Sports lend themselves to hyperbole. Everything seems oversized, over-hyped, over-sold, over-covered. Everything is the biggest, the greatest. Perspective can get trampled. But even acknowledging all of that, I wonder whether sports fans have ever had a weekend quite like this one?
NFL Draft. Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Manny Pacquiao fight. Kentucky Derby. NBA playoffs. Hockey playoffs. Yankees-Red Sox atop baseball’s platter.
It was the grand intersection of America’s Big Four team sports, plus the start of the Triple Crown racing season, plus one of the most anticipated boxing matches ever — with the winner receiving a championship belt with 3,107 emeralds and 165 hand-painted flags and worth $1 million.
Leading the way, the NFL Draft riveted fans from coast to coast Thursday with its third-highest rating ever while the “May-Pac” fight shattered pay-per-view records — despite a call by ESPN’s Keith Olbermann to boycott both events on account of the sexual-assault accusation against Jameis Winston and Mayweather’s convictions for domestic violence.
I looked up “failed boycotts” and Olbermann’s checked in second all time.
The only bigger bust of a boycott was that time in the early 1990s when, on behalf of the newspaper industry, I unsuccessfully called for a permanent national boycott of computers and the Internet.
▪ Random Evidence is happy to be back after a week’s hiatus. We were away attending a week-long seminar on how to properly address Bruce Jenner.
▪ Right after being drafted No. 1 overall by Tampa Bay, Jameis Winston posted on Instagram a photo of himself enjoying crab legs — before quickly taking it down at the Bucs’ request. To summarize, the guy known for bad decisions in college took about nine seconds to make his first one as a pro.
▪ Reality: So many Hurricanes being drafted only verifies that UM grossly underachieved going 6-7 last season. Positive spin: That Al Golden — he sure can recruit!
▪ Dolphins draft bust Dion Jordan screwed up again, failed a drug test and was suspended. Or, did that go without saying?
▪ Reality: Jets fined $100,000 for tampering with Darrelle Revis. In my dreams: Jets fined $1 billion for their fans being so annoying.
▪ Big week for rehabbing Marlins ace Jose Fernandez. He faced live batters in practice for the first time since his surgery, and also became a United States citizen. Fernandez is proof that in America anything is possible, particularly if you can throw 97 mph.
▪ Marlins star Giancarlo Stanton is swinging a bat while wearing a $3,000 Prada suit as money falls all around him in a photo spread in the latest GQ magazine. And how was your day?
▪ Marlins fans were invited to dress up on “Superhero Night” on Friday. Cannot confirm most came to the park dressed as Stanton.
▪ The Marlins released catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia. He was a free agent bust, although he did lead the team last season in longest last name.
▪ Because of the Baltimore riots, an Orioles home game against the White Sox was played in an empty stadium. Admit it. You (and everyone you know) could not resist making a Marlins attendance joke.
▪ As the NHL playoffs continue into the conference semifinals, Florida’s Aaron Ekblad was named a rookie-of-the-year finalist. Everybody agrees the Panthers’ future is bright. We just sort of wish it’d finally get here already.
▪ The Hurricanes unveiled a bronze statue of baseball coaching icon Ron Fraser. The Miami Herald considered a similar honor for longtime columnist Greg Cote, thought better of it, and settled for a bobblehead.
▪ I think Billy Donovan, who quit as the Florida Gators’ basketball coach late last week, already has been with the Oklahoma City Thunder longer than he coached the Orlando Magic in 2007.
▪ WNBA stars Brittney Griner and Glory Johnson were arrested in a domestic-violence incident. It’s about time women in sports other than Hope Solo chipped in. Male athletes have been bearing the brunt of the idiot burden for far too long.
▪ David Beckham turned 40 on Saturday. Question is whether Miami will see that Major League Soccer team of his before he turns 50.
▪ Answer: Tiger Woods is in the field for The Players Championship at Sawgrass this week outside Jacksonville. Question: Who cares about some guy who’s No. 116 in the World Golf Ranking?
▪ Almost 28,000 workers flooded downtown Miami streets in the 30th Mercedes-Benz Corporate 5K Run. For the 30th year in a row the best time was recorded by some jerk barreling past the runners in a speeding Mercedes.
▪ The state of Florida has legalized black bear hunting after a 20-year ban. “I have little choice now but to dye my fur brown,” said a black bear.
▪ Rising LPGA star Lexi Thompson, 20, from Coral Springs, appears topless, barely covered by a towel, on the cover of the new Golf Digest. You’d think the photographer would have had the decency to let her get dressed before beginning the photo shoot.
▪ Parting thought: Man, those baseball speed-up rules are really working. Went to the restroom early in Friday’s Marlins game and by the time I got back to my seat they were in Saturday’s seventh-inning stretch.
Visit Greg’s Random Evidence blog daily at MiamiHerald.com and follow on Twitter @gregcote and also on Facebook, Instagram and Vine.
Today: Dolphins first-round wide receivers. This was only the fifth in 50 Miami drafts:
To be determined
Ted Ginn Jr./Ohio State
49G, 133 rec./C-
8G, 18 rec./F
O.J. McDuffie/Penn State
126G, 465 rec./B+
28G, 35 rec./D
Note: Dolphins career numbers include regular season and playoff games. Miami second-round wide receivers have been Otto Stowe (1971), Fred Solomon (1975), Mark Duper (1982), Scott Schwedes (1987), Chris Chambers (2001) and Jarvis Landry (2014).
WHAT SOUTH FLORIDA SPORTS FANS ARE TALKING ABOUT
Fins get Parker in NFL Draft’s first round: Miami took Louisville receiver DeVante Parker 14th overall in the draft, and I’m not sure who was happier and smiling wider late Thursday night: Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill, for getting a premier 6-2 pass catcher, or yours truly for actually being right for once in his Miami Herald mock draft.
Mayweather, Pacquiao in Fight of Century: Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquaio finally had their long-anticipated title fight in Las Vegas on Saturday night. Although, given how major fights are so notorious for delays and getting under way so late, I’m not sure what is the better question: “Who won?” Or, “Has it started yet!?”
Cavs-Bulls tops conference semifinals round: The NBA is getting down to its final eight teams, and Cleveland-Chicago could top the marquee for the next round. With Kevin Love out for the Cavaliers, the Bulls might have a real shot at an upset. Heat fans have a dilemma, though. Rooting against LeBron now means cheering for Joakim Noah.
Fish rebound nicely from awful start: Entering their series with Philadelphia, the Marlins had won seven of eight games since that 3-11 start that almost got manager Mike Redmond prematurely fired. But now the Fish set out Monday on a 10-game trip. Uh oh. Could soon be time to again talk owner Jeffrey Loria out of doing something rash.
5. HORSE RACING
Kentucky Derby begins Triple Crown season: A horse named American Pharaoh went off favored in Saturday’s 141st Kentucky Derby. We now have 13 days, until the Preakness, to kid ourselves (as we do every year) that whatever horse won the Derby might become thoroughbred racing’s first Triple Crown winner since Affirmed in 1978.