Stories from around the leagues

Dan Madden

When I wrote this column, the MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL, MLS and college football were all still playing, with college basketball quickly approaching, thank God, because we will soon lose the MLB. And due to the rarity of all major American sports overlapping, I think it would help to give a quick summary of all that has happened so far in each.

Major League Baseball has just ended. Either way, since a seven-month season cannot be summed up in a few sentences, I decided not to write on it at all.

Ah yes, the NBA. To start, ESPN now runs the bottom line with a “Heat Alert.” Also, the Cavaliers beat the Celtics who beat the Heat, so with a little mathematics, the Cavaliers beat LeBron James. And the most exciting thing that could happen this season is if the Nets went 0 and 82, the Russians invaded or Mikhail Prokhorov forced the secession of New Jersey.

One thing I hope to see this NBA season is a Besiktas game featuring Allen Iverson on ESPN Friday night.

Even if Iverson seems to have fallen off the map, he is actually just anticipating the five-team European division for the NBA that David Stern predicts will happen in 10 years.

Next, the NFL has not made sense all season. Most particularly ridiculous is the concussion controversy of the past few weeks, which has led the NFL to release a video on the proper way to hit. It also released a list of those who purposefully hit hard and therefore ,who teams should look out for. So I guess you could call it the hit-hit list. Okay, bad joke. But the real issue right now is that the NFL picked Ray Lewis as the model for how to hit someone.

The video showed a clip of him wrecking some unfortunate receiver who probably ended up with a concussion, but he was okay since he didn’t go head-to-head. And if we take “hit” in terms of performing an act of murder on two guys outside a party scene, then I agree that Ray Lewis is the appropriate model. But more seriously, Ray Lewis was involved in two killings, and yet he’s the model the NFL uses.

In more recent NFL news, JaMarcus Russell has not been indicted for codeine syrup and is working on making a comeback. Usually players have to be good before they get kicked out from substance abuse in order to make a comeback. Going to the Midwest, Wisconsin political candidates decided to halt all possible campaign interruptions during the Packers game except for commercials, so as not to disturb the citizens and have the campaign backfire, thus making the Packers game more important for the people of Wisconsin than the state’s future. Then again, you have to respect that the state’s future hinges on the Packer’s future.

I have nothing to say for the NHL, except that there have not been nearly enough fights. Speaking of fighting, UFC has a dude named Cain Velasquez. I can’t think of a more intimidating person.

And nothing really excites me about MLS. However, I did find out that the Chicago Fire play in a stadium called Pizza Hut Park, which then spurred me into trying to find what other awesome names for stadiums exist. The Detroit Pistons’ Palace at Auburn Hills has the royalty aspect. Fulham’s Craven Cottage matches perfectly with that simple English countryside feel. The Edmonton Oilers’ Rexall Place ought to be the house of Sherlock Holmes.

To make a quick connection between the last two stadiums, apparently Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, author of the “Sherlock Holmes” stories, may have lived on the grounds where the Craven Cottage now stands.

I guess you could say that Craven Cottage is a pretty desirous place to live. And the Calgary Flames’ Pengrowth Saddledome sounds like a farm.

The lack of a playoff in college football still irritates people. Just embrace the reality that Boise State has little chance of making it to the title game. Root now for every top team to lose.

Except Oregon. You can’t root against Oregon. That’s like rooting against having fun. And no possession will go without a touchdown if Boise State and Oregon play for the National Championship.

Going from one college sport to another, we will soon have college basketball.