Friday, June 23, 2006

A bad day for sports

Thursday was a crappy day for sports, nationally as well as locally.

First, the United States lost to Ghana, 2-1, in the final first-round game of the 2006 World Cup, and are eliminated from the knockout stage.

I don't really have anything to say about this that hasn't already been said elsewhere: it's disappointing, especially coming on the heels of such a successful run in 2002, but the writing was on the wall over a week ago when the US gave up a goal to the Czechs five minutes into the first game of the opening round. This team just wasn't well-enough prepared - physically or mentally - to compete in a group that included Ghana, Italy and the Czech Republic. Somebody's going to take the blame for this performance, and it will most likely be Bruce Arena.

Next, the Rice Owls' bid to earn their second national championship in college baseball came to an end, as they were eliminated by Oregon State in the College World Series. The Beavers will go on to play North Carolina for the championship.

Finally, the return of Roger Clemens to Major League Baseball was dampened by the Astros' 4-2 loss to the Minnesota Twins. The return of The Rocket might have been the big attraction of the night, but the real story was Twins pitcher Francisco Liriano, who shut the Astros down. I was hoping that the Astros were climbing out of their May slump just in time for Clemens' return. After winning eight out of nine games, however, the 'Stros have dropped four out of their last six.
All in all, a pretty lousy day. In fact, if you consider Carolina's victory in the NHL Finals (I wanted Edmonton to win) and Miami's victory in the NBA Finals (I wanted Dallas to win), this week hasn't really been good to me at all.

And college football season is still over two months away. Ugh.

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