Time Out for Sports Talk: Continuous File Maintenance
Todd: Feels strange doing all this opining during what is normally a pretty quiet time on the sports calendar, and yet it isn’t really that quiet. Plenty of topics, so here we go with some more purging of files from the sports hard drive of my mind.
Hate to start with the Patriots because the calendar says it’s June and we’re months away from any meaningful football games. Yet if I listen to even 30 seconds of sports radio, I’m being told that everything going on with Tom Brady and his current whereabouts is important and I should be getting worked up into a foamy lather over it.
To that, my response is that time changes everyone’s priorities and as far as I’m concerned, Brady is still one of the greats and still loves football, just maybe not as much as he once did. Forgive me if I can’t get all frothed up right now. I guess it’s a good thing I’m not broadcasting a sports talk show 20 hours a week, although there is plenty of other stuff to discuss.
I don’t want to completely ignore that Julian Edelman is about to get hit with a 4-game suspension for violating the NFL’s PED policy. But there are several ongoing developments, including reports that most of the Patriots organization were unaware that Edelman tested positive within the last month, as well as other reports that despite his connections to Alex Guerrero and TB12 Sports Therapy, they had nothing to do with his recently failed test.
Bottom line is, this is disappointing to hear from the standpoint that Edelman has always come off as a dedicated athlete with a great underdog story, going from average college quarterback-to-seventh round draft pick-to-one of the top slot receivers in the game. His loopy, offbeat personality might be an acquired taste for some, but he’s still a Patriot you generally want to root for. The only potential positive about this news is that missing the first four games of the 2018 season might prove to be a blessing in terms of his rehabbed knee.
Speaking of underdogs, I’ll admit that I was pulling for the NHL’s rookie franchise, the Vegas Golden Knights, to complete the miracle season from expansion draft to raising Lord Stanley’s Cup. Maybe they should have sent their pregame counterparts out to do battle on the ice, as those knights remained unbeaten right down to the last catapulted stone (big thanks to Mike for linking that cool video last week!).
Unfortunately, the Golden Knights were not ready to rumble with the Washington Capitals, who claimed the first championship in the franchise’s 44-year history. Normally a team winning a best-of-7 series in five games wouldn’t be viewed as one overcoming all odds. But prior to last night, these Capitals were 14-43 all-time in playoff series when they took a 2-0 or 3-1 lead. I know that doesn’t sound plausible, but I believe the Caps were the original definition of a ‘GOAT’, at least before Tom Brady and all the millennials came along.
But give credit to the Caps for completing the ultimate closeout and earning their first Cup, despite trailing at one point in all four of their playoff series wins (even in the SCF after losing Game 1). Team captain Alex Ovechkin—poster boy for stars who couldn’t win the big one—scored a career-best 15 goals in the playoffs to win the Conn Smythe playoff MVP and cement his legacy as one of the top scoring wings in NHL history.
The other winter sports season should end tonight (or Monday at the latest) as the Golden State Warriors break out the brooms and literally sweep LeBron right out of Cleveland. Yes, King James is about to depart Ohio—AGAIN—but I’m sure he’ll find a way to spin it so that his loyal fans won’t feel that it’s his fault for leaving.
BTW these crazy rumors that LeBron might go to the Celtics next season are preposterous. Would Danny Ainge and Brad Stevens not only risk alienating Kyrie Irving, but also be willing to deal part of their talented nucleus just to bring LeBron on board? Is LBJ one of the greats? Absolutely. But the C’s were one win shy of reaching the Finals with Kyrie and Gordon Hayward dressed in street clothes.
As for the Red Sox, I didn’t realize how prescient I’d look with my concerns last week about Dustin Pedroia. Reports this week are positive that he won’t need additional surgery and should be back on the field sooner rather than later. But let’s not forget that Pedroia is 35 years old and coming back from a knee injury that isn’t routine for an athlete in his prime, let alone one that has as many bumps and bruises as Pedey has amassed during his career. I seriously wonder just how much career is left in the Laser Show.
Finally, I bring up horse racing because…I can! Saturday’s Belmont Stakes will officially mark the 100th completion of the three races that make up the thoroughbred racing’s Triple Crown. Most years, the former ‘Sport of Kings’ has little relevancy. But this time around, a colt named Justify hopes to become the lucky thirteenth Triple Crown winner and only the second winner of the last forty years. Even if you’re not a fan, what’s not to love about watching a sporting event knowing it’ll be over in less than three minutes? Talk about getting the bang for your buck—that’s the equivalent of about two pitches during a Sox game or one (swift) replay review in a Pats game.
Mike: First of all, I am sooooooo sick of all this Tom Brady talk. WHO CARES? It's preseason people! Wake me when the games start.
As for Julian Edelman, that was a bit of a shocker. The real downside (other than losing Edelman for 4 weeks) is that it could open us up to more of this Alex Guerrero crap. Honestly, I'd rather hear about Vickie Guerrero at this point....(yup, cue the WWE video)
Now, onto the NBA. Looks like Lebron is going to fall short of the title again this year, and he's going to take his talents elsewhere next year.
Let's ask a New Englander if he would like to see the Celtics blow up their roster and salary cap to sign Lebron.
As much as he is a world-class talent, I don't want to have anything to do with Lebron coming to Boston, mostly because it would involve really derailing the progress this team has made. They are built to be successful for many years to come, and I don't want to see that change for a short-term Lebron James.
Moving on to the NHL, like Todd, I was rooting for the Golden Knights to win it all, but you could see that Washington just had more in the tank in the finals. And the Knights still had an amazing season by any account, they are going to get more chances at the Cup.
But speaking of that, can you imagine winning a championship in Vegas? I can't imagine what that party must have been like.
Oh yes I can. And here's "exclusive footage" of some of the Capitals waking up sometime today in the aftermath of the celebration...
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