Without a doubt this is one of the most exciting times of the year in sport. One of the few times of year where just about every sport in making news. Today is a great example with some prime viewing options.
We begin in beautiful Doral, Florida. Formally the home of the Doral Open, now the World Golf Championships. The TPC Blue Monster course hosting the two best American players of our generation, Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson. The Masters is right around the corner and all eyes will be on Tiger and his continued struggles since his return. Tiger, a 3 time winner at Doral, hasn’t won since the Australian Masters in November of ’09.
The NBA has a marquee match up tonight just down the street at American Airlines Arena. Much focus in the Association has been on the Miami Heat struggles which were highlighted in the “crying game”. It won’t get any easier tonight when Kobe Bryant and the two-time defending champion Los Angeles Lakers come to town. LA arrives riding an eight game winning streak and head coach Phil Jackson has told the Heat that NBA stands for “No Boys Allowed”. Keep an eye on Chris Bosh tonight, the Heat forward has been complaining a lot, guess he is weary of watching Lebron James and Dwayne Wade isolate 1 on 5.
College Hoops continues towards its peak with all major conference tournaments on the floor today. The ACC, Big Ten and Southeastern conference tournaments join the fun with many of the favorites enjoying a 1st round bye. North Carolina, Duke, Ohio State, Florida and Kentucky the teams to watch. ESPN’s Pat Forde has been doing a great job of tracking the potential title field with 145 teams remaining eligible for the 68 March Madness spots. If you get the chance, check out the Big East tourney which is in Day 3, but the top 4 seeds, including my national title sleeper Notre Dame, see their first action today. Sean McDonough, Jay Bilas and Bill Raftery are the announcers and are the best in the business.
For the hardcore Major League Baseball fan, Spring Training games are appearing on the tube in increasing frequency. With Fantasy Drafts and Auctions right around the corner, some scouting is certainly on the menu.
Not to be outdone, College Football teams continue to open Spring practice across the country. For your immediate viewing, mostly pro days here and there as we build towards a handful of Spring games that will be broadcast, most of which occur next month. With the NFL draft fast approaching, we are getting flooded with mock drafts. Do yourself a favor, ignore the Mel Kiper Jr’s and Todd McShay’s of the world and turn to the NFL Network. Mike Mayock is without a doubt the best there is when it comes to player evaluation and X’s and O’s.
And finally there are the extremely boring NFL contract talks. If you enjoy talking heads speaking in front of large buildings maybe this is your thing. The 7-day extension to negotiate a new Collective Bargaining Agreement ends tomorrow. A colleague of mine who is staking out the Federal Mediator’s office tells me that negotiations have deteriorated to name calling and he wouldn’t be surprised to see the entire season cancelled.
So, with the NBA heading down the same path as the NFL, be sure to enjoy the plethora of options you have, before greed takes over.