Back to sports: The summer in review

Cole Anderson, Sports Editor

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Though football season is undoubtedly the best time of the year, summer is a close second for various reasons. My personal favorite sporting event of the summer is the Stanley Cup Playoffs and subsequent Finals, which featured one of the more exciting final series in recent memory. The Tampa Bay Lightning, with massive 6’7″ goaltender Ben Bishop and high-paced offense, were a worthy opponent for the early season favorites, the Chicago Blackhawks, and their own collection of stars. The Hawks would eventually win the series and the Cup, but only after some of the most exciting hockey that I have seen in a while. Duncan Keith, who also scored the series’ winning goal, would win the Conn Smythe Trophy, an award for the MVP of the Finals series.

The Wimbledon Championships saw Serena Williams become the oldest woman to win a Grand Slam title and Novak Djokovic assert his dominance once more over the men’s tennis world. I didn’t watch much of Wimbledon as the matches started at either 5 or 8 am.

The NBA championships were fun, unless you were a Lebron James fan, in which they were bittersweet. Attempting to carry his team to a title with three key starters out for the entire series, Lebron put up a valiant effort. He was aided at times by the Aussie phenom Matthew Dellavedova, who is probably the scrappiest player I’ve ever seen play in my lifetime. He put up insane numbers, averaging a double double per game over the entirety of the finals, a whopping 35.8 points per game and 13.3 rebounds. But none of that was any match for the Warrior’s “splash brothers” tandem of Steph Curry and Clay Thompson, and the dominance of Andre Iguodala, the finals MVP. Though Curry didn’t consistently produce his typical numbers, due in large part to Dellavedova, the rest of the Warriors picked up most of the slack; though there were moments where I was convinced Lebron would not wear out and somehow keep single-handedly winning games.

Our very own women’s national team won it’s first World Cup since 1999, which wouldn’t seem like a long time except for the fact that we’ve come so close in the last 3 Cups. Abby Wambach finally got her World Cup title, and at long last got to see women’s soccer rise back up to the level it was back in the Mia Hamm era. The U.S. women have now amassed three World Cup titles of the seven total in the history of women’s soccer. In the final, Carli Lloyd did something no other soccer player, male or female, has ever done. Not only did she score a hat trick in the biggest game of a soccer player’s career, but did so in the first 16 minutes of the game. It was almost comical, but no less incredible. With a chip on their collective shoulder, the game seemed won from the start.

The British Open, played at “The Old Course” of St. Andrews in Scotland, was the catalyst for numerous naps of mine. But Zach Johnson, a 39 year old American, won in a four hole playoff that proved to be at least moderately exciting.

Finally, and certainly most importantly, was the historic running of the Belmont Stakes, a venue at which American Pharoah succeeded in his Triple Crown bid. This Triple Crown was special because it came after a 37 year drought, and in an era of horse racing that makes winning a Triple Crown incredibly hard. But American Pharoah proved that notion wrong, winning convincingly and instantly, turning everyone watching into a horse racing fan. I hardly ever watch horse racing, but even I found myself nervous for that race. History-making moments in sports will do that sometimes.

Here’s to a great summer of sports and an even greater college football season ahead. Go Trojans.

 

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