Its a huge weekend for women in sports.
I speak of Danica Patrick commanding center stage in Sundays Daytona 500, after Ronda Rousey and Liz Carmouche made Saturdays UFC 157 the first mixed-martial arts card headlined by women.
First, the fight:
What a historic watershed for the gender! To think that women have advanced so far in society that they now enjoy the very same rights as men to punch and kick each other. God bless America!
(I watched the fight, by the way, and I must say that, personally, I think UM president Donna Shalala could beat either one of those women based on the clobbering I just saw her deliver to the NCAA.)
Now, on to the race:
Gentlemen, start your engines! And you, too, Danica!
The Daytona 500 launches Patricks first full season of NASCAR Sprint Cup racing, and everyone is wondering whether shell live up to the hype and prove she is more than just the sex-symbol image she has invited with her suggestive, racy GoDaddy ads and revealing photo shoots.
Shell need to start winning to make racing the first think you think of when you hear her name. Put it this way:
When somebody said to me this week, Danica is on the pole, I was relieved to find out they meant her position on the racetrack.
• The Dolphins have an NFL-high 55 coaches, scouts and other personnel at the pre-draft NFL Combine in Indianapolis. Miami is blanketing this thing and analyzing college players like no other team. On Saturday, I saw Jeff Ireland sprinting alongside a receiver asking him questions during the 40-yard dash.
• Cant wait for the next episode in the Heats ongoing series with its biggest hated rival. I dont mean the Knicks or Celtics or whomever the opponent in the NBA Finals might be. I mean Lil Wayne.
• The PGA Tours Florida swing starts Thursday with the Honda Classic in Palm Beach Gardens, with worlds No. 1 and 2 players, Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods, possibly paired together. I dont wanna say theyd draw by far the biggest gallery, but the rest of the field could play nude and no one would notice.
• UM baseball was 5-0 entering Saturdays tribute game for iconic former coach Ron Fraser that followed a celebration of his life earlier in the day. You want this season to be a fitting tribute, Canes? Get to the College World Series. And win it.
• Former FIU football coach Mario Cristobal left UMs staff for Alabama after just a month on the job. Not sure now about Cristobals dream of being the Canes head coach someday. That bridge he just crossed seems to be smoldering. Wait. Oh! It just burst into flames.
• FAU sold naming rights to the Owls football stadium to GEO Group, which privately runs prisons. Even odds on the place being nicknamed Owlcatraz. Our other suggestions: Call program founder Howard Schnellenberger The Warden, outfit cheerleaders in vertical stripes and replace player uniforms with county-issue orange jumpsuits.
• Panthers getting desperate as they play host to Boston on Sunday, with the truncated NHL season already more than one-third done and Florida reeling after six losses in their past seven games. The Cats called up goalie-of-the-future Jacob Markstrom, but the problem isnt goaltending. The problem is blowing more leads than a lazy detective.