Dwyane (Not Dwayne) Wade, Brewer Bias, and The End of U.S. World Cup Soccer

MVP By Slimmest of Margins
As much deserved praise as former Marquette standout and NBA Finals MVP Dwyane Wade is receiving after his remarkable series against the Mavericks, you have to wonder what would be written about him this week had his two missed free throws at the end of game six been more costly.

Say Jason Terry makes that three-pointer at the end of regulation to tie the game. Then say Dallas, fueled on by the home crowd, wins the game in OT. Then say that Dallas rides that momentum into game seven where they easily handle the shell-shocked Heat. Not hard to imagine Wade not being able to walk the streets of Miami without getting pelted with rocks and garbage. But as it played out, Wade is the most popular person in Miami since Phillip Michael Thomas.

I Can Appreciate Home Team Bias, But Come On . . .
During game one of the Tigers/Brewers series this week, either Daron Sutton or Bill Schroeder (or as I refer to them, the one who shills for The Good Feet Store and the other one) made a reference to how both teams had been improving, making it sound as if the Tigers and the Brewers had a fairly equivalent recent history.

Let’s see: In the last three years, the Brewers have had won-lost percentages of .420 (2003), .416 (2004), and .500 (2005.) As of this writing, the Brewers are at .493 for the 2006 season. Over the same period, the Tigers have been at .265, .444, and .438, and are right now sporting the best record in baseball with a .658 won-lost percentage. Seems like one team is actually turning it around while one team is hopelessly mired in mediocrity.

U.S. Soccer Team Down, Out, Forgotten About
So the United States is officially out of the World Cup after losing to a country whose name most Americans would probably confuse with a sexually transmitted disease. I would say that this is a terrible blow for the growth of soccer in this country, but it’s hard to imagine soccer being less popular here. Maybe if it was discovered that both the MLS and the World Cup were 100% funded by Al-Qaeda.

The good news for ABC and ESPN — leaders in World Cup soccer and National Spelling Bee coverage — is that the Netherlands are still in it. Seriously, have you seen Rudd van Nistelrooy attack the ball? Get your Rudd van Nistelrooy jersey now and thank me later. It’ll be your most prized article of clothing since that “Back Off Man, I’m A Ghostbuster” T-shirt you had in the eighth grade.

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