Yo, Argentina made a Messi
July 03, 2018 3:11 AM
by Mark Mayer
So much to discuss, so little time. Let’s get to some corner kicks.
If there wasn’t so much at stake during World Cup time, I would continue to view soccer as the only sport that lists casualties alongside goals and assists. Spain made 1,000 passes at their Russian girlfriend, then got kissed off in penalty kicks.
The head ref swallowed his whistle in penalty time when a free kick could have been rewarded after a pier 6 scrum broke out in front of the Russian goalie. Were you surprised? It’s Vladimir Putin’s country and they are hosting the Cup. All the experts were shocked at the outcome. Not me. After all, this is soccer where many a corrupt case can be made.
No matter, we only care about betting so if you had the draw, Sunday was your day. The second game between Croatia and Denmark took on the same 1-1 pattern. Croatia, seen as the better team, also advanced in penalty kicks though Denmark deserved a better fate.
As for Don’t Cry For Me Argentina, Evita and Ronaldo left the gulag shamed. Their coach, if he is still alive, held the title in name only. The players made a “Messi” of things as France took advantage in a wild 4-3 victory. Seven goals, compared to the snoozers we watched Sunday, only added to the unprecedented lack of a dominant team. I dare you to pick a champion, which of course is welcomed news at any Vegas sportsbook you choose to wager at.
Pay the man
It was Sunday, Bloody Sunday for fans in Cleveland and Long Island. Erase Brooklyn. That’s not Islanders turf. The Cavaliers lost LeBron James to the LA Lakers and my Islanders saw their franchise player John Tavares reward his childhood team, the Toronto Maple Leafs, by signing for seven big years on the dotted line.
As a result, the Lakers are now the third best team at 5-1 behind the champion Warriors and Rockets, while the Maple Leafs moved to co-favorites to win the Stanley Cup. That’s a big ask in Toronto, but the city is Canada’s version of the Chicago Cubs prior to ending their century-long-plus World Series curse. The NHL Network’s home team now has star power with Mr. Tavares added to their 20-year-old phenom, Auston Matthews.
And speaking of hockey, Golden Knights GM of the Century George McPhee was at it again, bringing in Paul Stastny from Winnipeg. At age 32, Stastny is this year’s version of James Neal, who left for Calgary.
Back to LeBron. He saved Magic Johnson’s bacon by agreeing to call Los Angeles his third home. He stands to be a Laker for at least three seasons and likely a fourth. Magic Johnson hopes an NBA title is on the way but the Ball is off Lonzo and awarded to LeBron.
We also saw Tiger Woods play extremely well in the B Flight of the Francesco Molinari Invitational held at TPC Potomac just outside D.C.
The Quicken Loans tournament has Tiger’s name attached to it but it was pizzas for everyone who had Molinari at 19-1 odds shooting 62 in the final round and winning by 8. Tiger tied for fourth as his golf game continues to progress upward.
Also, if you like offense in baseball, Sunday was truly your day. The OVERS were “whelming.” Of the 15 games, 11 exceeded the closing total. The Minnesota Twins scored 25 runs at Wrigley Field and lost all three games to the Cubs.
Then we had Tampa Bay winning three of four against mighty Houston in that horrible dome and holding the Astros to just seven runs. Too bad the Rays live in the same division as the Yanks and Red Sox.