About Last Weekend: Cheer, Cheer the Irish

Tom KnightIn case you were busy watching the test signal on the NFL RedZone channel and holding back the tears, here’s what you missed in sports last weekend.

  • Notre Dame outlasted Louisville, 104-101, in a five-overtime thriller in South Bend. Now, I just looked at the box score for this game, and I saw something a bit suspicious. The score was the same at the end of regulation, the first overtime, the second overtime, the third overtime, and the fourth overtime? Isn’t that a little fishy? A little too fishy? See, both teams had 60 points at the end of regulation. Then they both scored eight points in the first overtime. Then seven in the second. OK, that’s weird enough, but get this: In the third overtime, they both scored eight again. Too much, right? But it gets worse. In the fourth overtime, they both score 10. Perfect 10. Then, just to throw me off the trail, Louisville scores eight again, but Notre Dame, the Irish, I kid you not, scores 11. Lucky number 11. Now I don’t want to accuse the good people of Notre Dame of any misconduct without proof, but it seems as if they were trying to get the same score at the end of every period, doesn’t it? Until, quite naturally, they scored two different numbers. Very clever, guys. A little too clever. I’m keeping my eye on you, Notre Dame.
  • Wisconsin upset Michigan, 65-62, in overtime, after Badgers junior Ben Brust made an improbable half-court shot to tie the game at the end of regulation. “That’s the sort of shot that needs to be immortalized with a song parody,” overexcited Wisconsin junior Walker Nelson said after the game. “How does Brustified sound? Like, Justin Timberlake? But like, with Brust. We could do a whole suite of parody songs, like, ‘Bringing Devin Back’ in reference to [former Badgers point guard] Devin Harris. I’m totally going to get on this right away.” Nelson then went back to his fraternity house, where he watched his ill-conceived ’N Sync parody from freshman year, “J.J. Watt You Back,” and thought long and hard about his life choices.
  • The Texas Longhorns lost 72-59 to Oklahoma State, as Cowboys freshman Marcus Smart scored 23 points. In a bit of good news for the beleaguered Longhorns, this was the final game of point guard Myck Kabongo’s NCAA-imposed suspension; he will be free to play in Texas’ upcoming game against Iowa State. In order to make sure no one gets too excited for Kabongo’s return, though, here’s another installment of everyone’s favorite About Last Night recurring feature, in which we remind America that Rick Barnes did not make the Sweet 16 with Kevin Durant on his team. It’s called “America, Rick Barnes Did Not Make the Sweet 16 With Kevin Durant on His Team.” America, Rick Barnes did not make the Sweet 16 with Kevin Durant on his team. Thus concludes the third installment of “America, Rick Barnes Did Not Make the Sweet 16 With Kevin Durant on His Team.”
  • LeBron James and the Miami Heat held off a stiff challenge from the Los Angeles Lakers, winning 107-97. James was spectacular on the night, scoring 32 points on 18 shots from the field, continuing his incredible run of efficient offensive performances. “But can he do it in the postseason?” asked Lakers fan Jeremy Kim, who recently awoke from a year-long coma. “Kobe is still the clutchest in the game, no doubt,” Kim added, as his parents, Gina and Harry, relieved to have their son back, said nothing, lacking the heart to tell their son just how much the world had changed.
  • The Boston Celtics overcame the Denver Nuggets 118-114 in three overtimes, as they continued their excellent play in the wake of Rajon Rondo’s season-ending knee injury. Wait, hold on, three overtimes? Well, let me check the box score for something really quickly … oh, no … just as I suspected: Both teams had the same score at the end of regulation, the first overtime, and the second overtime. So, OK, at the end of regulation, both teams had 92 points. Totally normal, right? But then at the end of the first overtime, they both have 99 points. OK, wait for it … how many points did both teams score in the second overtime? Eight. And then Boston wins, scoring — you’re not going to believe this one, guys — 11 points in the last overtime period. Lucky number 11. Now, I don’t want to draw a connection between Boston and Notre Dame, but the Irish may well be controlling our sports. This is no coincidence. Rondo’s injury is a part of this. But who’s next?
  • A full-strength Clippers squad pulled away from the New York Knicks in the fourth quarter to win, 102-88, withstanding a 42-point effort from Carmelo Anthony. Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro was pleased after the game saying, “We got a lot of guys back, Chris Paul, Chauncey Billups, Blake Griffin, Loy Vaught, Bill Walton [ALN note: Irish], Bo Kimble, Shaun Livingston, Danny Manning, Brian Skinner, Ike Austin, Keith Closs. I mean, we had to ask most of those guys to leave, as they are far past their athletic prime, and some of them are just plain weird, but it still feels like things are finally turning around for the Clippers.”
  • Jonathan Ericsson scored the game-winner with five seconds left in regulation to lead the Detroit Red Wings to a stunning 3-2 victory over the Los Angeles Kings in Detroit. The goal, which trickled slowly between Kings goalkeeper Jonathan Quick’s legs and into the net, showed our powerlessness in the face of the capricious whims of fate … wait a second … Irony? Allegorical tragicomedy? Jonathan Quick? Nice try, Irish. That’s a very clever invocation of satirist and Dublin-native Jonathan Swift, but I have ‘a modest proposal’ for you: stop rigging American sporting events. I have to get to the bottom of all of this before it’s too late.
  • Manchester City fell perilously off of the Premier League title pace, losing 3-1 to Southampton on Saturday. “I blame that rascal Mario Balotelli,” Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini said, apparently forgetting he had transferred the troubled striker to AC Milan a week ago. “Yup, he was a total distraction to my team, and wah wahhhhhhhh krrrrchhh!” Suddenly, Mancini’s lower jaw fell off his face, and a shower of sparks burst through the gaping face hole that was left. Then, a hatch opened in Mancini’s chest, out of which unspooled roll after roll of magnetic tape. Meanwhile, on the island of Sardinia, a well-coiffed middle-aged Italian man slept on a lounge chair by the Mediterranean, as his pager buzzed with the message “WARNING: ROBOT MALFUNC DETECT” next to his melting piña colada.
  • It was reported that the $175 million deal between the Seattle Mariners and Felix Hernandez has hit a snag over fears of an injury in Hernandez’s pitching elbow. Of course. Of course. I should have seen this coming. As a Seattle Mariners fan, let me just say, the Irish: This time you’ve gone too far. Just because a man starts to unwind your mischievous plan to control the world of American sports to teach us all a lesson about how comedy and tragedy are one does not mean that you should rob that man and his city of the one thing they can believe in. (The Emerald City, no less.) Curse your two-timing hearts and preternatural understanding of the human condition, Ireland. Curse you!

Filed Under: About Last Weekend, Boston Celtics, Denver Nuggets, Detroit Red Wings, Felix Hernandez, Lebron James, Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Kings, Los Angeles Lakers, Louisville, Manchester City, Miami Heat, New York Knicks, Notre Dame, Oklahoma State, Seattle Mariners, Wisconsin

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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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