They will run the Preakness Stakes on Saturday as the second leg of the Triple Crown. Only eight horses will go to the post in this race including Mage who won the Kentucky Derby a week and a half ago. Mage has morning line odds posted at 5-2; normally, the Derby winner is bet down in the Preakness to odds of less than 2-1; early betting has Mage at 8-5 as of this morning. However, there is a twist this year.
National Treasure is going to run in the Preakness and National Treasure would have been one of the horses getting a lot of betting action in the Derby had he been allowed to run. He was disqualified because he is trained by Bob Baffert and Baffert is still serving a long suspension imposed by Churchill Downs for a series of “irregularities” involving Baffert horses. But Baffert is not barred from Pimlico; and so, National Treasure will run in this race. National Treasure has current odds of 4-1.
Moving on … A while back, I mentioned the incident where Bob Huggins – – head basketball coach at West Virginia – – uttered a homophobic slur over a live radio broadcast and suffered some financial consequences from that impropriety. Gregg Drinnan writes the blog, Taking Note, and this is what he had to say about that:
“Bob Huggins, the men’s basketball coach at the U of West Virginia, had an annual salary of US$4.2 million that made him the state’s highest-paid employee. But then he had a radio rant that included homophobic slurs; so. the school knocked $1 million off his salary. Now he’s No. 2 on the state payroll. Who’s No. 1? That would be Neal Brown, the school’s football coach. What? You thought it would be a doctor?
Speaking of college basketball coaches – – obliquely to be sure – – it appears that Mike Kyzyzewski has a new job, but it is not a coaching position. Kyzyzewski will serve as a “special adviser to the NBA” according to an announcement by the league. Here is some ow what the NBA says will be Kyzyzewski’s roles and responsibilities:
“… provide counsel to the league office, NBA team executives and other leaders across the league on a host of issues related to the game.”
Meaning exactly no disrespect to Mike Kyzyzewski, but that sounds to me like a Grade A sinecure. For his part, Kyzyzewski said that this new job would “deepen my connection with the NBA” and would also “enable me to stay engaged with basketball at the highest level.” Given those clarifications, I still have no idea what he will be doing nor what the league expects him to do.
Bonne chance, Coach K…
Someone sent along to me this oddball stat. It was not all that difficult to check and it seemed odd enough hat I went to the trouble to verify it. Sadly, I did not make a note of where it came from so I cannot properly identify my source here:
- Reggie White had more sacks than games played in his time with the Philadelphia Eagles.
- Reggie White played for the Eagles from 1985 to 1992 (8 seasons).
- White appeared in 121 games for the Eagles.
- White recorded 124 sacks for the Eagles in those 121 games.
- White was named to the Pro Bowl in seven of those eight seasons.
- White was named an All-Pro in 6 of those 8 seasons.
That was not a bad 8-year run that he had with the Eagles…
Finally, since today has been mainly about coaches and a great player, let me close with two observations from a great coach – – Vince Lombardi:
“Perfection is not attainable; but if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence.”
“Winning is not a sometime thing; it is an all the time thing. You don’t win once in a while; you don’t do things right once in a while; you do them right all the time. Winning is a habit. Unfortunately, so is losing.”
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………