Eight Things I Learned – Not Ready for Prime Time
It was a great weekend of sports, highlighted by a dramatic final round of golf from Augusta National.
1. Rory McIlroy is still not ready for golf's biggest stage, although it took us until #10 on Sunday to realize that.
2. Charl Schwartzel was ready for his green jacket. What a great final round by the South African, who birdied 18 to leave his mark on Augusta National and his first PGA Tour win.
3. Tiger Woods is back, sort of. Add me to the group that thought Tiger would add another green jacket to his collection when he shot a 31 through the first 9 holes Sunday. His putter is still not all the way back and Woods had to settle for a 4th place tie. It will be interesting to see how he plays during the next few tournaments.
4. The Heat will not be bullied. They might have lost their first 3 games against the Boston Celtics, but the Miami Heat showed Sunday that they are ready to make their postseason charge. A convincing 100-77 win has Miami all alone in 2nd place and a potential playoff meeting with Philadelphia.
5. The Texas Rangers are continuing right where they left off last season. They have won 8 of their first 9 games and have been getting great pitching during their winning streak. Cliff who?
6. Manny Ramirez had no regard for Major League Baseball's drug policy. I can't feel too bad for a superstar who tested positive (again) for a performance-enhacing drug. Obviously, Ramirez did not care about returning to the Rays, and instead chose to retire rather than sit out 100 games. Great baseball player, but how many seasons was he juiced up?
7. UTEP's top seniors struggled to score at the Portsmouth Invitational. Randy Culpepper shoots a combined 6-26 in three games, you know things are not going well. Julyan Stone shot a combined 2-7 in his three games, but did grab plenty of rebounds and dish out the assists. Even if both do not get a chance to make an NBA roster, they should have nice, productive professional careers overseas.
8. Mixed Martial Arts is a brutal sport. After ring announcing this past Friday's Rogue Warrior Championship Cage Fighting Event at the Coliseum, I watched a total of eight bouts. Sitting ringside, it is easy to understand why MMA has caught on as one of the most exciting action-packed sports. Thomas Soto, Oscar De La Parra, Esteves Jones, Darrell Schoonover, Josh Hinkle, Rich Clementi, and the rest of the fighters put on an incredible show for the nearly 3,000 fans in attendance and made me a fan.