Five Things We Learned from the Past Weekend: April 12-14 = Kobe is still alive, but someone with a gun at the NRA-sponsored NASCAR event isn’t

Just a little help staying ahead of the sports world learning curve heading back into the work week:

1. When they get around to writing Kobe Bryant’s obituary … wait, they didn’t do that already this weekend? He’s still alive? Never mind. That A1 story in the L.A. Times had the headline “Injury clouds the future for Bryant, Lakers.” At least they couched the truth well. It lead to @Kobebryant tweeting out: “This is what my friend/agent sends me this AM. Shesh! #Kobe #MotivationSunday I’m keeping track of all doubters and haters #Mambamentality.” Actually, if he read the story, it wasn’t doubting or hating on him. We’re keeping track of how many people who think Bryant will likely come back for the start of the next season. “It’s his left foot, and right-handed players jump off their left foot (to shoot), so whether he can get the explosiveness back that he had is going to be interesting,” said Kurt Rambis, on Sunday’s Lakers pregame show. “Dominique Wilkins once blew out his Achilles, came back and made two more All-Star teams. The hard thing for Kobe is, if he can’t play as hard as he wants to play, will it frustrate him too much. Kobe doesn’t want those last two free throws to be what people remember him for.” For now, it’ll have to be.

2. Sorry, but there’ll be no sitting behind the backstop screen wearing Dodgers gear at Phoenix’s Chase Field, or else you’ll be chased. No matter how much you paid (in excess of $3,000 ) for that privilege. A few L.A. fans on Saturday found that out  the hard way (thanks to for the evidence). More background from the Arizona Republic.

3. If Tiger Woods hadn’t been smacked with that two-stroke penalty for a favorable drop just before going into the third round of the Masters, he would have … only lost by two, tied for third with Jason Day instead of tied for fourth. “Well, we could do a what-if on every tournament we lose,” Woods said. “We lose more tournaments than we win.” Even him?  The interesting thing is Woods still finished the thing better than Brandt Snedeker, who was tied for the lead going into the final round. Did Woods received favorable treatment by not getting DQ’d? Why didn’t Woods do the honorable thing and DQ himself?
That’s not his nature. It’s probably best he didn’t even come close to winning this on the last few holes, allowing the drama to play out where it belongs (with Tiger’s ex-caddy leading the cheers). Still, Tiger signed an incorrect scorecard. Guys (or, at least Roberto DeVicenzo) have lost the Masters for doing that.

4. It’s all downhill here for Mizdirection. Jim Rome’s favorite gal is 5-0 on Santa Anita’s downhill turf course after winning Saturday’s $100,000 Las Cienegas Stakes, raising her career winnings to $1.15 million. Still, the Breeders’ Cup champ isn’t going to make you rich. She paid just $2.80, $2.20 and $2.10 as the 2-5 favorite. What’s next? She’s going to the $500,000 Just a Game Stakes over a mile on turf at Belmont Park on June 8.

Kyle Busch celebrates by shooting revolvers in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series NRA 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on Saturday in Fort Worth. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images for Texas Motor Speedway)

5. A 42-year-old man shot himself in the head and died in the infield of Texas Motor Speedway on Saturday during the NASCAR Sprint Cup NRA 500. That’s a real story, not from Onion Sports. At a race sponsored by the National Rifle Association, which wasn’t controversial enough going in, but now looks even more sad coming out. Fort Worth police have said a man camping in the infield died of a “self-inflicted injury” after getting into an argument with other campers. Alcohol may have been a factor, they say. We’re also pretty sure now a gun may have also been a factor.

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