From World Cup Action to the U.S. Open – Surprises Are Everywhere
~ Amy Lignor
Well, depending on where you are from and what team, sport, and/or individual player you are a fan of, the actual categories of ‘good’, ‘bad’, and ‘ugly’ may vary. However, this is the skinny when it comes to various sporting events going on right now, and champions that have just been crowned.
Let’s begin with the U.S. Open. Yes, there are favorites. Yes, there are certain people who were supposed to be at the top right now – at the top, with their only rival being the ‘other’ one everyone said would win the whole thing. Tiger is not there, so that name does not appear. But those big names that everyone was certain would be on that huge leaderboard, oddly enough, are not there. Phil Mickelson: 73 and 13 shots out of the lead. The career Grand Slam he was looking for is not going to happen until…next year? And the world Numero Uno, Adam Scott, was 11 shots behind, which meant the excessive heat was not the only thing making his face red.
In Pinehurst, Kaymer is the name on everyone’s lips. But even the man who began with a First Round leaving him at -10, showed that he was not perfection. Saturday’s weather was more than harsh, with Kaymer doing both good and bad but able to salvage a 2-over 72 to keep a five-shot lead going into the final round. This may just be historical when Sunday comes to an end, considering that only one player in U.S. Open history has lost a five-shot lead in the final round, something that occurred almost 100 years ago. (Not to worry, people, Kaymer has a big smile on his face right now, we’ll see if it lasts).
In the world of soccer, or, shall we say, the ‘other football’, surprises have been seen by the fans. Spain’s crushing defeat will not be forgotten, although the picture on the front of their newspaper the next day really was a punch in the gut. But Spain was not the only one with a heart-wrenching moment. Uruguay also looked at pure shame as they lost to Costa Rica. And when it comes to the rivals of England and Italy – England took a bow and failed to get that win they believed they had in the proverbial bag. And there’s far more to come…
On to the 2014 NBA Finals, which is proving confusing to some and amazing to others (while other fans are just sitting there with anger rising in their souls. The Heat, as everyone knows, was a team that was basically as boring as the Buffalo Bills was to 1980’s NFL play. It took the ‘Decision’ of LeBron James to rejuvenate the organization. Now, the Heat are only the third team in NBA history to play in four straight NBA Finals. What is making many sad, however, is the fact that as of this moment the Heat is ‘almost’ down-and-out, trailing the Spurs 3-1, with Game 5 being played tonight.
But not only do the Finals weigh on their minds, but it’s also well-known that the roster of this much-valued team is about to change significantly. The magnificent LeBron, Wade, Chris Bosh, Haslem and Chris Andersen have player options for next season. Shane Battier is headed (or expected to head) into retirement. So the ‘Big Three’ that the Heat truly needs can be walking away if their player options are not picked up. Either the Heat will bounce back tonight and come back to win it all…or they will be looking at brand new possibilities that the owner most certainly does not want to see happen.
Yes, there is news in the NFL; mostly draft picks and whether or not they are even going to be able to play come September. But when it comes to sports news this week, the real story that must be told is the L.A. Kings. Yes…yet again the Kings decided to wake up and come to life in overtime, walking away with their second championship leaving fan-favorite New York Rangers trying to figure out what the heck just happened here.
So, what did? The L.A. Kings are one of those teams that can be categorized as ‘scrappy.’ Not the most elegant of skaters; heck, not the most
knowledgeable of hockey moves, period – but what they do own in a vast amount is the hunger a team must have to win the game. These are men who actually want to play hockey, and they have pride and respect in their teammates that allows them to look and feel like ten-year-old boys meeting Wayne Gretzky for the very first time. They have not become jaded – which is odd to say when speaking about anything remotely near Los Angeles.
So…Congratulations to the L.A. Kings. Perhaps we shall see three-in-a-row.