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The Times
  • Bob Benz: A lot of news generates a little insight

  • Whatever the motives behind Artest’s desire to legally change his name to Metta World Peace, I now found myself forever grateful for the comedic fodder it has provided. Some of the seemingly endless gems this story has provided:

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  • With every major professional sport in the news this past week, I feel obligated to share the wealth with some random thought processes.
    Naturally, we’ll get started with the sport that’s not even in season.
    The NFL is such an addiction that TV coverage of its annual player selection meeting (the draft) has always drawn decent ratings.
    While I’ve never complained about its TV coverage, the bar –– in terms of the actual entertainment value –– has always been pretty low.
    No actual live game action. Just canned footage of each drafted player. Painfully long waits between picks, analysts dissecting every player and possible landing spot add nauseum.
    So when the first round –– in prime time –– is completed in a record-low, ‘break-neck’ pace time of roughly three hours and change, viewers are supposed to accept that as great progress. And sadly, it really is, especially in comparison to first rounds of the past that sometimes bordered on six hours.
    Rotisserie riddles
    As I was scanning the list of free agents last week in the ultra-competitive Yahoo! baseball league I belong to, I was quite surprised to see Philip Humber –– Mr. Perfect Game himself –– unattached and there for the taking.
    With a roster spot available following my long-overdue release of Alfredo Aceves, I quickly picked up Humber.
    Eight hits, nine earned runs and five innings later, Humber made it feel like Aceves never left. And I then understood why Humber –– perfect game and all –– was a free agent to begin with.
    Playoff picture
    Even most hockey haters show love to the Stanley Cup playoffs this time of year. And while it’s disappointing not having the team I pull for in the most riveting of all postseasons, I find it considerably more enjoyable to watch games stress-free.
    Especially those rare Game 7 overtime gems.
    World Peace
    Flagrant elbows aside, I’ve found myself endlessly amused reading stories about the player formerly known as Ron Artest and the fallout following his latest transgression.
    It probably wouldn’t have been worth my time reading up on the subject if he still went by Ron Artest, since I’m merely a casual observer of the NBA.
    But seeing headlines such as ‘World Peace faces NBA discipline for violent blow’ has been too irresistible to pass up.
    Whatever the motives behind Artest’s desire to legally change his name to Metta World Peace, I now found myself forever grateful for the comedic fodder it has provided.
    Some of the seemingly endless gems this story has provided:
    * World Peace undid much of the goodwill created by his notable charity work over the past few years.
    Page 2 of 2 - * Sports fans debated whether to give Peace another chance.
    * Kendrick Perkins spoke in defense of World Peace.
    * World Peace was suspended Tuesday.
    * World Peace’s two sides are difficult to reconcile.
    Apparently, all of this bad press for World Peace –– in 2012, no less –– merely lends further credence to the ancient Mayan doomsday prophecy.
     
    Bob Benz, assistant sports editor for The Leader in New York, can be reached at rbenz@the-leader.com.
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