May 4, 2009

A weekend of showdowns

by Dan Bilicki In: Uncategorized

ESPN.com ran several promos on their site this weekend about how this Saturday was “Showdown Saturday.” While one or two of the events didn’t particularly live up to a headliner’s billing, they did get it right for the most part.

On top of the NHL and NBA playoffs – which are moving along quite nicely I should add – there were two events with real Showdown appeal going in, but both went their own ways once they begun: Pacquiao-Hatton and the Kentucky Derby.

It’s getting increasingly rare that boxing matches are as widely promoted these days like Pacquiao-Hatton on Saturday night, and if big matches like that one all start ending in that fashion, well, you can see what boxing is fighting a losing battle with MMA. Pacquiao dominated from the get-go, knocking down Hatton twice in the first round. The Pac-Man finished the Brit in the second round with a sweet one-punch knockout. How could a match that was supposedly featuring two of the best fighters in the world end in two rounds? It really makes you long for the days when boxing was fixed. In more ways than one.

The Kentucky Derby, the first jewel in horse racing’s Triple Crown, was a far different story earlier Saturday. After the favourite, I Want Revenge, was scratched early in the morning, it only made the field even more wide open. In a race that was tight for the first three quarters, it ended with a stunning blow out of a finish when Mine That Bird took to the inside and race away with the win. He shocking was it, you ask? Well Mine That Bird was a 50-1 longshot to win. In fact, it was the second longest odds that the winning horse has ever had, which tells how great of a story this is.

And, predictably, Mine That Bird will run in the Preakness. Really, why wouldn’t he? It would only tarnish the reputation of the Triple Crown if the Derby’s winner backed out of the other races.

Then, in the saddest news of the weekend, a storm caused the Dallas Cowboys’ practice facility to collapse. It left a dozen people injured, including one staff member paralyzed. There’s nothing to joke about there so, this post looks like a wrap.

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