Skip to main content

Mo's talking points: Indy 500, Stanley Cup and NBA playoffs

By Matthew "Mo" Mochow, CNN
Keep an eye on the Indy 500, the Stanley Cup Finals and the NBA this weekend, says Matthew "Mo" Mochow.
Keep an eye on the Indy 500, the Stanley Cup Finals and the NBA this weekend, says Matthew "Mo" Mochow.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Winners of the Indy 500 don't drink champagne or beer; they chug milk
  • Driver Danica Patrick is struggling as she heads into race and was booed by fans
  • NHL finals feature David vs. Goliath matchup between Flyers and Blackhawks
RELATED TOPICS

Editor's note: Matthew "Mo" Mochow is an assignment editor for CNN. His passion for sports and the social atmosphere keep him well-rounded on what's going on in the sports world. Check back for his columns to get your talking points for weekend sports conversations.

(CNN) -- The Indianapolis 500 is this weekend, and unless you grew up in the Hoosier State or in a garage, you may not know it.

For something that is called the "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing" you would think that more people would follow it here in the United States.

The thing is, there are some great traditions in the Indy 500 that you may not know about.

The winner of the Indy 500 doesn't celebrate with champagne or their favorite beer. They chug milk afterwards. That's right, milk. It has been a promotion by dairy farmers since the mid-1900s and waits for the winner still today.

A relatively newer tradition has carried over from an annual NASCAR race held at the same track. There is a line of bricks along the start/finish line on the track, and the winning driver and crew have started kissing the bricks in a show of respect after the race.

One of the most famous sayings in sports comes from the Indianapolis 500: "Gentlemen, start your engines." However, that phrase has been amended now that female drivers have joined the race. The most famous female in the Indy Racing League currently is Danica Patrick.

You may have seen her in Maxim magazine or advertising for GoDaddy.com, but Patrick earns her keep behind the wheel. She joined the IRL in 2005 and qualified to start fourth in the Indy 500. Although she wasn't the first woman to compete, she was the first to lead a lap at Indy. She ended in fourth place and has finished in the top eight in four of her five Indy 500s, including a third-place finish last year.

However, Patrick has struggled this year. She hasn't performed well in previous races and qualified 23rd for the Indy 500. In an interview after qualifying, she appeared to blame her crew and the car for her lackluster run. The audio of the interview was picked up by a microphone and went over the P.A. system, and the fans booed her response. She has apologized to her crew and hopes her car is ready on Sunday.

The Stanley Cup Finals begin this weekend in hockey. On paper, it appears to be a David vs. Goliath matchup between the Philadelphia Flyers and the Chicago Blackhawks, respectively. The Flyers are hoping everyone counts them out, as they have the entire playoffs, only to emerge victorious. The most impressive series win came in the second round against the Boston Bruins, when they rallied from an 0-3 game deficit to win four in a row and advance.

The NBA's Boston Celtics hope not to repeat their hockey counterparts' fate after taking the first three games. In a momentum-swinging series against the Orlando Magic, the Celtics don't want to become the first team in NBA history to be eliminated from the playoffs after taking a three-games-to-none advantage.

In the Western Conference, the home team has won each game, with the Los Angeles Lakers triumphing on a last-second shot in Game 5 against the Phoenix Suns. They head back to Phoenix, where they might eliminate the Suns and move on to the NBA Finals.