Greetings sports fans and wanna-bes! It was a tough weekend in American news, so here’s your weekly High Five for a little fun with the office, the other half, and the offspring…
1. Today, both ends of the “Happiest Thing a Girl or Guy Could Imagine” spectrum are revving up: on the gals’ side, Kate and William are expecting a royal prince or princess any minute. For the guys, every little boy dreams of slamming a 400-foot home run. Tonight our American “Prince” (Fielder – Detroit) will attempt to be the first three-time champion at the All-Star Home Run Derby. But he has Bryce Harper (Washington), Michael Cuddyer (Colorado), and many other stars standing in the way. No matter what, a great TV night for the family – 8 p.m. ET ESPN.
2. Speaking of Prince, the “Basketball Player Formerly Known as Ron Artest,” Metta World Peace, is leaving the Lakers, following teammate Dwight Howard, who also said goodbye to Hollywood last week for the Houston Rockets. As of this writing, free agent small forward Peace wants to play for the New York Knicks, but has also said he doesn’t want to play for anyone at all, that he wants “to go to China, or coach or play arena football.” Peace out.
3. The San Francisco Giants’ Tim Lincecum, a two-time Cy Young Award winner, has struggled this season to regain his former glory. Saturday he did it, achieving his first “no-hitter” against the San Diego Padres, recording a season-high 13 strikeouts and a career-high 148 pitches for the 9-0 win. (For a pitcher to throw even 100 pitches in one game is considered the time to bring in a reliever.) A “no-hitter” has some nuances to it, but is basically a game in which a team cannot manage a single hit off the pitcher in at least nine innings.
4. Golfer Jordan Spieth, 19, won the John Deere Classic on Sunday in a five-hole, sudden death playoff with defending champion Zach Johnson and David Hearn. He is now a full PGA Tour member and the youngest winner of a Tour event since 1931.
5. As the Aaron Hernandez (former New England Patriot) murder case unfolds, the NFL continues to take hits—from its own members. Two Denver Broncos front office men, Tom Heckert and Matt Russell, have been charged with drunken driving (which the organization tried to hide, but had to confess after Russell allegedly crashed into a police cruiser July 6). Meanwhile, another Patriot, cornerback Alfonzo Dennard, was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving on Thursday. Dennard was already on probation for assaulting a police officer last year. Finally, Atlanta Falcon Roddy White has apologized for his tweet Saturday night suggesting the Trayvon Martin jurors should “kill themselves.”
The Martin case, of course, is a high-emotion one; many people, especially athletes, took to social media with immediate gut reactions. But drunken driving, assault, murder…when does the NFL begin policing itself? Are the teams responsible for holding players accountable for violent behavior? Is that even possible? I don’t know, and I’d love to hear your thoughts…