Today in sports: Did the Knicks trick fans with Jeremy Lin, bountygate shifts focus from coaches to players, looking forward to the NCAA final, and a fish tale turns out to be an April Fool's gag nobody knew was a joke.
Linsanity is well and truly over, and the Knicks aren't cultivating much goodwill with the latest conspiracy-tainted news about their Saturday announcement of his season-ending injury: The New York Daily News suggested today that the team decided not to make his knee surgery public until after March 28, the deadline for season ticket holders to buy all four rounds of the playoffs. They even put his picture on an email about ticket sales that was sent out to subscribers. [New York Daily News]
The story about Kathy Martin, a 60-year-old track prodigy who's smashing running records in her age group, is both inspiring and frustrating. She's a reminder that age shouldn't stand in our way when we want to do something. But she's also a reminder that we should try to figure out our talents when we're young enough make the best use of them. While it's inspiring to read about Martin easily knocking down records in her age group after discovering her talent in her late 40s, it's a little frustrating to know she's past the age where she could put that exceptional ability to work at the Olympics. "As decades pass, maximum heart rate slows, aerobic capacity wanes, muscle mass tends to dwindle," writer Barry Bearak notes. [New York Times]
The NFL hopes to finally figure out what to do with the players who participated in "Bountygate," the New Orleans Saints' program offering rewards for injuring opposing players. The league is meeting with the players' union on Monday to swap evidence and decide on a plan, but the players' union has warned things could get very serious: Participants in the program might even face criminal charges, the union warned players on Sunday. [ESPN]
Two features ahead of the NCAA championship game between Kentucky and Kansas tonight highlight two Kentucky players who couldn't be more different: The New York Times paints a fond picture of Darius Miller, the anomalous senior on the team and "the one who stayed" while many teammates went on to higher-profile institutions. If Kentucky wins, The Times points out, "he would become the first player to receive the Mr. Basketball award in Kentucky, win a state championship in high school and seize a national title with the Wildcats. He could even, [coach John] Calipari joked Sunday, run for governor and win." Words like "humility," "teammates," and "deferential" pervade the description of the potential N.B.A. draft pick. Juxtapose that with The Wall Street Journal's feature on Anthony Davis, the Kentucky freshman whose unibrow and high scoring have already made him a star and the expected no. 1 N.B.A. draft pick. "Bow to the brow" is the catch phrase there as Davis prepares to leave for the top of the big league after just a year on the college court. [NYT, Wall Street Journal]
On the Jayhawks side of tonight's contest, The Wall Street Journal focuses on Andrea Hudy, the strength training coach regularly making N.B.A. stars out of gawky college freshmen, thought to be the only woman to hold the position nationwide. The Wall Street Journal calls her Kansas' "secret weapon," a phrase borrowed from 7-foot-tall center Jeff Withey. It's neat to read all the praise now-professional players heap on her, such as Houston Rockets forward Marcus Morris, who said "if it weren't for Hudy ... I wouldn't be in the N.B.A." [WSJ]
A fishing writer at the Bakersfield Californian had a less-than-hilarious April Fool's when an editor mistook an April Fool's column he filed for a real story (it doesn't help that it ran on March 30), and the paper ran it as fact. Steve Merlo missed the mark in a few different ways with his "joke" report on a giant species of trout being imported from India for predator control and fishing fun on several local lakes. Not only did he fail to tell his editor it was an April Fool's joke, causing the editor to run the column as if it were real news, (again, not on April Fool's Day), the report is just not that funny. Basically it's about trout that could grow to 50 pounds, which is big, but not like Jaws big. In his write up of the debacle, Deadspin's Gary Petchesky correctly points out that whether or not Merlo had said the story was a joke, the Californian should have checked it, which means the joke really is on the paper's readers, who now have no clue whether the news they're getting has been checked. [Deadspin]