By Mike Bruu, TSB Sports Writer
1. Welcome back, my friendly sports nerds. This is another quality production of The Numbers Game, the column that promises to leave you walking away with both sports knowledge and a new song to listen to on your iPod. Before I begin I need to give a big shout out to everyone who came out to the Hollie Cavanagh watch party at the McKinney Performing Arts Center last night to tune into a little American Idol. That is exactly the kind of local support that makes MacTown so great to be a part of. Next week I might even have to get up on stage during commercials and do a little stand-up comedy routine. How bout that ride in? I guess that’s why they call it Sin City. Let’s go to sports.
2. R.I.P Junior Seau. As a kid who grew up watching him dominate the linebacker position in San Diego for so many years, I was very sad to hear of his apparent suicide Wednesday morning at his Oceanside, California home. I am in the boat that says Mr. Seau kept his brain intact so that it can be studied in labs to show what football does to the human mind. And no matter how impossible this may sound, I honestly believe this is the first of many steps that occur that will one day lead to the extinction of the NFL in the next 20-30 years. Players are only getting stronger and stronger, but the bigger impact in the sports downfall will be past players suing the league for damages, or in Seau’s case, committing suicide at such a young age. I hope you find your peace Junior. What a sad day for sports.
3. Los Angeles Angels pitcher Jered Weaver threw a no-hitter on Wednesday night, only allowing two Minnesota Twins to reach base. Too bad it still only counts as one win in the standings, which still leaves you 7 back of Texas. I generally hate people who scoreboard watch in May and start giving me daily updates on the standings when temperatures are still in the 70s and 80s, but I just can’t see the Rangers playing poor enough baseball to allow L.A. to get within 2-3 games until late August or early September. The race will get close at some point this season, but the gap can only be shrunk that drastically if Texas goes on a lengthy losing streak at some point. And I don’t know about you, but I don’t think the Rangers have the lineup or rotation to allow themselves to lose five or six straight.
4. By the way, I have as many home runs as Albert Pujols. I would much rather be saying I have the same contract as he does, but we will start with the home runs first and work our way up.
5. Utah State and San Jose State University are joining the Mountain West Conference, beginning in the 2013-14 season. And that has been The Numbers Game Worthless Factoid of the Week, presented by the Fox Sports Southwest Girls.
6. The Tampa Bay Rays total attendance in the first three games of the home series versus Seattle, which were all wins by the way: 29,267. The Rays are currently 17-8 and tied with Texas for the best record in the American League. Somehow those two stats don’t seem to add up. To put it into perspective, the Rays’ Double-A affiliate, the Durham Bulls, drew 9,356 people on Wednesday night. The Rays on Wednesday night: 9,837. Yikes.
7. Happy birthdays are in order for two amazing people in the Bruu family. My amazing Grandmother celebrated her b-day on Monday, while my incredible Mom will celebrate her day on Friday. I would not be half the man I am today without those two in my life. I love you guys.
8. Oh, you want me to hand out a 2012 Cowboys draft grade? I will have to respectively decline and not because I don’t want to do it, but I find it extremely pointless. The only way you can truly evaluate a draft is three years down the line, so let’s go back three years and give that Dallas draft a letter grade, shall we? This would of course be the 2009 draft class that saw no first round pick due to the Roy Williams trade with the Detroit Lions in one of the greatest rip-offs in NFL history. So the Boys first pick was at number 69 in the third round, where they selected outside linebacker Jason Williams from Western Illinois. His career was so impactful that he found himself cut by Dallas on November 2, 2010. The other names of interest on the board include QB Stephen McGee, DE Victor Butler, and K David Buehler. Of the 12 players selected by Dallas in 09, only Butler has made any kind of noticeable contribution with his 8 sacks over three seasons. So if I had to pass out a grade, I believe the red ink would spell out a big ole ‘F’. But don’t worry Jerry everyone has bad drafts. That’s your only poor one recently, right?
9. Who would have thought that the team with Jason Kidd, Vince Carter, Shaun Marion, and Dirk would be the team that couldn’t close out games late in the postseason? While I still stand by my prediction that this series goes 6-7 games, the thought of the Mavs having to win three out of four games just to make it to Game 7 gives me no confidence. This might be a sweep for the Oklahoma City Thunder, but it would be one of the most competitive and fascinating sweeps the NBA has ever seen. My Game 3 prediction: Mavs 97, Thunder 95. Series goes to 2-1.
10. I was only off by about two and a half hours with my NFL Draft first round time prediction. I had no idea the Commissioner would be playing catch up all night trying to announce the picks. Having a first round that is roughly 3 ½ hours long is absolutely perfect for the NFL and the fans. Keeps you engaged but doesn’t wear you out. I can honestly say that attending the NFL Draft is on my sports bucket list. Speaking of my sports bucket list, that needs to be a topic on TNG one week. I have quite the list going that includes a very famous tennis competition, an extravagant ballpark trip, and the most legendary horse race in the world. Remind me to share that list very soon, Siri.
11. Song of the Week: Apologize – Hollywood Undead. I am not ashamed to admit it, but I grew up a huge NSYNC fan. Yeah, I said it. So that is maybe why I have always loved Hollywood Undead, a group of six Los Angeles rappers/singers who can sometimes harmonize like an R-rated NSYNC jam. While they have blossomed in the world of alternative rap-rock, H.U. have become a huge success both in the U.S. and overseas and have become somewhat of cultural icons in the music world, most notably for their wild masks they wear on stage and during music videos. This is in that category of adults only and is one of their crazier tracks in the catalog, but some of the deeper songs really do have some strong lyrics and incredible guitar riffs.
12. I literally cannot wait to see The Avengers. If one more person tells me that they aren’t really that excited to see it, I am going to World Peace somebody. I really won’t, but I spent this entire column thinking of some way to include that line. Your welcome everybody. You are welcome.
13. The Tampa Bay Bucs signed paralyzed former Rutgers player Eric LeGrand on Wednesday morning in a story that the league thought would be the biggest news of the day. LeGrand was a special teams player for Rutgers when he was paralyzed from the neck down after a tackle in October 2010 versus Army. Greg Schiano, the former coach at Rutgers and now the man in charge in Tampa, released a statement that said, “Leading up to the draft, I couldn’t help but think that this should’ve been Eric’s draft class. This small gesture is the least we could do to recognize his character, spirit, and perseverance. I dare anyone to watch LeGrand’s piece of ESPN about his attempt to try and walk again someday and try to make it through without a tear coming out. A really tremendous move by Schiano and the Bucs for a really inspirational man.
14. Thank you B.o.B for once again proving that you can sell millions of records if you say that you are having a battle between your two personas, and that they album has tracks “made” by each one and you just have to listen to find out which side won. It is a very tired bit, but I still went out and bought the album and have to admit that it was very good. Carried entirely by its singles, but still a really strong album. “Out of My Mind” with Nicki Minaj might be the craziest three and a half minutes you will hear in a while. I love it and hate it all at the same time. It is one of those songs that you should play in front of your parents and see how long they can listen to it before their heads explode. Yeah, it is that kind of song.
15. I know not too many people have heard of her, but this Carrie Underwood singer is pretty good. I forgot just how good her music is since I haven’t seen her on the front of the charts in a while. Also, she may just be one of the most beautiful women on the planet, hands down. I think a lot of people no longer think of her as the girl from American Idol, but rather as one of the great country singers of this era, which is exactly what you want from being on the show. If A.I is the highlight of your career, something went wrong along the way.
16. The Office is getting weirder and weirder every week, but somehow that show still draws me in, even with Michael Scott’s absence. My only hope for the show is that in the series finale Steve makes an appearance to just pay homage to one of the most influential sitcoms of all time.
17. Washington Nationals budding superstar Bryce Harper is going to be an absolute stud in just 2-3 years. He will have to cut that swing of his down a bit because it is a little long through the hitting zone right now, but the kid plays hard every single pitch which is exactly what you ask for. You can’t be 19 and in the Major Leagues unless you played the game the right way. Yes he is a little cocky when he plays the game, but I would take a team full of Bryce Harpers because I know that I am going to get 110 percent each and every game. Plus, how many rookies in their first professional at-bat are already getting booed? The kids going to be a lightning rod in this league for years to come, but boy is he going to be fun to watch, my friends.
18. Well that concludes the future award winning Numbers Game, brought to you by the fine folks at TownSquareBuzz.com, which I must ask that you visit as often as you can. Follow me @TSBSportsBruu for sports, entertainment, and life lessons. Until next time, ladies and gentlemen.