By Mike Bruu, TSB Sports Writer
1. Good day to you all and welcome into my little sports laboratory that I call The Numbers Game. With the NFL Draft kicking off this evening, the NBA playoffs starting up in just a matter of days, and the Los Angeles Angels on track to finish 64 games behind the Texas Rangers, this is a very enjoyable week to be a sports fan. And for your reading treat this week I have two movie reviews that I would like to present, including a horror movie that has me oddly considering it a masterpiece. I will explain in just a little bit. Let’s talk sports.
2. By just 4 percent of the nearly 250,000 votes, Calvin Johnson a.k.a Megatron won the Madden NFL 13 cover vote over Carolina Panthers quarterback and resident tool Cam Newton. Now as a person who has supported the Lions for almost 8 years, I never imagined the day that I would see a Detroit player on the cover of the beloved video game. So while I do believe in the ‘Madden’ Curse and really hope that Megatron stays in a gigantic bubble for the next 4 months, the thought that one of the most popular players in the world plays for the Lions is something pretty cool. Congrats to Mr. Johnson and the entire Detroit organization. Good day in the D.
3. Not only are the L.A. Angels heading into Thursday’s game at Tampa Bay 8.5 games back from the first-place Texas Rangers, but Albert Pujols’ season-long slump continued Wednesday night with two more strikeouts to give him zero hits in his last nineteen at bats. When I watched a bit of the game I noticed how the Rays pitchers were throwing Pujols inside quite a bit, and instead of getting his hands inside the baseball to drive the ball back up the middle, he would pull off the ball and lose all his power from his hips. Baseball slumps usually begin as physical issues that slowly and slowly become mental, and by the way Pujols was holding his head down in the dugout and his body language up at the plate, this slump has taken its hold of King Albert.
4. I have gone on record in saying that Oklahoma City will play Miami in the NBA Finals, but if Dallas plays OKC in the first round of the playoffs like the standings appear they will, the Thunder will limp into the second round by knocking off the Mavs in a full seven game series. Three reasons: James Harden, familiarity and Dirk Nowitzki. Even though he has been cleared by doctors to play after getting a love tap in the dome from the Lakers’ Metta World Peace, I don’t know how many minutes head coach Scott Brooks will allow the best third wheel in the Western Conference to play. And for a guy that can create his own shots away from Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, his lack of minutes could be vital for the Mavs success. Secondly, despite going 1-3 this season versus the Thunder, the Mavs have always had tremendous success against OKC that includes last year’s Western Conference Finals. The Mavs will have to find a way of getting in the young minds of Oklahoma City’s to have a realistic shot at the upset. And lastly, the 7-foot German is a huge advantage both on and off the court. But while I think the Mavs will make this the most entertaining first round series of the playoffs, the Thunder are just too deep and too good to be held down. No repeat this season Cubes.
5. Hollie Cavanagh earned that standing ovation she received from the judges last night on ‘American Idol’, and because she had the opportunity to be the final performance of the evening and end the show on such a high note, that song may have been just what she needed to ensure herself another week in Los Angeles. And before I move on, I have to give big props to all of the people who came out to Jack’s Pub to support Hollie and join in on the fun. It is a lot of fun seeing this community come together to support one of our own.
6. The first round of the NFL Draft begins tonight around 6:30 p.m., and if you are like me and don’t get the NFL Network because you have to suffer through Time Warner Cable, then you will put ESPN on mute and turn on Norm Hitzges and the boys on The Ticket to get all your draft coverage. But if you didn’t get a chance to catch this week’s Sports Bruu Podcast, I selected Mark Barron with the 14th overall selection for the Dallas Cowboys. However, if reports are true that Barron has shot up draft boards in just a matter of days as one of this year’s “can’t miss prospects,” the Boys will have to move up to Buffalo or Kansas City at 10 or 11 in order to get the Alabama safety. I think Dallas needs Barron and that secondary help bad enough that Jerry Jones finds a way to trade up to get the main piece in Rob Ryan’s defense for years to come.
7. It is time for the first of two “Sports Bruu Exclusive Movie Reviews.” Let’s begin with the comedy I saw over the weekend titled Think Like A Man. Now going into this movie I expected a lot of comedian Kevin Hart and over-the-top romantic cheesiness, and that is exactly what you get for about two hours. However, the cast for this movie is very, very strong and they are able to keep four different relationship stories going for the majority of the film. And while Hart steals the movie with the crazy antics and his off-the-wall personality, Think Like A Man is able to move past being labeled as a “chick flick” but more of an adult comedy about the nuisances of relationships. My weird rating system grade: 3 out of 4 bases. See what I am doing there?
8. Song of the Week: ‘Both Of Us’ – B.o.B Featuring Taylor Swift. Now while a collaboration on paper between these two artists seem slightly far fetched, one listen to the single off of B.o.B’s second album ‘Strange Clouds’ will have you realizing that the rapper and country star can come together to make a pretty powerful pop song. While T-Swizzle only sings the chorus of the song, B.o.B raps about how he considers his words a voice for the millions of people who are considered “underdogs” in this world. While ‘Strange Clouds’ will be carried by his harder and more hip-hop sounding tracks, ‘Both Of Us’ will dominate the pop radio airwaves this summer.
9. After watching the video of the Rangers couple that caught the foul ball and refused to give it to the crying baby next to them, and then later taking pictures with the ball right next to the young lad, it only further deepened my hope that I will one day be able to catch a foul ball and give it to a young kid around me who brought his or her glove in hopes of walking out with that prized possession. Mind you I have never caught a foul ball at a big league game, but I know that when I was a kid I would have fallen deeper in love with baseball had I walked out of a ballgame carrying a piece of the action with me. I am just glad the Rangers gave the kid a ball after all and made everything good again. Oh, baseball.
10. As a Lions fan, I want Boise State defensive end Shea McClellin or Alabama cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick.
11. For as dramatic as the final night of the regular season was last September in the Major Leagues, the conclusion of the lockout shortened NBA season brings absolutely no flash or flair to the table. If you are a diehard NBA fan and just can’t get enough of the game, even you cannot say that some of the ridiculous action that has been played the last week or so interests you. And while I might be crazy, I believe the Charlotte Bobcats will have one of its most watched games of the season on TV, only to see if the Michael Jordan-led ‘Cats can finish with the lowest winning percentage in the history of the NBA. Here is a fun game to play at home with the kids: ask them to name the entire starting lineup of the Charlotte Bobcats and see how many they get. Here is the answer: G D.J. Augustin, G Gerald Henderson, F Derrick Brown, C Byron Mullens, and C Bismack Biyombo. Have fun and please be safe when playing.
12. The second “Sports Bruu Exclusive Movie Review” tackles the Lionsgate horror flick The Cabin In The Woods. Now I must inform you now, if you want to see the movie then you need to skip to the next number now to avoid the major spoiler that lies ahead. This movie is one of the most bizarre and mind-twisting movies that I have ever watched in my life, but the pure genius in the plot and the overall message has me believing that this is one of the best horror movies ever made. The explosion of all of our nightmares and fears rampaging through the building is one of the most powerful scenes I have ever seen, but I did not expect for the almighty Gods to ultimately rise up and destroy the whole world. The message that the world was becoming too destructive and too ugly for its own good, and that sometimes a fresh start could just be what it needs, is one of the reasons why I walked out of the theater already thinking about it and trying to analyze all the little details from the film. If you can get past the Saw-like gore and just savor the plot, The Cabin In The Woods is a tremendous two hours of cinema. 4 out of 4 bases.
13. I know that this has been a hot topic in the Twitter world over the last couple weeks in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, but I feel like I should put in my two cents in real quick on the issue of the Fox Sports Southwest girls. Now having developed a strong liking for sports coverage from Emily Jones and Dana Larson on FSSW, having two more female voices talking about local sports thrown at us purely because they are attractive is not very pleasant. Also, showing commercials every second inning or so is not going to make the relationship with the viewers any better, so please cut it out Fox. Please.
14. Tim Tebow has been told that he will play some punt protection on special teams. I almost could not type that sentence all the way correct because of all of the laughter I was experiencing.
15. I need to thank my editor and fellow baseball nerd Steve Kirk for allowing me to witness my first ever Yankees vs. Rangers game on Monday night. Seeing Pudge’s pregame ceremony was something really special, but being able to be in the same park as Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, and Alex Rodriguez was something very special. Make sure you check out The Sports Bruu Podcast on Monday to hear all about our adventure in Arlington.
16. The length of tonight’s NFL Draft first round: 5 hours and 3 minutes. Book it.
17. I think I have officially worn my welcome out for this week. Whether you are a new reader or one of the more loyal ones, I would select you all with my first round pick if I had one. Until next time, ladies and gentlemen.