In case you were busy searching for any actual sports to watch lest you have to spend time with your friends or loved ones, here's what you missed in sports on Wednesday:
- We're going to be digging deep today here at About Last Night as we look to recap the previous day's sports, oh look, cycling! There we go. Tour de France leader Chris Froome took his third stage win in a rainy time trial, before the Tour heads deeper into the Alps in the coming days. "Horrible things can happen in the mountains, so you can't take anything for granted," Froome said of the upcoming stages. "You can't take anything for granted. Stuff can get real bad real fast. I ate a bike tire up there. The altitude got to my head, I was starving, no oxygen, saw the tire, ate the tire. I wake up three days later, and I ask the physio, 'What happened?,' and he tells me, 'Christopher, you ate a tire,' and I ask him, 'My tire? My front tire?,' and he nods and I just start crying. Deep hearty sobs." Froome then took a moment to compose himself before adding, "I just loved that tire so much."
- OK, um, what else? There's got to be soccer, yes? Yes! The Copa Libertadores finals have begun with Paraguayan side Olimpia seizing a 2-0 advantage over Ronaldinho's Atletico Mineiro in the first leg of the South American club championship. The match, played in Asunción, Paraguay, was notable for its tame atmosphere as the supporters in attendance didn't really seem to care who won or lost. As is typical with South American soccer, goals were noted with little more than polite applause, and music had to be piped in through the PA system to keep the game moving. Presumably, that same laid-back spirit will carry over to Brazil, where the second leg will be played with a laissez-faire attitude that says, "Hey, we're here, and we're glad to watch these athletic men get some good exercise."
- So, OK, did any other actual sports happen? Women's basketball! The Tulsa Shock beat the Seattle Storm, 86-59, ending a six-game losing streak. The loss was immediately declared the worst thing that has ever happened to a Seattle basketball team at the hands of Oklahoma by those of us who have weird gaps in our memory surrounding the presence of professional basketball in Seattle. It's almost as if I should be able to remember more about it, but when I go to recall anything, there's just a loud buzzing that reverberates in my skull. Then I pass out for a couple hours, only to wake up in a baker's van. No, that's not quite right. A Van Baker? I don't know, it's weird.
- Oh and there's more! Despite playing a man down for most of the match, Chivas USA scored a late winner to top Toronto FC, 1-0. Chivas, however, continued to suffer from attendance issues, luring only 7,851 fans to the match, despite their disingenuous "Bendik's Like Beckham" campaign to attempt to lure fans to the stadium to watch Toronto goalkeeper Joe Bendik.
- All right, that appears to be all of the actual sports that happened, so were there any drummed-up controversies? Of course! San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick was called out by teammate NaVorro Bowman for wearing a Dolphins hat on the Fourth of July, calling the move "a huge mistake." However, fellow teammate Aldon Smith called on people to "not make this a bigger issue than it has to be." Sorry, Aldon. Could there be a bigger deal than allowing people to have a free choice of hats on Independence Day? We can't be consumed by our petty differences anymore. We will be united in our common interest: to allow people to wear whatever hat they please. Perhaps it's fate that Kaepernick wore the wrong hat on the Fourth of July, and we will once again be fighting for our freedom. Not from tyranny, oppression, or persecution, but from people saying we can't wear a hat when that's the hat we have. So um, I guess that is kinda from tyranny, oppression, and persecution. Whatever! We're fighting for our right to live, to exist, to wear hats, and should we win the day, the Fourth of July will no longer be known as an American holiday, but as the day when the world declared in one voice, "We will not go quietly into the night without our eyes being protected from the glare of the sun! We will not take off a particular hat without a fight and reveal our thinning hairlines! We're going to live on, patronize haberdashers, and we're going to wear any hat we want at any time." Today, we celebrate, our Independence (With Relation To Hats) Day!
- So that's a good controversy involving paid athletes; what about their amateur brethren? You bet! Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel explained his recent early departure from the Manning Passing Academy as being a result of his having "overslept." Nice try, Johnny. Overslept a meeting? In college? Yeah, right. That sounds wholly unlike any experience I know anyone in college to have had, and I remember almost half of the time I spent at college. What's really going on here? Does anybody else think it's a little too convenient that somebody with the nickname Johnny Football is really good at American football? Yeah, me too. Where's the birth certificate, Johnny? Or should I say Jonathan? Jonathan Paul Manziel? Two classic British names? Two names of members of the Beatles? Busted. I'm sorry, you must not have heard of a little holiday called Independence Day, because we don't pay fealty to the Queen any longer. Go back to your blighted island filled with meat pies and football without hands, and stop sullying our amber waves of grain with your Benedict Arnold act.
- And that feels like all of what happened in sports. Oh wait! The Energized Sporting Popular Yearly Statues event took place in Los Angeles! Back-to-back NBA champion LeBron James was named Best Male Athlete after competing a brutal 12-day athletic competition in which he beat out fellow nominees Miguel Cabrera, Adrian Peterson, and Michael Phelps, none of whom actually competed because they had literally anything else to do.