In case you were busy anxiously looking over your shoulder like a wraith was following your every step, here’s what you missed in sports on Monday:
- Lord Stanley smiles upon Chicago again, as the Blackhawks scored two stunning goals in the final minutes of Game 6 of the Stanley Cup final to earn a series-clinching 3-2 win over the Boston Bruins. Patrick Kane was named the winner of the Conn Smythe Trophy, an honor that Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask mournfully referred to as “Rask! Rask! Rask!” before letting his head fall back and bellowing out a final, tragic “Rask!” as his counterpart, Corey Crawford, skated around Rask’s home ice with the Stanley Cup held high over his head.
- Rafael Nadal is out of Wimbledon in the first round after falling improbably in straight sets, 7-6 (4), 7-6 (5), 6-4, to Steve Darcis of Belgium. The defeat outranks Nadal’s second-round exit last year as the most stunning early-round exit at Wimbledon for a top seed among people who totally forgot that Nadal exited last year’s tournament in the second round. For these people, this loss was a perception-rattling affair, a seismic shift in the world of tennis, akin to the shock associated with LeBron James’s recent ability to get the NBA Finals monkey off of his back, and yesterday’s cathartic Blackhawks Stanley Cup championship.
- Brian Shaw will get his chance to be an NBA head coach after the Nuggets agreed to terms with the former Laker as a replacement for fired head coach George Karl. When asked what he thought Shaw would bring to the team that Karl had failed to provide, new Nuggets general manager Tim Connelly replied, “We had George Karl? What the hell happened? That guy is great. Proven. A real leader of men. Oh, this was dumb. Dumb dumb dumb.”
- Rookie slugger Yasiel Puig was again the hero as the Los Angeles Dodgers topped the San Francisco Giants, 3-1, at Dodger Stadium. “You did it, Yasiel! You’re super famous,” yelled Puig’s second cousin and childhood best friend Terry “Tortoise” Puig from across the overcrowded patio at the Chateau Marmont. Yasiel nodded back, but had no words. He stared silently at his drink. What was the point of it all? All of the dreams he had dreamed had come to fruition. And yet, inside, he was still little Yas who nobody cared about. The boy who was forgotten so many times, who spent day after day, alone, smacking a makeshift baseball with a branch on the streets of Castro’s Cuba. Did anybody really care now? If the money were gone, if he went back to being a nobody, who anyone still hang around him? Would they even let him into the Chateau Marmont? Or would he be thrown out like some second-rate Lohan? Disgusted with the world, Puig asked Tortoise, “Would we still be here if it weren’t for some child’s game with a ball and a stick?” And Puig saw in Tortoise’s eyes that the answer was no, even though his cousin answered, “Have some fun for fuck’s sake! This is L.A., baby!”
- Monica Puig was not to be outdone by her baseballing namesake, as she upset Sara Errani, 6-3, 6-2, on center court at Wimbledon. “Wooooooo! I don’t have a care in the world,” Puig said after her victory, unburdened by the psychological ramifications of sudden fame. “This is the best, I love this so much. London is the greatest city in the world, and I’m the happiest woman on earth. Yeehaw!”
- UCLA’s stellar pitching carried the day again as the Bruins opened the College World Series with a 3-1 win over Mississippi State. “Yeah, well, win or lose at least we get to go home to Mississippi,” said Bulldogs coach John Cohen. “UCLA? Where’s that even? Unincorporated Counties in Louisiana? Ugh.” When told that UCLA was located in Los Angeles, Cohen immediately responded, “Well, I suppose they have to deal with the horrific psychological burdens of fame then. So, um, yeah. Advantage Mississippi.”
- Powered by back-to-back-to-back home runs, the Tampa Bay Rays snapped the Toronto Blue Jays’ 11-game winning streak with a 4-1 victory at Tropicana Field. Speaking of long-running streaks about to be snapped, I will be off from About Last Night for the remainder of the week. But don’t worry, someone completely unexpected will be taking the reins for the next few days. I guarantee that you, the die-hard fan of About Last Night will be unable to guess who will be stepping in to write the next three posts, and I certainly will not help matters. No clues. No nothing. You could try to guess, but your minds would be completely unable to conjure up the image of the entity that will be temporarily assuming the position of About Last Night overlord. So don’t even try to guess. Don’t even try! For your futile trying will only deepen your inability to — OK fine. One clue: It’s Shane.