The Biggest Stage of Them All
As I looked back and forth between the televisions to my left and right on Wednesday, I was a happy sports fan. One screen featured the NHL Stanley Cup Finals between the Los Angeles Kings and New Jersey Devils, and the other was showing the Eastern Conference Finals between the Boston Celtics and the Miami Heat.
Since the Chicago Blackhawks were eliminated in the first round, I have had trouble truly finding a team to root for throughout the playoffs. I like the Kings because they have the right mix of young talent and quality goaltending. My friend Brennan Barry, commentator on Midway Madness’ Hawks Cast, mentioned how they were “everything we wish the Hawks could be”. I also like the Devils, although I was surprised to see that the New Jersey Devils were strong enough to make a run to the Finals. When I was growing up, I remember watching Martin Brodeur tend the net to three Stanley Cup Championships. So I sit here with a torn sports heart. The Kings possess “everything I wish the ‘Hawks were”, yet the past is currently fighting with the future for my present affiliation.
And now onto the game on the right. First of all, I do not have the hatred towards the Miami Heat as I know many of you do. I enjoy seeing the best athletes play the sport well. I also would enjoy seeing the “old school” approach of the Spurs take on the “new school” Heat. That is, assuming the Spurs can get past the Thunder.
I watched admiringly as Celtics point guard Rajon Rando put on a clinic on national television. 44 points, 10 assists, 8 rebounds. These are the games of which only the best ever are capable. Yet Rondo, just 26 years old, rarely gets the recognition like Lebron James and Dwayne Wade. It was fun, all the way through the end of game two. The game went back and forth, as the Celtics held onto a late lead for a while. But the Heat became too much, and they went on to take a 2-0 series lead.
It was a great end to an incredible night of playoff sports. That is because just before that, Anze Kopitar of the L.A. Kings was able to get Devils goaltender Brodeur down on his stomach before he hoisted the puck to the top of the net for the game one victory.
So, enjoy it. Too often, I hear the debate between basketball and hockey. I have a simple answer for you. Who cares? There is plenty of enjoyment to go around, and quite simply, now is when the best of the best show their skills on the biggest stage of them all. History will be made.
This is a guest post by Chris Gasper from MidwayMadness.com. Midway Madness is a site dedicated to Chicago sports. It is written by Chicago sports fans, for Chicago sports fans. Chris Gasper grew up in the southwest suburbs of Chicago. He went to and played baseball at Columbia College. Wanna read more from Chris? Click here.
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