"Roughing the Passer - A PK Frazier Novel"

My new book, "Offsetting Penalties - A PK Frazier Novel" is the follow-up to "Illegal Procedure" and "Roughing the Passer" and is now available in print and in e-formats at amazon.com, smashwords.com and iBooks. Follow me on twitter @kevinkrest.

Monday, June 8, 2015

AMERICAN PHAROAH, LEBRON AND TIGER: A TRIPLE CROWN, A TRIPLE DOUBLE AND TRIPLE BOGEYS



Finally, a Triple Crown Winner: In what was a terrific run by a fantastic horse, favorite American Pharoah finished off an historic Triple Crown run by pulling away for victory in Saturday’s Belmont Stakes. The horse’s owner Ahmed Zayat gave an emotional speech after his horse accomplished something last done by Affirmed in 1978. His trainer, the legendary Bob Baffert, had failed in three prior attempts when one of his horses entered the Belmont with two jewels of the Crown in the books. But on a glorious Saturday afternoon, American Pharoah went immediately to the front of the eight horse field and was never headed, increasing his lead to five and a half lengths as he crossed the finish line, with jockey Victor Espinoza standing in the saddle. Zayat says he’ll continue to race the horse and Espinoza is giving his Belmont winnings to a charity that is involved in the fight against cancer. All in all, a wonderful, feel-good horse racing story.  Is this horse among the greatest ever? He’s probably right in the pack that trails Secretariat. Why do I have Secretariat at the top? Because despite a strong run on Saturday, American Pharoah still would have lost to the great 1973 Triple Crown winner by 15 lengths. End of argument!

LeBron’s Magnificence:  How much more can the Ohio native do to lead his team to an improbable championship run? Not much. In two NBA Finals games, LeBron James has 83 points and put up ridiculous numbers in the Cavaliers’ overtime victory last night. Thirty-nine points, sixteen rebounds and eleven assists created a stat line that had never been seen in the NBA Playoffs that began way back in 1947. Even though they gave up thirty-six points to Warriors’ guard Klay Thompson, the Cavs’ scrappy Matthew Dellavedova was able to chase league MVP Steph Curry around and limit him to 19 points on 5 of 23 shooting from the floor. Can a team that only goes seven deep after losing all star guard Kyrie Irving for the series pull out the series against a deeper and, after James, more talented team? Probably not. But after extending the Warriors to overtime in both games at an arena that was the most difficult for visiting teams this past season, perhaps James has some magic left in the tank. It was his twenty-third straight series where his team claimed a victory on the road. But if Curry finds his shooting touch and Klay Thompson stays hot, I just don’t see how the Cavs can score enough, unless J. R. Smith can pour in some threes and keep them close. 

Tiger’s Diminishing Skills: After shooting an 85 on a course where he’s won eight tournaments as an amateur and professional, it’s pretty apparent that the one-time dominant golfer has lost his swing, his confidence or both. After swing changes, injuries and personal issues, Tiger seems to have lost his way. I think it’s interesting that a couple of his high scores have come on Saturday, after making the cut pretty close to the number the day before. It’s been rumored that he is back to some of his former womanizing days, which may be jeopardizing his once legendary focus. Don’t get me wrong, I really don’t care what he does with his personal time, but I’m merely speculating on why he seems to play so terribly when it’s evident he’s out of the running in a tournament.  As Tiger approaches his fortieth birthday, it’s becoming fairly obvious that his lifelong goal of challenging jack Nicklaus’ eighteen major championship titles is no longer a possibility. Will he be satisfied with being relegated to another guy in the field, trying to make cuts and occasionally get into contention? That’s a question that only he will be able to answer, but at this point it doesn’t look like it.

Don't forget to check out my new book, "Roughing the Passer - A PK Frazier Novel" and my first, "Illegal Procedure - A PK Frazier Novel", available in print and e-formats at Amazon.com, iBooks and Smashwords.