SpoFi NBA Playoff Pick 'Em: Round Two. First game tips off at 1 PM Eastern tomorrow, so hurry up and get your picks in.
Relegation-Bound Blackpool's Fans Storm Field, Cancel Match: The fans in Blackpool invaded the field during the English Championship team's final game before relegation Saturday, calling for chairman Karl Oyston's ouster. The game had to be cancelled. Fans announced earlier they would begin their anti-Oyston protest at the statue of legendary Blackpool player Stan Mortensen outside their stadium. The team had the statue cut down on Tuesday, so all that remains is the base. Daniel Taylor of The Guardian writes of Oyston, "I couldn't say with absolute certainty that he is deliberately setting out to be regarded as the most unpleasant man in the business, but he is certainly making a good fist of it."
Chris Rock on baseball losing the Black market: HBO's Real Sports offers up this seven-minute monologue featuring Rock's memories of growing up a Mets fan in the 80's and his perspective on the (fairly commonly accepted) idea that MLB is failing to keep the attention of African-Americans.
Sources: Billy Donovan will coach the OKC Thunder: The University of Florida men's coach will replace Scott Brooks, who was fired last week after an injury-riddled season that ended without a playoff berth.
NHL Playoff Pick 'Em, Round 2: Round two play begins tonight at 7:30 p.m. Eastern. Pick the four teams that will advance out of the second round and the number of games each series will require: Chicago vs. Minnesota, Anaheim vs. Calgary, Montreal vs. Tampa Bay, New York Rangers vs. Washington. One extra point on winning picks for getting the number of games right. Another extra point for picking the top point scorer (goals plus assists) in each playoff series. A final point for picking the goalie with the best goals against average in this round with at least three periods played.
Calvin Peete: who taught himself how to play golf at 24[!!] and became the most successful black player on the PGA Tour before the arrival of Tiger Woods, died Wednesday morning, the PGA Tour said. He was 71.
How Big Will Mayweather-Pacquiao Be Saturday?: On Saturday night, Floyd Mayweather Jr. fights Manny Pacquiao at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas in a welterweight title bout that is expected to generate more pay-per-view revenue than any bout in history. Pent-up demand for the fight has fostered expectations that it will exceed the records for pay-per-view boxing purchases (2.48 million for Mayweather's win over Oscar De La Hoya in 2007) and for revenue ($152 million for Mayweather's defeat of Saul Alvarez two years ago). The cost of watching Pacquiao fight Mayweather -- at a suggested price of $89.95 to $99.95 -- is a record for boxing.
Fan Injured by Airborne Baseball Bat at Wrigley Field: A fan sitting a few rows back near the on-deck circle was struck by a bat that left the hands of Chicago Cubs rookie Addison Russell during a game Monday night. The fan has been hospitalized for his injuries. "When the bat was in mid-flight, my mind was screaming 'watch out, watch out,'" Russell said. "I saw the kid's glasses fly, and it wasn't pretty. I feel very bad." He said he hopes to give the fan an autographed bat.
Rangers Close to Trade with Angels for Josh Hamilton: The Texas Rangers are close to completing a trade with the Los Angeles Angels for Josh Hamilton, according to media reports from Dallas/Fort Worth media. Radio host Ben Rogers tweeted, "My guess is that no big contracts will be traded back to the Angels. I expect this will be the Angels paying a ton of his salary." Hamilton is currently both an injury and a substance abuse concern. He's rehabbing offseason shoulder surgery and self-reported his third drug abuse relapse since 2009.
Jameis Winston explains crab legs issue to Jim Harbaugh (Video): We now have an explanation from former Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston about the crab leg incident from a Tallahassee, Fla., area Publix last spring.
Remaining conviction against Barry Bonds is overturned.: More than 7 years after the original indictment (4 perjury, 1 obstruction of justice), Bonds is found not guilty of all charges.
Charles Barkley: Rick Carlisle should bench Rajon Rondo permanently.: Rondo's game 2 performance at Houston featured a first-half uncontested 8-second violation which he followed by drawing two personal fouls and a technical foul in the first 34 seconds of the third quarter. Rondo didn't see the court again and declined to speak to reporters after the game. He is widely rumored to sign a free-agent contract with the Lakers in the off-season.
Arsene Wenger, The Martyr: The sacrifices involved in playing the beautiful game.
Fan Hit in Head by Foul Ball Through Home-Plate Netting: A fan behind home plate at PNC Park in Pittsburgh was struck in the back of the head Monday night, necessitating a 23-minute delay as she was treated and stretchered off. She was standing behind the home-plate netting, but close enough to be struck anyway. Tim Kirkjian responded on ESPN that fans who don't watch the ball during a game are in serious danger, especially along the base lines close to home, but how many fans are fast enough to react even if they're paying attention?
Bryan Stow Throws Out First Pitch at Minor League Game: The San Francisco Giants fan beaten outside Dodger Stadium threw out the ceremonial first pitch at the home opener for the San Jose Giants, a team where he used to be a paramedic before he was left brain damaged in the attack four years ago. Stow still suffers memory loss and concentration issues but is able to walk and stand for short periods and gave newspaper interviews before the ceremony. "I'm excited about it," Stow told a newspaper.
U.S. Men Win 2-0 Over Mexico in San Antonio: Playing on a dismal surface, the U.S. men's national team handed Mexico another 2-0 loss in a friendly Wednesday night in San Antonio. Jordan Morris, the first current college player to play for the U.S. since 1999, scored a scrappy goal off a defender's carom and Juan Agudelo took a long pass out of the air, opened up a little space outside the box and beat the goalie to hang the famous "dos a cero" on the Americans' southern rival.
Aaron Hernandez convicted of 1st-degree murder: Unsurprising but still a tragic disappointment. Maybe they can room Hernandez and Phillips together...
Former Bradford chairman linked to at least eight fires before Valley Parade disaster: '[T]here had been at least eight other fires at business premises either owned by, or connected to, Stafford Heginbotham, Bradford’s then-chairman, in the previous 18 years, resulting in huge insurance claims . . . "Could any man really be as unlucky as Heginbotham had been?"
NHL Playoff Pick 'Em Starts Now: The playoffs begin tonight at 7 p.m. Eastern. Pick the eight teams that will advance out of the first round and the number of games each series will require: Ottawa vs. Montreal, New York Islanders vs. Washington, Chicago vs. Nashville, Calgary vs. Vancouver, Pittsburgh vs. New York Rangers, Detroit vs. Tampa Bay, Minnesota vs. St. Louis, Winnipeg vs. Anaheim. One extra point on winning picks for getting the number of games right. Another extra point for picking one of the three top goal scorers in this playoff round.