Sports out do Mifflin

first_imgCinco de Mayo was one to remember — not for the sombreros, Mifflin Street Block Party or weather, but for sports. While much of the excitement on campus Saturday swarmed the 500 and 400 blocks of West Mifflin Street for the annual block party, the real excitement was happening on the track and diamond — in the ring and on the hardwood. Beer dripping down partygoers’ faces versus blood and sweat streaming down Oscar De La Hoya’s or tears rolling down Tracy McGrady’s. Hold your breath that you won’t get arrested versus “hold your breath, it’s going to be close” competition. The contrasts are slight. And much like seeing complete strangers getting arrested, the results were intoxicating. Known as the most exciting two minutes in sports, the Kentucky Derby didn’t disappoint. Street Sense captured the crown by roaring back from 19th place in a 20-horse field to finish two lengths ahead of the closest competitor. It ranks among the most remarkable moments in Derby history, right up there with the number of arrests at the 2007 block party. While having an excuse to start drinking at 9 a.m. is nice, Saturday’s rundown of MLB games may have been a bit more energetic. At least it didn’t pass out. Of the 15 games played, nine were decided by three runs or fewer, including two that took extra innings to decide the victor. In addition, seven of those games were also of the come-from-behind variety. On an individual basis, certain players also made for an interesting storyline. Yankees’ pitcher Chien-Ming Wang was in the midst of a perfect game until Mariners first baseman Ben Broussard broke up the bid and the no-no with a shot into the right-centerfield bleachers with one out in the eighth. Barry Bonds walloped another ball — his 10th of the season and 744th of his career — with the vigor and tenacity of a 28-year-old in the Gigantes’ 9-4 win over the Phillies. Elsewhere, two-time Cy Young Award winner Johan Santana took the hill, and several hitting streaks remained intact — Torii Hunter extended his hitting streak to 19 games while J.J. Hardy extended his to 16 with a two-hit, four-RBI effort. What was billed as the match of the day, with hype similar to that held by students regarding the Mifflin Street Block Party, the fight was possibly the least exciting event of the day in terms of dramatic comebacks and tantalizing subplots.Dubbed the fight to save boxing, “Pretty Boy” Floyd Mayweather, Jr., upstaged “Golden Boy” Oscar De La Hoya in a split decision victory. Even if the bout failed to rescue the sport, it did provide high-quality entertainment that was worth the $54.95 Pay-Per-View ticket that your drunken friend, not you, paid for. Moreover, it left the crowd and viewers wanting more, which, in a time when boxing has lost its glitz without a true big-name fighter, is great for the sport. Still, nothing compared to the entertainment value of a Game 7 in the Association. Behind Carlos Boozer’s monster game — 34 points, 14 boards, 5 assists — the Utah Jazz stole the winner-take-all Game 7 from McGrady and the Houston Rockets, 103-99. To do so, the Jazz overcame some challenging odds. They became one of seven teams since 2001 to come back from a 2-0 series deficit; they became just one of 19 teams in 97 to win Game 7 on the road (19.6 percent); and they became the first team ever to defeat the Rockets in Houston in Game 7. Staking itself to a 16-point lead, 42-26, Utah seemed primed to run away with the game and series. Strong play from McGrady and several key 3s from Shane Battier erased that thought from the Jazz players’ minds. So, despite building a lead of 10 by halftime, the feeling was mutual: The game was still in doubt. Like great Game 7s tend to do, the outcome wasn’t decided until the final few minutes. And in those final few minutes, it came down to Carlos versus Yao, a modern day David versus Goliath. Carlos won. Boozer outhustled and outplayed the 7-foot-6 behemoth, chasing down two key offensive rebounds that helped Utah control possession and valuable clock. Combined with the guard play of Deron Williams — 20 points, 14 assists — Utah hasn’t looked this imposing since the Mailman delivered John Stockton gifts for a living. In defeat, T-Mac shed the “I’m a great basketball player” skin and returned to earth defeated. He cried. The Rockets guard is now 0-for-6 in playoff series during his 10-year career. So for those who caught the block party but missed Cinco de Mayo’s day of sports, it may have been worth it. But what you won’t get from a great day sitting around watching sports that you may have gotten from a great day at Mifflin is a hangover. Kevin is a junior double majoring in journalism and economics. He got the best of both worlds, going to Mifflin and watching Cinco de Mayo’s day of sports. He can be reached at [email protected]last_img