Over the past month a couple of sporting events proved to me that, indeed, there is at least some justice in this world.
First, it was the Detroit Pistons knocking off the heavily-favored (and heavily-hyped) Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA finals. The Lakers, featuring a lineup of superstar players such as Shaq and Kobe and a superstar coach in Phil Jackson, were expected to walk all over Detroit. What the Pistons lacked in flashy superstars, however, they more than made up for it by playing solid, fundamental basketball as a team. The Lakers, on the other hand, played like a group of bored, spoiled prima donnas. The result was a thorough ass-kicking; in fact, it would have been a sweep had Kobe Bryant not drained a miracle three-point shot late in game 2. The 2004 NBA Finals truly were a victory of substance over style, and I enjoyed every minute of it.
Second, it was Cal State - Fullerton defeating the Texas Longhorns to claim the NCAA baseball championship. This is the second year in a row that a small school from a so-called "mid-major" conference has made it to the College World Series and vanquished a big-time school to claim the title. Cal State - Fullerton is a Big West member that doesn't even field a football team, but that didn't keep them from knocking off one of the biggest and wealthiest programs in the nation. It just goes to show what can happen in college athletics when there is a level playing field between the big schools and the little schools (which, by the way, occurs in every sport except football).
Also, the refusal of the Longhorn players and their coach, Augie Garrido, to come out of their locker room to accept the second place trophy after the game was over was disappointing. It reinforces a commonly-held perception about UT athletics and its lack of class.
(Retroblogged on August 23, 2015. This is the oldest entry.)