Aren’t sports the best?
Monday night was the kind of night that sports fans, and loved ones of sports fans, know well. A few times a year, the schedules collide and we have two sporting events that are must watch, starting within mere moments of each other.
At first glance, it’s easily frustrating, as it was in this case. Both leagues just ignored almost the entirety of the holiday weekend, only to start late on the final night, as we’re all dreading the return to real life after Memorial Day Weekend. (Except for those damn college students. Now I get why everyone hates them so much.)
But once we get in it, more often than not, it’s one of the most fun nights of the sports year. And that much was true last night. The Warriors, Thunder, Sharks and Penguins all came ready to go last night, and provided dramatic, exciting contests that seemed to unfold in syncopated time.
Around 10 PM Eastern Time, the Warriors and Thunder traded jabs as they finished the first half. Golden State cut the deficit to five, the Thunder pushed it to eight and Curry put in another in a long collection of buzzer beaters. Meanwhile, Sharks and NHL fans everywhere were still admiring Patrick Marleau’s tying goal.
After the nearly simultaneous intermissions, the hits just came on coming. The Warriors rained down a string of threes to retake the lead. Matt Murray shut the door on a furious scrum from the Sharks. Shaun Livingston converted a crucial three-point play. Martin Jones stopped a furious rush of his own.
Finally, the Warriors took control of the game just before 11 PM EST, securing a double-digit advantage. Then, before the clock could strike the hour, Nick Bonino found twine for the Penguins. Neither team would give back the lead.
Like many others, I had my television screen tuned to one game, and my laptop tuned to the other. It seems at first like a uniquely modern luxury, but at its core, it’s no different than what sports fans have been doing since the dawn of basic cable. Flipping the channel, diverting our attention from one game to another.
A wily veteran puts home a goal that he hoped might finally help defeat some long-held demons, but it won’t be enough. The new face of an evolving league adds to his highlight reel and HOF resume. Goalies sprawl to throw themselves in front of speeding rubber. An all-time great team catches fire, and a role player on a team of stars jumps into the role hero.
We try to keep up.
Aren’t sports the best?