Good Afternoon Sports Fans!
It's been almost 9 months since I lasted posted anything sports related to this blog so I figured it was about time to get back at it. Back in November I discovered I was pregnant and my physician advised me of the complications to pregnancy from blogging, thus leading me to abandon my followers for awhile. OK, just kidding, blogging cannot impact your pregnancy and will have no effect on your future children. I've just been busy/lazy. And oh yeah, I'm not pregnant because I'm a guy.
Now that you've gotten over not hearing from me in three trimesters, let's get to the good stuff ...
Win it for Wambach!?!
Congratulations to the USWNT (Unites States Women's National Team for those of you not "in the know") for winning the FIFA Women's World Cup on Sunday evening! The US women pulled off an incredible, if not shocking, 5-2 victory over defending champion Japan in the final game of the tournament. The highlight of the game was the US' 4 goals before the end of the 16th minute including this beauty by MVP (or whatever soccer people call it) Carli Lloyd: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YN596P7xqJw
Throughout the tournament, the rallying cry for the American women was "Win it for Wambach" as though she was a three legged pony with a bad case of malaria that had to be carried onto the field using a lawnmower because the stadium misplaced the parade float. Seriously, I did not get it for most of the tournament. Abby has scored more goals than any American soccer player in international history (yes, that includes the boys) and has a trophy case of accomplishments at home to brag about. Yes, I understand that this is likely her last WWC (Women's World Cup ... follow me people) but she's hardly had a lackluster career. Adding this last trophy would have been nice, not mandatory to give her legend-type status in the realm of Mia (Tar Heel) Hamm. However, during the Championship Game, it finally clicked for me. Wambach, realizing that she is not the spring chicken she used to be, graciously gave up her starting role on the team to allow for younger, more talented players, to bring home the trophy. She didn't whine, she didn't make a scene, she didn't call TMZ to release the video of Alex Morgan peeing in a urinal after a couple too many drinks ... she's did what was best for the team. And for once, an athlete put winning ahead of ego ... and now I get it. The team wanted to win this for Wambach because she's the ultimate teammate and deserved it. Abby could have demanded a starting role and has earned the right to request that position, but instead she played the game with her head and realized that she had more value starting the game on the bench.
In return for this unusual display of humility in sports? Star of the game Carli Lloyd had an amazing moment when Wambach was subbed in and, in front of the world, presented her with the prestigious Captain's Band to finish out the tournament. I cried almost as much as I did when King Triton finally let Ariel have permanent legs. Way to go Abby, and Carli, and the USWNT, and pizza. What? I like pizza.
PS: Of the 23 members of the USWNT, 6 of them played their collegiate years at UNC. No other school has more than 2 representatives. Suck on that Dook. Go America, Go Heels!
Dear athletes of the world ... STOP BEING STUPID. Love, Matthew.
Two big name sports stars this week suffered major off-the-field injuries by doing things that, well, they just knew better than to do.
The first one is still kind of shady ... Jason Pierre-Paul (defensive lineman for my NY Giants) managed to blow up his hand playing with fireworks on the 4th of July. The actual extent of the injury has yet to be released, but it's bad enough that the Giants decided to rescind his $60 million contract offer. Let me repeat that ... he gave up a $60,000,000 (that's a lot of bleeping zeros!) contract to play with fireworks on Independence Day! Doesn't he have like a 3 year old niece or something that could have handled the fireworks? Her hands are a lot less valuable than his.
The second one ... not shady, not as stupid, but still kinda dumb. The #1 golfer in the world (by stats, not by Tigertude) Rory McIlroy ruptured a tendon in his ankle this week playing soccer with some buddies. While I understand that professional athletes enjoy other sports and hobbies (playing with fireworks is NOT a hobby JPP, sorry), this injury came less than 2 weeks away from the British Open at St. Andrews. For those that don't follow golf, The Open Championship ... that's what the funny looking people on the other side of the pond call it ... is one of the most prestigious tournaments of the year and this month it's being played on the original golf course of the world. Like, first one. Ever. None before it.
Couldn't Rory, who btw is the defending champion of the tournament, have kicked around the black and white globe later this year when it's cold out and he's wearing long underwear by his $2 million fire place?
*Editor's Note: Here is a glossary of terms for this last section:
Tigertude - The Tiger Woods awesomeness factor by which all other golfers will be measured against.
JPP - Jason Pierre-Paul (seriously, you couldn't figure that one out on your own?)
The Pond - The Atlantic Ocean
BTW - Stands for "by the way". You're welcome Dad. PS: Happy Birthday.
What a Jerk
Earlier this week, Washington Nationals slugger Bryce Harper decided he didn't feel like participating in the Home Run Derby during next week's All Star Game festivities. Dude's just going to sit this one out. But, that's cool, I mean why would you participate in one of the most popular sporting exhibitions in the country to please millions of fans who drool over strong baseball players hitting small balls a really long way? It's not like they pay your salary or anything and allow you to lead the National League in home runs at the All Star Break. Oh wait ... THEY DO! If you haven't seen the signs already (just watch some of his previous interviews), Bryce Harper is well on his way to winning the "Barry Bonds Most Hated Player in Baseball Lifetime Achievement Award." Way to go Bryce.
On another ASG (All Star Game ... gees, pay attention) note, Alex Rodriguez did NOT make the roster for the American League this year. Despite putting up incredible numbers after missing the last year plus of baseball for doing the juice, the guy is 41 years old (ancient for a baseball player) and one of the best players in the league in recent memory. And what was the reason for his missing the team? It's not that he used to cheat. It's not that people don't like it. It's not that he hasn't washed his jock strap in 12 years for good luck. It's because the American League team manager wanted another infielder instead of a player who can hit. You ever watch the ASG? How many times does the no-name guy at the end of the bench who can't hit but catches nicely actually get on the field? Here's a hint ... I have the same number of appearances as that guy. Do you know that player's name this year? Exactly.
In Other News
Free Agency opened up in the NBA this week and there were a LOT of big names on the move and in the news. In the first 24 hours of free agency, NBA owners spent a combined $1.4 billion on new NBA contracts. The next day, they woke up and realized that still, nobody cares about the NBA.
Until next time ...