Vaught's Views: Sunday a lovely day for TV

February 16, 2004|LARRY VAUGHT

Saturday might have been Valentine's Day, but Sunday certainly was a lovely day for any sports fan with a television and remote control.

Start with the Daytona 500. There's no other NASCAR race quite like this one. Even if you are not a huge auto racing fan, it's hard not to sense the excitement in this race.

What made this race even better was that it came down to a duel between Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Tony Stewart, two of NASCAR's biggest stars. Earnhardt had the lead with Stewart doing everything possible to catch him. But he never could - and most of the 180,000 fans at Daytona Beach were glad.

How could you not be? Remember it was only three years ago that Dale Earnhardt Sr. died in a wreck during this race. That's why even Stewart, who has been known to lose his temper a time or two, admitted it was nice to see Earnhardt Jr. win.


Of course, I didn't watch all of the race. I kept hitting the remote to watch the Buick Invitational and see if John Daly - remember him - could really win another golf tournament or if Kentuckian Steve Flesch could charge from behind and get his second tour win.

It seems like it was 20 years ago when Daly came out of nowhere to win the PGA Championship and capture the imagination of every carefree golfer with his grip-and-rip attitude. In recent years, he's made more news with his off-course problems than his play on the course.

Still, there is something about Daly that draws you to him. Few can relate to Tiger Woods. He's just too good. More of us who have swung a golf club can relate to Daly's style - and frustrations when things go wrong. Sunday Daly was surprisingly steady. He struggled early, but kept the lead. Eventually he lost the lead and had to go to a three-way playoff. Again, he kept his composure perfectly and a tap-in birdie on the first playoff hole gave him his first win in nine years.

Next it was a quick push on the remote control to find top-ranked Duke taking on North Carolina State. State coach Herb Sendek, the former Kentucky assistant under Rick Pitino, has perhaps the nation's best unknown team. Despite its No. 21 ranking, North Carolina State is overshadowed by Duke, North Carolina and Wake Forest.

However, a lot more people should know about the Wolfpack today because N.C. State beat Duke 78-74. I could only imagine how happy Sendek's wife, the former Melanie Scheuer of Boyle County, must have been and I was just a tad disappointed that we didn't get to see her celebrating the victory.

Then it was just another channel switch to find the NBA All-Star Game, which started way too late because it didn't want any part of conflicting with the Daytona 500. I wanted to watch former UK player Jamaal Magloire, who has become a far better player than most Kentucky fans ever thought he would.

Earlier in the day, Magloire's former UK teammate, Nazr Mohammed, was traded from Atlanta to the New York Knicks. Many thought it might be Mohammed, not Magloire, playing in the All-Star Game one day based on their success at Kentucky.

Magloire had 19 points, including a goal to end the first quarter after he had partially blocked a shot by Shaquille O'Neal, and had eight rebounds. It was a sweet ending to a lovely day of TV viewing.

Central Kentucky News Articles