About Last Weekend: Rocket Man

In case you were busy spending your holiday weekend reeling after rewatching Independence Day only to discover that, Pullman and Goldblum aside, it’s a pretty bad film, here’s what you missed in sports over the July 4 weekend:

  • Houston secured the coup of the NBA free-agent season, procuring All-Star center Dwight Howard’s services for the next four years, on an $88 million deal. “It was tough to make my decision, but finally, at the end of the day, I had to say to myself, ‘Houston, we don’t have a problem,'” Howard said with a smirk as he discussed the deal publicly for the first time. “Get it? Apollo 13? They were all like, ‘Houston, we have a problem.’ Man, remember how funny that movie was?” When met with dumb stares, Howard added, “I mean, they were all good options. Being a free agent, though, is like a box of chocolates — you never know what you’re gonna get.” Howard then paused for laughs that weren’t coming. “Forrest Gump! Come on! God, getting laughs from you guys is harder than the president with Monica Lewinsky. I mean, you guys are tougher than Judge Ito on Marcia Clark. Is this thing even on? Someone tell me how raunchy I’m being. Someone tell me that now, so I can be all like,’Oh, behave!’ Now! I am Dwight Howard, funniest man in basketball, and I will not let my big free agency move fail to get me laughs! Someone set me up for a classic Mike Myers one-liner, now!” Howard then sighed and added, “Screw it, I’m going back to L.A.”
  • Andy Murray won the Wimbledon title, beating Novak Djokovic, 6-4, 7-5, 6-4, to become the first British man to win the tournament in 77 years. Meanwhile, at the grave of Fred Perry, the last British Wimbledon champion, for the first time since his death, no one came to pop the traditional “last British man out at Wimbledon” bottle of champagne, meaning that Perry’s spirit is finally free to move on to the next realm. His ghost’s final words were reportedly “but Scottish is hardly British … boo.”
  • Orioles center fielder Adam Jones had a memorable weekend, being named an All-Star starter for the first time and then hitting a game-winning two-run home run off of Mariano Rivera, as Baltimore avoided being swept by New York with a 2-1 win over the Yankees. Guys, you know that About Last Night is all about debate, but this is undebatable: Rivera is done. Doneskis. Stick a fork in him. Over. Start delivering your eulogies, because Adam Jones is a fat lady, and we all just heard an aria.
  • Two-time NCAA finalist Brad Stevens is taking over as the new head coach of the Boston Celtics … Actually, no. I think we can all agree, Butler really should have beaten Duke in 2010. I mean, Gordon Hayward’s shot was so close. It was mere millimeters away from the result that America wanted — nay, deserved. I don’t think anyone would have a problem if we go back and just do a wee bit of historical revision and say Butler won that game. So let’s start that now:
     
    NCAA champion Brad Stevens will now bring his championship pedigree to the NBA, where he will attempt to match his collegiate achievements at the highest level with the Boston Celtics. [Takes long drag off of an American cigarette.] Man, that felt good.
  • Jimmie Johnson became the first driver to win both NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Daytona since Bobby Allison in 1982, with a masterful restrictor-plate victory at the Coke Zero 400. Of course, back in 1982, the series was called the Winston Cup, the race was the Tab 400, and the only restrictor plate was when someone said you’ve had too many pre-race sausages, but nobody ever said that. Ah, old-school NASCAR. [Takes long drag off of an American cigarette.]
  • The Los Angeles Angels are finally starting to round into form, as Jered Weaver and Mike Trout led the Halos to their 10th win in 12 games with a 3-0 win over the Boston Red Sox. Yup, everything is suddenly looking up for the Angels, who will be able to build for the future around these two young stars, wholly unburdened by terrible contracts given to 32-year-old power hitters. The future in Anaheim is so bright that you have to wear shades. Well, either the future or the glare off the pavement. Either way.
  • Swedish golfer Jonas Blixt overcame a rain delay that pushed the final round of the Greenbrier Classic to dusk, to win his second PGA tournament. He’s lucky he was able to get his final holes in before things got dark, or Blixt would have had as much trouble finding the pin as Hans Blix finding WMDs in Iraq, am I right? OH GODDAMNIT, DWIGHT, GET OFF MY COMPUTER.

Filed Under: About Last Weekend, Baltimore Orioles, Boston Celtics, Duke, Dwight Howard, Nascar, NBA, Wimbledon

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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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