Well this has been a fascinating week or so, hasn’t it? We’ve seen a perfect game, the NBA finals turn into a thrilling and competitive series, a Hall Of Fame running back hang up his cleats for good and without question the worst decision in the history of boxing. Here is what’s been going on.
On June 9, Manny Pacquiao went up against the undefeated Timothy Bradley. Before the fight began, I was miffed that Pacquiao made millions of fans wait because he had to watch his precious Boston Celtics get trounced in the Eastern Conference finals. When the game finally ended he had to get his hands wrapped, run on a treadmill to loosen up his calves, and partake in a pre-fight prayer. As I’m not a Pac-Man fan, this excessive delay just added to fuel to the fire—I wanted him to get knocked out.
But Pacquiao was clearly in control and dominating Bradley throughout the fight with that powerful straight left of his. When it went to the scorecards, I didn’t even want to watch. Lo and behold, Bradley wound up winning by split decision and it set Twitter ablaze. Pacquiao definitively won and everyone knows it. But here is the problem with not only boxing, but MMA as well—most of the judges are terrible. They are employed by each state’s athletic commission rather than the sport itself. I would love to see ex-fighters or former boxers score the fights at ringside but instead, in this particular case, we get two out of three judges that are older than 70. The WBO has now assigned five judges to rescore the fight and may possibly give the victory to Pacquiao. But what good is that going to do? The fight’s over, people lost a lot of money betting on it, and a rematch is going to happen regardless. Leave it alone, we all know what we saw—just try and fix the damn system already.
My boy Matt Cain hurled arguably the greatest gem ever against the Houston Astros. The 22nd perfect game in MLB’s history, Cain sent down every batter he faced while striking out 14—tying Sandy Koufax for the most strikeouts in a perfecto. As a Giants fan, I found it hard to breathe after the sixth inning. It was an extraordinary performance by the young flamethrower and seeing one of the best pitching efforts ever will be something that I’ll never forget.
Remember when Johan Santana pitched a no-hitter on June 1? Well, R.A. Dickey nearly had one himself just last week. He gave up only one hit, and it technically should’ve been ruled an error on David Wright. The Mets appealed this decision after the game but it was, of course, upheld. If they didn’t give Armando Galarraga a perfect game when Jim Joyce made a terrible call in 2010, why would they give it to Dickey? And besides, if you’re a Mets fan whining about how it wasn’t a hit, get over it—Santana technically gave up a double on June 1 to Carlos Beltran in the sixth but it was called foul, which kept his no-no intact. These things always even themselves out.
One of the best running backs in the history of the NFL, LaDainian Tomlinson has decided to call it a career. Throughout his 11 years in the sport, LT was versatile and a dual threat, as he could run right down the field or catch screens for positive yards. He holds a slew of touchdown records, is fifth all-time in rushing yards, and will be enshrined in Canton in five years. He was an elusive yet powerful back, and while I abhor both teams he’s played for (the San Diego Chargers and New York Jets), the guy played the game the right way. So long, LT.
As of press time, the Miami Heat are up two games to one on the Oklahoma City Thunder. After the Heat jumped out to an 18-2 lead to start game two, they never looked back, winning 100-96. In game three, Kevin Durant was once again in foul trouble and besides himself and Russell Westbrook, no one scored more than 10 points. They missed free throws and quite frankly didn’t play the smartest basketball. On the other hand, Miami was 31-35 from the charity stripe and LeBron James turned in another dominant performance. I originally picked the Thunder to win in six but at this rate, we might be going to a game seven. Stay tuned…
And finally, UFC On FX 4 takes place Friday night at the Revel casino in Atlantic City. Gray Maynard against Clay Guida is the main event and this fight is going to be a war. Both fighters are coming off losses (to Frankie Edgar and Benson Henderson, respectively) and I can’t wait for this one. Unfortunately, after Maynard’s camp complained, Guida’s wild hair won’t be flying around and will instead be braided. In addition, UFC 147 is live from Brazil on Saturday and it features Wanderlei Silva against Rich Franklin as well as The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil finals. It’s not the most intriguing pay-per-view card ever but any time “The Axe Murderer” Silva fights, you’re going to see something special.
(Photo credit: Jason O. Watson/Getty Images Sport)