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Ho hum. Another Sunday, another ridiculous morning-to-night run of sports drama.
Of course, the big headline was the return of Tiger Woods. And there was no recency bias whatsoever in the immediate declaration that his victory at the Masters was the greatest sports comeback ever.
It was not. It wasn't even the biggest comeback in golf history. Goodness gracious, people, could you maybe let 24 or even 48 hours pass before you make bad ridiculous declarations like this? Ben Hogan rallying from a near-fatal auto accident in 1949 to win the 1950 U.S. Open in 1950 still stands as golf's greatest comeback. It isn't even close.
Tiger had back and knee injuries during the 14 years between wins in Augusta. He also went through an embarrassing divorce. He managed to come back thanks to modern sports medicine, his own remarkable determination and the nature of the game that he plays. Only in golf can an above-40 competitor score a win like this after having been away for so long.
I watched the last hour of the golf but before that I was moving back and forth between the Masters and Premiere League soccer. And as usual, the Premiership did not disappoint. First up in the early morning was Manchester City playing at Crystal Palace. City was looking to take back the lead in the race for the League title and it did so with a 2-0 victory. City plays beautiful, incredibly pinpoint soccer and its run of success the last few years has been remarkable.
Then it was time for Liverpool to take the pitch against Chelsea. And again, the soccer did not disappoint. Liverpool's 2-0 victory, which moved it back into first in the league, was capped off by reigning player-of-the-year Mo Salah's glorious goal.
Liverpool leads the standings by two points and has four games left to play, none against top teams. But Manchester City has five games remaining, which of course means that if the Baby Blues win out, they win the league.
Later on in the day there was White Sox baseball, with Tim Anderson perhaps capping off an amazing early season run at the plate with a game- and series-winning grand slam at Yankee Stadium.
But the biggest thing was NBA and NHL playoffs getting underway.
And as is often the case, the hockey results in particular were good ridiculous.
The post-season has barely started and the best team in the league and the most successful one the last five years both are already on the verge of elimination.
The Tampa Bay Lightning dominated the league this year and scored by far the most regular season points. But the team has already fallen behind the Bread Man's team, Columbus, 3-0 in their best-of-seven series.
The results so far have to be familiar for Artemi Panarin, but he is on the right side of the ledger this time. In his final season in Chicago, Panarin starred for the team that scored the most points in the Western Conference during the regular season but then went to the playoffs and fell apart. They were swept out by eighth seed Nashville before they knew what hit them. Panarin was traded away, Marian Hossa was forced to retire and the Hawks haven't sniffed the postseason since.
Also on Sunday, the Penguins lost to the Islanders to fall behind 3-0 in their series. Star Sidney Crosby has not only been held scoreless in all three games, but on Sunday he was a minus-3.
Meanwhile, Winnipeg rallied from two games down to the Blues to make their series 2-1. In other words, they kept the dream of the ultra-NHL Final of Winnipeg versus Columbus alive.
Jim "Coach" Coffman welcomes your comments.
Someone's about to earn this column's first moratorium.Continue reading "The Ex-Cub Factor" »
Posted on Apr 16, 2019