than the NFL. But, here's the kicker about these drills: Every player knows they are coming and whether they are prepared to do their best at them speaks volumes about the player. It even speaks more than the results in most of the drills
College hoops questions
We have three questions from the final February weekend of college basketball. Do you have answers? (OK, that was not one of the questions, but we still have three, so don't hold that one against us)
1) Which is real: UTC of January or UTC of February? The answer may be somewhere in the middle, too. It's a clear and important discussion that we can have as the days dwindle. But March will be short if the latter of the options is closer to valid.
2) Why did Jim Boeheim get a pass for costing his team a chance at beating Duke and for completely losing it? If that had been a player would we have shrugged and giggled in his press conference as he reviewed his storming of the court? If he had been an assistant and said he would never regret his actions, how would his boss take that? Please. He acted the fool and laughed it off. If one of his players had done the same — and remember, he's paid seven figures, is in the Hall of Fame, and is supposed to be setting an example — Boeheim likely would have suspedned him. Double standard indeed.
3) Did Cuonzo Martin and the Vols play themselves out of the tournament? Wow, how painful was that loss. Also, if Martin's Vols are left without a Dance card, is there any way we can reasonably expect The Conz to be back next season?
OK, that may be more than three questions, but still. Discuss.
This and that
— Want to know the four fastest words to make us change the channel of an NBA game? "LeBron will not play" are an automatic clicker caller.
— Congrats to the Canada hockeyers for winning the gold. Molsons and Egg McMuffins for everyone. And thank goodness the Olympics have come and gone.
— Jason Day survived a brutal match play final with some French fellow getting up and down from the parking lot late Sunday to win the Accenture Match Play. It was fun, although the delays in match play can make it tough to get through at times.
— We talked last week about the job Frank Wren is doing for the Braves. Now consider the Yankees signed Brett Gardner for what Wren paid the best closer in the game. Well-played indeed.
Knock yourself silly on any of the college basketball items above?
Or go nuts on an old-school Monday free for all.
Jay was named the Sports Editor of the Times Free Press in 2003 and started with the newspaper in May 2002 as the Deputy Sports Editor. He was born and raised in Smyrna, Ga., and graduated from Auburn University before starting his newspaper career in 1997 with the Newnan (Ga.) Times Herald. Stops in Clayton and Henry counties in Georgia and two years as the Sports Editor of the Marietta (Ga.) Daily Journal preceded Jay’s ...
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