As I type these words, the NBA Finals are narrowing down to one final, decisive Game 7 on Thursday night. By the time you read this, it will be all over but the shouting (and will have been updated by my editor). But oh, the shouting that will be done. Between that and the imminent end to the NHL season, this is a weekend to say our goodbyes to the games of Winter/Spring and fully embrace the Summer. The five events we’re most eagerly looking forward to this weekend are:
#5 Last Chance
One of the beautiful things about the College World Series is that it is a double elimination tournament. That means that everybody gets a second chance if they need one. This weekend, those extra chances will run out. The Finals will begin Monday evening so it is time to put up or shut up if you’re looking to score the highest achievement in the realm of college baseball.
#4 Champ vs Champ
The Boston Red Sox own a two-game lead in the AL East. The Detroit Tigers are up by four games in the AL Central. One of the second place teams — the Baltimore Orioles or the Cleveland Indians, respectively — may have a chance to move up as the two division leaders clash in a four-game series this weekend.
#3 It Just Might Be a Contest After All
Just when it looked like NASCAR’s Jimmie Johnson was going to run away with the championship trophy just halfway through the year, a disastrously timed blown tire with three laps to go in last week’s race dropped his lead from an nigh-insurmountable 51 to a hey-we-really-might-be-able-to-catch-this-guy 31. Everyone will be gunning for JJ on Sunday at Sonoma when the green flag waves for the Toyota Save Mart 350. It’s one of the shortest Sprint Cup races of the year, but it may also prove to be one of the most exciting and important as well.
The NBA Finals will be over Thursday night. Although the Heat won the series, the big winners here are the NBA fans. The 2013 NBA Finals have been as thrilling, exciting, and evenly-matched (despite the fact that two of the games were blowouts — one for each team) as any in recent memory. This weekend will feature a dazzling celebration in Florida. One that we hope will not involve burning cars, looting, or tear gas. We can hope, right?
#1 Finishing Strong
The NHL Stanley Cup Finals have been outshone in the public eye by the absolutely incredible NBA Finals occurring at the same time this year. But sports fans who are skipping the hockey finals are missing out on some great action this year. With the NBA Finals ending Thursday, Saturday’s Game 5 matchup between the Boston Bruins and the Chicago Blackhawks is suddenly the only game in town. Miss it at your own peril.
(U.S. Army photo)