Weekly Nickel 7-2-2012

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Tiger Woods (pictured above) leapfrogged Jack Nicklaus with PGA Tour win number 74 yesterday.

By Josh Kramer

Spain took their place among the elite teams in soccer history this weekend after taking home a third consecutive major title.  Wimbledon has had a March Madness type of feel with Venus Williams exiting in Round 1 and Rafael Nadal going down in Round 2.  Brad Keselowski was the king of the Kentucky Speedway.  And the “Dwight Howard Soap Opera” has opened up Season 2.  Last week was a great one, but this week will be jam-packed in its own right.  Here are the events to keep an eye on.

5.  Kentucky Speedway got it right this year.  Brad Keselowski was a happy man on Saturday night as he moved into 10th in the Sprint Cup Standings.  Now the NASCAAR crew heads to Daytona to see who can take home the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Daytona.  David Ragan came out victorious last year at this event, while the current leader of the Spring Cup Standings, Matt Kenseth, finished second.

4.  Tiger Woods is back in the building.  Or at least in the win column.  Woods has leapfrogged Jack Nicklaus in terms of PGA Tour wins and now ranks second all time at 74.  I am not going to get carried away though.  He is still out in the “Woods” in my eyes and the Tiger we once knew will never return.  Next stop, White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia for the Greenbrier Classic.

3.  Season two of the “Dwight Howard Soap Opera” is now in session.  I can guarantee that this show will not be taking home any Emmy Awards.  If the rumors are true that he is demanding a trade to Brooklyn, Jay-Z may have 99 problems, but free agency won’t be one.  A combination of Deron Williams and Dwight Howard could be deadly.  In addition, Steve Nash has been offered a three-year deal worth 36 million dollars by the Toronto Raptors.  Despite his Canadian loyalty, this would be a poor decision if Nash wants a prayer at catching his elusive first championship.  Lastly, Roy Hibbert has been offered a max deal from Portland.  Hibbert is a rapidly improving player, but a max-contract guy?  I am not so sure.  NBA free-agency is under way.  Enjoy.

2.  The All-Star teams have been announced.  Out of all the teams in the MLB, the one that has to be the most dissatisfied with the selections is none other than the Cincinnati Reds.  It appears Tony LaRussa, who has always perplexed my mind, has not forgotten what occurred on August 10, 2010 at Great American Ball Park.  To refresh your memory, watch this video.  Brandon Phillips and Johnny Cueto unfortunately are learning the hard way that people don’t forget.  My matchup of the week is set to take place in the nation’s capital.

San Francisco Giants at Washington Nationals:  Two first place teams set to throw down at Nationals Park.  What could be better as the All-Star Break creeps closer?  Fortunately for the West Coast gang, they have the pleasure of skipping both Strasburg and Gonzalez.  That doesn’t mean Zimmerman, Jackson, and Detwiler will be a cake walk.

Both of these teams are old-school in the respect that they rely on pitching and small ball to get the job done.  Bumgarner and “Mr. Perfect,” Matt Cain, have been pretty solid as of late, and Lincecum could get it going at any time.  Despite the Nationals having home-field advantage and the number one ranked rotation in the National League, I still feel the pitching matchups favor the Giants to take two of three from the top team in the NL East.

1.  Venus Williams was bounced in Round 1.  Rafael Nadal then was eliminated in Round 2.  Both Serena Williams and Roger Federer than escaped by the slimmest of margins in Round 3.  A major changing of the guard has occurred in tennis that is being highlighted at the All England Club.  Who will take home the most tradition-filled event in tennis?  We will find out this weekend.

Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.

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