I haven't watched much of the NHL playoffs, but I happened to watch the 3rd period last night -- who wants to miss a championship moment?
Apparently, we all do: The series goes on. What a goal at the end of regulation. I couldn't stay up for all 3 OTs, but Fleury's 55 saves told the story well enough.
When it comes to championship games, it's all about expectations, as I write in today's Sporting News column: Some teams are "Title or Bust"; some are "Happy to Be Here."
In fact, I would argue that in every championship pairing, you can divide the participants into one of those two categories.
The Penguins defied the latter, even if they aren't quite the former yet. But I think their fans have to be happy that if indeed the team is going down, they're going down swinging.
Expectations are my big factor in the NBA Finals, too: You Celtics fans can correct me (as you always do), but it seems that with this team, anything less than a championship is a failure, even if the mere turnaround from last season would argue otherwise. But would you really be satisfied simply winning the East? I can't believe you would.
"Title or Bust" wasn't always that way with the Lakers this season (say, back in October), but it sure as hell is now. Lakers fans have to be expecting a title here, too.
So someone will walk away bitterly disappointed. Which should make the rest of us happy.
Meanwhile: Utley. Good goshamighty: Utley.
And I have decided that Josh Hamilton needs a nickname, preferably something that slyly refers to his sketchy past with drug addiction -- but in a classy way, please. (Like, for example, "Snorts" would probably not be classy. Accurate, but not classy.) Nominations in the Comments.
While I don't regret giving Brandon Webb my "Through Two Months" NL Cy Young Award, Carlos Zambrano is making a serious case to win the "Through Three Months" Edition. That would be his 8th win, complete with a stand-up triple (and 3 hits total).
I really really really don't care about either Pac-Man Jones or T.O., yet they keep showing up in the news.
For a lot more, see today's column, near the bottom, for a link to that cool Google Maps app that lets you see all the different football stadiums rendered in 3D.
Oh, and if you fancy yourself a writer, you might want to consider entering this contest, in which I am giving away $5,000 for a 500-word piece of content on the topic of your choice.
(Well, not me: My company. But as I am czar of the contest, it is my job to promote participation -- and I like saying that I am giving away $5,000. But you gotta earn it. For $5K, I figure even Buzz Bissinger might enter.)