Saturday March 8, 2008


Welcome to an exciting edition of Today’s Sports Update. I’m Sebastian Maldonado bringing you all of the latest news in sports. We got a lot of news to cover and another new segment to introduce.

The NBA Playoffs hunt continues. Here is a list of the teams that have the playoff spots right now:

*= division leader

X= clinched playoff spot

Eastern Conference
Team

GB

1. X* Boston

2. * Detroit

4.0

3. * Orlando

9.5

4. Cleveland

14.0

5. Toronto

15.5

6. Washington

18.5

7. Philadelphia

20.0

8. New Jersey

23.0

Western Conference
Team

GB

1. *  LA Lakers

2. * San Antonio

0.5

3. New Orleans

1.5

4. * Utah

3.5

5. Houston

2.5

6. Phoenix

4.0

7. Dallas

5.0

8. Golden State

5.5

It’s clear that this post-season is set to be the most competitive playoffs in recent memory. The West may be loaded with good teams, but do not underestimate the East. Stay tuned for the latest.

The football off-season has heated up with the free agent market. The Jets have been the busiest in the past week. They traded LB Jonathan Vilma to the Saints for a 2008 4th Round Draft Pick and a possible 2nd/3rd Round pick for 2009. They also traded for Carolina DT Kris Jenkins. They signed offensive tackle Alan Franca to a 4-year deal. The 49ers have also been busy just as much as the Jets. They signed DE Justin Smith for a 6-year contract. They also picked up RB DeShaun Foster to help RB Frank Gore with the running game.

The Super Bowl participants, on the other hand, are losing some of their guys. The Giants lost LBs Reggie Torbor & Kawika Mitchell, and safety Gibril Wilson. Former Patriots WR Donte Stallworth went to Cleveland, and CB Asante Samuel signed with Philadelphia. The Patriots also lost cornerback Randall Gay and OLB Rosevelt Colvin. However, they kept WR Randy Moss for a 3-year, $27 million deal. Don’t expect the NFL off-season to be slowing down. For more on the off-season, go to nfl.com.

Spring Training is in full gear. Too bad the Mets aren’t. They are starting the spring fling with an injury depth chart. OF Ryan Church has a Grade 2 concussion. 1B Carlos Delgado went back to New York for an MRI on his hip. Other guys that are injured are CF Carlos Beltran, 2B Luis Castillo, and pitcher Orlando Hernandez. The Yankees seem to be up and down. The hitting is good, but the pitching is shaky. Plus, teams have renewed contracts of some key players, such as Rockies OF Brad Hawpe, and Royals 3B Alex Gordon. Yet, Brewers 1B Prince Fielder is not happy with his contract. Last year’s MVP candidate will get only $670,000 for this season. That’s interesting since he led the National League in home runs. Will Fielder get his due, or will he go elsewhere? Hey, we should know that one of the motivations for baseball players is the money. Everybody has a price. $$$

“UFC 82: Pride of a Champion” was witness to history. The main event was a title unification match of the Middleweight Division. The UFC Champion, Anderson “The Spider” Silva, took on PRIDE Champion, Dan “Hollywood” Henderson. Silva made Henderson tap out in the 2nd Round with a rear naked choke. The victory proves that Anderson Silva is the greatest Middleweight fighter right now. He has won six matches in a row, and he doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon. In other news, UFC will host a live Fight Night event on April 2nd on “SpikeTV”. After that broadcast will be the premiere of the new season of The Ultimate Fighter. This year’s coaches will be UFC Light-Heavyweight Champion Quentin “Rampage” Jackson and #1 contender Forrest Griffin. Check local listings.

MARCH MADNESS IS ON THE WAY!!! CAN YOU FEEL THE ELECTRICITY IN THE AIR? Now, here are some helpful hints on how to win the bracket of all brackets:

  1. ALWAYS PICK AN UPSET. There usually is one team that is a better seed but loses. It also helps to be aware of that team that gets a streak going (George Mason University, for example).
  2. EXPECT THE FAVORITES TO WIN A LOT OF GAMES. The big teams that play well last longer than most. Be on the lookout for North Carolina, UCLA, Memphis, and Tennessee to name a few.
  3. WIN THE TITLE. You are not victorious unless your pick wins it all. It does not matter if you have the least amount wrong and no championship. Do not settle for less.

These are some helpful hints that will help you win your bracket whoever you play against. MARCH MADNESS will begin March 16th, so mark you calendars.

Time for the issues to be heard in:

The Athlete’s Court:

There’s not much going on in the courts, but there is some news. The FBI is currently investigating Roger Clemens’ statement. If Clemens did lie in his hearing, he could face perjury charges and jail time. Barry Bonds could also face the same fate. Will both men go down for the same charges? Stay tuned…

Time for the magic man to take over!

Pure Magic:

Finally, Pro Wrestling has made its first appearance in Today’s Sports Update. Why? Well, you could thank Floyd “Money” Mayweather for the appearance. Mayweather is going to wrestle or at least fight in the WWE’s PPV event called Wrestlemania XXIV. Mayweather will take on the “Big Show”, who is the largest athlete in the world (7’2″, 430 lbs.). Mayweather was paid $20 million for the fight. Is it worth it? Who knows?

This is hardly the first time that a boxer has been involved in pro wrestling. Mayweather’s friend, Mike Tyson, was the “special guest enforcer” for the main event at Wrestlemania XIV. The main event featured their WWE Champion Shawn Michaels vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin. It’s pretty obvious that this Wrestlemania will be a big draw with the appearance of the boxing champion. Yet, many fans are divided. Not many people like the flamboyant, arrogant champion. Then again, not many people are wrestling fans. It would be a disaster if Mayweather suffered any injuries during his match. Otherwise, just sit back and try to enjoy the “show”.

Congratulations To:

  1. Yankees owner Hank Steinbrenner and Red Sox owner John Henry are keeping the rivalry alive. One of the biggest rivalries just got upgraded (if you could believe it) to “Godfather” status. They both like each other, but it’s “just business”.
  2. Cornell is the first team to clinch a berth in MARCH MADNESS. Plus, UCLA won the Pac-10 against Stanford in overtime.

Final Thoughts:

It’s official, ladies and gentlemen. Brett Favre has retired from the game of football. Favre went down fighting in the NFC Championship game against the Giants. Yet, he will not be remembered for that game alone. Brett Favre will be remembered for bringing the Vince Lombardi Trophy back to Lambeau Field. He will be remembered for leading all quarterbacks in consecutive starts, touchdowns, and passing yards. Brett Favre is a future Hall-of-Famer, and he is the last man to represent the old school type of QB. A new era is rising for NFL QBs, and Favre will take that peaceful ride into the sunset. On behalf of all NFL fans, we wish you well, Brett. We’ll miss you.

Well, that’s it for today. Because of my schedule, I will be going bi-weekly. Plus, the sports special is coming back for my preview of Major League Baseball. Pure Magic is coming too, as I will make some bold predictions on who wins what. Until then, see you in two weeks, you KNUCKLEHEADS!!!

Yours truly,

Sebastian Maldonado

Copyright © 2007 by Sebastian Maldonado

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