The NHL awarded this year’s Stanley Cup last night. The Tampa Bay Lightning repeated as champions beating the Montreal Canadiens 4 games to 1. I tuned in just after the Lightning had gone ahead 1-0 in the second period; the Canadiens did not go quietly in the third period but the Lightening defense – – and specifically the goalie – – were excellent.
- Congratulations to the Tampa Bay Lightning …
The European Championship soccer match is set. England needed extra time – – we call it overtime here in the colonies – – to beat Denmark 2-1. That win advances England to play Italy in the Finals on Sunday. The game will be a “home game” for the Three Lions taking place in Wembley Stadium.
- Congratulations to the English and Italian national teams …
Roger Federer had a much less enjoyable day yesterday. He was matched against Hubert Hurkacz – seeded 14th in the Wimbledon draw – – in the quarterfinals of the championship but was dispatched in straight sets 6-3, 7-6, 6-0. Roger Federer is 39 years old; in tennis terms, he is pushing Methuselah’s record. He has won Wimbledon 8 times in the past; it would be unseemly if this were his last appearance there to have his final set be 6-0.
- Bonne chance, Roger Federer …
Earlier this year, the CFL and the folks who now own the defunct XFL 2.0 announced that they were going to seek a “meaningful partnership” between the organizations. Yesterday, came an announcement from CFL Commissioner, Randy Ambrosie, that the talks have ended without an agreement. Here is the meat of his announcement:
“Our talks with the XFL exploring the potential for collaboration and innovation have been positive and constructive. While we remain open to finding new ways to work together in the future, we and our XFL counterparts have jointly decided to not pursue any formal arrangements at this time.”
- We could not figure out a way for both sides to make money out of a partnership.
Earlier this week, Albert Pujols became only the 4th player in MLB history to accumulate 6000 total bases for his career. The other three players on that list are:
- Henry Aaron
- Willie Mays
- Stan Musial
Congratulations to Albert Pujols; that is good company you are with …
With the Opening Ceremonies for the Tokyo Olympics 15 days away, it now appears that the games will begin at a time when the Japanese government will be acting in a newly declared State of Emergency. CBSSports.com reported yesterday that Japan has had rising numbers of COVID infections over the past several months and that trend has the government there poised to issue a new emergency proclamation that is expected to last for at least the duration of the Olympic Games. The emergency status might bar local fans from attending Olympic events; current restrictions already have banned international fans from the venues. Therefore, it is possible that the Games could go on without any fans in attendance; supposedly there is to be a meeting between the organizers and the IOC and government representatives in the next few days to resolve this.
Three pandemic related stats have alarmed public health folks in Japan:
- The number of new COVID-19 cases in Japan this week is the largest number of new cases since the week of May 13th.
- More than half of the new infections this week are in Tokyo – – where the Games will take place.
- Only 15% of the Japanese population is fully vaccinated as of today.
Moving on … The Los Angeles Dodgers did something unusual yesterday. They canceled – not postponed, canceled – Trevor Bauer Bobblehead Night which had been scheduled for August 19th. Recall that Bauer is on a 7-day suspension by MLB as it and local police investigate actions that might lead to criminal charges related to domestic violence. In addition to canceling that promotional event which would have taken place 6 weeks from today, the Dodgers also removed all “Trevor Bauer merchandise” from its online store.
Not having access to any information about the incident(s) in question or the investigations(s) in progress, I would look at that action by the Dodgers as one of two things:
- The team is acting “in an abundance of caution” because it recognizes that the allegations here are rather smarmy and the team figures that it can put that merchandise up for sale in the future if this turns out to be a tempest in a teapot. Or …
- The Dodgers have gotten sense that this smarmy problem is not going away quickly, and they need to begin to dissociate the “Dodgers’ brand” from the matter as soon as possible.
Finally, since today is the 55th wedding anniversary for my long-suffering wife and me, let me close with two observations by Groucho Marx:
“Hollywood brides keep the bouquets and throw away the grooms.”
“The husband who wants a happy marriage should learn to keep his mouth shut and his checkbook open.”
Fortunately, my long-suffering wife and I have survived without either of those conditions having obtained …
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………