Daytona 500 Sunday Thoughts

USA TODAY Sports

Another week, another Sunday. This one is a little sweeter than many, as we kick off the NASCAR season and polish off the Match Play Golf. I'll get into those in a second. First I want to discuss our basketball program. Watching the last couple of games brings back memories of my college years-a basketball team that is not worth a shit. Clemson gave away the Miami game. I don't care about the phantom charge, if the Tigers simply convert from the line they win that game. That is another trend that has held true through the years. Clemson has no clue how to shoot free throws and never have been good at the line. Death, taxes, and a shitty percentage from the free throw line for our Tigers...you can count on each. The Maryland game yesterday was just tough to watch. We came out and were playing well early only to crap the bed as the game played out. I like Brad Brownell and will give him time but at some point Clemson has to win some basketball games and put it together in a close one.

With February closing down, we are approaching Spring football. Other programs around the land have already kicked off their drills and we are eager for the Tigers to get going as well. We'll see if Clemson can make improvements on defense and if the Tigers can replace Nuk Hopkins. We hope this is the first step to another ACC Championship and maybe a special season...that is still putting the horse in front of the cart as our Tigers have a lot of work to do to improve enough to be considered one of the nation's elite. Don't get me wrong, the Peach Bowl win was big but Clemson has to keep on keeping on preparing for the Dawgs. That game should set the tone for the whole season, so let's hope we can get it right this time.

Now, the other stuff. It is Daytona 500 weekend. Yesterday's race was a good one (with the exception of the terrible incident that late in the race) and I am hoping for an exciting race today. NASCAR will need to look into fixing this issue as you should not have to fear for your life at a sporting event. This isn't the first time spectators have been involved in an auto racing incident but hopefully they can figure out how to keep all the parts on the track. The solution may be as simple as modifying the current fencing at the tracks, I don't know. What I do know is that this was a freak accident and should be considered the exception, not the rule. On the bright side, the car did stay inside the race track sans the tire and the engine that made it through the base of the catch fence. Things could have been much worse though I believe the powers that be did a good job getting through the accident and trying to assure that the fans are alright.

So far as the racing goes, I think the powers that be within Neckcar really did the sport a favor with the new car and the aero-package they put together for Daytona. Pairs of cars just did not look proper at the 500 and I am glad we'll see more pack racing than we've seen in recent years. The drivers also seem to be receptive to their new sleds and the more comfortable they are the better the racing should be for all of us. Hopefully the weather will cooperate today and we'll get some action this afternoon. I will be honest, though, I would not be a bit disappointed to see a Monday night Daytona 500 like we had last year. The only thing that I fear is this thing turning into the Danica 500.

This week's golf action is the Accenture Match Play out in Arizona. I really enjoy match play golf and wish that there were more of these events every year. While the field is limited, there is just something about match play that get you excited. Every hole is a new adventure, thus allowing the players to be more aggressive than usual as a failure only results in the loss of one hole. I also enjoy seeking the players play each other instead of an entire field. The play seems more competitive and the players are always watching their opponent in addition to themselves. Guys are more interested in who is away, how the opponent plays his shot, and what is necessary to be one stroke ahead of the opposition on any given hole.

That is all I got today. Have a good week and I'll chat with you in March.

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