I’d like to take this opportunity to personally thank the sports world for singlehandedly getting me through this shit show of a year. It’s almost eerie how normal sports can make me feel. Like most people, I assumed there would be some difference in the product offered on the field/court/ice when sports returned to play, whether due to the lack of fans, the effect of outside events on players, or some combination of factors. However as the world around us continues to digress in seemingly every way possible, the constancy of yesterday’s NFL slate was a refreshing return to normalcy. The Giants and Jets disappointed fans, Pat Mahomes and Kyler Murray made plays that only they could make, and Sunday Night Football was a nail bitter that came down to the final play. It’s that sense of normalcy that sports have brought to my life that has made this pandemic somewhat bearable. With that being said, here’s a recap of the best the sports world had to bring this week.
Bryson DeChambeau Cruises to U.S. Open Title
USGA officials stated that they expected the winning score to be somewhere around par for this year’s U.S. Open at Winged Foot. The USGA must not have accounted for Bryson DeChambeau. The beefed-up mad scientist himself made the course his bitch this weekend, comfortably finishing as not only the only player under par at -6 and winning by strokes, but also the only player to shoot under par in the final round. Matthew Wolff, the 21-year-old stud with a golf swing as weird as Charles Barkley’s, had the lead going into Sunday, but undoubtedly had to be feeling a lot of pressure and wasn’t able to keep up with Bryson. To be fair to Wolff, no one was. After his first major victory, I think Bryson is safely approaching guys like Dustin Johnson and Justin Thomas as one of the top golfers in the game right now.
NFL Season Continues as Major Stars go Down
Week 2 in the NFL brought more great action, including one of the wildest finishes you’ll ever see in the Cowboys – Falcons game (I bet every NFL kicker is going into practice tomorrow and taking a crack at Greg Zuerlein’s no tee onside kick). Justin Herbert looked every bit the part of a franchise QB this weekend, despite being bested by Pat Mahomes in OT, and the Seahawks and Patriots had another game decided on a last-second goal-line play. However, one of the biggest stories after Sunday’s action is the injuries to key players. Christian McCaffery went down with an ankle injury (projected to miss 4-6 weeks), Drew Lock left the game and did not return, and Tyrod Taylor was a late scratch with chest pain. The big news came out of Met Life Stadium, however, as Saquon Barkley looks to be out for the year with an ACL injury, as does Nick Bosa. Additional key injuries from the 49ers include Jimmy G and Raheem Mostert as Niners players claimed these injuries had something to do with the “trash” turf at Met Life Stadium. Whatever the reason is, let’s hope that everyone can stay healthy and we continue to see great production on the field. The Saints and Raiders will wrap up week 2 on Monday Night.
NBA Conference Finals ‘Heat’ Up
As a Patriot’s fan, I have to be honest, I didn’t watch a single life second of last night’s Western Conference Finals Game 2. However, for those of you that prefer the hardwood to the gridiron, last night’s game provided just as much excitement as Sunday Night Football. Anthony Davis stepped up to the spotlight in a major way, sinking the game-winning 3 as time expired and absolutely gut-punching a Nuggets team that came from down 8 with 3 minutes to play to up 1 before that shot. I’m starting to get nervous that it doesn’t matter who gets in LA’s way this year, they’re just destined for the title. I love this Nuggets roster, but one can’t help but feel like an interested Clippers team would’ve been a better matchup by about 10x for this Lakers team. In the East, Jimmy “I Get Buckets” Butler will be trying to bring the Heat to within one game of the Finals tonight versus the Celtics. This series is why the NBA should block teams from being able to get to supermax players and just dominate. These teams move the ball, play defense, and are offering the closest thing to basketball that the NBA has produced all playoffs. Less 20 dribble iso stepback threes and more Heat v. Celtics, please.
Last Week of MLB Regular Season
It is very hard to believe that this abbreviated regular season in the MLB has only one week to go. While most of the league’s biggest teams have clinched and people will be focusing on how the new playoff format will shake out, I’m still curious to see how the battle for the last couple of playoff spots will shake out, particularly in the NL Central, where there could be as many as 4 playoff teams. We will also have some close MVP races, as it’ll be interesting to see how voters treat the abbreviated season. Is Shane Bieber winning potentially 9-10 out of 60 games enough for him to be the MVP, and will the Dodgers get back-to-back MVP’s as Mookie looks to win one in both leagues? My personal picks would be Luke Voit for how he carried the Yankees through a really awful stretch and Fernando Tatis Jr. cause he’s simply too good. Check back for AFTR PRTY's MLB Playoff Contenders List coming out later today!
As always, look out for power rankings and PRTY FVRS later in the week, and bet with your heart and not your head.