The List: Top shockers in sports from the past week

Published 12:00 am Sunday, April 16, 2006

The Selma Times-Journal

Surprise, surprise, surprise!

That’s exactly what came to my mind this morning when I did my usual trolling for sports information.

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I consider myself pretty well schooled on everything that’s going in the world of sports. But sometimes, even I get sideswiped.

And I’ll bet there are some things on “The List” this week that you didn’t realize, either.

For instance, did you know …

6. … both the Bulls and Wizards may be going to the playoffs? – It’s true. The two teams that were arguably the biggest laughing stocks in the Eastern Conference (and maybe all of the NBA) just a few years ago would go to the postseason if it started today.

And it’s hard to ignore the ironic connection to a certain baldheaded mega-super-athlete that played for both franchises. Michael Jordan went to Chicago and pulled a struggling team out of the gutter and made it into a dominant force.

Then he went to Washington and pulled a struggling team down deeper into the gutter and alienated every player on the roster.

Ahh, the beauty of the game.

5. … the NHL is still in operation? – You know, the guys that have the beefed up figure skates and knock that large piece of flat charcoal around an enclosed frozen pond? Yeah, them.

I thought it was great. I mean, ever since Wayne Gretzky retired, who cares?

Kinda like Michael Jordan. Except not bald. And not as ummm, tan.

4. … Shaquille O’Neal is actually playing? – It’s true! I saw it. Which is quite a nice change considering he always finds a way to get injured when it comes close to playoff time.

But I’m pretty sure I saw him on the floor against Chicago Sunday. At least I think that was him. Huge guy, really slow, bottom lip constantly hanging down and slapping him in the face when he runs?

But this guy was 4-for-7 from the free throw line. So nah, that couldn’t have been Shaq.

3. … Tiger Woods is the best golfer in the world? – Oh wait, that’s not surprising news at all. Next!

2. … Chris Shelton can’t be stopped? – Seriously, he’s insane. How’s this for a stat line after the first two weeks of the season: A .479 average, 16 RBIs and eight home runs.

And the crazy thing is he’s only leading the majors in home runs. This could end up being a crazy first half.

1. … the Mets can actually play baseball? – Who says money can’t buy a winner? Chicken fooze, I say.

Pedro Martinez appears to be doing fine after battling chronic big toe problems in spring training.

Carlos Delgado had a gimpy elbow, but is batting .356 so far.

Tom Glavine hasn’t had injury problems, but he found the strike zone again.

And right now the Mets’ 9-2 record is the best in baseball.

But I’m sure they’ll give me a reason to berate them mercilessly pretty soon.

George L. Jones is a staff writer for The Selma Times-Journal.