Saturday, May 22, 2010

Sports columnist Aaron McFarling: Time to talk about Landis

This week's Q&A-Mac is sponsored by Floyd Landis' book, "Positively False: The Real Story of How I Won the Tour de France." Now available in the fiction section of your local library.

Q: OK, so Landis clearly lied in the book. Does that mean we should ignore him now that he's accusing Lance Armstrong of doping?

A: Not at all. The World Anti-Doping Agency wants to hear more from Landis, and we should, too. If Landis has proof, he ought to present it. Sorry, Lance, but benefit of the doubt is tough to come by these days, thanks to McGwire and A-Rod and Cushing and, well, the 75,000 cyclists who have been caught cheating. You know, the guys you beat seven straight years.

Q: What is the best defense you've ever heard from somebody accused of using performance enhancers?

A: That would be this week's quote from Redskins receiver Santana Moss, who's been linked to a Canadian doctor charged with smuggling and distributing HGH. Here's what Moss told The Washington Post: "I ain't got nothing to do with nothing that ain't about me."

Q: What does that even mean?

A: Zippo! That's what makes it so great. Keep this quote handy any time you encounter trouble.

Q: Tickets go on sale today for October's Nets-76ers preseason game at the Roanoke Civic Center. Given that those teams had a combined record of 39-125 this season, should we really be pumped about this?

A: Absolutely. Our city has made so many sports blunders over the years that it's fantastic to see an event like this come to the area. My guess -- and my hope -- is that it sells out.

Q: Did you know that drone bees die after they fertilize the queen bee's egg?

A: I did not know that until this week, after that question was left on my voice mail by reader and bee enthusiast Mark Dearing of Salem. So I called Mark -- who took a class on honeybees while a student at Virginia Tech -- and he set me straight. We both agreed that, given this important information, I shouldn't have implied that college athletes would enjoy being drone bees in last week's Q&A-Mac.

Q: Are bee-related corrections going to become a weekly feature of Q&A-Mac?

A: I hope not. But it sure seems that way.

Q: Who wins tonight's NASCAR all-star race?

A: Jeff Gordon. I'm going to keep picking this guy until he wins. Nobody's hotter than Kyle Busch right now, but he has an average finish of 19th at Charlotte. Gordon has five wins at the track, one shy of Jimmie Johnson for the lead among active drivers.

Q: Should J.J. Redick start for the Magic tonight in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals?

A: Yes, even though he won't. Despite his brain cramp at the end of Game 2, the Cave Spring product has played so well in this series that he's already usurped a bunch of minutes from starting small forward Matt Barnes. Redick, a shooting guard, has averaged 26.5 minutes as the Magic's sixth man in this series, checking in with 12.5 points, 3.5 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game. Orlando has little to lose; time to shake things up and give him the start.

Q: On Friday, Major League Baseball denied the Yankees' protest from a 7-6 loss to Boston earlier in the week. Let's be real here: Has playing a game under protest ever worked?

A: Not since 1986. Although many will remember the most famous successful protest: The George Brett pine tar game of 1983.

Q: Anything new on the conference expansion front?

A: Not really. Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany emerged from his den o' silence this week and said that any move the league might make is "months away." So it's official now: Delany has become football's version of Punxsutawney Phil.

Q: Hey, how'd your longshot Preakness pick turn out?

A: I ain't got nothing to do with nothing that ain't about me.

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