Sort of like the feeling when you got out of school for the summer, the ending of the NHL and NBA Finals represents the un-official “end” of the annual sports calendar.
The Kings delivered for the home fans in double over-time on Friday. And the Spurs came on like a tsunami after a slow start.
Now… it’s all baseball, golf, NASCAR and soccer until “Lord Football” returns to his autumnal throne in September.
But let’s take a moment to appreciate the weekend.
Stanley Cup Finals
The Rangers – clearly outclassed by the quicker, better Kings – did not just lie down and die. In fact, they had their chances to deliver one more hockey game on Friday night. And Lundqvist made monster save after monster save.
But to see a double-OT game winner on home ice, the explosion of players and fans, was a real treat. I was glad I stayed up to witness it. Not to mention, I had to savor ever last drop of Mike Emrick, the most enjoyable play-by-play companion in all of sports television. He could read the phone book, and I’d be mesmerized.
The losing team’s wait for the handshake line, has to be one of the most difficult things in sports. But they wait. And they show real respect for their fellow players. That never gets old for me.
Thanks for ruining it, Martin Kaymer. Jerk.
Hey, it’s not his fault he was on auto-pilot. The “other tournament” the rest of the field was playing, had the chance to be a thrilling, quasi-train-wreck classic if only “The Ultimate Driving Machine” wasn’t so dominant.
I like Kaymer. His swing is awesome. His temperament, perfect – especially for the oft-tricked-up US Open. It doesn’t bother me that he’s not a fist-pumping, high-striding, Shooter McGavin type. I like watching great golf.
I just wish people like Johnny Miller knew how to root for somebody other than Tiger.
And so long and happy trails, Bitter Johnny. You brought virtually no joy to us at home watching golf all these years. You clearly never got over the fact that your own career fizzled out way too soon given your talent.
Sure. You said players “choked” on TV, when most announcers and former players would not. The pundits acted like you had invented electricity. Whatever.
Your verbal diarrhea marred most Open broadcasts. What with your constant “he coulda, or shoulda’s” second guessing and your “I think he, might have” speculation made instantly after every shot.
Fox gets the job starting next June. I have no worries about Joe Buck. Norman: you have a chance to pleasantly surprise me. Don’t blow it.
To say that seeing LeBron and the hired sidekicks get destroyed after starting 22-6 was sweet, is the understatement of the century. It was beyond delicious.
And not so much for any LeBron bashing, but actually for the dynamic and electric way in which this Spurs team played.
It was an ass-kicking like we haven’t seen in sports since…um…. February.
When there was the little football game in New Jersey.
The parallels are pretty good. The Seahawks quietly had such a far superior team, but the Broncos had “The Star.”
Many of us dummies still just defaulted to picking “The Star.”
Then the games happened.
And talent, passion, hunger, and DEPTH shone through.
You gotta love it.
My favorite moment of the night, was actually NOT Manu Ginobli driving through traffic for a stunning left-handed hammer as the Spurs took off like a fighter jet in the 3rd quarter.
No, it was after another blitzing sequence – the one where Mills and Ginobli hit three bombs in a row, sandwiched around a Tiago Splitter stufferoo of Dwayne Wade.
The lead ballooned to 21, and the arena was on T-I-L-T.
The Heat call timeout, and the Spurs retreat to their sideline.
What happened at that moment, was the perfect embodiment of this team. Instead of jumping around like jackasses, like the game was already over (it was), every single one of the Spurs players stood calmly in a circle, looking into the middle where their coach was waiting for the crowd to simmer down just enough so he could even be heard over the deafening noise.
Great moment. Great visual.
A great team, and a helluva way to cap the sports year.
Enjoy the summer folks.