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Monday, April 26, 2004

posted by CHRIS - 8:39 PM


I'M BAAAAAAACK...

Yes, my computer is back to running the way it should be.

So, let's see... what have I missed since I have been out of commission?

OK. We’ll start with the obvious. Yes, my Jazz lost their shot at their 21st-consecutive playoff appearance. But with that said, they did post their 21st-straight winning season, when most predicted them to fall well short of that goal without Malone and Stockton.

Just goes to show how badly the NBA needed to shake things up. It’s to the point where the 10th place team in the West (Portland, 41-41) would have placed as high as fifth in the East depending on tie breakers.

Hell, even in the Western conference they needed to shuffle the deck. The Pacific Division has only two teams in the playoffs, while the (Mighty) Midwest has six out of seven.

Thank God the NBA decided to realign their conferences for the 2004-2005 season. They are adding a third division in each conference and dividing the teams according to geographical location (although I’m not sure how Utah is in the Northwest Division).

Here’s how the new divisions will break down:

Western Conference:

Pacific Division:
Los Angeles Lakers
Sacramento Kings
Golden State Warriors
Los Angeles Clippers
Phoenix Suns

Southwest Division:
San Antonio Spurs
Dallas Mavericks
Houston Rockets
Memphis Grizzlies
New Orleans Hornets

Northwest Division:
Utah Jazz
Seattle Supersonics
Minnesota Timberwolves
Portland Trailblazers
Denver Nuggets

Eastern Conference:

Southeast Division:
Charlotte Bobcats (expansion team)
Atlanta Hawks
Miami Heat
Orlando Magic
Washington Wizards

Central Division:
Chicago Bulls
Cleveland Cavaliers
Detroit Pistons
Indiana Pacers
Milwaukee Bucks

Atlantic Division:
Boston Celtics
New Jersey Nets
New York Knicks
Philadelphia 76ers
Toronto Raptors

Should make for an interesting twist in a season where I believe we will see a lot of all-star players in new uniforms.

Next item on the docket:

The Champ Car World Series held their first race in 2004 last weekend. This season started just the way the last one finished, with Paul Tracy in the lead.

With a handful of new teams and new drivers, Champ Car wants to capture the crowds and the attention it received in the days before the creation of IRL (Indy Racing League) in the mid 90s.

With new ownership vowing to make the series more driver and fan friendly, they have told drivers and teams they will have a say in any and all rule changes.

Although they lost the “Players” sponsor, Team Forsythe still looks like the front-runner. They still have Paul Tracy, who, much to my dad’s disapproval, I have to say is by far the best driver in the series. And they also have in their stable Patrick Carpentier, who’s unbeatable when he’s on.

Fans should look forward to a great season with a few new races, a lot of new faces, and some old fan favorites. But remember fans, we are the reason that the races happen.

Champ Car announced it will only run races it thinks will be profitable. So if you enjoy it, you have to, now more than ever, make your voices heard. Show up and support the races.

I will be doing my share by doubling the amount of races I’m going to this year from last. I will be traveling up and down the I-5 corridor to the race in Portland (June 18-20) and, for the first time, going to the race in Vancouver, BC (July 23-25).

Remember, we get to watch the fastest racers in the world, and they aren’t afraid to turn right. Anyone can drive in circles for hours, but it takes a truly talented driver to handle a road course at 200 MPH!

Well, what started out to be a short post has quickly turned into a novel. I’ll write more soon, but it’s about time for wrestling and James will kill me if I miss it.

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