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Championship week

June 14, 2019

There are a number of major sports championships either being decided this week or just beginning.

Hockey:
The St. Louis Blues won their first Stanley Cup on Wednesday night in game seven over the Boston Bruins. It was great to see them win after coming so close multiple times over the last 40+ years!

Boston teams have had their fair share of championships lately with the Red Sox and the Patriots. The Bruins came close and it was great to have the Stanley Cup go all the way to seven games.

Basketball:
The NBA finals will be decided by Sunday. Toronto is up three games to two over Golden State. I’m rooting for Toronto to have their first championship win in basketball. It would be a bit of a miracle if Golden State could win the championship without their best player, Kevin Durant, on the team.

Durant's season-ending injury is terrible. He was just trying to help his team win game five, but he came back too soon from a calf injury and ended up blowing out his achilles tendon. He is going to be out for nine months to a year. Makes you wonder about the pressure that's put on a key player to perform when you see something like this happen.

Golf:
The U.S. Open golf tournament is this week at Pebble Beach golf links in California. I hope the weather is great there for the whole week because Pebble Beach is one of the most beautiful golf courses in the world. Because the course is very short for today’s professional golfers, I expect to see some crazy low scores. I hope that the winning score is no lower than five under par.

Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson both have a chance to win this tournament. But they both have to get off to a good start in the first round so they don’t get too far behind and have to play catch-up.

I think Jordan Spieth and Ricky Fowler have a better chance to win the tournament this year. Defending champion Brooks Koepka is trying to become the first golfer in 114 years to win three straight U.S. Opens. Willy Anderson did it in 1905. I think if Brooks gets into contention for that possibility he will have to deal with an awful lot of pressure. That makes it pretty unlikely, but it would be awesome to be proven wrong.

Soccer:
The Women's World Cup soccer tournament has begun. The U.S. is the defending champion and a slight favorite to repeat. This will be the most competitive tournament in women’s World Cup history because there are a number of teams who could win. Along with the strong U.S. team, there is the host country France. There are also Germany, England and maybe even Canada.

In the first game, the U.S. played the weakest team in the whole competition, Thailand. They beat them with a ridiculous score of 13 to 0. It was a great win but very hard to watch such a smackdown. The sad thing about this game is that it didn't help promote worldwide interest for the teams from that region. Japan has always been pretty good, but clearly everyone else needs some major help to bring more competitive teams to a World Cup tournament.

Tennis:
Last but not least, the French Open tennis tournament has ended with a very familiar men’s champion in Rafael Nadal. This was his 12th French Open win in the last 15 years. On the women’s side, Ashleigh Barty from Australia won her first Grand Slam title. Hopefully she can back this up with a strong showing at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open.


See you on the sidelines!

 

  • A 2002 Cape grad and 2007 UD grad, Lewes resident Sumner Spence is one of the Cape area's biggest sports fans. Wheelchair-bound his entire life, he has lived vicariously through his sports-playing father, brother, and friends, who gave him his love of sports. He hopes to provide new and interesting perspectives on the sports stories and issues of the day. Email Sumner at sumspence@gmail.com.