The Play by Play
The Boston Licker
Brad Marchand, a winger for the Boston Bruins, struck again during Game 4 against the Tampa Bay Lightning. No, he did not score the game-winning goal or any goal at all. Rather, Marchand got caught licking, yes licking, an opposing player again. This questionable behavior all started when the Bruins faced the Toronto Maple Leafs in Round 1 of the Stanley Cup playoffs. In an attempt to rattle Leo Komarov, a Leafs center with whom Marchand has some history (apparently he kissed Leo’s cheek in a game back in November), the Bruin took his “physical” play one step further. Following a typical shoving match amongst players, Marchand drew close to Komarov and proceeded to lick his face. While Brad made a joke of the incident, supposedly the NHL has since called the team asking that he stop. Either that conversation never happened or Marchand chose not to listen because on Friday night poor Ryan Callahan became victim number 2. Ironically enough, a reporter during a pre-game interview asked Callahan what he’d do if Brad opted to lick him. He laughed it off saying, “I don’t know. I guess we’ll see if he licks me.” Ryan’s definitely not laughing now.
Saturday saw the 144th running of the Kentucky Derby, the longest held sporting event in US history. And it was a day for the record books. With more than two and a half inches of rainfall, Saturday now lays claim to the wettest Derby ever, breaking the previous record of 2.31 inches set 100 years ago. For his part, the race’s winner, Justify ended a 136 year drought, often referred to as the Apollo Curse. Since Apollo’s victory back in 1882, no horse has ever won the Run for the Roses having started racing later than the age of two. Over the years a few horses came close to snapping one of the longest curses in sports history but always fell short, until Saturday. Justify’s victory also brought Bob Baffert his fifth golden trophy, moving him just one away from tying Ben Jones for most wins by a trainer. Baffert’s last Derby winning horse was American Pharoah, who went on to win the Triple Crown. Hopes are high for Justify! **If you’re interested in any other Derby-related records, take a peek! **
The Faces and Facts
Featured Female – Diane Crump (Horse Racing): In 1970 Crump became the first woman jockey to race in the Kentucky Derby. She finished 15th out of 17 but went on to win over 200 races in her career. Since Diane, only five other female jockeys have participated in the Race for the Roses (Patti Cooksey, Andrea Seefeldt, Julie Krone, Rosemary Homeister and Rosie Napravnik).
Becky Hammon (Basketball): Highlighted in an earlier blog post for her role as one of the San Antonio Spurs’ assistant coaches. In recent weeks Hammon entered the running, and is being seriously considered for the Milwaukee Bucks’ head coaching position. If hired, Becky would become the first, and only, female head coach in the NBA.
Kawhi Leonard (Basketball): Leonard’s prolonged absence from the court (due to an injured right quadriceps) has left many wondering what exactly is going on. Only a few individuals knows full details about his condition and are playing their cards close to the chest. Treatment has also caused some tension between the Spurs and Kawhi, a player the team hoped would become the face of their franchise, the next Tim Duncan. Players and fans alike have started questioning if/when they will see Leonard back on the court for San Antonio.
Boston Celtics vs. Philadelphia 76ers (Basketball): Having met 19 times in the postseason, the Celtics and 76ers boast one of the best playoff rivalries in the NBA. While it peaked in the 1980s, we’re all hoping to see it revived in the remainder of this series. Boston leads 3-0 so the 76ers have some work to do. Philadelphia hosts Monday’s game, which could give Philly a much-needed advantage. Watch, if for no other reason than to see who rings the 6ers own personal liberty bell prior to tip-off. In weeks past Nick Foles (Super Bowl MVP) and Meek Mill (a rapper, and Philly fan, recently released from prison after facing very questionable charges) have done the honors.
Toronto Raptors vs. Cleveland Cavaliers (Basketball): LeBron James and the Cavaliers are up 3-0 in the series which means the Raptors are in a win-or-go-home situation. Two of these three games were decided by two points or less so you can expect another close one tonight. No matter what, the Raptors hope to keep the ball out LeBron’s hands since he’s already hit two game winning shots this postseason. Tip off is Monday at 8:30 EST.
Boston Red Sox vs. New York Yankees (Baseball): This will be the first time the Red Sox will play in New York since the bench clearing brawl on April 12. Tune in on Tuesday, May 8th at 7:05 pm EST to see how Yankees fans will treat the Sox. Expect serious boos, at the very least.
The Bonus Social Hour
While the Social Hour section usually alternates with the Rundown, making this week’s post one meant to cover rules and regulations, the fashion that accompanied the Kentucky Derby warranted double Social Hour duty. Men and women both got in on the hat action this year sporting some truly massive and outrageous headgear. From classy to comical, we saw it all. What’s more, and thankfully, the craziness was not just limited to hats.
And in case that didn’t satisfy your fashion cravings, the Cleveland Cavaliers have taken to sporting matching outfits before playoff games. LeBron, known for giving gifts during the postseason, treated each of his 15 teammates to a grey suit, white oxford shirt, grey tie and a grey cashmere cardigan sweater. They also apparently love to rock small bags, often dopp kits, that at times appear like clutches. This trend isn’t specific to just the Cavaliers either, as players like Russell Westbrook and Carmelo Anthony carried their dopp kits on a regular basis.
Finally, don’t forget that Mother’s Day fast approaches. In addition to flowers, chocolate or a card, perhaps she’d like a sports-related gift. Baseball themed cookies? An outdoor chair that boasts her favorite sports team (could be especially desired if she attends children’s athletic competitions)? Tickets to a game are timeless! Regardless of gift, be sure to shower all the mothers in your life with love this weekend!