IN THE WAKE OF THE WEEK: Naeher saves the day; Chestnut devours 71 hot dogs
US WORLD CUP FINALS: Goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher was supposed to be the ill-prepared replacement for Hope Solo. However, in the biggest game of her life, Naeher emerged the hero. In the 84th minute, she preserved the 2-1 win with a penalty shot save versus England. It was a truly redeeming moment. Christen Press and Alex Morgan were the goal scorers for the US. The team has scored in the first 12 minutes of all of their World Cup matches, and Press made sure the trend continued. England surely had their chances. As the U.S. backed off in the second half, the Brits kept pushing. In the end, the U.S. Women stamped their ticket into the finals tomorrow. It is their opportunity to repeat World Cup Championships.
USMNT FACE FINALS: Not even a 90-minute foul weather delay could stop the American men on the eve of our Independence Day. They best Jamaica 3-1 in an impressive performance. Tomorrow is the big day for possible redemption. A team that never even qualified for the Men’s World Cup, the U.S. will play for the Gold Cup Championship. It is too early to tell if this team is trending upwards. However, it is baby steps in the right direction.
CHESTNUT SHINES: It is the consummate Independence Day event. Truly, the defining moment of the Fourth of July. There is simply northing bigger in all sports. At center stage of the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest is Joey “Jaws” Chestnut of San Jose. He is the hero who defines excellence. Again, he claims the world champion with 71 hot dogs in 10 minutes. It is the 12th time he has taken home the prestigious Yellow Belt. It is a grueling 10 minutes. Chestnut is simply the vessel of our freedom. There is simply nothing to satisfy the hunger of the significance at Surf and Stillwell in Coney Island.
NIKE SHOE RECALL: NBC News calls it the “Nightmare of Nike.” This time it is shoes that depict the Betsy Ross Flag. Colin Kaepernick allegedly cries foul. He claims it is representative of the slave era. So, Nike is forced to recall 100,000’s of the vintage shoe that was truly attractive and beginning to become popular as we led up to the Fourth of July. Nike stated that they were retrieving them “based on concerns that it could unintentionally detract from the nation’s patriotic holiday.” Personally, I have decided not to buy Nike products. Eek! However, their line of shoes is brilliant and this one truly held serve. It is important to note that sales and profits have gone up since the partnership with Kaepernick.
DURANT TO BROOKLYN: It is not a max deal, but Kevin Durant is charting his short-term future in Brooklyn. It is a 4-year, $164 million deal. He will miss most, if not all, of his first year following his Achilles tear. The Nets jump in big as they also acquire Kyrie Irving. It was the Knicks who said they were getting help, but Brooklyn who landed the big deal. In a classy move, the Golden State Warriors thanked Durant and vowed to retire his No. 35 jersey.
WARRIORS SUFFER: What to do now? The Warriors are in a mysterious zone. They re-sign Klay Thompson who will be out 5-7 months. They also unload Andre Iguodala, thought the heart-and-soul of Golden State. They acquire D’Angelo Russell and Willie-Cauley Stein, but for the first time in many years there are far more questions than answers. The thought arises, “Can the Warriors compete in 2019-20?” They need to make moves with precious little cap space. A new era is set to begin.
BIG LOSS FOR SHARKS: San Jose is the only team Joe Pavelski has known. However, he is headed to Dallas on a 3-year deal that will make him part of the Stars. It is a huge loss for the Sharks. Pavelski scored 38 goals and 64 points in 75 games last season. He was the captain for San Jose and is one of the greatest players ever to wear teal. General Manager Doug Wilson noted, “Joe Pavelski’s place is Sharks history is firmly cemented and he will be sorely missed.” It leaves a definite void in San Jose’s offense. Wilson will be hard-pressed to make moves to bolster the team and replace Pavs.
Jim Adams is a regular contributor to The Union. He can be reached at email@example.com.
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