Ode to Sports: A year like no other, from A(li) to Z(ika)
Well, this sure was something, no turning back,
A year that just wandered way off the track,
A year you can bet won’t come again soon —
A Cub , not a cow, jumped over the moon.
Black cats and goats have been kicked out the gate,
Same with Steve Bartman and 1908.
There’s no guarantee on how the winds blow.
It happened, all right. You just never know.
College playoffs on New Year’s Eve.
Bad ratings like you won’t believe.
But soon a most familiar ride —
Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide .
Rams bolt St. Louis for LA.
Australia: Kerber’s major play.
For Peyton Manning , one last climb.
Cam Newton, silent as a mime.
Daytona zooms by in a blink,
With Denny Hamlin by a wink.
New FIFA chief, pour the vino!
Cheers! Gianni Infantino .
The NFL admits it sees
That football’s linked to brain disease.
Havana bound, with balls and bats,
Rays serve as baseball’s diplomats.
Tennis rocked, pandemonium.
What to make of meldonium?
And what about Sharapova ?
At the buzzer, Villanova .
UConn women command the floor —
Four straight titles, if keeping score.
Willett’s Masters is Spieth’s sad fate.
Seventy-three wins, Golden State.
Johnny Manziel, on a bender.
Schilling, no fan of transgender.
Tom Brady sacked in his appeal.
Goodell, court says, was fair in deal.
Blazing across the English sky,
My God, it’s Leicester! Pigs do fly.
Derby: Nyquist’s all that matters.
Scherzer strikes out 20 batters.
Preakness: Nyquist’s not quite the stud.
Exaggerator scores in mud.
Baylor shaken, Briles taken down.
Hundredth Indy, a rookie’s crown.
Once more the “Ali” chants resound,
A mournful wail, the final round.
Then Howe soon follows, hockey’s best,
The same day Ali’s put to rest.
Djokovic wins on Paris clay.
It’s Pittsburgh’s Cup, not San Jose.
Russia’s track team gets no reprieve.
Steph Curry’s mouthpiece gets a heave.
LeBron soars, the Warriors fall.
James keeps his promise, after all.
At Oakmont, Dustin Johnson rules,
Unruffled by golf’s knaves and fools.
Hockey’s gamble: neon and ice.
Las Vegas calling, roll the dice.
Coach and champion, pioneer —
Pat Summitt , honored Volunteer.
Durant jumps ship, roiling Thunder.
Golden State feasts on the plunder.
Serena, Murray : ruling class,
Queen and king of Wimbledon grass.
Euro soccer: Portugal’s show.
Olympic golfers just say no.
Terror, by truck, shatters the peace.
Tour de France riders stand with Nice.
Stenson duels in the afternoon,
Outlasts Lefty at Royal Troon.
State bathroom law comes at a cost
When Charlotte’s All-Star game is lost.
Andrew Miller’s thrown Cleveland’s way.
It’s Jimmy Walker’s PGA.
Sports then turns its eyes to Rio
You want problems? How’s this trio?
Zika, doping and widespread crime —
The new Olympic paradigm.
But Rio sambas past this mess,
Somehow escaping, more or less.
It helps when Phelps and Usain Bolt
Give fans a reason to exult.
Ledecky, Neymar, Simone Biles:
Gold is fashioned in many styles
Unlike some cheap looks on display:
Ryan Lochte , Exhibit A.
A round of golf to contemplate:
Jim Furyk shoots a 58.
A-Rod’s done. Oh, say can that be?
Colin Kaepernick takes a knee.
Wawrinka lands his Open prize.
Tim Tebow chases outfield flies.
Arnold Palmer, a king’s work done.
Jose Fernandez , favorite son.
Vin Scully puts his mic away —
A golden voice, a summer’s day.
At last, a U.S. Ryder Cup .
Brady-less Pats are looking up.
NCAA and concussions:
Yet more lawsuits, repercussions.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg can’t stay mum
And calls the anthem protests “dumb.”
Across the country, athletes balk
Over links to “locker room talk.”
A save by Kershaw, playoff stud.
Bauer’s finger is dripping blood.
Chicago’s down three games to one.
The heavy lifting’s just begun.
Game 7: Cleveland stays alive —
A searing Rajai Davis drive.
Ninth-inning rain fuels the drama;
Cub fans edging close to trauma.
Some ghastly curse? Some cruel design?
Then Zobrist doubles down the line.
A tap to third, the final out,
Floodgates open to end this drought.
Fans are stoked, ready to rocket.
Now the ball’s in Rizzo ’s pocket.
Chrome’s upset in Breeders’ Cup run.
Andy Murray is No. 1.
Back on the Strip for one more show ...
Senator Manny Pacquiao.
The Cowboys roll, a brief critique:
The arm of Dak, the legs of Zeke.
The Cleveland Browns stink up the joint
(Cavs’ and Indians’ counterpoint).
Spray champagne and toss confetti:
Johnson ranks with Earnhardt, Petty.
Jim Harbaugh: Buckeyes on his brain.
Juergen Klinsmann, auf Wiedersehen.
There’s Tiger Woods ! We know that guy.
Penn State’s playoff hopes just won’t fly.
Klay Thompson’s 60, raining gold.
Lamar Jackson joins Heisman fold.
More proof arrives, now two reports —
A dopers’ banquet, Russian sports.
And soon we put the year to bed
And take a look at what’s ahead,
And search for words that might apply.
Maybe, “Float like a butterfly.”
But that alone’s no guarantee.
So let’s add this: “Sting like a bee.”