About Last Night: Chicago Strikes First

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In case you were out getting the oil change you need every 30,000 miles followed by a stern lecture from your mechanic about decimal places, here’s what you missed in sports on Wednesday:

  • In a stunning start to the Stanley Cup final, the Chicago Blackhawks turned around a two-goal third-period deficit before Andrew Shaw scored on a deflection 12 minutes into a third overtime, as the Blackhawks took Game 1 at home, 4-3, over the Boston Bruins. “Dude, did you see that game?” asked your work friend Kevin, whom you blew off when he told you to meet him at Coyle’s Pub to watch the game yesterday. “Oh my god, incredible.” You nodded silently as you tried to keep walking past his cubicle as he said in a slightly too loud voice, “That was what playoff hockey is all about. Crawford, man, those stops! And a lot of questions for Boston going forward, especially if they’re down Horton for any length of — you didn’t see it did you? I can tell by the dead stare in your eyes. Best game of the year and you didn’t even know what channel it was on, did you? Admit it. Admit you didn’t know it was on. Don’t give me that ‘I need my coffee before we rap about hockey’ bullshit. You missed the game, and it was awesome, and you betrayed me.” After a long awkward moment passed, Kevin laughed and said, “Nah man, it’s all right. Just Game 1. But you’ll be at Coyle’s for Game 2, yeah? Gotta come to Coyle’s man. Gotta.”
  • Former New Jersey Nets superstar Jason Kidd has been named the head coach of the now Brooklyn Nets, as they attempt to improve after a disappointing playoff campaign. Kidd is the best point guard to become a head coach since Isiah Thomas took over the New York Knicks head coaching job while also serving as president of basketball operations. Before Thomas came Magic Johnson’s brief stint in charge of the Lakers in 1994. When asked about his reaction to the news, current top point guard Chris Paul said, “I’m excited to see how Kidd makes the transition from an idol to a cautionary tale I’ll really be able to relate to in about 10 years.”
  • Despite seven shutout innings from Justin Verlander, the Detroit Tigers fell in 10 innings to the Kansas City Royals, 3-2, after Jose Valverde blew his third save. Verlander was sanguine after the game, saying, “What do you expect? Valverdes are just knockoff Verlanders.” When his comment aroused chuckles, Verlander went on to say, “No, seriously. They cloned me and called the clone Verlavenders, and that was great, because they could help around the house while I’m on the road. But then Verlavender 3 cloned Verlavender 2, and, well, you know how when you make a copy of a copy it’s not quite as sharp as the original? Valverde.”
  • A day after a series of beanballs led to a pair of bench-clearing brawls, the Arizona Diamondbacks beat the Los Angeles Dodgers, 8-6, in a 12-inning thriller. “Uhhh, boring,” said legendary Dodgers announcer Vin Scully after the game. “Twelve innings of baseball? With no, um, how would you call it? Throwing balls at heads? Ugh. It’s like, um, come on guys. Either hit someone or get it over with. If you aren’t going to do that, what do you expect me to talk about? Blah blah blah the majesty of the smell of grass. Whatever. What. Ever.”
  • In ICC Champions Trophy ODI Cricket play, Australia and New Zealand faced off and had no result as play was abandoned with a score of Australia 243 for 8 and New Zealand 51 for 2. Rain forced an early suspension of the game, which was to that point being played relatively evenly. The teams will split the points from the match, leaving both needing to win their next group match to ensure advancement into the semifinals. Wait, hold on, what? Rain means no more playing and it’s a tie? There is no contingency for replays due to rain in a sports tournament based in England? MY LACK OF UNDERSTANDING OF CRICKET ONLY DEEPENS FURTHER! I crave enlightenment, yet I am beset on all sides by my own ignorance! Lift me from this hole I call American insularity, oh gods of cricket, or, if seriously this is how major cricket tournaments are decided, don’t!
  • Brandon Moss had two home runs as the Oakland A’s beat Phil Hughes and the New York Yankees, 5-2. Vernon Wells continued his midseason slump with an 0-for-4 outing. He has posted a .133/.161/.133 slash line in June, which also represents the highs and lows of the wave function that models the blood alcohol level of Yankees general manager Brian Cashman while watching Wells regress to unforeseeable lows after his scorching hot start in April.
  • Rory McIlroy climbed the iconic steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art on the eve of the U.S. Open, which will tee off today at Merion Golf Club in nearby Ardmore, Pennsylvania. “I came to get inspired, and what’s more inspiring than walking up stairs by a museum?,” McIlroy said of his feat. When asked if he went inside the museum to perhaps be inspired by the museum’s current special exhibition on The Art of Golf, or any of the museum’s well-curated permanent collections, McIlroy said, “No, man, for me the inspiration of the museum is all about the stairs outside it. Or in the case of Paris, the dumb glass pyramid that you apparently aren’t allowed to climb at all. Stupid Parisians have no idea what museums are all about.”
  • NFL commissioner Roger Goodell weighed in on the growing controversy surrounding the Washington Redskins nickname, saying, “The Washington Redskins name has thus from its origin represented a positive meaning distinct from any disparagement that could be viewed in some other context.” Well that sounds like it means it’s time to play a new and fun About Last Night game called You’re Wrong Roger Goodell! Hey, Roger Goodell, the name Redskins was originally a modification of the name Boston Braves. The name change was made to avoid confusion with the Braves baseball team, which also played in Boston at the time. At best, the name Redskins was meant to refer to American Indians as a seamless change from Braves, and the name change, viewed through a historical lens, was certainly not meant to have a specific positive impact. At worst, and, given team owner George Marshall’s history of opposing integration in the NFL, the worst is not out of the question, the name change was explicitly racist. So, given that pretty much any word other than Braves referring to American Indians would have sufficed by even the most generous historical reading, and that reading seems unduly generous, the name Redskins does not get to exist outside of its normal context, which is as a slur toward an entire race of people. So, You’re Wrong Roger Goodell! Man, that wasn’t nearly as much fun as I thought it would be.

Filed Under: About Last Night, Arizona Diamondbacks, Boston Bruins, Brooklyn Nets, Chicago Blackhawks, Detroit Tigers, Justin Verlander, Kansas City Royals, Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Yankees, Oakland A's, Roger Goodell, Washington Redskins

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Spike Friedman is a contributing writer for Grantland and makes theater with the Satori Group in Seattle, Washington.

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