Can you all believe that this is the last column of the semester? Believe it or not, this is the final Life, Love? Sport (Playoff Fever Edition) of the school year. I’m just as sad as you are. Since it’s the middle of April, it can only mean that playoffs are around the corner in several sports. Also, we have the real beginning of the baseball season and the craziness that has become the NFL draft. Those are the topics of the week, so let’s get it on.

The NBA playoffs are just around the corner, and it’s time for the LLS to make its predictions and such. First of all, for the sake of fairness, let us disclose that the LLS is in the Celtic’s corner. For the first time in several years, there is a reason to get excited about the Mean Green Machine, and it’s not for the hope of a top pick in the draft.

With the best record in the NBA, the Celtics have home-court advantage throughout the playoffs, which will come in particularly handy when it comes to the Eastern Conference Championships when they play Detroit. For all of those who don’t yet know, TD Banknorth Garden is a loud place to play in.

The teams from the Western Conference, however, are in quite a bit of trouble when it comes to the playoffs. Every team in that conference is top-notch and thus will spend a majority of the next month beating the tar out of each other, whereas the Eastern Conference is pretty bad, overall. Thus, the top team will probably be able to rest their starters at least once or twice a series in order to be fully ready for the NBA Finals.

The NHL playoffs are in full swing and as we expected, the Bruins are not doing so well. However, the official team of the LLS, the Washington Capitals, are in a dogfight with the Flyers of Philadelphia. Here’s to hoping that Ovechkin-mania can overcome a Flyer team that is clearly inferior. Also, this could be the season that Sidney Crosby wins his first (and probably not his last) Stanley Cup. Can you imagine a team with both Crosby and Ovechkin? Would that even be allowed? How many goals could Alexander the Great score if Crosby is feeding him pucks for an entire season? I say 150 would easily be within reach.

The NFL draft is just around the corner. This year the league has made several changes to the draft: first and foremost, they’ve shortened the first round by giving teams only 10 minutes per pick. I don’t know if any of you saw the first round last year but it lasted an ungodly six and a half hours. Also, the NFL and ESPN are collaborating to put the draft on primetime television.

Like ESPN doesn’t have enough shows that involve watching people sit around and talk. What a sham. It used to be that drafts were not televised and for good reason. They’re damn boring. And the only reason why anyone is even remotely interested in the drafts is because of ESPN and the 24-hour news cycle.

Am I critical of the draft? Absolutely. But don’t mistake my critisms for lack of interest. There’s nothing like grading a team based on their picks. For example, the now famous example of Ryan Leaf was debated endlessly when he was first drafted. There were people in the media who were of the opinion that Leaf was a better prospect than Peyton Manning. I remember the preseason matchup between the Colts and Chargers. Leaf outplayed Manning and people were shouting that the Colts made a horrible mistake.

Let’s fast forward to present-day. Leaf is out of football and it wouldn’t surprise me if he ended up in the slammer. Meanwhile, Peyton Manning is endorsing everything from cell phones to diet plans. My point is that people shouldn’t be judged until they’ve played at least three years in the league. Is that too much to ask?

Should we be concerned about baseball? Absolutely. But because it’s only April, no one else really cares about the national past-time except for the Red Sox-Yankees, who play the final game of their five game series tonight.

Final Fact:

The very first Olympic race, held in 776 BC, was won by Corubus, a chef.

Maystrovsky’s column appears weekly. Maystrovsky is a member of the class of 2009.

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