Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Roars from a Tiger, Solar Bears, and Lions (MLS bound?)

Before I get to players that would be staying and playing in Orlando, I'll get to the golf tournament that just blew through.

Good for Tiger Woods winning the Arnold Palmer Invitational last weekend, and looking like his old professional ball whackin' and huntin' self by winning impressively. He got torn down -- physically, mentally and emotionally -- over the last 2 1/2 years or so, and it's good to see him get back to the top. Granted, he did a lot of the damage by himself and to himself, but aside from being the prototypical star with the challenging handling that goes with it, I don't think Tiger is a bad guy, he just got misguided for a while.

We'll see how well his game and his body are plugged in in two weeks at the Masters. Woods and Rory McIlroy, who goes back to Augusta to try and avenge his Sunday fold a year ago, are the prohibitive favorites, and I'm sure Luke Donald, Lee Westwood, Phil Mickelson and Hunter Mahan will log some leaderboard time. I wish it was this weekend.

Here's some news from teams who will be playing full seasons in town ...

Orlando Solar Bears: the team is taking fans who have placed season-ticket deposits on a bus trip down to Fort Myers this Saturday to see an ECHL Florida Everblades game. On April 10, the team will unveil its new jerseys at a 5-7 p.m. get-together at The Abbey downtown.  The team has chosen April 21 for its Select-A-Seat day at the Amway Center for fans to pick their seats for the season.

Orlando MLS Soccer:  Has kind of a nice ring to it, eh? According to my sources at Oursportscentral.com, the center of the universe for minor-league and minor sports news, MLS representatives have already visited Orlando and Miami, and will visit Cary/Raleigh, N.C., for potential expansion markets in the Southeast as the league looks to add a 20th team. The Orlando Lions of the USL Pro Division open up defense of their league championship on April 7 at Charlotte. The home opener is April 15 against Wilmington at the Florida Citrus Bowl.

Florida Flight: (excuse me, the who?) This semi-pro team that will play in the Florida Basketball Association is made up of former college players who weren't destined for the big time, at that time, and wanted a way to feed their addiction to competition by "creating their own shot." The team will play at Avalon Park Middle School (down Alafaya Trail a few miles south of Waterford Lakes) on Saturdays beginning in May. It's good clean, inexpensive hoops fun for the family. Owner/GM/Head Coach/Lead Huckster Mark King has taken this team from league to league and gym to gym to try and make the venture a success for him, its league, players and fans, and I'd be remiss if I didn't give a shout out.

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