The Art of Sports: Short takes
By Mark Lewis
So the Masters Tournament survived the absence of Tiger Woods who is recovering from back surgery. The first of the four major golf events also survived an uneventful Sunday as Bubba Watson grabbed control of the tournament from Jordan Spieth with a four-stroke swing at the end of the front nine.
The 20-year-old Spieth’s bid to become the tournament’s youngest champion kicked up interest for some but the television ratings, down 24 percent from the year before according to Sports Business Daily, told the real story on CBS. Thursday and Friday’s paltry numbers on ESPN lost 36 percent compared to last year.
Cold steel on ice: The Stanley Cup playoffs (not the NHL playoffs) begin Wednesday. Capturing the 16 victories required to win the Cup is the most difficult task in sports (more about that next week). Under a new format, even the first round becomes more arduous. For example, the Chicago Blackhawks and the St. Louis Blues will clash in a retro Norris Division rivalry. Both teams tallied over 107 points in the regular season.
Oh no, not again: It says here Donald Trump wants to buy the Buffalo Bills of the NFL. Not sure I like that plan. Many say Trump was instrumental in the demise of the USFL in 1985. The upstart league had found a niche by playing in the spring. But Trump wanted to go head-to-head with the established NFL in the fall and the league died on the vine.
Just what we need: Beginning in 2015, there will 40 college football bowl games. The Cure Bowl, with some profits going to breast cancer-related charities, will be the third bowl to be played in Orlando, Fla. As we say goodbye to the Little Caesar’s Pizza Bowl, five new bowls will open for business in 2014: Camelia Bowl (Montgomery, Ala.), Detroit Bowl, Bahamas Bowl, Miami Beach Bowl and Boca Raton Bowl.