Sports: Stanley Cup round two, Tom Brady, and more.

Politics can wait.

Depending on how the Ducks/Predators game goes tomorrow night, I will either have been right about all but one series (I had chosen the Panthers to beat the Islanders), or right about all but two. If the Ducks lose, four of the final eight teams will have never won the Stanley Cup: Predators, Capitals, Sharks, and Blues.

I have not done so hot on my number of games predictions, but I got the Blues/Hawks, Caps/Flyers, Bolts/Wings all correct: number of games and winner. I’ll take it!

Looking ahead to round two, I’m confident in my picks: Washington over Pittsburgh in six or seven. If forced to pick I’d say six. Bolts over the Isles in six instead of Bolts over the Panthers. Whether it’s the Ducks or Preds, I still think the Sharks lose in seven, but if it’s the Preds I’m still wrong about that series anyway. I believe the Blues will wipe the floor with the Stars. The only thing that has really changed is who the Bolts beat — so far.

Tom Brady/Roger Goodell

It is no secret that I hate Roger Goodell being in charge of anything more important to the sport of football than the grass height in the median outside of the stadiums. I think he’s botched the deflated football issue and has a poor understanding of science. I also think he’s botched most other issues regarding punishment and the integrity of the game. I think Tom Brady probably conspired to get the balls the way he likes it — just like everyone else.

I also dislike Tom Brady. He’s a hall of fame quarterback, no doubt — though I think the Hoodie could turn near any quarterback into a hero with the team he builds around the guy. I’m not a Patriots fan (though, if I weren’t a Saints fan, they’d be number two just for the name and colors).

Weighing that out, I think the suspension is stupid. A fine fits better and solves a lot of headache for everyone. The appeals court got it wrong, too. Goodell has far too much power — and the NFLPA needs to insist on a change when the current agreement is up.

The Rest

Basketball playoffs are ongoing as well. I have a bracket at work, but I’m not following much. As teams get eliminated I’ll pay more (or less) attention. My final two is Cleveland and Golden State, with Golden State winning. But I’m pulling for the Celtics to deliver the upset.

I think the controversy with Dana White and McGregor is a work (to use a pro-wrestling term) — they’re not actually having this public spat, but are ginning up media attention ahead of UFC 200. McGregor is damned good at that sort of thing and I think White has caught on to the value it adds. McGregor will fight at UFC 200 — and hopefully win, as a McGregor fan. I won’t pay for the damn thing if he’s not on the card. I like UFC but I do not like it that much without a fight that really appeals to me. McGregor could be the Ric Flair of UFC, and that’s fun to watch.