Talking Points: Danica's near-miss

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What’s the buzz from the world of sports? Here are some items that will have people talking:

1

Danica Patrick was leading the Indianapolis 500 with 20 laps to go ... with 17 laps to go ... with 11 laps, er ... nevermind.

And with her pit stop for fuel went her chances to win the race.

Aside from the spectacular finish that unfolded with Patrick sitting back in 10th place, IndyCar racing could have really used the boost of a Danica victory.

More people than usual may have gained interest in what was once a great American sport. One where you could name more than three participants.

Instead, Patrick is likely headed to NASCAR for a full-time ride and IndyCar will fall back into the shadows.

2

If you’re a basketball fan, you’ll hear the name American Airlines a lot over the next couple weeks.

American slapped its name on the arenas of both teams playing in the NBA Finals back when stadium naming rights were a hot commodity — the American Airlines Arena in Miami and the American Airlines Center in Dallas.

So whether the Miami Heat or the Dallas Mavericks win the title, American figures to get a lot of TV time. The same thing happened in 2006, when the Heat defeated the Mavericks in six games.

“It’s great exposure, and it’s fun,” said American Airlines spokesman Tim Smith. “We’ve got home-court advantage every game.”