That title is how I think L., the most hip-hop of my girls, might describe the past week’s worth of sports for me. There have been a few bummers. Let’s break it down, in reverse order.
I’ve watched five minutes of the World Cup.1 Those five minutes were the last five minutes of the US – Portugal game. We were at my in-laws’ house, I was following the game on my phone, and saw the US had gone up 2-1 late. I scrambled to their TV, found ESPN, and prepared to watch the the US clinched a spot in the round of 16.
Whoops. Hello, Jinx!
I hate Christiano Ronaldo. Hate him. But his pass to Silvestre Varela, who headed it in to snatch the late tie, was a thing of absolute beauty. On the run, with defensive pressure, he fires a ball forward and across the field, curling it around the US back line and right into Varela’s path. It was an utterly amazing.
It was a tie that felt like a loss for the US. They had a European power beaten, were through from the Group of Death, and had found ways to win two games late. And then it was gone. They can still get through, but it will take help. It will be a travesty if Ghana hammers Portugal and get through after the US finally beat them a week ago.
One other quick Cup thought: the Holland – Mexico Round of 16 game could be epic. Both sides are playing very well, with Holland being the most dominant team of the round robin stage. Feels like the team that comes out of this one plays Argentina in the semi-finals.
OK, back to the bummers. The Royals. I was set to write something about their hot streak and how they were, improbably back in the AL Central race after their 10-game winning streak. Then they promptly lost four-straight and fell back into second.
And as I type this, they’re beating Zack Greinke.
I guess they’re proving the Internet adage that you can’t predict baseball.
We’ll table the Royals talk for a few more days, to see how this week goes, but it was a huge bummer of a weekend after their great stretch before that.
Finally, Joel Embiid’s latest injury.
What a bummer. He’s still going to be a rich man after the draft. But not nearly as rich as everyone thought he would be. And he now has the stigma of falling into the Bill Walton, Sam Bowie, Greg Oden list of big men with bad wheels who saw their careers cut short.
I really hope he heals and can have a long, successful career. And there’s a part of me that still thinks that anyone who passes on him is insane. I think the math remains the same with him. He has the highest ceiling of anyone in the draft. Even in the age of the marginalized low post player, Jojo could be the most dominant player in the NBA, should his best-case scenario come to pass. Both Andrew Wiggins and Jabari Parker could be very, very good players. But neither will ever be the best guy in the league.
I know general managers are all about assessing risk and making the smart choice, sometimes passing on the highest potential payoff because of the dangers that come with it. A guy who scores 18 points a game for five years might not be sexy, but he’s better than a guy who shows flashes of dominance but can never stay healthy. Or at least he is to a GM worried about making the pick that costs him his job.
I hope Jojo heals and plays for years not because I want to see what he can do with more experience, more strength, more basketball knowledge. Not just because KU needs another dominant pro with Paul Pierce’s career winding down. I want him on the court in the NBA so I can have more of those moments that I had this past winter, when he would do something ridiculous on the court and I would just start laughing in amazement.
More on the draft, of course, later this week. It’s tradition, after all!
- Remember, we are currenly experimenting with the cable-free lifestyle. I’d be watching every game if we still had ESPN. ↩