Sunday, April 10, 2011

Dallas loses and the Hawks advance; the Bulls continue into post-season play; Schwartzel wins the Masters; the NFL's baseline

The Blackhawks are in the playoffs not because they won, but because the Dallas Stars lost to the Minnesota Wild in their season finale.  The Detroit Red Wings beat the Hawks fairly at the United Center today and it came down to Dallas winning or losing their game.  Since Dallas lost the Hawks win and all the polite fans will keep filtering through Ogilive Transportation Center with more excitement because it is now the playoffs.  I am not so pleased that someone else had to suck more to get them in the playoffs but their loss is our gain.  I am hoping that they can (1) get it together and (2) keep it together throughout the playoffs and into the finals where there can be more Stanley Cup pandemonium and we can get daily reports of where it can be viewed, touched, caressed, or have a baby pose in it wearing just a diaper and a smile.

The Chicago Bulls are also in the playoffs so suck it, Mr. LeBron James and your talents.  The Bulls are in their playoff series because they excelled and played like the team of teams.  Their fans flock from all around but dang, if you want to see the ill-behaved and the entitled, stand at the bus stop that takes them to United Center.  Loud, rude, dopey, antsy, and the kind of exuberant that comes from too much hooch -- I don't understand how Hawks fans and Bulls fans are so different.  Except in the parking lot -- yikes!

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Fifty years to the day that South African Gary Player won the Masters in Augusta, GA, his countryman, Charl Schwartzel won a green jacket of his very own.  While Tiger Woods didn't come in even second, he seemed to be regaining his pre-screwed-around-and-got-caught glory.

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Here is something that will probably never happen at a golf tournament:  someone getting a life-altering concussion. When I more closely read the article I posted by Dr. Sanjay Gupta, I found a link to another article that talks about what the NFL will do this season (if the lockout ever ends).

If someone suffers from what the sideline medical staff thinks might be a concussion and within a 6-to-8-minute window, "The NFL Sidelines Concussion Exam" will be performed -- a battery of tests that evaluate basic thinking skills, balance, and concentration.   Every player will have been tested at the beginning of the season, when healthy, to establish a baseline.  The same tests will be given after the suspected injury and if the dropoff exceeds a threshold, the player will be taken out of the game.  In other words, when in doubt, the player goes out.

Commissioner Roger Gooddell himself made the request.  Might I suggest a thank-you note to Commissioner Gooddell?  This is a huge step in addressing an enormous problem in a game that slams football-playing young men from the time they are boys, culminating in the scorched earth that is the NFL.  It almost seems like I dislike football and y'all know I don't.  I like men performing well at something in which they excel, saving their money, falling in love, and raising families while they grow old in good health.  They are athletes and know how to take care of their bodies, how to keep themselves in fine working order.  Addressing this situation is one less thing to be concerned with as they leave the center of the sports world and become regular citizens like you or me.

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