Home / The Ramble: Indy 500, NASCAR, College Lacrosse, Ironhead, NBA Playoffs, And — Who Else? — Barry Bonds

The Ramble: Indy 500, NASCAR, College Lacrosse, Ironhead, NBA Playoffs, And — Who Else? — Barry Bonds

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As the New York Post continues with the fraud known as The Rumble, it doesn’t get better, it just gets longer. On the other hand, The Ramble brings you excellence from a vast array of sports in easily digestible bites.

The Indianapolis 500. I am not much of a race car fan. Actually, I’m not a race car fan at all. However, circumstances of the holiday weekend had me sitting in front of a television for the final 35 laps of this bit of Americana. I must admit that the race at the brickyard was very exciting down the stretch as Sam Hornish, Jr. edged out Marco Andretti – the grandson of Mario and son of Michael – by about six-hundredths of a second.

There’s was a lot of compelling stuff surrounding the finish, not the least of which is the fact that Marco Andretti was racing in his first Indy 500 and he’s only 19 years old. Crazy. Andretti was actually leading for the final 4 laps, and was passed by Hornish only at the instant that he crossed the finish line. For Hornish, milk never tasted so good.

The University of Virginia Wins The Lacrosse National Championship. The Cavaliers topped off an unblemished 17-0 season by defeating the University of Massachusetts for the 2006 NCAA Lacrosse Championship. This dominant UVA lacrosse team labored in obscurity all season because the media spotlight was focused on the nonsense that dragged down the Duke lacrosse team. Lacrosse is a great game and it’s a shame that the only thing most people know about it has come from the notoriety attached to the alleged incident in Durham.

Craig “Ironhead” Heyward. The former NFL Pro Bowl running back died last week after a lengthy battle with an inoperative brain tumor, at the way too young age of 39. For as good as Heyward was at times, he was a guy who never lived up to his potential because of the temptations that so many pro athletes have failed to ward off. A prodigious eater and drinker, a way overweight Ironhead was alleged to have been fined over $200,000 one season with the Bears when he tipped the scales at over 325 pounds.

Living in New Jersey, I remember when Heyward was a man-among-boys running back who played for Passaic High. He also dominated games while he was a player at the University of Pittsburgh, and did so at times in the NFL. It’s amazing that a guy can be that good at anything; to dominate at every level. Hopefully, Heyward’s son Cameron – one of the nation’s top defensive line recruits – can learn from his dad and make the most out of his opportunities.

The Roger Clemens Auction. Lately there hasn’t been much news about this scam. You would think with Clemens’ June 15th deadline approaching, the action would be heating up. Maybe certain parties realized that they were just being used to drive up the price and decided to bow out. The Yanks and Red Sox are in a dogfight and you would think they’d be willing to pony up for Roger. And Texas is in first place, but only have a slim lead, so they should be interested. Perhaps the Astros are getting cold feet, being that they are already 7.5 games out of first, may not think Clemens can be the difference maker and don’t want to commit $12-15 million to him for the rest of the season. Does Roger really want to go to the highest bidder, or does he just want the highest bidder to be the Astros? We’ll find out soon enough.

Phoenix and Detroit. Did anyone think that these two teams would be struggling so mightily, and be so close to elimination so often and so early in the playoffs? I don’t have an answer, I just think it sounds like a good question. Plus it gets hoops into the mix here.

NASCAR. No I haven’t gone country. No I don’t drink moonshine. But even though it was on tape, last Saturday night there was a very exciting NASCAR race: the Nextel All-Star Challenge, on the FX Network. Lots of lead changes and some crazy crashes – in which nobody really got hurt – during a million dollar win for Jimmie Johnson. However, the most amazing thing about this race was the 15 second pit stops – 4 tires and gas. The guy at my local service station can’t get the gas cap off in 15 seconds. The people who make up the pit crews at NASCAR races are as athletic as any group of competing athletes that I’ve ever seen.

Barry Bonds’ 715th. The best thing that I’ve heard about this incident is that as Bonds’ 715th was in the air heading for the stands, the microphone of KNBR’s Dave Flemming – on the Giants’ flagship radio station – cut out, leaving his booth mate to scramble to find a working mic to belatedly finish the home run call. That’s just phenomenal. Chalk it up to divine – or at least Ruthian – intervention.

And speaking of Bonds, Tim Kurkjian of ESPN has written an excellent piece about why nobody is celebrating 715. Read it.

I’ll be back later this week, and I promise there’ll be no more references to racing.

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About Sal Marinello

  • Hairynipples

    Was Sam Hornish Jr.’s milk whole, low or no-fat???? You amaze me on how you “skip” the most important of details.

    Also, can you really get a heart attack drinking cold whole milk after a workout??? Is car racing a workout??? Am I the only one who can see this elephant in the room – the eventual sudden tragic death of an Indy Winner????

  • sal m

    i would hope that the Indy folks wouldn’t bow to the pressures of political correctness, and would stay with whole milk.

    and i didn’t watch the race with an elephant, but i would think if i did, he or she would be more concerned with peanuts than milk.