Weekend Sports Update

9 Jun

Seth: This weekend was packed with big sports moments, allowing many people to take their minds off Hillary and Barack (although she clearly wants all the attention). Here is a quick rundown:

Saturday was the day many horse racing fans and non-fans alike were waiting for with excitement: The Belmont Stakes. As the last race of the Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing, it was here that many people were expecting history to be made. The Triple Crown is a series of three races for three year old horses. Winning the entire series is commonly considered the greatest accomplishment in horse racing.

After winning the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes (the first two races of the Triple Crown), Big Brown was by far the favorite to win the Belmont Stakes, and therefore make history by completing the Triple Crown for the first time in some thirty years. Instead he went the way of Smarty Jones in 2004 who won the first two races but was unable to finish the feat. In some ways, Big Brown’s failure reminded me of the New England Patriots who won every game last season except for the one that counted the most. Incidentally, they had their first mini-camp this weekend, coming together for the first time since their tremendous disappointment. But let’s not forget Da’ Tara, the winner of the race who also had the longest odds.

In slightly more popular news, the Boston Celtics went up on Ray’s boys 2-0. Both these teams have tremendous talent, and obviously the Lakers have a bona fide playmaker/game-winner in Kobe. But the Celtics have offensive threats everywhere, not to mention the best defense in the league. This post season both the Celts and Lakers have had more success at home, and expect a lot of fight from the Lakers when the series continues Tuesday in LA. I give it to the Celtics in 5.

Finally I want to recognize Jimmy Rollins, a player for my hometown Phillies. He’s become somewhat of a star here, winning the National League’s MVP award last year. We love him because he’s got both the heart and bravado of Allen Iverson, a longtime favorite in this championship-starved town. And not unlike AI, at times he likes to do things his way, on his time. So on Thursday he was benched after the fourth inning for failing to hustle to first after hitting a popup to the Reds’ shortstop with two outs in the third. In an era when too many sports stars use their status and their talent as excuses for failing to play 100% every time, it was refreshing for Rollins to own up and take responsibility, saying:

[There] are two rules: be on time and hustle. I broke one of them today… Three strikes and I’m out.

Whoever thought that we’d be congratulating an adult for acting like and adult? Well, that’s all folks. Do something spectacular for your future this week.

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