Monday, June 4, 2012
About Last Weekend: Welcome Back, Tiger Woods
By Shane Ryan
In case you were out living a life of leisure, here's what you missed in sports over the weekend.
Tiger Woods birdied three of the last four holes, including a spectacular chip-in on the 16th, to win the Memorial and tie Jack Nicklaus for second all-time in total PGA wins. Nicklaus, who hosts the event, called the chip-in on 16th "the most unbelievable, gutsy shot I've ever seen." When the celebration died down, Nicklaus continued: "For the record, I have my memory wiped clean every morning by a special device to help ease the crushing fear of death. So, uh, take it with a grain of what am I thinking? Is it rice? A grain of rice? That doesn't sound right."
Johan Santana became the first Mets pitcher to throw a no-hitter, ending a dry spell that lasted more than 50 years and 8,000 games with an 8-0 win over the Cardinals. And no matter what else happened in the game, Monday should be all about Santana and the Mets. It's an epic moment. I don't want to hear anyone griping that former Met Carlos Beltran hit a shot down the line in the sixth inning that was clearly fair, corrupting the entire no-hitter and placing a giant, umpire-size asterisk on Santana's effort. It's not important. What matters here is that the Mets did something historic. The same way that former North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Il did something historic when he shot that perfect 18 on a golf course. The accomplishment is the important element, not how it got done which, in the Mets' case, was on the back of a terrible call that renders the whole game fraudulent. Hey, speaking of fraudulent, remember Bernie Madoff? What a loon, right?! Oh yeah. Total loon.
Kevin Durant scored 18 of his final 36 points in the last seven minutes to lead the Thunder to a 109-103 win in Game 4, knotting the Western Conference finals with the Spurs at two games apiece. During this stretch, Durant seemed largely undaunted by Tim Duncan, who kept whispering excerpts from Michael Lewis's financial cautionary tale The Big Short in an attempt to rattle him.
Dwyane Wade's 3-pointer at the buzzer fell short, giving Rajon Rondo (15 points, 15 assists) and the Celtics a 93-91 overtime win and a 2-2 tie in the Eastern Conference Finals. LeBron James, who had fouled out, tried to give his teammate advice in the timeout before the crucial shot. "Just remember to breathe," he said. "Really heavily, with your eyes widening in terror, as you think about everything that might go wrong. And then, right as you shoot, try to moan like a child at a department store who can't find his parents. If you wet yourself, it happens. That'll cool down your body temperature and lead to some healthy shaking. You might also have trouble erasing the mental image of cows being slaughtered. Totally normal, nobody knows why it happens. You got this, bro!"
Five-time Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson led for 289 of 400 laps and won the NSCS at Dover. He beat out a large field that included Babbles "Vroom-Vroom" McDuncan, the unstable Irish driver who wears a blue hair piece and screams out "VROOM-VROOM!" while he tries to find someone to crash into. Babbles finished last, but I have a feeling we'll be hearing more from him before too long.
In its third exhibition match in four days, the U.S. men's national team failed to convert any scoring chances against Canada, eventually settling for a 0-0 draw. "You guys take your draw in soccer, and we'll take the Stanley Cup for the 18th straight year," said Obama, who seemed really angry. "How about that, you boring f---s?"
Jeff Carter scored in overtime to give the L.A. Kings a 2-1 win over the Devils and a 2-0 lead in the Stanley Cup Finals. "YEAH!" shouted Obama, still really angry. "WHERE YOU AT NOW, YOU MAPLE LEAF-EATING SCREWBALLS?!" In an attempt to cool things down, Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper tried to explain that Canadians don't actually eat maple leaves, but Obama started shoving actual maple leaves into his face (the two were hanging out in a maple tree garden).
Nelson Cruz hit the longest home run in the majors this season, a towering 484-foot blast, as the Rangers avoided a sweep against the Angels with a 7-3 win. Unfortunately, the moment was somewhat marred when 14 teenage Texas males attempted to shoot the ball out of the sky as part of a traditional coming-of-age ritual.
In French Open action, Novak Djokovic rallied from a two-set deficit to beat Andreas Seppi in five, joining Andy Murray, Rafa Nadal, and Roger Federer in the quarterfinals. "If grand slam tennis was any more predictable, it would be glorious Kim Jong-Il on a golf course, nailing hole-in-one after hole-in-one," said North Korean spokesman Lee Hyung-Suk, in an attempt to make the deceased dictator more hip and relevant with younger generations. "Are the people right? Are we right?"