Sports never cease to surprise me. I spend a lot of time trying to figure out what is going to happen in games or events, and I like to think that I am right from time to time. Sometimes, though, I am truly surprised by things that happen, or by stats that I read. This weekend in particular was filled with a surprising number of happenings that didn’t go as I expected them to. Among them:
1. I was a little surprised that Orlando dispatched the Cavs. I thought that the Magic were a good team playing well, but I thought that Cleveland matched up well, and that the sheer force ofLeBron’s will would be too much for Orlando to overcome. As surprising as the loss was, I was far more surprised by two things – that it only took six games, and that theCavs totally mailed in their effort in the last game. Disappointing end to what should have been a better series than it was.
2. I was stunned to see that Rafael Nadal lost at the French Open. He has never before lost a game at that tournament. Not only did he lose, but he got annihilated by a journeyman who didn’t even belong on the same court as him. It was obvious that something wasn’t quite right with Nadal when he lost to Federer last week, but this is still an incredibly unexpected result. Novak Djokovic was upset, too, so Federer has absolutely no excuse not to claim his career slam.
3. I love the Big Ten, and I spend a fair bit of time watching the Big Ten Network. That means that I have seen Ohio State play baseball a few times this spring. I didn’t mistake them for the Yankees or anything, but I did figure that they were pretty solid heading into the NCAAregionals. Imagine my surprise, then, when I saw that Florida State crushed the Buckeyes by a crazy score of 37-6. Records were set all over the place – one guy had seven hits, and the Seminoles had 15 doubles. I’m always happy when Ohio State loses, but I certainly didn’t expect them to lose like this.
4. I’ll admit that I had never spent a lot of time thinking about Tim Clark. I knew that he was a decent golfer – a journeyman-type who could contend on any given weekend. I knew he was no threat toTiger in the history books, but I would have guessed that he had five or six career titles. Instead, he is the holder of one of the craziest stats I have ever read – the guy has won almost $13.3 million in hisPGA career, yet he doesn’t have a single Tour win. That streak continued this week when he lost to Steve Stricker in a playoff at the Colonial. That’s a stunning amount of money to win from also-ran purses.
5. Given how the Penguins have been playing, I am shocked that they are quickly down 0-2 in the Stanley Cup Finals, and that they have yet to show up. They have all sorts of things in their favor – they are younger and healthier than Detroit, they have two of the very best players in the world, they have the experience of last year, and they should be riding a wave of momentum. Despite all of that, they are in a very deep hole, and they have hardly looked like they have shown up in either game. Disappointing.