Each week, The Reporters put their thumbs out to the good and the bad in the world of sports. This week they discuss the Philadelphia 76ers, Gregg Popovich, Royal and Ancient Golf Club and Bill Belichick. Bruce Arthur, National Post My thumb is up to the Philadelphia 76ers, proud possessors of a win streak for the first time since two weeks before the Olympics began. Any task worth doing is worth doing with commitment, and while you can argue whether tanking to get a good draft pick should be worth doing, thats the system, and the Sixers have been crafting a masterpiece. Before Saturday night they had lost 26 in a row, 29 of 30, and 36 of 39, and 27 straight losses would have a set a new record for consecutive defeats. But Saturday in Philly, the Sixers pulled one out, blowing out the hapless Detroit Pistons by 25 and getting a standing ovation. It was a raft in an ocean, a blip in the sky. But now, no matter what, they can say this: it could have been worse. Steve Simmons, Sun Media My thumb is up to Gregg Popovich, who just might be the greatest coach in the history of professional sport. And I dont say that lightly with terrific respect for the work done by Scotty Bowman and Phil Jackson and Bill Belichick, and yeah, certainly Vince Lombardi. Put your championships aside for a moment - this is the 15th straight season in which Popovichs San Antonio Spurs have won between 50 and 63 games in the NBA. To put that into perspective, thats the same number of 50-win seasons combined over that time that the Knicks, Celtics, Bulls, Warriors, Nets, Wizards, Pacers, 76ers, Bobcats, Hawks, and Raptors have won. Having Tim Duncan helps. But Duncan at 37 is slowing down. Heading to another 60 win season, Gregg Popovich doesnt seem to be. Michael Farber, Sports Illustrated My thumb is up to the R&A, for finally entering a new century. The 20th. The Royal and Ancient is urging its membership to allow women to become members of the venerable St. Andrews golf club in Scotland when it votes in September. This is a mere 260 years after the home of golf was founded, which qualifies as progress. Two other courses in the Open Championship rotation, Muirfield and Royal St. Georges, have yet to tiptoe down this perilous path to equality. By comparison, the nice gentlemen at Augusta National, which started accepting female members in 2012 - hello, Condoleeza Rice! - look like wild-eyed progressives. Dave Hodge, TSN My thumb is up to New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick, for making me seem less crazy than others think I am. I have been saying for years that the complexities of video review are confusing and unnecessary, and that a better system would be a very simple system that allows anything to be challenged. And no less an authority than Belichick is leading a push in this direction in the NFL. Never mind "this can be challenged under certain circumstances, but not that under any circumstances"--as Belichick says, "if a coach thinks his team has been victimized by a bad call, he should be able to question it, and its up to him to use the limited number of challenge flags with that in mind." As I say, "challenges might actually be fewer--same with wrong calls--and replay rules would be simpler. You can challenge those assumptions, but Bill Belichick wont. Cheap Jerseys From China
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. -- Kentuckys starting lineup of three freshmen and two sophomores did most everything together.Baltimore, MD (Sports Network) - Kentucky Derby winner Ill Have Another and race runner-up Bodemeister will meet again Saturday, along with nine others, in the 137th Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course. The $1 million, 1 3/16 mile race is the middle jewel of racings Triple Crown. Owned by J. Paul Reddam, Ill Have Another is the only horse in a position to become the first Triple Crown champion since Affirmed in 1978. The final race in the classic series is the 1 1/2 mile Belmont Stakes on June 9. Ill Have Another, trained by Doug ONeill, will again be ridden by Mario Gutierrez in Saturdays race. The pair will start from post nine as compared to the 19 hole two weeks ago. In spite of his winning the Run for the Roses the colt is the 5-2 second choice in the morning line. Bodemeister has been given the edge as the 8-5 top pick. The Kentucky Derby was the third straight win for Ill Have Another, all with Gutierrez in the saddle. A son of 2005 Travers Stakes winner Flower Alley, Ill Have Another caught pacesetter Bodemeister in deep stretch at Churchill Downs and defeated the 4-1 favorite by 1 1/2 lengths. The win was the first in the Run for the Roses for owner, trainer and jockey. The colt was 15-1 in the Derby coming off a nose win over Creative Cause in the Santa Anita Derby and a 2 3/4 length victory in the Robert B.Lewis Stakes. Ill Have Another became the first Santa Anita Derby champ to take the Run for the Roses since Sunday Silence in 1989. The Derby win was worth $1,459,600, giving Ill Have Another career earnings of $2,093,600 with four wins in six starts. He can become the ffirst Derby winner to capture the Preakness since Big Brown four years ago.dddddddddddd Bodemeister, trained by Bob Baffert, drew post seven with Mike Smith back in the saddle. Smiths lone Preakness win came in 1993 aboard Prairie Bayou. "On paper, it looks like hes going to be the speed," Baffert said. "He has to break well. He has a high cruising speed and hopefully he doesnt go as fast as he did in the Derby." Owned by Zayat Stables, Bodemeister won the Arkansas Derby by 9 1/2 lengths over stablemate Secret Circle. In his stakes debut on March 10 the colt was second to Creative Cause in the San Felipe Stakes at Santa Anita. With two wins in five career starts, all this year, Bodemeister has banked just over $1.1 million. Baffert, a member of the Racing Hall of Fame, won the Preakness with Kentucky Derby winners Silver Charm (1997), Real Quiet (1998) and War Emblem (2002) along with Point Given (2001) and Lookin At Lucky (2010). Here is the complete field for the Preakness in post position order: Tiger Walk, 30-1, Ramon Dominguez; Teeth of the Dog, 15-1, Joe Bravo; Pretension, 30-1, Javier Santiago; Zetterholm, 20-1, Junior Alvarado; Went the Day Well, 6-1, John Velazquez; Creative Cause, 6-1, Joel Rosario; Bodemeister, 8-5, Mike Smith; Daddy Nose Best, 12-1, Julien Leparoux; Ill Have Another, 5-2, Mario Gutierrez; Optimizer, 30-1, Corey Nakatani and Cozzetti, 30-1, Jose Lezcano. Post-time for the second leg of the Triple Crown will be 6:25 p.m. (et). Saturdays weather forecast for Baltimore calls for clear skies with a post- time temperature of 83. ' ' '