The NBA Playoffs haven't had much to offer this year, with three sweeps in round two and no overtime games at all to this point. Last night was supposed to be different, as Cleveland and Boston played a critical game five of their series. Instead we saw Boston wreck the Cavs in a game that was never competitive in the second half. I'm a Celtics fan so the outcome was fine with me, but this raises some serious questions about LeBron James. He was terrible last night, and considering the expectations that come with being a two time MVP without a ring that's unacceptable. Game six in Boston will be a defining moment for LeBron's legacy. If he plays like he did in game three and loses he'll at least have that to fall back on. Put on another performance like this and the media in NYC will start dreaming of signing Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh instead.
When Phil Mickelson waxed ecstatic about Five Guys hamburgers at the TPC, I thought it was a little odd. There's been a great hamburger debate forever on the west coast, with In-N-Out and Fatburger the two contenders. I prefer Fatburger (and have Ice Cube on my side) , but In-N-Out seems to have more hype for whatever reason. Mickelson's comments about Five Guys being better than In-N-Out and how he had supposedly eaten there every day while he was in Jacksonville got pretty wide media exposure. To his credit, Stewart Cink exposed a key detail that Phil somehow left out. Mickelson owns the franchise rights to Five Guys in Orange County of California. Mickelson may genuinely love Five Guys, but he should have been saying "I like it so much I bought the company." Not acknowledging that is unethical on his part, and it means the next time Phil praises something you should assume he's got a financial reason for it even if it's not one of his sponsors.
How many people are there without obvious conflicts of interest who are qualified to serve as college football commentators for ESPN? I would say there are certainly enough to make Craig James expendable, which is why it's so baffling that they have no plans to change his role in any meaningful way. James is known to have badgered Texas Tech coaches demanding his son get more playing time. He forced the firing of Mike Leach through political connections and legal threats when the school's investigation had concluded no such action was needed. Once it became clear the public was largely on Leach's side of the argument, James hired a PR firm to leak videos and plant comments critical of Leach on blogs. That's just the verified stuff - lord only knows what else he may have done. James can no longer be trusted as a commentator because he clearly puts his personal agenda first. When he's praising a coach, is he doing so because his son may want to transfer there? Is a rip delivered because a coach praised Leach? How can ESPN cover the ongoing legal battle between Leach and Texas Tech fairly when reporting anything positive for the coach's side makes their own guy look bad? It's a needless conflict they're welcoming to keep an analyst who wasn't that well liked before this whole mess came to light - we're not talking Kirk Herbstreit here.
Sports Illustrated's website features a depressing story about sportsmanship on the high school level. A 50 year old track coach was able to get his team a championship by having the team that beat them's best pole vaulter's performance disqualified. What was her violation? She had a string friendship bracelet on her wrist, which apparently could be considered "jewelry". Since jewelry's not allowed, she was disqualified and the coach won. The article quotes the coach bragging that he "knows a lot of rules and regulations", but it doesn't have any quotes from the members of his team. I suspect they were embarassed and disappointed to "win" a championship not by being the best on the field of play but instead through their coach invoking a technicality irrelevant to the competition. That's how these kind of youth sports fiascos usually happen - the kids get it, but the grownups with misplaced priorities screw things up.
Beauty is a subjective thing. That makes magazines attempting to rank women on their sexiness somewhat silly, but it's been a tradition for the a couple of decades now. Earlier Esquire selected Christina Hendricks, the sultry actress from Mad Men, as their top choice. Maxim, the magazine for men who don't like to read, has now weighed in. They don't even have Hendricks in their Hot 100. According to them, Katy Perry is the hottest woman in the world. Sorry, that's ridiculous. Perry is attractive but is highly unlikely to be the hottest woman on whatever block in Los Angeles she's on at any given moment. Choices like this may explain why Maxim has gone from a red hot title to having issues that are less than 100 pages long.