An eventful few weeks in sports my friends. Full of the highs and lows that competition and life always seem to bring…


For starters, the NBA Finals met an exclamatory end with the Boston Celtics absolutely blowing the Los Angeles Lakers out of the arena on Tuesday night. The Celtics won their record 17th NBA Championship by dismantling the Laker offense early and often, with Kobe Bryant and the rest of the boys from LA retreating into the offseason not with a bang, nor a whimper, but the sound of the world’s largest egg being laid. Saying that the Lakers shit the bed in their final game of the season would be a gross understatement (no pun intended) and as a fan of Kobe and the Lakers in general I found it hard to watch. That being said, I can’t imagine a team I would feel more comfortable watching my boys lose to than the Celtics. I’ve always been a big Paul Pierce fan and when you throw a couple of class veterans like Kevin Garnet and Ray Allen into the mix, it makes for a bit less bitter of a pill to swallow.

Paul Pierce especially, who has been a part of many a disappointing Celtics team, was particularly brilliant not just in the Finals, but the entire post-season. He certainly outplayed the best player in the world all series long and Kobe and the Laker defense simply did not have an answer for Pierce at any point, in any game. I still think that the “heroics” he displayed in game one were blown out of proportion to a dizzying degree, but he showed nothing but the best of his skill set and determination against the Lakers and the other teams the Celtics bested in this year’s playoffs. To tell you the truth, I never thought that this team had this kind of a game or this kind of a playoff run in them. Their regular season performance was obviously impressive, especially their dominance over the Lakers and the rest of the powerhouse NBA Western Conference, but I thought that after a shaky performance against the Hawks in the opening round the Celts would somehow self-destruct and old beefs between Paul Pierce and Doc Rivers would begin to surface as the team stumbled in the post-season.

In fact, that stumble just never really occurred. Yes, the Celtics had trouble with a less than worthy Atlanta team, but in their defense the Hawks came together as a unit in that series, with Mike Bibby providing the glue to a youthful structure that boasts some of the best and brightest that the NBA will see in the coming years. Joe Johnson and Josh Smith are a terrific tandem and Bibby and a bit more inside help will have that team poised to replace the Cleveland Cavaliers as the third best team in the East over the next couple of seasons. The Cavs themselves were another team that the Celtics should have handled better, but any team with LeBron James on it is no walk in the park when it comes to a seven game series, just ask the second best team in the East, the Detroit Pistons. The Pistons were the Celtics obvious match in the Eastern Playoff picture, but they too were just another notch on the Celtic belt as they marched towards the title. Conceding to my logic, the Celtics beat the three best teams in the Eastern Conference and the best team in the West to win the championship; impressive stuff indeed. The Lakers (with Andrew Bynum) may have a better future ahead of them, but in the here and now the Celtics are clearly a better team, especially defensively. Congrats to the Big Three and Louisville native Rajon Rando on an amazing year.


I feel somewhat guilty that the only reason I talk about golf and the PGA Tour is because of Tiger Woods, but as an extremely wary viewer of the world’s most boring sport, watching him do what he does is really the only reason I’ll sit down for a tournament. This weekend saw Tiger Woods and veteran Rocco Mediate (among a couple of others on Sunday) gun for the US Open title, with a banged up Woods nailing a put on the 18th hole to force an 18 hole playoff on the following day. While Woods is the reason I watch golf, I found myself whole heartedly behind Mediate to take the title. A long time pro and a huge underdog to Woods (who by the way had never succumbed a Sunday lead in a major), Mediate was a pleasure to watch as he played himself into a clubhouse lead in the final round on Father’s Day. Woods of course had to spoil things and wince his way through a surgically repaired knee injury to tie Mediate on the final hole and force Monday’s playoff round.

Woods once again proved that he is the best clutch athlete since Michael Jordan, building then losing a three shot lead and once again ruining Mediate’s run at the Open Championship with a put on the final hole. Tiger is a joy to watch and his intensity and drive are already a thing of legend. When he gets in the sort of positions that he found himself in on both Sunday and Monday, with a put to either extend or seal a tournament, there is just no doubt that he’s going to come through. He would later call this year’s Open the best tournament he has ever played, and its hard to argue that, given that it might well have also been the best US Open ever played. I’d also like to say that it’s pretty awesome that the event is played on Father’s Day every year, and I myself couldn’t help but quickly dial up my dad when Woods sank the put on the 18th on Sunday. I posted an email my old man sent me about Woods a few blogs back and if you have the inclination you should read it again. He speaks admiringly and succinctly about the legacy that Tiger continues to build upon and he and my mother are still an absolute rock as far as my well-being is concerned. Thanks Dad.

Woods would announce later in the week that the banged up knee that plagued him throughout the tournament is in fact in need of more rehab than he thought; the surgical kind to be exact. Woods had minor surgery on the knee, which led to a nine week layoff and his moans and groans during the Open Championship. Now it seems, his ACL actually has a slight tear and that he will be forgoing the rest of the PGA Tour season to have it repaired. I'm guessing I'm not the only one who won't be watching golf for the rest of the year now. Oh well. Best of luck to Woods on his road to recovery.


Two of the game's previously most dominant pitchers, the Atlanta Braves' John Smoltz and the Boston Red Sox Kurt Schilling may have both thrown their last pitch in the majors. They both are set to undergo season-ending surgery that given their ages might as well be career-ending. Smoltz and Schills are a pair of amazing arms that helped a trio of teams win World Series rings (Schilling with the D-Backs and Bo-Sox, Smoltz with his Atlanta Braves) and while Kurt is a bit more shall we say, talkative, they are both truly funny guys who seem to be handling the end of their careers with equal amounts of class and aplomb. Schilling even has a blog where I'm sure he's talking about all of this right now. I've honestly never read it, but since the beginning of the blogging phenomenon, Kurt has been an avid writer and has thus given his fans a unique window into the life of a professional athlete. I couldn't let any talk of Smoltz go without mentioning that the Detroit Tigers dealt him to the Braves back in 1987, when we were mortgaging our future on a run at the World Series, which ended in the AL Championship with a loss to the Minnesota Twins. We gave him up for Doyle Alexander and a losing run at the Series. It still twists my guts to this day. Farewell to both players, who will probably find many a job waiting for them in the broadcast booth.

1 comment:

  1. Amen, brother. I almost never watch pro ball, but the Celtics played the game of the decade. It was the first basketball game I got excited about in years. Normally pro ballers look bored, like they're watching the clock waiting for the millions to roll in, but those guys played their hearts out like they love the game and wanted to do the best they could, not just scratch out any old win. Pierce was making steals where I didn't know you could fit steals. Some of them I didn't even see until the slow-mo replay. Unreal. We could use more athletes getting off their ass and pouring their heart into what they do instead of watching the clock till retirement.