Covering University of Colorado sports, mostly basketball, since 2010

Monday, June 18, 2012

Monday Grab Bag: It's hot.

Dude, yo.  It's hot outside.  Balls hot.  Fucking blast furnace.  It's so hot outside that I'm not even wearing a hat today, which is saying something.  At least it's Colorado, and the humidity is in the 10% range.  If this was the Midwest, with typical summer humidity, I'd be dead by now. 

Today in the bag I'm talking US Open golf, the NBA Finals, and the Euros.

Stay out of the heat, and click below for today's bag...

US Open Sunday Without Tiger -

The rush to say that Tiger Woods is 'back' reached a milestone Friday afternoon.  With the former #1 not only in contention, but tied for the outright lead after two rounds, the hype machine began to churn its rusted-out wheels.  "He's back," pundit's claimed, "he's a shoe-in to win."  Then the weekend hit.
*Cue the Price is Right fail horn*
The plain and simple truth is that Tiger played his way out of contention.  Tiger seemed incapable of reading a green correctly, and his score ballooned as a result.  From the first hole Saturday afternoon through the first six on Sunday, Tiger made 10 bogies (along with a big fat double), taking him from leader to +10 in a few hours of play.  That sound you heard Saturday evening was NBC executives weeping as a potential ratings bonanza dried up.  Instead of Tiger, we in the sports world were gifted Jim Furyk vs Webb Simpson.  Simpson won with a score over par (+1), and this dude made a ton of cash. Congrats and all to Simpson and TZisk, but it made for some disappointing golf for this casual viewer.
I'm happy for him, but I wasn't enthralled by his pursuit of the cup.
But this is apparently what the USGA wants.  Year-after-year they brutalize otherwise perfect courses in the hope that they can produce a champion as near to par (or worse) as possible.  It makes for ugly viewing and a lot of messed-up shots.  The Masters may be run by racist, misogynist, and xenophobic assholes, but at least Augusta National plays "right."  There was nothing "right" about Olympic this weekend, and I just felt sorry for everyone who had to slog through it.

Heat take a 2-1 lead - 

I thought the Thunder had a great chance to get their one in Miami Sunday night, but it was not to be.  Some 3rd quarter foul trouble left the Thunder bench exposed, and a 10-point lead was quickly crushed by the Heat steamroller.  I still think the Thunder win the series, but they have to win Game 4 to have any chance.
Too much LeBron last night.
While I'm on the subject, is anyone else weirded out by promotional pictures of LeBron holding the Larry O'Brien trophy?  ESPN did a similar series of photos with him last year, and the Thunder are involved as well, but it just seems weird to see a non-champion holding a champions trophy.  Ask any hockey player, and they'd tell you they'd rather see their arms chopped off then hold the Stanley Cup trophy before winning it.  Not a big deal, I'm just saying it feels "off" to me.

Netherlands and Russia out at Euros - 

In rather curious fashion, two of the best teams in the world failed to advance in the Euros.  Soccer super-power Netherlands failed to even get a single point out of their three games in Ukraine, and Russia suffered a massive upset at the hands of Greece, which sent them spinning out of the tournament. 
Christiano Ronaldo and Portugal made sure the Duth left with goose egg in tow.
While the Dutch failing to even manage a tie in three matches is surprising, the mere fact that they didn't survive the "Group of Death" isn't.  Russia, on the other hand, were supposed to easily win Group A.  With their 4-1 stomping of the Czech Republic (the eventual group winners) on the tournament's first day, they certainly seemed up to those expectations.  Inefficient soccer, however, plagued the Russians over the past week, with far too many shots sailing over the goal, rather than testing opposing goalkeepers.  The Euros unorthodox habit of favoring head-to-head results over goal differential aside, Russia didn't look the part over their final 90, and were deservedly sent packing.

Happy Monday!

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