Saturday, May 14, 2011

Sports columnist Aaron McFarling: Q&A: Maybe Busch and Harvick just need a timeout

This week's Q&A-Mac is brought to you by recess, the perfect place to handle all your childish feuds.

Q: Do you think we'll see Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick settling things out by the kickball field someday soon?

A: Sure sounds like it. Their rivalry intensified at Friday's news conference at Dover, where Harvick called Busch a liar and Busch called Harvick two-faced. Then both accused the other of eating boogers.

Q: Huh?

A: OK, that last part's a lie. But their dust-up has that kind of middle school vibe to it.

Q: So, whose side are you on?

A: Give me Busch. Love the way he attacks on the track. He's a throwback, and NASCAR could use as many of those as it can get. Plus, after following this sport for a while now and talking to some of the luminaries who know the garage area inside and out, I can say with a reasonable level of confidence that Harvick eats boogers.

Q: We're off to a real mature start today. Let's get serious: Who wins Sunday's race?

A: Denny Hamlin, if for no other reason than his sponsor has pledged to donate $100,000 to Autism Speaks should he get the victory. Great cause.

Q: Michael Vick has agreed to speak at a commencement ceremony in the Philadelphia area, at schools that deal with at-risk youths. Thoughts?

A: Of all the "rehabilitation" exercises Vick has performed since being released from prison, this is the best one yet. It's infinitely more appropriate for him to espouse the virtues of second chances rather than tell people -- most of whom probably think he's got his fingers crossed behind his back -- how not to treat animals.

Q: Well, he did hurt animals. Shouldn't he now try to help them?

A: Sure. I'm not saying he shouldn't do that, too. But let's face it: No matter what Vick does for the Humane Society or the SPCA, he'll never be viewed as a soldier for animal welfare. He can, however, become a positive example of how to overcome your old demons and succeed. That's a story worth telling -- and, more important, living -- especially to kids who've had disciplinary issues.

Q: Sports Illustrated's Stewart Mandel wrote this week that "Virginia Tech's new quarterback is scary," adding that Logan Thomas has an "NFL-ready right arm." A lot of praise for a guy who's never started a game, don't you think?

A: True, but it's not just Mandel. Members of the national media have been gushing about Thomas' potential. And it's worth remembering that Tech offensive coordinator Bryan Stinespring was the one who recruited this guy to Blacksburg -- right about the time criticism about his play-calling was at its zenith. Credit where credit is due in this case.

Q: What was the best reader comment on the blog this week?

A: That would be from "justafan," regarding Tiger Woods' early exit from The Players Championship on Thursday. "So, Tiger drops out after shooting a 42 on the front nine. What a wimp. I've shot 42 on the front a bunch of times and I stuck it out like a man."

Q: You ever shoot 42 on the front nine?

A: I wish. Front three, maybe.

Q: The Bulls and Heat open their Eastern Conference finals series on Sunday. D-Wade versus D-Rose, baby. Whom do you like?

A: Glad you phrased it that way. Our nation has become so lazy with nicknames. A-Rod. T.O. ...

Q: A-Mac?

A: Touche. But seriously, I know Wade's first name (Dwyane) is hard to spell, but it's not really hard to say. Neither is Rose's first name (Derrick). So abbreviations aren't really necessary. Besides, these are wonderfully skilled athletes who deserve better than mere hyphenations.

Q: Your solution?

A: From now on, at least in this column, Dwyane Wade shall be known as "Dagger Toes" and Derrick Rose shall be "SlashMaster D."

Q: Don't expect me to participate in that. So who wins the series?

A: Dagger Toes gets it done in six.

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