By David Hughes
TERRE HAUTE — While hoping gas prices go down and the rain stays away so my wife and I can enjoy our first Indianapolis 500 together Sunday, please answer a few questions for me:
• Will the National League Central-leading Chicago Cubs end 100 years of fan frustration by winning the World Series in 2008? (Even my wife, who knows almost nothing about sports, says “no chance.”)
• After stumbling onto a rebroadcast of the 2003 Indianapolis-Tampa Bay game on the NFL Network this week, how can anyone reasonably deny that the Colts’ 38-35 overtime victory was the most exciting regular-season comeback in NFL history? (I still got goosebumps when Al Michaels asked, “How crazy is this?” after Mike Vanderjagt hit the upright on his game-winning field goal.)
• Considering former Indiana State standout Clint Barmes was hitting .341 heading into Friday, will the Colorado Rockies’ red-hot middle infielder surprise baseball fans by making the National League All-Star team as a reserve?
• Will new ISU coaches Trent Miles (football) and Traci Dahl (volleyball) turn around the fortunes of their respective programs in 2008?
• Is the Terre Haute Action Track on its way to becoming a fun place to take the family again?
• Will the New England Patriots’ three Super Bowl titles this decade be forever tainted by “Spygate” allegations?
• Will Big Brown become the first horse since Affirmed in 1978 to capture the Triple Crown of thoroughbred racing by winning the Belmont Stakes on June 7?
• After watching umpires shaft Carlos Delgado and Geovany Soto out of home runs this week — at least Soto chugged around the bases fast enough to get an inside-the-park homer on his blast — will Major League Baseball finally agree to implement instant replay in the near future?
(Please don’t say this would slow down the game. Arguments after these blown calls already slow the game down to a snail’s pace.)
• Will new Dallas Cowboys defensive back Pacman Jones keep himself out of law trouble long enough to play the entire 2008 season? (If I were a betting man, I’d put 100 $1 bills on “no.”)
• Sticking to football, will Miami Dolphins defensive end Jason Taylor dance his way to Hollywood instead of the gridiron this September?
• Just out of curiosity, who watches these television shows that feature people playing poker? Why do they take up air time on sports networks?
• When will the Cincinnati Reds realize they need to call up minor-league sensation Jay Bruce? On a related note, will the Reds consider trading immature pitcher Homer Bailey while they can still get something worthwhile in return?
• Although I’m not a fan of Boston anything these days, is there a better feel-good story in sports than that of no-hit pitcher/cancer survivor Jon Lester?
• Will Danica Patrick continue showing the world that she’s more than just a pretty face by winning her second race of the IRL season Sunday?
How can David Hughes be reached? By phone at 1-800-783-8742, Option 4, or at (812) 231-4224; by fax at (812) 231-4321; and by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.