Sorry for no blog yesterday, but I had to sleep off the nightmare that was Monday's travel. Jet Blue delayed my flight out of Vegas by three hours, stranding me in JFK airport in New York for what was supposed to be six hours. It turned out to be nine, since my next flight was delayed three hours as well with no notice until after we'd been told to line up for immediate boarding. They emailed me a fifty dollar "credit" toward a future flight to apologize. Jet Blue made me live out a small scale version of Tom Hanks's movie The Terminal, and I'm supposed to give them another few hundred bucks to get my fifty dollar discount - riiiiight. It was the single worst experience I have ever had dealing with an airline. Won't make that mistake again.
On to the stuff you actually come here for. While in Vegas, I visited a variety of sports books to get perspectives on the upcoming seasons. The most interesting current proposition wager is at the MGM-Mirage casinos. You can bet the so called "Big Three" to win either the Super Bowl or BCS, or you can bet everyone else. In college, the "Big Three" are Georgia, USC, and Ohio State. A hundred bucks on them will win you back your bet plus 220 if one of those schools wins. (To bet against them, you put 260 out to win 100). In the pros, the "Big Three" are Indianapolis, Dallas and New England. Interesting that the Super Bowl champs don't qualify as one of the three top teams, but a Dallas team which han't won a playoff game in over a decade does. (100 to win 155 on the pro three, 175 to win 100 against). I'll post more tidbits from Vegas throughout the coming days.
The buzz on Marreese Speights has been about him being chosen by Philadelphia at pick sixteen on Thursday. This Sixers reporter's not sold on that being the case. Speaking of sold, for the third straight year the Portland Trail Blazers have apparently bought themselves a late first round pick for three million bucks. How is this acceptable? New Orleans fans must be delighted to know their owner values cash over adding talent. If a team doesn't want to use the pick to add a contract right now, they can draft a European player to follow as he develops. Selling draft picks is completely bush league.
Alabama loses a talented player, as linebacker Jimmy Johns gets busted for cocaine dealing. Apparently he should have stuck to selling pit bulls.
Speaking of bush league, the new owner of the Tampa Bay Lightning wasn't satisfied just to hire ESPN's Barry Melrose, whose career record is 79-101-29, after he's been out of coaching for thirteen years. He let Melrose hire Rick Tocchet as an assistant coach. Whenever you have a chance to hire a guy prominently linked to a sports gambling scandal, you've got to make sure not to let it pass you by. What a fiasco this team has become.
I don't think many people care about Shaquille O'Neal rapping against Kobe all that much. I'm 100 percent sure no one cares about the most notorious publicity hound sheriff in America using Shaq's rap as an excuse for his latest PR stunt.
Raycom thinks what you want to do during SEC and ACC football games they broadcast is spend time on your computer reading stories. This brilliant idea from the people who brought you the incessant Daughtry promotion last year. (Please note almost none of the clips in the Daughtry montage are from Raycom games - you can tell because they're in focus.) The SEC has to move its TV deal to someone better after this season and stop making fans endure this low quality junk.
George Carlin's last interview turns out to have apparently been with Psychology Today. It's a fascinating look at a complicated guy's thought process, and well worth your time if you have any interest in his work. Sam Kinison and Carlin are gone - at least we'll always have Carlos Mencia plagiarizing their material.