In the entire sports world....this is the final hurrah before the dog days of sports summer. The NBA and NHL Finals are ending, College World Series is breezing along, other sports are reaching peaks and once Wimbledon, the World Cup final and the MLB All Star Game pass....it's just wall to wall baseball and little else.
But it is amazing how many times of late we've seen that great comeback. Or that complete collapse.
DALLAS MAVERICKS: The Mavs have had two collapses...with one collapse beginning the second one. The Mavericks were up in Game 3 of the NBA Finals against the Miami Heat by 13 points in the final quarter. A win there gives them a 3-0 lead in the series. They gave up a 22-7 run to close the game out and lost that one. Since then, they've lost two more games and are on the brink of elimination. Aside from the 13 pt fall, they've also had a complete blowout in Game 4, the suspension of Jerry Stackhouse, a mental mistake by Josh Howard, and enough whining from owner Mark Cuban and coach Avery Johnson to fill all the cellars in Napa Valley. The team that ended each previous series [Memphis, San Antonio, Phoenix] with a road win became just the 2nd road team in NBA history to lose the middle three games in the current Finals 2-3-2 format. Their salvation? The final two games are in Dallas, where the Mavs won the first two games of this series.
CAROLINA HURRICANES: The Hurricanes led their Stanley Cup Finals series 3-1 with Game 5 in Raleigh. Since then, they lose a game in overtime on a bad pass that led to a breakaway goal.....and then get blown out in Edmonton. Half their team should be in the hospital right now. Their one salvation?? Game 7 is back in Raleigh and the Canes had to win a home Game 7 just to get into these Finals.
THE US OPEN: To say Geoff Ogilvy won the 2006 US Open would be a bit of a stretch. He just had the best score. He just didn't screw up. Phil Mickelson had a two shot lead with three holes left. The man who finished second on three different occassions at this event was poised to win it. And then the 18th hole came and he had just a one stroke lead. Instead of his corination....it was his burial. It was hard to watch. His tee shot hit a tent. His second shot hit a tree and landed about 25-30 feet away from him. His third shot went into a bunker. His fourth shot when across the green into the fringe [which looked more like rough]. His fifth shot was wide of the hole about three feet and about 10 feet too long. His sixth shot went in.....and gave his a tie for 2nd place. He wasn't the only one who blew a chance at the win. Colin Montgomerie, Jim Furyk and Padraig Harrington also stunk up the 18th hole. But none of them held the lead on that last lap. Lefty did. But he didn't leave that hole with the win.
GEORGIA TECH YELLOWJACKETS: In the College World Series, it is a double elimination. And Tech did it's best to make sure it got it's two losses. On Friday, the Jackets gave up EIGHT RUNS to Clemson in the 8th inning.....an inning in which they entered with an 8-4 lead. On Sunday, the led 5-4 with two outs in the 9th inning....and allow three runs.