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Top 7 Sports Matches of the Summer
Why 7? Why Not?
Eugene Karlik
| August 28, 2008
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You can feel it alreadyé─Â the summer of 2008 is winding down. Just like every summer, we had plenty of baseball to keep us busy, but there were plenty of other sports to talk about. These are the top 7 sports matches of the summer of 2008, June 1st through today. #7 is the Olympic Mené─˘s 100 meter finalé─ţthis event was dominated by one of the most remarkable athletes in the world todayé─ţUsain Bolt. The 6é─˘5é─¨ Jamaican absolutely wrecked the competition, and left everyone in the wind as he broke his own world record, and set the new record at a remarkable 9.69. The amazing thing was that toward the end of the race, Bolt slowed down at the finish to celebrate. Had he not celebrated, ité─˘s estimated Bolt woudé─˘ve finished with an astonishing 9.52 time. Bolt also broke the 200 meter record, and won gold in the 200 metre and 4*100 relay. #6 is Stanley Cup finals game 5. Ié─˘m not a hockey fan, but this game was fanastic. Down 3-1, and on the road against the mighty Red Wings, Sidney Crosby and the young Penguins had to deliver. The Pens got up 2-0 in the first period, but the Red Wings came back and eventually took a 3-2 lead. The game looked all but over late in the third, when the Pens found a second wind, and Max Talbot scored an amazing equalizer with less than a minute left. After three furious overtimes, Petr Sykora found the back of the net and sent the Penguins home after a victory in a brilliant, exciting, fast paced, beautiful-to-watch game. #5 is NBA Finals Game 4é─ţone of the greatest comebacks in the history of sports. The Lakers were trying to even the series at 2-2 in their home arena, and got out to a furious start. Kobe Bryant deferred to his teammates--Lamar Odom, Pau Gasol, and even the likes of Trevor Ariza, who were firing on all cylinders, as the Lakers jumped out to a 21 point first quarter lead. But the Celtics recovered, and mounted a sensational, defense-fueled comeback, eventually drawing even in the fourth quarter, and then winning 98-91. This was the game that essentially made the Celtics the NBA Champs #4 is the Olympic Mené─˘s basketball final, USA v. Spain-- unfortunately I did not get to watch this game. However, all that Ié─˘ve heard about it was that the game was close throughout, and an absolute thriller. The Spanish even led late in the game. This game was in stark contrast to every other game the Redeem Team playedé─ţall of which were utter blowouts. Led by young stars like Rudy Fernandez, the Spanish gave the US all it could handle. The world of basketball is changing, folks, and it will look very different a decade from now. #3 is the Olympic Mené─˘s 100 Meter Butterfly finalé─ţthe highlight final of the most talked about athlete in the world todayé─ţMichael Phelps. Phelps, who won an Olympic Record 8 Gold Medals, found this event most challenging. Phelps trailed Croatian Milorad Cavic through the entire race, but toward the very end pulled a miracle out of his speedosé─ţCavic was inches away from the wall, when Phelps, still behind, reached his fingertips out, and beat Cavic by a mere 100th of a second. I was not swimming in the race, but I was out of breath. #2 is the 2008 Wimbledon final. I am not a tennis fan, either. Still, this was one of the greatest sports matches Ié─˘ve ever seen. I turned it on in the 3rd set, when Rafa Nadal was up 2-0, but Roger Federer had gained momentum after a rainout. The 3rd set went to tie breaker, which Federer won. The two tennis giants kept at it, mounting some breathtaking rallies, as the fourth set also went to overtime, and also went to Federer after Nadal already had a championship point. With another rain delay, it looked like Federer would win a record 6th consecutive Wimbledon title. Yet it was Nadal who broke Federeré─˘s serve, and won the final set 6-4, to prevail in what has been called by many the greatest tennis match of all time. #1 is the Euro 2008 finalé─ţSpain 1, Germany 0. The game itself was not spectacular. A beautiful goal from Fernando Torres was all the Spanish needed to win. But it was the overall performance from the Spanish in this tournament which blew me away. The Spanish played beautiful soccer, that looked almost like they were rehearsing a play or a symphony. They were a perfect team. The tournament in general was one of the best everé─ţit was the return of attractive, attacking soccer to the international stage, and we saw some miraculous combacks, like Turkey over Czech Republic, some stunning upsets, notably Russia over the Netherlands, and some absolute domination, with Spain over Russia. For the overall greatness of this tournament, I award the title of top match of the summer to its final.
Originally Aired: Thursday, August 28, 2008. This is a part of the 93-Second Sports Shot series. 93-Second Sports Shots air weekday evenings at 6pm.
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