1. The people who maintain Rich Kuntz Memorial Field and the fields at the Frank Fairman Complex deserve a ton of credit for what they do on a day-to-day basis. Throughout April, as rain came down nearly every day, those fields were almost always ready for baseball and softball. Their dedication and time they put into maintaining those fields shouldn’t be overlooked.
2. More than any other position, the Steelers needed a cornerback early in the draft. By not taking a CB until the third round, what transpired in the Super Bowl could be the tip of the iceberg. Pittsburgh better continue to reach the QB quickly, because Troy Polamalu is the only player to trust in the secondary.
3. Alabama’s Mark Ingram, picked by the Saints, was the only running back to be chosen in the first round of the 2011 NFL Draft. Now, more than ever, the starting RB has lost its importance in the NFL. With so many teams giving 10-15 carries to two and sometimes three running backs a game, why waste all that money on a player that will be past his prime at 30?
4. The fact that 20 of the 32 first-round picks were on the offensive and defensive lines and six quarterbacks were taken in the first 36 picks reaffirms the declining importance of a No. 1 running back even more.
5. For those who missed it, UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre defended his title for the sixth-straight time Saturday night in Toronto in front of 55,000 fans, the largest ever for a UFC crowd. He defeated Jake Shields, who hadn’t lost in six years over a span of 15 fights by unanimous decision. GSP doesn’t finish fights, but he doesn’t have to. He’s the greatest fighter in the world, and until he loses or is at least in threat of an upset, that isn’t going to change anytime soon.
6. For years now, the NFL has been known as the league of parity. This year, the NBA is joining the fray, with teams like the Thunder and Grizzles. Both teams, who won a combined 47 games two years ago, contain starting lineups of almost all 20-year-olds, including a number of players under 25. Amazingly, one of those two teams will reach the Western Conference Finals this season.
7. Last Friday marked the end of the San Antonio Spurs’ Tim Duncan/Gregg Popovich Era. The top-seeded Spurs couldn’t even make it to Game 7 in the first round against the upstart Grizzles after having the best record in the NBA all year until the final week.
8. Good for Browns running back Peyton Hillis. He won the fans’ vote and will be the 2012 Madden cover boy. Unless you participate in fantasy football, you most likely didn’t know who Hillis was until a few weeks into last season. Now, his likeness will be in millions of homes.
9. Penguins fans should be proud that their team made it this far without their two best scorers, including one who is the best player in the league. Most teams would fall apart and miss the playoffs after losing players like Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, but Pittsburgh was one win away from reaching the league’s form of an Elite Eight.
10. More NHL: Don’t be surprised if Tampa Bay meets Vancouver in the Stanley Cup Finals. Tampa Bay has won five straight since falling behind 3-1 to the Penguins and is already up 2-0 on Washington.