Yesterday was one incredible day in Sports. It was literally action-packed from 1:00 pm to past midnight.
I had tickets to both the highly anticipated play-off Game 1 of the Capitals – Penguins series, featuring the two best players in the world, Alex Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby, and the afternoon game between the Nationals and the Cards, featuring the best player in baseball, Albert Pujols. But, I had a wedding and reception to attend so I wasn’t able to go to either game.
Fortunately, there was a sports bar at the hotel and few of us were able to slip away from time to time to catch the action in Game 1. Fortunately, we saw the spectacular save by the 21-year old rookie phenom, Simeon Varlamov, against Crosby. Then, we watched the last 10 minutes of the game as they Caps held on for a hard-fought 3 – 2 victory. The NHL must be pumped with this series which features not only Ovie and Crosby, but also a few of the other best players in the world — Malkin, Semin, Green, Staal, Backstrom, etc.
I made it home in time to see the Kentucky Derby. I’m not too much into horse racing but I turned on the tube to catch the action. What an incredible ride by the great Cajun jockey, Calvin Borel, on the long-shot horse, “Mine That Bird.” It was an amazing ride as he came from the back of the pack and navigated his way through the pack of horses – then he squeezed through a tight opening and hugged the rail to take the lead – and then blew away the field. This is a horse that was bought for $9,500! The way the crowd reacted to Calvin and the horse after the race was reminiscent of the scenes from “Seabiscuit,” another long-short horse that went on to capture big races as well as the adulation of the huge crowds.
What next? Game 7 of the perhaps the best and most exciting NBA playoff opening round — between the defending champion Boston Celtics vs the Chicago Bulls. This series has been spectacular with 4 straight overtime games. The game was not nearly as exciting as the previous games in the series, but the Bulls did manage to whittle it down to a few points with a couple of minutes left in the game. The Celtics, with their veteran leadership from Ray Allen and Paul Pierce, managed to hang on to win and advance to the next round vs the Orlando Magic.
The final event of this glorious sports day was the much-anticipated championship boxing match between the two best pound-for-pound fighters in the world, Manny Pacquiao and Ricky Hatton. We were so psyched for this fight — we figured it’d be a great, exciting match that would end up in a split decision. But, lo and behold, Pac-Man (my favorite fighter) dominated and quickly ended the fight. He knocked down the British champion twice in the first round, then hit him with a devastating right with less that 10 seconds left in the 2nd round. Wow, what a result! We’re all now looking forward to a Pacquiao – Floyd Mayweather match!
Yesterday was a great day in Sports! Oh, yeah, Tiger is two shots back from the lead of the Quail Hollow Championship — so guess I have to watch a bit more Sports today. 🙂