The Miami Heat couldn't do it - they couldn't become the first professional basketball team since Michael Jordan's Chicago Bulls to win three straight NBA championships, losing last night to the San Antonio Spurs, 104-87, their third straight blow-out loss, and fourth loss in overall in five games. The Spurs humbled the defending champions over the past 10 days, winning their fifth NBA championship in 16 years.
Although the LeBron haters rhetoric is tiresome, let's face it, most of the country was rooting for the Spurs to win it, and congrats to Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, Tony Parker, Kawhi Howard and their whole lot for doing so. They're a pretty easy group to cheer for, aren't they? They also played a beautiful form of basketball over the past three games, leaving no doubt that they were the superior team.
So after more than two months of glorious games, the NBA playoffs are over. As are the NHL playoffs, after the L.A. Kings defeated the New York Rangers Friday night, winning that series overall 4-1.
So now sports fans have baseball and - oh yeah, the World Cup. Hey, America vs. Ghana tonight!
Actually I won't dare mock soccer, because who cares what I think about the so-called "beautiful game"? My issue with soccer has always been the lack of scoring. In 1994 when the World Cup was in the U.S., I tried to get into it. I really did. Remember how the final ended in the Rose Bowl that summer? Brazil and Italy ended the game tied at 0-0, with penalty kicks deciding it. Not satisfying.
But what I love about the World Cup is how it's like the Olympics used to be, when everyone cared so much throughout the globe.
The Summer Olympics used to have that hold over the world back in the 70's and even into the 80s. Now you can't go to any bar without having soccer on since Thursday, and the fact that so many people are into it is very exciting. Actually, expatriates and those from foreign countries living in the states have always been into soccer, it's this country's sports fans that has taken its sweet time to become as rabid about it. And though American pro football has no concerns about losing its hegemony over the masses here, the fact that more Americans care about the World Cup makes this next month of soccer games pretty darned special, even if you're not enamored of the sport.
Back to the real world - The crisis unfolding in Iraq is multilayered, and the big question is: will the U.S. intervene in some way and how so? The situation is so complex that South Carolina GOP Senator Lindsey Graham
suggested on TV yesterday that we should work with the Iranians to snuff out the potential new civil war there.
Lots of folks are escaping Iraq and going to...well, wherever they're going, they'll be considered political refugees. There have been so many who have fled Syria over the past few years. Last Thursday in Tampa there was an event commemorating World Refugee Day
, and CL's Irene Sideded was there to report on it.
And after Eric Cantor's stunning loss last week in Congress, immigration reform has been mentioned as a factor in his defeat. Which is sort of weird, considering Cantor was against the comprehensive immigration bill passed by the Senate last summer. A GOP pollste
r told reporters on Friday that it's still in the best interests of the Republican Party to pass such a bill, the sooner the better.