Happy President's Day! The Stack is back from a mini-vacation and ready to talk about the big headlines in sports so why wait any further? Let's see what's in "the stack" for today, Monday, February 18:
Danica Patrick wins Daytona 500 pole
"The Stack" normally doesn't normally talk NASCAR, but when history is made, it must be talked about. Danica Patrick has made Daytona 500 history by winning the pole (starting position) for next weekend's race. She is the first woman ever to win the pole position not just for the Daytona 500, but for any NASCAR race...EVER! People are calling it her greatest accomplishment. She won the 2008 Indy Japan 300 and up until Sunday, many considered that her crowning achievement in her professional career. Is this big? Absouletly it is! Nothing like this has ever happened before. Until Patrick wins a NASCAR race, little achievements like this will keep her in the national spotlight. She needs to capitalize on this and win a race. Now that will be a story! Who thinks she's got it?
Kentucky falls hard without Noel
When news came Wednesdady that Kentucky superstar Nerlens Noel tore his ACL and would miss the rest of the season, questions arose as to how the Wildcats would fair without their unquestioned leader. If Saturday's game against Tennessee is any indication, the Wildcats are in a lot of trouble. They were dumptrucked 88-58. The team looked shell-shocked. They looked lost. Surely they are bound to play better are they not? They should, but this team simply does not have the talent that they did last year to make a legit threat to win the NCAA tournament. Heck, they might not even have enough to make it to March Madness to begin with. They have a pretty easy remaining schedule, but head coach John Calipari has his work cut out if Kentucky is going to make a deep run come March. Then there is the whole one and done rule for college basketball players which is just stupid, but we'll get into that another day.
NBA All-Star weekend comes to a close
All NBA eyes were on Houston this weekend as the NBA All-Star game festivities took place at the Toyota Center and around the city. Plenty of activities and competition have gone down over the weekend. The winners include:
- Team Chuck (sophomores) beat Team Shaq (rookies) 163-135.
- Taco Bell Skills Challenge: Damian Lillard (Portland Trailblazers)
- Sharp Sears Shooting Championship: Chris Bosh (teamed with Swim Cash and Dominique Wilkins)
- Three point shooting: Kyrie Irving (Cleveland Cavaliers)
- Slam Dunk contest: Terrence Ross (Toronto Raptors)
- Al-Star Game: West beat East 143-138 (Chris Paul MVP with 20 points and 15 assists).
Good weekend for all NBA fans. A few days off before the second half of the regular season begins and all teams should be afraid of LeBron James and the Miami Heat. They are looking awfully good right now. It will be interesting to see how the second half of the NBA season pans out.
Every year in the NFL, some names hit the free agent market that you might not expect or are at the very least some big household names. Well over the past few days, several big name players will be either playing for different teams next year or retiring. The Green Bay Packers have released cornerback Charles Woodson after seven years with the organization. He won a Super Bowl with the Packers and really became one of the dominant defensive players on the team and in the NFL. Teams surely will be calling him once free agency begins. He would be a good fit in a lot of places. He was due $9 million this upcoming year, so the Packers releasing him isn't too big of a surprise.
A much bigger surprise has come in Indianapolis where the Colts have released defensive end Dwight Freeney. The sack master leaves Indy as the team's all-time leader in sacks with 107.5. He is still a dominant pass rusher and his servicecs will be sought after. Someone is going to land themselves a great defensive end and someone who perhaps will have a chip on his shoulder after the only team he's ever played released him.
Finally, perhaps the most surprising release came from the St. Louis Rams who parted ways with wide receiver Titus Young whom they just claimed off waivers from the Detroit Lions...ten days ago! What on earth happened in the last ten days that made the Rams say that this guy wasn't right for the team? You know the baggage he carries. There has to be some incident that we don't know about that made the Rams release him or they just look flat out silly for even signing him to a contract. The Rams say that after spending some time with him that he wasn't what they needed. Then why claim him in the first placae? Do your homework and use some good judgement. The Rams look a little foolish for this one.
Coming up Tuesday: Reaction to top stories in sports from Monday