We are at the end of yet another month in sports, but this one shouldn't be forgotten just like the other 11 of the year. June was stacked with some of the greatest moments and games the world has ever seen. What moments am I talking about? Well in case you've been under a rock the last 30 days, here you go.
It all started with a moment many people would like to forget. Young Tigers starter Armando Galarraga was trying to become the third pitcher of the 2010 season to be perfect through 27 batters. Such a tremendous achievement had only been reached four other times since 1999 and never had there even been three perfect performances in one year. Galarraga seemed to be headed toward perfection, when he was robbed by umpire Jim Joyce who made a false call that ended his streak with just one out to go. Galarraga could have screamed, yelled, or appealed like 99% of jipped human beings would have done, but he rightfully kept his cool and went back to the mound to calmly receive his 27th out. Galarraga showed true class and set an example to kids around the world about how if the call doesn't go your way, just move on and focus on the next play. Galarraga didn't care about his stats, which is something that is rarely seen anymore in professional sports. This perfect pitching fiasco might have brought some gloom over the sports world, but it's the bad things make us enjoy the good things so much better.
And the good things were exactly what we got for the rest of the month. A day later we indulged ourselves in one of the greatest rivalries in one of the biggest stages in sports. The Lakers and Celtics started their NBA Finals campaign on June 4th and put out a series that was certainly memorable. Even from the beginning we knew this series was going to be a fierce battle when just thirty seconds into the first quarter of Game 1, Paul Pierce wrestled Ron Artest to the ground causing tempers to flare. We saw a record breaking performance by Ray Allen, Rajon Rondo establishing himself as a premier Point Guard in the NBA, Derek Fisher doing what he does best in making clutch shots, and a comeback win in Game 7 to give Kobe his 5th championship as a Laker. What more could you want out of a series?
The Lakers might have gritted out four games to win a championship, but that is nothing compared to the amount of games played by John Isner and Nicolas Mahut in the First Round of Wimbledon. Isner and Mahut played in a three day, eleven hour, 183 game marathon that shattered Wimbledon records and gave tennis fans one entertaining program. The epic match truly showed the desire and determination to win from these two players and their fight, despite the conditions. The Isner-Mahut matchup wasn't just entertaining, but it showed that "never give up" attitude within the players and is an inspiration to many younger athletes around the world to keep on fighting.
Tennis wasn't the only non-"Big Three" sport attracting attention from Americans. Soccer popularity exploded in the month of June largely due to the success of the US Mens National team in the World Cup. The USMNT brought millions of people together during their World Cup campaign and sparked interest in Americans with their stunning and memorable wins. Whether it was their gritty (and lucky) tie against favored England, or their last minute goal by Landon Donovan to save the US from elimination, Americans were most certainly impressed and tuned in to watch all the games. The US National team made fans out of usual people due to their spectacular performances and although they went home earlier then they had wanted to, they did win something much more important, the hearts of Americans.
The month of June was one to remember with an outstanding rivalry renewed in the NBA Finals, a match to remember between two fierce competitors that contains records that will never be broken, and a soccer team that sparked interest in Americans and hope that a World Cup trophy might soon be in reach. Most months of the year just get lost in our memories and are washed away forever, but this one should be bookmarked as one of the most tremendous thirty-day periods the world of sports has ever seen. Who knows if we will ever have another one like it? Well, with Lebron and others now exploring free agency, we might get another sooner than we think.
Here are other notable sporting events that occurred in the last month.
June 3rd- Galarraga perfect game fiasco
June 4th- NBA Finals begin. Lakers start quest to repeat as NBA Champions
June 7th- Hall of Fame Basketball coach John Wooden dies at the age of 99
June 9th- USC Football Penalized/Blackhawks win Stanley Cup
June 11th- 2010 FIFA World Cup Begins. USA starts their journey.
June 17th- Lakers capture 16th title in Franchise history
June 20th- Graeme McDowell wins US Open
June 22nd- Start of John Isner vs Nicolas Mahut match
June 23rd- Landon Donovan and USA beat Algeria in 91st minute to advance to Final 16
June 24th- End of John Isner vs Nicolas Mahut match
June 29th- South Carolina wins College World Series in Walk off fashion