Yesterday was an absolutely spectacular day in the world of sports.
We saw Maria Sharapova capture the career Grand Slam with her win at the French Open (damn, she's hot), Union Rags win in a photo finish at the Belmont (with an assist from I'll Have Another for pulling out of the race), the New Jersey Devils stave off elimination (again) in the Stanley Cup Finals, and Manny Pacquiao get undeniably jobbed out of a win in Las Vegas (thanks Bob Arum).
Oh, and there was also that whole Game 7 thing in the Eastern Conference Finals.
|Photo by: Mike Ehrmann|
One could say any (or all) of these factors played a big part in the Heat advancing to the Finals.
I, on the other hand, have a different take.
"It has been said that something as small as the flutter of a butterfly's wing can ultimately cause a typhoon halfway around the world." -- Chaos Theory
Allow me to elaborate.
Anyone who truly knows me, including several columnists from this very site, can vouch for what I'm about to say. It's something I'm not particularly proud of, but it's fact nonetheless.
Anytime I buy the hat of a team participating in an important game or series, that team always loses.
This isn't something that's happened on just one or two occasions either. It's a constant.
Here are just a few (of the many) examples:
2001 World Series - Only weeks following the September 11th attacks, the New York Yankees and Arizona Diamondbacks staged one of the most memorable World Series of all-time. The Yankees, with smoke still rising from the World Trade Center debris field, rallied to win Games 4 and 5 in dramatic fashion. The day after Game 5, I purchased a New Era Yankees hat.
The Diamondbacks won Games 6 and 7 (my bad New York).
Super Bowl XLII - The New England Patriots ran roughshod over the league during the 2007 season, as Tom Brady and company were looking to cap off the first 19-0 campaign in NFL history. The Saturday prior to Super Sunday, I walked into Hibbett's and bought a fitted Reebok Patriots cap.
Final score: Giants - 17, Patriots - 14 (my apologies New England).
November 26th, 2010 - The Boise State Broncos, winners of 24-consecutive games, were set to take on the Nevada Wolf Pack. With a win, the Broncos would still have an excellent chance to crash the party and be in the BCS National Championship Game. The day before, I strolled into Hat World and purchased a Nike Flex-Fit Boise State hat.
Final score: Wolf Pack - 34, Broncos - 31 (okay, this is getting old now).
That brings us to the Eastern Conference Finals.
Again, anyone who knows me knows that I'm all about some Boston-area teams. So after the Celtics shocked the world and knocked off the Heat in Miami in Game 5 to take a 3-2 series lead, I wanted to mark the joyous occasion by picking up some new Boston gear. The next day, I went to the mall and scooped up a fitted Adidas Celtics cap.
You saw the end result last night (ugh, I'm really sorry Boston -- I'd take it back if I could).
But seriously, all kidding aside -- the Heat and Celtics gave us a fabulous ECF, and one can only hope that the Finals themselves will be just as riveting.
I don't see it happening though.
Yes, I've been called a LeBron hater in my day -- and while that's not necessarily the case, who could blame me if it was? I mean, besides residence of Miami, who does like LeBron?
After all, he's given us plenty of reasons to dislike him.
He proclaimed himself the "Chosen One" and "King James" straight out of high school, he jacked MJ's jersey number and powder toss, he had his little "decision" turned into a nationally televised event, and he even had a big hand in turning Dwyane Wade into a bona fide villain.
AND -- he still doesn't have a ring.
During last night's broadcast, when the topic of LeBron's past mistakes was brought up, Jeff Van Gundy uttered a pretty laughable statement: "There's a statute of limitations on stupidity."
I beg to differ.
To me, some things should never be forgotten or forgiven, regardless of how much time has passed.
While LeBron may very well be the most dominate physical specimen the game of basketball has ever seen, it still doesn't negate the fact that he's brought all the negativity he receives on himself, and it's all very much warranted.
Anyway, good luck in the Finals, LBJ. You'll get no more help from me though. I've finally learned my lesson.
This time, I'll buy my (Thunder) hat after the series is over...