Saturday Sportstravaganza Open Thread

Ok then.

Sadly, there is no American football being played today. At least of any importance. But there are several other sporting endeavors to enjoy.

After the thread, a breakdown of the day's major events and my predictions.

NBA

Setup: Game 7s are awesome in any sport. The weight of knowing that this is the culmination of battle in which only one survivor can progress makes for some of the best drama in sports. Over the course of the series, we've had LeBron laughing at Garnett and Paul Pierce facing LeBron to win a crucial game 5. Oh, and of course there's the standard LeBron dilemma - when he's incredible, it's what we should expect/when he's not perfect, it's because he's not clutch, or some other nonsense. The LeBron dilemma is also known as Skip Bayless Logic.

Prediction: I'll take the Heat 80-79 or somesuch with LeBron passing to anyone else for the game winning shot as time expires. The media will literally poop out of their heads both for that storyline and a Thunder-Heat finals, which is what I've hoped for all along. And Oklahoma City, if you don't tell every Heat player "Good job, good effort" as they leave the court after every game, you need to be helped.

NHL

Setup: Yes, hockey is being played. It's game 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals, and with the LA Kings up 3-1, they could finish off the New Jersey Devils tonight. The rating for this year's Finals have been pretty poor, but if you're into hockey, obviously, this is must-see.

Prediction: Kobe Bryant suits up for the Kings and scores in OT to bring the Cup to LA.

Soccer

Setup: Well, it's nearly halftime of Portugal-Germany, and Pepe just put it off the crossbar an onto the goalline. Soccer's awesome.

Prediction: Ronaldo scores 14 goals in the second half, and then is awarded a 15th for a beautiful flop as Ozil goes sliding past him.

Boxing

Setup: Pacquiao-Bradley. As a boxing fan, I can honestly say this should be interesting. Bradley's not as tested as Juan Manuel Marquez, Pacquiao's most recent opponent. Marquez was the better fighter that night, but Pacquiao got the decision, mostly interpreted as a gift from the judges to force a Mayweather-Pacquiao fight. It didn't happen. Bradley, meanwhile, bested St. Louis-bred Devon Alexander before a 40-year-old Joel Casamayor on his way into this fight. He's a smart fighter, but I'd be surprised if he gets out of this one standing up.

Prediction: Bradley bests an aging Pacquiao for 5 of the first 6 rounds before the ref stops the fight, awards the victory to Pacquiao and tells HBO, "Just make Pacquiao-Mayweather happen already, ya bozos."

Horse Racing

Setup: The Triple Crown will have to wait another year as I'll Have Another retired this week. Ah, the golden years of retirement at three years old. It was what I always looked forward to when I was two. Well, retirement and macaroni.

Prediction: Inspired by the great Willis Reed appearance in Game 7 of the 1970 NBA Finals, I'll Have Another appears on the track as the rest of the field makes their way to the gate. His jockey, Mario Gutierrez, punches anyone within arms reach through the first mile, setting up a grueling backstretch between IHA, Dullahan and Union Rags. Suddenly, IHA begins running so fast, the dirt lights on fire. A brief light flashes, and both Another and Gutierrez disappear. Christopher Lloyd is seemingly dead and the Libyans want their plutonium. Another will have to avoid hooking up with his mom and get his nerdy dad to man up, or he'll never make it back to the today (movie idea trademark).

Baseball

Setup: Baseball is a sport that is being played today. To play it, you need some people, a stick, a ball, some dirt and some beer.

Prediction: It will be played today. Someone will throw a baseball. Some other dude will hit it. More people will drink beer, though.

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