Monday, June 15, 2009

Thank You, Pittsburgh Penguins, for Saving Us From the Most Obvious Sports Year Ever

Nothing against the Detroit Red Wings, but if the Wings would have won Friday night, they would have won a second consecutive Stanley cup, their third this decade, and their fifth in the last fifteen years. Certainly there have been more impressive championship dynasties in recent years—even in the NHL—but the Red Wings, given their recent history would have been this season's most obvious Stanley Cup champion. And the first six months of 2009 have seen way too many obvious champions. Consider:

NFL Super Bowl champion: Pittsburgh Steelers—second title in four years; have won more Super Bowl than any other NFL team

Australian Open Women's Singles champion: Serena Williams—fourth Aussie Open title this decade

NCAA Men's Basketball champion: North Carolina—second title in five years; winningest team in college basketball history

NCAA Women's Basketball champion: Connecticut—fifth title this decade; ranked #1 for the entire 2008-09 season

Indianapolis 500 winner: Helio Castroneves—third win this decade

Premier League champion: Manchester United—third consecutive title; eleventh title since the creation of the Premier League in 1992

NBA champion: Los Angeles Lakers—fourth title this decade; ninth title in the past 30 years; fifteenth title overall

Slightly less obvious, but still worth mentioning: Florida won its second BCS college football title in three years; Boston U. won its fifth NCAA ice hockey title; Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal both won men's tennis Grand Slams (though it would have been more obvious if Federer had won the Australian and Nadal the French instead of the other way around). Surprisingly, Tiger has yet to win a Major, but that may change by the end of the week.

The Pittsburgh Penguins didn't come from nowhere. They advanced to the Stanley Cup Finals last year, and their roster includes two of the game's best players. Still, for much of the season, the Pens were no lock to make the Playoffs. They finished 17 points out of first place in the East but only 8 points out of tenth. And, as recently a few years ago, there were serious talks of the Penguins leaving Pittsburgh. Given what has happened in other sports this year, I'll take the Pittsburgh Penguins winning the Cup.


Post a Comment

<< Home