Delaying the Inevitable
Tuesday was a golden day for connoisseurs of sports futility.
First, the Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the Detroit Red Wings to force a deciding Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals of the National Hockey League. All through the playoffs I’ve been hearing about how old and slow the Red Wings are and even in this series how the Penguins are the younger, hungrier team. Yet, every time the Wings need a win, they always seem to find a way. Somehow, I don’t foresee them dropping a Game 7 on home ice.
Then there was the Orlando Magic coming back from a Game 1 beatdown and a near miss in Game 2 of the NBA Finals against the Los Angeles Lakers, winning Tuesday night in Orlando to pull that series to 2-1. Professional teams aren’t supposed to be able to turn it on and off at will but it seems the Lakers have done that throughout these playoffs, appearing to ‘mail-in’ games in the previous two series only to prevail when they really need to. Never mind that the Magic shot 75% from the field in the first half and 63% for the game, yet still only managed to win by 4 points. And that doesn’t even take into consideration an off night by Lakers star Kobe Bryant; one that likely won’t be repeated.
A cynical person might go so far as to suggest that the above scenarios have been orchestrated to provide the maximum financial benefit for their respective leagues, but far be it from me to feed anyone’s conspiracy theories.
Not to be outdone, our pro football neighbors to the west added the latest chapter in the Brett Favre Saga, “temporarily” suspending their pursuit of the famously *retired* quarterback. Reportedly, the Vikings had established a deadline of this week for Favre to decide whether he intended to continue his career with Minnesota; a circumstance that head coach Brad Childress denied once he realized that his superimposed deadline had no effect whatsoever on it’s intended target. In the meantime, the current Viking quarterbacks are left to twist in the wind along with the rest of the franchise. Considering that Favre has already had surgery on his shoulder and a Green Bay Press-Gazette story reported that Favre’s entourage booked hotel rooms two months ago for the Vikings 2009 appearance in Green Bay, look for Brett to report to the Vikings early in training camp. And not a minute before.