Who am I?

I'm from Houston, a graduate of the University of Texas, a fan of the Houston Astros and Houston Texans. But this blog will be about the "greater sports", whatever that means.

Follow me on Twitter: @lhd_on_sports

Labels

LHD_PotW (275) NFL (109) MLB (107) NCAA (96) NBA (50) NFL Playoffs (47) NHL (41)

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Sportsman of the Week Ending 5/21/2017

While the NBA and NHL playoffs are in full swing, there just hasn't been a single star show up and dominate.  I'm sure the finals will begin to take over this space.  In the meantime, we go back to Triple Crown horse racing, which is one of my favorite sports.  This time, it was an underdog.  Cloud Computing was given long odds on a short 10 horse field and nipped co-favorite Classic Empire at the wire, primarily due to the brilliant ride by jockey Javier Castellano.  While Classic Empire and Kentucky Derby winner Always Dreaming were 1-2 the entire race, Castellano bided time and picked his moment down the stretch.  Cloud Computing roared past Classic Empire at the wire, and the 12-1 long shot paid well.  The Venezuelan Castellano is our Longhorndave Sportsman of the Week!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Sportsman of the Week Ending 5/14/2017

Busy times continue in sports, but a surprise winner in the unofficial "fifth" major in golf won the week.  21 year-old Si Woo Kim of South Korea showed flashes of greatness in remarkably consistent performance for the week, with a 69-72-68-69 to win The Players Championship by three strokes over Ian Poulter and Louis Oosthuizen.  He wasn't really challenged down the back stretch.  It was Kim's second tour win, following up the Wyndham Championship last August just after he turned 21.  Will Kim be the next big threat to the precocious Jordan Spieth?  Is there a shot he makes a run at another major this year?  Time will tell, but Si Woo Kim is the Longhorndave Sportsman of the Week!

Monday, May 8, 2017

Sportsman of the Week Ending 5/7/2017

The first Saturday in May is a rite of the sports season, as twenty colorful jockeys mount twenty beautiful thoroughbreds and race under the blue Kentucky sky for a shot at glory.  The 143rd running of the Kentucky Derby was as wide open as ever, yet one horse clearly established himself as the class of the field.  It was veteran jockey John Velazquez who ran a near perfect race in sloppy conditions to guide 2017 Kentucky Derby Champion Always Dreaming to a comfortable victory margin.  From an ideal 5 post, Velazquez ensured Always Dreaming saved track down the first and second turn, while staying clean from the mush of a track.  Surging down the back stretch and clear down the home stretch, the Puerto Rican jockey simply asked for more and got it from the Todd Pletcher trained best horse in the field.  It was the 45 year-old Velazquez's second Kentucky Derby win (after leading Animal Kingdom to the rose blanket in 2011).  A master of his craft, his is the Longhorndave Sportsman of the Week!

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Sportsman of the Week Ending 4/30/2017

The Utah Jazz are the team that nobody expected at the NBA Conference Semifinals party, but here they are.  The only lower seed to take down a (slightly) higher seed Los Angeles Clippers, the Jazz relied on underrated Gordon Hayward.  Hayward willed his team through Games 5 and 7 on the road with spectacular performances (and wasn't too shabby in Game 6 at home).  Hayward poured in an average of 28 points per game for the final three games of the series.  But his consistency was interesting.  He had exactly 9 field goals, 8 rebounds, and 3 or 4 assists in 41 or 42 minutes each of the three games.  Most consistent was his free throw shooting, at 21-22 overall (95.4%).  The aging Clippers had no answer, and Hayward finally gets his shot on the big stage against the Western Conference defending Champion Golden State Warriors.  If they push the Warriors to the edge, it will be on the back of their underrated superstar.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Sportsman of the Week Ending 4/23/2017

Baseball enters the last week of the opening month, and perhaps the game's best player shined.  The Washington Nationals Bryce Harper lit the National League East on fire, on the way to what might be his second MVP in three seasons.  The Nationals marched through Georgia and Queens with a 6-0 record, establishing themselves as the team to beat in the East.  Harper led the Nats batting 11-20, with 7 of those 11 hits for extra bases (4 2B, 3 HR).  He also scored 10 of his teams 33 runs over the six game span.  The Nationals ended the week with the best record in baseball, and it might be time that Bryce is mentioned as the top of MLB elite.  For the second time in blog history, he is a worthy Sportsman of the Week!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Sportsman of the Week Ending 4/16/2017

It was the initial week of Stanley Cup Playoff action, and with eight hotly contested series, the action was plentiful.  Seemingly more than any other sport, playoff wins on the road seem more plentiful despite rabid crowds.  One way to win on the road is to not allow any goals.  And that's exactly what Pekka Rinne of the Nashville Predators did.  Two games, 59 shots on goal, clean slate.  And this wasn't against just any team, but the number one seed Chicago Blackhawks, who many had penciled in as a Stanley Cup favorite.  Rinne continued his success into Monday with an overtime win with just two goals.  The Blackhawks may have played their last game at home in the 2016-17 season, and if they have, there will be bad memories of being stonewalled by the Finnish superstar goalie Rinne.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Sportsman of the Week Ending 4/9/2017

Look no further than the biggest golf event on the calendar every year.  The Masters.  A tradition.  I won't say it's like no other, because there are a lot of good sports traditions.  But what a finish.  With a pack of 10-12 golfers within striking distance to start on Sunday, two distanced themselves from the pack for a matchup down the last five holes (plus one playoff) in which each had a chance to win with a good putt.  But it was Sergio Garcia who came out on top.  Trailing by 1 with 2 to play, he took advantage of sloppy Rose putting to tie it going to 17.  Then after a couple of make-able missed putts on the 72nd hole of the tournament, it was the 73rd where Sergio nailed it.  Hitting a birdie when Rose faded.  Garcia played each of the four rounds under par; five rounds counting the playoff as a round.  Both golfers left it all on the course, and it was the fans that won by seeing the Spaniard win his first major in 74 tries.  On the 73rd hole.  Sergio Garcia is our Sportsman of the Week!

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Sportswoman of the Week Ending 4/2/2017

March Madness winds down, with an impressive new champion against the odds.  The South Carolina Lady Gamecocks marched right through the brackets for their first title in school history.  Despite Connecticut being the prohibitive favorite to win their fifth straight title (and seventh in ten years), it was South Carolina who took home the hardware.  Led by star big woman A'ja Wilson, whose play on the offensive end and on the boards was the Final Four's most outstanding player.  In the National semifinal, Wilson was held to 13 points, but tallied an astounding 19 rebounds (including 8 offensive) and 3 blocks in a win against a red hot Stanford team.  In the National final, she led the Lady Cocks with 23 points, hauling in 10 boards with 4 blocks.  The 6'5" junior will lead the Cocks in attempted repeat next year, and is our Sportswoman of the Week!

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Sportsman of the Week Ending 3/26/2017

"The Shot."  Or to some (with deference to Christian Laettner) "The Shot Part 2."  North Carolina slayed a feisty young Kentucky team on a last second jumper that ended a wild sequence just after Kentucky had tied it up.  The shot sent the Tar Heels to the Final Four.  Sportsman of the Week Luke Maye did the work in his last second (well, 0.3 left) bucket to slay the Wildcats and break the hearts of the Bluegrass faithful. But really, the entire regional finals, Maye was a portrait of efficiency.  Coming off the bench for the two games (first one a win against Butler), the 6'7" sophomore tallied just 45 minutes, one full regulation plus overtime game.  In that time, he netted 33 points and 15 boards, more than 0.75 points per minute of action, and 1 rebound every 3 minutes.  No other Tar Heel was so efficient in scoring.  But make no mistake, his winning Sportsman of the Week is about the clutch.  He'll be ready to tangle in the desert in the next round.  A round North Carolina may not make without his heroics.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Sportsman of the Week Ending 3/19/2017

March Madness (c'mon NCAA, sue me) was in full effect this week.  For a tournament that features 67 games, 52 are already in the books.  And while there weren't any impossible upsets, a lot of favored teams went home.  Like the Duke Blue Devils.  Duke was a vogue pick for the Final Four until they ran into a buzz saw in South Carolina.  Led by Sindarius Thornwell, the Gamecocks took advantage of a partisan home crown (and maybe just a few North Carolina Tarheels fans joining the bandwagon) in Greenville, SC, to oust the favored Devils 88-81.  It was never competitive the final 10 minutes.  Thornwell 24 points, 6 boards, and 5 assists in the stunner.  Combine this with a 29 point, 11 rebound game in a 93-73 demolishing of Marquette in the first round (in what was a pick'em game).  Did we mention that the senior Thornwell was the SEC player of the Year (in a league that features pretty good Kentucky players).  Playing a full four years and leading your school to their first tournament victory since 1973, that's big.  Worthy of our Sportsman of the Week!