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How awesome to see Tiger Woods‘ smile and exuberant fist pump at the Jack Nicklaus-hosted Memorial Tournament last Sunday! Like him or not, golf is just not as interesting or exciting to watch when Tiger’s not a factor. Wearing the familiar Sunday red, making birdie after birdie, Tiger provided a glimmer of hope that the best golfer of our generation is back on the winning track. Just saying.

(June 5, 2012 – Source: Chris Graythen/Getty Images North America)

Did you catch Tony Stewart’s Prelude to the Dream dirt track race Wednesday at Smoke’s Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio? You’ve got to love these NASCAR, Indy, World of Outlaws, NHRA, and Truck Race superstars willing to risk their reputations on an unfamiliar dirt track. The point? Raise funds for charity—this year, Feed The ChildrenDanica Patrick proved once again that nothing phases this chick, not even climbing into an unfamiliar car on a surface she’s not attempted since a pre-teen in a go-cart.

Since Tony Stewart organized the race in 2005, Prelude to the Dream has raised over $3.5 million for charitable organizations. The race winner? Kyle Busch. “Whether you beat Tony Stewart or whether you beat Jimmie Johnson or whoever, it’s still a lot of fun to race this race,” Busch said following the race, “Tony’s turned this into a huge deal.”  So huge that NASCAR’s elite accept Smoke’s invitation to a participate on a week night, sandwiched between the Dover and Pocono Sprint Cup weekends.

Is it just me, or is the Stanley Cup Final just a teeny bit… well, boring? Maybe I got spoiled by the intensity and nail-biting suspense of the three Rangers’ series. The Kings and Devils just aren’t keeping me glued to the TV. Even watching those bad boys Mike Richards and Jeff Carter, enjoying former Thrasher Ilya Kovalchuk’s long-awaited taste of the Stanley Cup Final, or kinda hoping that 40-year-old Martin Brodeur can pull one more miracle for his team… for some reason, the Final is a letdown. Hoping that turns around come Game 5 Saturday in New Jersey. Otherwise, I may have to admit that sometime during the last six weeks, maybe—just maybe—I crossed the line from Freelance Fan to fan(antic). Not sure we’re ready for that. Just saying…

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