It took almost 60 seasons, but the Super Bowl LI overtime win by the New England Patriots over the Atlanta Falcons, finally surpassed the Sudden Death win in the 1958 NFL Championship by the Baltimore Colts over the New York Giants, as the greatest game ever played. The 1958 game was the last and only time a NFL Championship went into overtime. Most historians believe that game made the NFL, America’s favorite television sport.
The Monday after the greatest Super Bowl ever played, looked like the beginning of the ‘Dead Zone’ for sports fans, when Football is at least 6 months away and meaningful baseball months away. Usually that leaves us with a meaningless Basketball or Hockey game to watch on a Monday night to survive the first night of the Post-Football-Season Blues.
Except last night!
The NBA champion Cleveland Cavaliers came into Washington for a regular season matchup. Okay not bad, we get to watch the greatest basketball player on the planet, LeBron James. But maybe he’s out of line-up because of injury or being rested? Not on this Monday Night. The Red-Hot Wizards, winners of 7 in a row and 17 in a row at home, are led by All-Star John Wall. For those of you that call yourself sports fans, but are really only football or baseball fans, you may not be aware of the season that THEGREATWALL is putting up. Let me spare you the stats, It is the greatest guard performance by a Bullet or Wizard in DC – EVER!!!! Not since watching Earl “The Pearl” Monroe play in nearby Baltimore in the late 60’s and early 70’s, have DC fans ever seen any guard play like John Wall this season. Of course, it does help to have sharpshooters like Bradley Beal and Otto Porter on the wings, and toughness like Marcin “The Polish Hammer” Gortat and Markief Morris inside.
The game was outstanding with spectacular shooting, passing and defense. The Wizards looked like sure winners with a 3 point lead and 3.2 seconds left in the game, but LeBron James made a turnaround 3-point jumper, while going out of bounds to tie the game at 120 a piece, leaving a worthless 0.3 seconds left on the clock. All-Star forward, Kevin Love threw the inbound pass, of a thirty-inch wide basketball, seventy-five feet (try it sometime), perfectly to LeBron in front of the Wizards bench, who caught it with his back to the basket (25 feet away with Beal all over him). and somehow turned and banked a shot of the backboard just before the buzzer.
Ironically in overtime, the Wizards took a five point lead as LeBron fouled out, which led to their third All-Star, guard Kyrie Irving taking over by scoring 11 points in overtime to cement a 140-135 Cleveland win. Both teams shot over 50 percent on 191 shot total shots, including 67 3-point attempts. It was a once in a lifetime game. Hopefully these teams will meet in the Eastern Conference Finals in May.
So maybe the ‘Dead Zone’ is cancelled this year and the Terps, Caps, & Wiz go deep into the playoffs, the Nats win a playoff series and it stays 70 degrees all Winter, Spring and Summer. And yes, I become a 9 handicap in golf!
It’s nice to get carried away every once in a while. It can help all of us survive the Post-Football Season Blues.