When it’s 95 degrees outside, you can either go to the beach or do what I did. Yup. I sat in an air conditioned living room and watched sports all weekend. As my Boston people would say, “That was wicked smart.” It was a good weekend to reacquaint yourself with the special a** groove in your couch, because the sports world was busy. Let’s start with the most important (but probably least watched) sporting event of the weekend:
STANLEY CUP FINALS
Following a bad loss in Game 5, the Nashville Predators were happy to head home. Prior to Game 6, the Predators stood an impressive 9-1 in their home arena in the playoffs. Unfortunately for the Predators, the Pittsburgh Penguins handed them their 2nd home loss. The Penguins broke a scoreless tie 58 minutes and 35 seconds into the game, scoring what would be the game winning goal. They would add an empty-net goal 1 minute and 21 seconds later, securing a 2-0 victory. And just like that, the Pittsburgh Penguins became the first team in 20 years to win back-to-back Stanley Cup Championships. Sidney Crosby (duh) won the Conn Smythe Trophy (MVP of the Playoffs) for the 2nd straight year. I don’t normally talk about shoulda, woulda, couldas..but ah..what the hell. The Predators actually scored in this game. Just 1 minute and 7 seconds into the 2nd period, Colton Sissons had a goal erased by a quick whistle. The goal shoulda counted, but we can’t go back in time. Also, Sissons and fellow Predator, Filip Forsberg, both hit the post in the 3rd period. That sucks! I feel for the Predators, as their run through the playoffs was fun to watch. Better luck next year!
No sweep. No history. Well, history was still made, just not by the Golden State Warriors. The Cleveland Cavaliers finally won a game (137-116), and they did it in historic fashion. When so many changes are made to the record books, a list is necessary:
- The Cavaliers scored 49 points in the 1st quarter
- The Cavaliers scored 86 points in the 1st half
- The Cavaliers made 24 3-pointers
- Lebron James recorded his 9th triple-double in the Finals (breaking Magic Johnson’s record)
- Dahntay Jones became the 1st player to get a technical foul from the bench in the NBA Finals (I don’t actually know if this is true – but I think it’s really funny)
- Lebron James passed Michael Jordan for 3rd all-time in points scored in the NBA Finals (trailing only Jerry West and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar)
Heading into Game 4, the Golden State Warriors were looking to become the 1st team in NBA history to sweep through the playoffs at 16-0. If they win Game 5 they will still be in rarified air. They will join the 2001 Los Angeles Lakers and the 1983 Philadelphia 76ers as the only 1-loss teams to win a championship.
All you Lebron fanatics can pump the brakes. Don’t expect the Cavaliers to hit 24 3-pointers and score 137 points again. You can also expect Lebron, Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Love not to combine for 94 points again. The Cavaliers are David Wells. They are capable of throwing a Perfect Game, but they aren’t bringing home a Cy Young Award anytime soon. Expect the Warriors to roll in Game 5. 124-111. Warriors win another title. Book it.
U.S.A. VS. MEXICO
Soccer?! Yes. We are going to talk about soccer. Have you ever seen anyone happier to end in a draw before?? That is the question to ask following a draw between U.S.A. and Mexico on Sunday night. You’d think U.S.A. had just won the World Cup. The two nations squared off in a CONCACAF World Cup qualifying match. The match was played in front of 87,000 screaming fans in Estadio Azteca, the famed stadium in the heart of Mexico City. Michael Bradley of U.S.A. scored a shocking goal (from about 40 yards out) just 6 minutes into the match. But, thanks to incredibly poor defense by U.S.A, Mexico tied the match in the 23rd minute when Carlos Vela ran untouched for what seemed like 8 miles before putting home a left-footed strike from just outside the box. The match would end in a 1-1 draw. Maybe there is reason to celebrate, as the U.S.A earned just their 3rd win or draw in 22 tries playing in Mexico City. Pop the champagne……?
AARON JUDGE FOR MVP
Before you laugh, check out the numbers. If the MLB season ended today, Aaron Judge would be the Rookie of the Year and MVP. That hasn’t been done since Ichiro Suzuki in 2001. Aaron Judge is hitting .344 with 21 home runs and 47 r.bi.’s. Yup, that would give Judge the lead in the Triple Crown. Plus, Judge’s Yankees are in 1st place in the American League East with a record of 37-23. PLUS, Aaron Judge hits baseballs really, really FAR. Yes, that baseball really travelled 496 feet. That would be the longest home run since ESPN began tracking distance in 2009. The Yankees are now riding a 5-game winning streak. In their last 5 games, the Yankees have scored a total of 57 runs. That is insane!! This offensive outburst is still being done without future 1st baseman Greg Bird. As good as the offense has been, it is the pitching that has the Yankees in 1st place on June 12th. C.C. Sabathia’s resurgence has been the untold storyline of the Yankees’ season. Let’s hope it continues.
And last but not least….words you’ve heard many times before. 10 times now to be exact. Yes. Rafael Nadal won his 10th French Open title. What words could I possibly find to explain the greatness that is Rafael Nadal?? I don’t know, but I’ll try. He is the best clay-court tennis player ever. We have never seen a player this dominant at anything..ever. Not Wayne Gretzky on ice. Not Bill Russell on the hardwood. And no, not Tom Brady on the gridiron. Rafael Nadal dominates clay like nothing we’ve ever seen. Think about this. Nadal just won the French Open without dropping a set in the ENTIRE TOURNAMENT!! The finals was about as anti-climatic as they come. He defeated Stan Wawrinka 6-2, 6-3, 6-1. At age 31, Nadal is finally healthy again, and that means only one thing..the sky is the limit.
With all these fantastic sporting events on TV this weekend, what did you watch?? Tell me what was on your TV in the comment section below.
Since you enjoy my writing, follow me over to intheneutralzone.com where I am a contributing author there as well. You can also follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like me on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed it!