Wednesday, June 21, 2006

A Triumphant Return

Now, we were going to apologize to our faithful readers for the severe lack of recent updates, but then we realised that that would first require actually having, you know, faithful readers.

So with that out of the way, we can get to the plethora (that's a nice word, plethora) of sports stories that have had the audacity to occur during our impromptu sabbatical.

Firstly, the Stanley Cup. As we predicted, Carolina took it, waiting until game seven to do it against a plucky Edmonton team. Despite our Canadian citizenship, we here at 63 Years couldn't help but cheer for the Canes. They were the better team, let's face it, and they were stacked with a bunch of vets who were quickly running out of time on their Stanley Cup clocks. Guys like Rod Brind'Amour, (former Maple Leaf) Glen Wesley, Aaron Ward, and Doug Weight.

So good job Carolina. Keep on proving all those haters wrong. Keep on showing them that hockey can be played in cities where snow is as rare as the sun is hot.

And it was a hell of a game seven too. The score may have only been 3-1, but it was chock full of end to end rushes and chances galore. And how perfect was it that Edmonton scored at the beginning of the third? It injected a much needed dose of kick ass into the final period, and sent a nervous buzz through the whole thing.

So Carolina, a team no one picked to win it all at the outset of this season, went on to win the cup. I don't think we need to tell you how uplifting this is for fans of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Secondly, Miami won the NBA title. Whoop-de-doo? We choose Dallas to win, and we have to admit, we watched all of twenty seconds of the entire championship series. So we'll just say that, as Raptors fans, we will always have a special corner of Hell for Alonso Mourning, and that we really, really don't like Shaq. That is all.

Nextly, the Jays are on the interleague swing from hell. With their recent sweep at the hands of the Marlins (the Marlins!) that puts them winless in six tries in NL ball parks.

Well, actually, they beat the Braves yesterday, and barring some mishap by B.J Ryan (Mishap? B.J Ryan? Hah) will beat them tonight as well. So things aren't so bad. And A.J Burnett (remember him?) is back tomorrow, giving the Jays something that resembles a pitching rotation. That's a welcome change from the combination of rookies and closers that have made up Toronto's five starters over the past month.

The Jays are ready to make some noise.

Briefly, we would like to mention the Chicago White Sox's manager Ozzie Guillen. Now, we used to think Ozzie was cool. Please note the use of the past tense.

Baseball has its traditions, or so we're told. One of them appears to be retribution. Ozzie sent some poor kid out onto the mound with explicit instructions bean the batter in the head. Instead, the rookie struck him out. That...bastard? Well, Ozzie chewed the guy out for doing his job, and handed him a one way ticket to triple-A.

Afterwards, they made something else up as justification; obviously, you can't tell the media that you sent him down because he refused to try to kill another man, but it was obvious what had really transpired.

But Ozzie couldn't let the issue just die like that. During a press conference, he insulted one member of the press who had been particularly harsh on him, calling the guy an, ahem, "fag".

We could have sworn that Ozzie was once cool, but that memory is quickly fading.

Lastly, we have the World Cup. We here at the 63 Years' offices (saying "offices" beats calling it our living room) have been glued to the TV, and have logged a seriously unhealthy amount of time in front of it's comforting green glow.

The group stage is almost complete, and things are more or less going as we predicted. There have been some hiccups, Ecuador got in over Poland, Trinidad achieved everything without scoring a goal, Ghana is now the real deal, but otherwise, it's been smooth sailing.

It's also been great soccer. We have officially fallen in love with Argentina. They play soccer the right way. The ball is always moving, pass, pass, pass, pass, pass, shoot, score. Lionel Messi, Tevez, and Riquelme make them our picks for the World Cup.

That's all for now,


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