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updated: 3/1/2013 5:33 AM

Spellman's Scorecard: NASCAR squandered golden opportunity

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  • Driver Danica Patrick created more buzz for NASCAR in the days leading up to the Daytona 500 than the race did itself.

    Driver Danica Patrick created more buzz for NASCAR in the days leading up to the Daytona 500 than the race did itself.
    Associated Press


NASCAR blew its big chance Sunday.

With Danica Patrick on the pole for the biggest race of the season, the Daytona 500 had all the pre-race pub it could possibly ask for. Even casual fans were tuning in to see what all the hype was about.

As usual, I had my big sandwich. I was ready.

Then the flag dropped.

And for the next 3 hours I watched a race that featured mostly single-file racing and less quality passing than the Bears in the Bob Avellini days.

That's not a good way to ensure repeat customers.


At least it wasn't the pod racing of the past few years, and at least my man, the ageless Mark Martin, rallied to finish third.

A Rose by any other name:

Heading into Thursday night's game, the Bulls record since Reggie Rose spoke his piece: 1-3.

You try dragging Walton and Lanier …:

Am I the only one fascinated by the thought of seeing Kareem Abdul Jabbar's 7-foot frame leaping off the high dive as part of the cast of "Splash," ABC's celebrity diving show?

Eh, probably.


How in the world do the Lions give the OK to Ndamakung Suh to participate as well?

Must've been quite the waiver he had to sign.

Stan Bowman:

It looks like you were right.

What the?

Have you seen the special basketball uniforms that Notre Dame and five other schools will be wearing during the postseason?

My first thought: Zubaz makes shorts?

Still a stretch:

The Cubs can talk about stricter guidelines for seventh-inning singers all they want, but why do I get the feeling it's still going to be the same old, same old?

My solution: Unless it's a mega-name, just show a video of Harry singing on the right-field screen.

Otherwise it'll be a nonstop rotation of Belushi, Dreesen and Corgan.

No thanks.

My man!

Boo Weekley is only a shot off the lead after the first round of the Honda Classic.

I'll always remember a few years back wandering into Oakmont C.C. on the Tuesday of U.S. Open week with absolutely nothing in my notebook and with very few prospects. Then I bumped into Boo near the clubhouse, and the guy couldn't have been more accommodating.

He gladly told me what it felt like to get knocked out by an orangutan with one punch, how he once fished through a Porta Potty for his car keys during a tournament … and a host of other original Boo-isms.

I'll always be a big fan.

Belly up?

My prediction on the fate of the belly putter: legal everywhere except at the U.S. Open and the British Open.

Just wondering:

Why is it called the NFL combine?

Setting a president:

I can't believe we have to wait a full year before we get to see Abe and George sing the praises of Bluetooth again.

Not fair.

Picture perfect:

It's always a blessing to enjoy the people you work with. I've been so lucky in that department here over the years.

One of those people for me was former photo chief Tom Grieger, who passed away this week.

Early on in my career, Tom figured out that I was a goof and he never let me forget it -- giving me good-natured guff at every turn and making me laugh every time.

What a sweet, sweet man.


Who will be the first to get a job back in major-league baseball; Ozzie or Big Z?

Seeing the light:

And finally a happy thought to end with: We pick up 84 minutes of daylight in March.

84 minutes!

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