About Last Weekend: A Series of Mistakes

In case you were busy regretting your attempt to introduce that exchange student living in your home to the joyful simplicity of America’s pastime, here’s what you missed in sports last weekend:

  • A weird weekend in the World Series left the Cardinals and Red Sox knotted at two games apiece, after Saturday’s game ended on an obstruction call that handed St. Louis a 5-4 victory, and Sunday’s game closed with a Koji Uehara pickoff in Boston’s 4-2 win. “What a weekend!” declared MLB rules aficionado Peter Greggsman. “The only way it could have been better is if one of these stadiums had been a dome, so we could get some catwalk interference in there.” Greggsman’s demeanor then darkened, before he added, “The real tragedy though is that the World Series can’t end on an infield fly call. No game can.” Greggsman then pounded his fist on his Hardball Times Baseball Annual and cried to the heavens, “Oh founders of baseball, you’ve cursed us with the possibility of perfection, yet made it as impossible to witness as a local game without digital cable! Damn you apocryphal Abner Doubleday! Damn you straight to the fictional hell you belong in!”
  • Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson amassed 329 receiving yards, the second-most in NFL history behind former Rams receiver Flipper Anderson, as Detroit came from behind late to stun the Dallas Cowboys 31-30. Meanwhile, back at his New Jersey home, Anderson cracked a bottle of champagne as the game ended. Not because his record was preserved; that would be incredibly tacky. Who would do that? No, he popped a bottle of champagne because it pairs well with the panko-crusted halibut he whipped up for his wife as a special Sunday treat.
  • Oregon moved up to second in the BCS standings after thrashing UCLA 42-14. “Three weeks ago we win by 21? Last week, 24? This week, only 28? What the hell is going on?” a disappointed Oregon head coach Mark Helfrich asked his team after the game. Helfrich then shook his head and said, “Now I want you all to go back to the locker room and have your personal robot undress and wash you, before you hop into the hot tub.” When running back De’Anthony Thomas asked which hot tub, Helfrich replied, “Obviously the gold-plated one filled with water imported from Chilean hot springs, not your personal heated hyperbaric chamber, De’Anthony. Obviously. Christ. Then, when you’re done thinking about how to make things right, I’ll see you in the hologram chamber so we can break down what happened in life-size three dimensions. Then and only then can you get into your personal heated hyperbaric chamber, De’Anthony.”
  • The San Francisco 49ers pummeled the Jacksonville Jaguars, 42-10, at London’s Wembley Stadium. “Ha-ha! Yes! Finally, vengeance is ours,” announced NFL commissioner Roger Goodell after the game, to the small group of British spectators who stayed to the bitter end. “Yes, our colonial suffering has finally been paid back tenfold with this horror show of a football game,” Goodell added with a menacing cackle. “Aye, but mistah,” shouted a small orphan child from the audience. “Haven’cha given us the Cowboys of Dallas fo’ next year’s game? They’ze a marquee franchise they’ze is! I read it on the newspaper I use as sheets.” But the orphan’s comment, paired with his adorable hacking cough, only made Goodell cackle more cruelly at the confused British audience. Little did they realize that Dallas’s presence in next year’s game would only make things far, far worse.
  • Serena Williams, at 32 years old, capped one of the all-time great seasons in women’s tennis with a 2-6, 6-3, 6-0 win over Li Na in the finals of the WTA Championships. When asked if she thought she could replicate her form in 2014, Williams admitted, “It gets harder every year. Like today, I had to remember if I fell to my knees after winning last year’s WTA Championship, or if I jumped and pumped my fist in celebration. And now that I’ve done both these last two years, what do I do next year? I have no idea! Spin around like a fool with my arms held out wide like a child in the rain? Actually …” Williams then paused, rubbed her chin, and said with a smile, “You know what? I think I just might.”
  • A goalkeeping blunder by England goalkeeper Joe Hart allowed Fernando Torres to net a late winner as Chelsea beat Manchester City, 2-1, in a clash of Premier League title contenders. When asked what possessed him to come out of his box to play a ball that his own defender had control of, Hart replied, “Oh, a ghost.” When asked what he meant by ghost, Hart said, “Ghost of British keepers past. We qualified for the World Cup, so now, every so often, I get possessed by a ghost. Sometimes it’s Robert Green. Sometimes it’s David Seaman. Sometimes older fellas. But to answer your question, ghost.” When told that Green and Seaman are alive, Hart arched an eyebrow and asked, “Are they, though? Are they really?”
  • The Kansas City Chiefs keep rolling through the NFL, pairing another turnover-free offensive effort with a ferocious defensive performance in a 23-17 win over the Cleveland Browns. During Andy Reid’s postgame press conference, however, an unknown reporter shoved his way to the front of the room and asked, “What do you say to critics who would suggest you haven’t played anybody yet?” Reid patiently responded that his team plays the schedule it gets, before the mysterious reporter interrupted him, saying, “Whatever, follow-up question. What do you say to reports that say you’re a huge choker who’s gonna lose soon, and also what’s your favorite brand of champagne? Because I’m looking to buy a lot of champagne.” Reid rolled his eyes and said, “Hey, bud. I know you. Mercury? Yeah? Former Miami Dolphin running back Mercury Morris? Just be patient, we’ll probably lose a game this year, and then you can crack your damn champagne,” before adding under his breath, “Who does that? Tacky, so damn tacky.”

Filed Under: About Last Weekend, Boston Red Sox, Chelsea, Cleveland Browns, Dallas Cowboys, Detroit Lions, Jacksonville Jaguars, Kansas City Chiefs, Manchester City, Oregon, San Francisco 49Ers, Serena Williams, St. Louis Cardinals, UCLA, World Series

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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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