In case you were out living a life of leisure, here's what you missed in sports on Wednesday.
Matt Carpenter, subbing for an injured Carlos Beltran, hit a two-run homer to lead the Cardinals to a 3-1 win over the Giants and a 2-1 lead in the NLCS. "Look, we're not saying for sure that Jesus is rooting for our team," said a statement released by Cardinals fans. "But how many times can you be led by a Carpenter before you start saying, OK, maybe something's happening here? Are we crazy? Are we being unreasonable? Or deep down, are the rest of you jealous that Jesus is a Cards fan? Be honest."
I never liked the idea of fighting for the sake of fighting. Other than my brothers’ hilarious brawls in the 1970s, it seemed wrong on many levels. So back in 1993, when some friends invited me over to watch the original Ultimate Fighting Championship, I remember worrying it would be barbaric. Barely any rules, a locked cage, and men trying to pummel each other? Unlike the scripted theater of wrestling pay-per-view events, there was no certainty of what might happen. The violence would be real. Teeth fragments, broken bones, joint dislocations, gallons of blood all possible. And unlike hockey, there would be no organist on hand to restore civility.
The night turned out to be a pleasant surprise: We enjoyed some beers and witnessed Royce Gracie (the smallest competitor) defeat the field by using a modified style of jiu-jitsu developed by his father, Helio. This was more than a glorified pay-per-view melee. We finally found a way to resolve hypothetical arguments about superior fighting styles, and maybe even challenge long-standing (and as it turned out, somewhat erroneous) presumptions about the importance of size and strength.
In case you were out living a life of leisure, here's what you missed in sports on Monday.
The Arizona Wildcats are College World Series champions. Defensive replacement Brandon Dixon hit an RBI double in the ninth inning to break a 1-1 tie, spurring Arizona to a 4-1 win over South Carolina and a two-game sweep in the championship round. Unfortunately for Dixon, the League of Defensive Replacements determined that he was "getting above his station" in a secret meeting and revoked his membership. The vote was nearly unanimous, with only "Weakish" Walter Burrows, Bartholomew "Bad Eyes" Burrows, Timothy "Batless" Burrows, and Edward "Eczema Eddie" Burrows — the famous Burrows quadruplets — voting on Dixon's side.
In case you were out living a life of leisure, here's what you missed in sports on Thursday.
Kobe Bryant scored 27 points and Pau Gasol had a crucial block at the buzzer as the Lakers edged the Celtics in overtime, 88-87. I'm not saying Boston has had a rough sports week, but Bill Simmons is standing behind me as I write, tapping a baseball bat against his palm and asking weird questions like, "Would you consider yourself a happy person, Ryan?"
The reserves for the All-Star game were announced Thursday, and the list included veterans like Paul Pierce, Dirk Nowitzki, Tony Parker, and Steve Nash. More like Old-Star game, am I right, gang? I mean, who picked these guys, Naismith himself? I hope they don't die from shock when they see that all the peach baskets have been replaced with nets, YAKNOW? (*Makes a series of wacky faces, curls up in a tight ball on the floor, cries softly, reaches for a box of Krispy Kreme doughnuts*)