Good Wednesday morning evening everyone! Today we celebrate Formula One legend Sir Jim Clark’s 74th birthday. Born in rural Scotland, Clark entered racing school at the young (for the day) age of seven and gradually ascended through the British Formulae until he met Lotus owner Colin Chapman in 1958. At age 18, Clark finished second place in the national talent search “Lotus Elite” competition with the prize of a Formula Two ride waiting in the wings. After a pair of seasons in the lower international ranks, Clark made his debut in the 1960 Belgian Grand Prix where he surprised critics with a remarkable fifth place finish. Over the next eight seasons, Clark earned the reputation as the world’s greatest racing driver- winning a pair of world championships and a then record 25 Grand Prix. Perhaps a greater testament to his speed were his record 33 pole positions and dominant 1965 Indianapolis 500 victory, which he won in only his second attempt. Tragically, Clark died in an accident in a Formula Two race at Germany’s Hockenheimring at the peak of his incredible career. Over four decades later, Clark remains a stalwart on the sport’s Mount Rushmore of superstars.
On to your midweek news-
1) Following nearly a week of embarrassing antics from Senator Jim Bunning (R-KY), the republican caucus accepted a deal that would allow the job bill to face an up or down vote. Within hours of the resolution, the Senate passed the bill 78-19 and President Obama signed it into law. The fact that a single individual is able to obstruct legislation that inevitably passes by such a wide majority is ridiculous. Obviously there is a legitimate need for adequate debate, but when it reaches the point of complete governmental obstruction there is a pragmatic need for limitation. If members of Congress on both sides of the aisle made an effort to put politics aside in favor of accomplishing a collective goal, then perhaps the American people would regain their faith in the legislature. The fact that nearly half of the conservatives that blindly threatened to veto the bill voted in favor of passage is illustrative of this incredible parisanship and Bunning’s inexplicable behavior drives the point home. While there is little reason to expect much change on this ground, perhaps recognition is the first step on that journey.
2) In their first game back from the exciting Olympic break, the first place Chicago Blackhawks failed to shake off the rust in a disappointing 5-3 loss to the New York Islanders on Long Island. After early goals from Patrick Kane and Brian Campbell gave the Hawks a 2-1 lead after one period, the wheels fell of the bus quickly in the second. The Isles quickly tied the game and despite Coach Q’s goalie change, Chicago found themselves down 5-2 at the second intermission. In the third, the Hawks came out firing on all cylinders but as has been the case in many losses they were unable to hit the twine. When Dustin Byfuglien cut the lead to two on a power play tally with three minutes remaining, the result was already a foregone conclusion. With the quick turnaround today, hopefully the Men of the Four Feathers can shake the Olympic rust off and get back to top flight hockey.
3) After suffering a bruised knee in each of the last two games, All-Star Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose sat out practice yesterday as a precautionary measure. With Joakim Noah likely out for a few weeks and Luol Deng fighting through injury, the mere mention of an injured Rose is highly concerning. I expect the 2009 Rookie of the Year to be back for this weekend’s games against a pair of Western Conference playoff teams but anything less than a fully healthy DRose will probably not yield good results. With the games counting down and the bottom of the Eastern Conference playoff race heating up, the Bulls need every win they can get. Unfortunately, the prospect of doing so without their top three players is dim at best.
4) Looking to improve on last year’s disappointing 7-9 record, the Chicago Bears met with New Orleans Saints safety Darren Sharper yesterday to kick off the 2010 free agency period. In order to effectively run Lovie Smith’s Cover Two, the Monsters of Midway will need a hard hitting safety to go with a heavy pass rush. Enter Sharper. For the past four years, Darren has been among the best in football in the defensive backfield and would immediately address a massive hole in the Chicago franchise. Hopefully Friday brings good football news to the Windy City and gives reason to be excited for this fall.
Have a good Wednesday readers!