Many were predicting that 19-year-old rising star Carlos Alcaraz would leave Paris as champion. Maybe one day. Not yet. Instead, it’s Alexander Zverev who still has a shot for his first Grand Slam title.

Zaverev ended Alcaraz’s 14-match winning streak with a 6-4, 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 (7) victory, reaching the semifinals in Roland-Garros for the second year. Rows

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“I told him on the net, ‘You’re going to win this tournament many times, not just once,'” said third-seeded Zaverev, runner-up at the US Open in 2020 and a gold medalist. The Tokyo Olympics last summer. “I hope I can win it before he starts … hitting us all.”

Xavier will now play the winner of the much-anticipated, more exciting quarter-final between defending champion Novak Djokovic and 13-time champion Rafael Nadal. It was such a big deal that it was made available free of charge throughout France via a streaming service that Clay-Court Major has exclusive access to this year’s night sessions.

The 59th installment of Djokovic vs. Nadal was their first meeting since last year’s Roland-Garos, when Djokovic won the semifinals four-setter.

At least 20 Grand Slam titles (Nadal 21; Djokovic 20), the first of two to win at least 1000 matches (Nadal 1,055; Djokovic 1,005), the first of two men to win at least 300 matches in a major tournament (Djokovic has 327; Nadal 302).

And on May 22 Djokovic, 35, and Nadal, 36, on Friday, who knows how many more such events will take place?

In women’s action, 18-year-old Coco Goff of the United States and 28-year-old Martina Travisan of Italy reached their first Grand Slam semifinals.

18th seed Goff defeated 2017 US Open champion and 2018 Roland-Garros runner-up Sloane Stephens 7-5, 6-2, while 59th ranked Travisan defeated US Open finalist Leila Fernandez 6-2, 6-7 (3), 6- 3.

Alcaraz advanced to the quarter-finals this season with a 20-1 tour-leading title at Clay with four titles and a 32-3 record. These include the victory over 25-year-old Zaverev in the final of the Madrid Open on May 8 – the first time a teenager has beaten the two giants in the same tournament since Alcaraz’s victory over Nadal and Djokovic. On the surface.

At Roland Garros, sixth-seeded Alcaraz was trying to become the youngest semi-finalist since Nadal in 2005 at the age of 19.

Zverev, however, managed to fix a significant flaw in his resume: the Germans started the afternoon with a 0-11 record in a Grand Slam match against an opponent in the top 10 of the ATP rankings.

“At the end of the day,” Zaverev said, “I knew today that I had to play my best tennis from the beginning.”

He got exactly the start he wanted, using every bit of his 6-foot-6 (1.98-meter) frame to get himself in position for his free-swing, ball-stinging groundstrokes, and set himself two sets ahead.

Alcaraz, on the other hand, was not at his peak, accumulating 32 unforced errors in the first two sets alone, 17 more than Zaverev in that span. Alkaraj 58, Zaverev 34.

Viewers of Court Philippe Chatterjee seemed to be their favorite from the outset, singing Alkaraj his first name and responding with the approval of his fist pump “Vamos!” – Especially since he clears his strokes and makes some more matches using his usual array drop shots to great effect.

After dropping the third set, Zverev served 5-4 in the fourth set for the match but Alkarz broke down when he tore the backhand winner which screamed at him and pumped his fist – and excited the crowd.

Alcaraj then held the set point at 6-5 in the tiebreaker.

“The match,” Zaverev said, “was making its way.”

A backhand without Alcaraz was netted and soon Zverev’s first match point was 7-6, which he abandoned with his own net backhand.

A soft drop volley gave it a second chance to close and this time Zverev did it with the backhand return winner.

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Update: Rafael Nadal advanced to the semifinals at Roland-Garros after an epic victory over arch-rival Novak Djokovic.

In their 59th all-time clash, the two men dropped everything in a clash on the court that lasted more than four hours as Djokovic failed to repeat Nadal’s path to the title in last year’s semifinals. .

The Spaniard won four sets 6-2 4-6 6-2 7-6 (7-4) in the final four fight against Alexander Zaverev, who had beaten 19-year-old Carlos Alcaraz the day before.

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Nadal made his way back to the fourth set as Djokovic surrendered and secured a break to take a 5-3 lead. The Serbian star failed to send it to the fifth set, and the Roland-Garos spectators broke down while serving for the match because Nadal wanted to.

The Spanish icon got it back 5-5 and was then quite dominant in the tie-breaker, with Djokovic making a mini fightback and saving three in a row before setting up five match points at 6-1. However, Nadal kept his nerves and took the last chance of the survey 7-4.

Nadal’s victory from the first meeting of his career at the 2006 French Open took his all-time record against Djokovic to 30-29, while his ground victory against the Serbian star extended to 20-8.

The first two sets between the two legends took about three hours to complete – Nadal’s time-sucking technique inevitably played a role in the court’s extended time.

Nadal broke Djokovic in the opening game of a 10-minute marathon – the first indication that it was going to be a long night at Roland-Garros. The 35-year-old consolidated his position after going 3-1 in the first set about half an hour before the first set was reduced to 6-2 in the 52nd minute.

The second set started just like the first – another 13 minutes of play resulted in another Nadal break.

Nadal went ahead 2-0 then secured a double break for a 3-0 lead race, before Djokovic finally scored a break of his own and kept the serve to work his way back to 2-3.

Watch Roland-Garros at 9Gem and 9 Now Or every match, ad-free, live and on demand, with the court on 4K, on Stan Sport.

That’s when the strategy of delaying Nadal’s time worked – which led to the start of another marathon that lasted more than 18 minutes. During the fifth game, Nadal pushed the boundary, basically the umpire daring to allow him to exceed the serving time. Eventually, the match official called him for a one-time violation, backed by U.S. tennis legend John McEnroe, who commented for Eurosport.

“Is he saying that now?” McEnroe referred to the umpire’s call. “How long has this game been going on so far? 12 minutes? Nadal ignores him.”

However, in the second set of Nadal’s time difference, Djokovic did nothing to stop the pace, as Serb star Nadal kept up the pressure despite the break, winning 6-4 frames in 75 minutes.

Nadal defeated Djokovic in the opening game of the third set after surrendering his second set to win the third set 6-2.

BBC commentator David Law told the tennis podcast that the Spanish star looked dangerous.

“Looking at the stadium and tonight is an uncomfortable sound for the way Nadal is hitting the ball. It’s different. Terrible. But also satisfying,” Law said.

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I was already looking forward to the next round. There was little reason to doubt Carlos Alcaraz, the current future of tennis, the old future of tennis, in the quarter-finals of the French Open against Sasha Zaverev. Although Zaverev is technically ranked 6th to 3rd in Alcaraz, the official rankings do not always keep up with reality. Carlitos is coming from a 14-match winning streak. Just three weeks ago, in Madrid, he knocked Zaverev off the court like extra clay from his sneaker trade, losing just four games in their final. Alcaraz had already knocked out his nerves in the second-round five-setter. Since then, the 19-year-old has fought together in six sets against strong competition, returning to his usual tour-best form. And in the meantime, for all his admiration, Xavier could still cross a terribly cold streak: Throughout his career, the 25-year-old faced off against the top-10 players in a major tournament 0-11. He’ll hit them somewhere else, but can’t do that in the best-of-five. Alcaraz would seem to be the worst possible ally to break that bad trend at its current level.

Denial is a powerful medicine. Even though the scoreboard kept running to the other side, I was sure Alcaraz would win. That’s how strong his season was, and perhaps even more so, in this tournament Sasha Zaverev, how much more I invested in his storyline than the known amount. Denial of reality wins in two sets. Xavier played great tennis. This quadrangle held his legs well in the long baseline assembly; His speed was enough to catch Alcaraz’s constant drop shots. His backhand was irresistible. And even his second serve, notorious for errors in pressure, did not leave him this time, as he won a decent 58 percentage points behind it. Over time I imagined a double fault that never materialized. Late in the fourth quarter, Carlos got a chance to take a break, sending a second delivery at 129 miles per hour for better measurement. With the crowd’s love and the pace of the match completely changing for Alcaraz, Xavier was short and made some of the best shots of his season:

—Joy 6-4, 6-4, 4-6, 6-7 (6). The match is a blow to high expectations for Alcaraz and relatively low expectations for Zverev. He’s been around for a while, but because of the aging curve of most tennis players, he’s just entering his early physical stages. And while his game rarely surprises you, it’s no less efficient. Although Xavier’s Alcaraz may lack versatility and dynamic range – ranges from 100 miles of forehand and drop shots, threatening to deepen each other’s damage – you can still go a long way on this tour with a huge serve and a large groundstroke. He’s old news, but old news is still 6-foot-6 with excellent technique and lateral movement. Afterwards, Zverev said he was “tearing off his pants” because Carlitos started to bend the match like he did and he was happy to have a decent look at the title here before it became impossible: “I hope I can win it first. He’s all of us. Starts to hit and we will have no chance.

The availability of media from Locker Room Clean-Out Day is usually sad in every sense of the word, but at least we hear Jordan Binnington explain why and how he threw a water bottle at Nazem Qadri after he lost Game 3 of their series against Nazem Qadri. Snowfall. Short answer? Divine intervention.

For those who don’t know much about the Water (Bottle) Gate, Qadri collapsed during the game after a blues defender got involved with Cale Rosen and Binington suffered a knee sprain. Sometimes the right NHL Department of Player Safety decides that the incident is no longer punishable, as it did, but the Blues disagree. Binnington did the same, at least for the moment, as he threw a water bottle at Qadri during a postgame interview, after he had had enough time to change gear.

Add to that the fact that Binnington “didn’t find a reusable bin” and it was natural that the water bottle should be used as a projectile. Perhaps God is moving in mysterious ways.

Sensitive reactions are difficult to control at the moment, with caution that despite this, when we become adults we are usually able to resist our bases, the beastly tendency to throw things we don’t like. Ten days have passed since the incident, and a lot has happened during that time, including both Head coach Craig will be out And Multiple blues players Basically, it means that Qadri knew what he was doing, the blues spent the whole game on Qadri scoring hat-tricks, and many people made racist threats against Qadri and Qadri’s family. There is a nagging tension between language and racism that has since fueled the conflict and the series.

But not for Binnington! Binnington remains steadfast in his feelings: it happened, some greater power gave him the perfect opportunity, and he is not really sorry. Well, maybe he’s sorry about that The water bottle went down two feet from Qadri. Didn’t even hurt him! Alas, God gave him his shot but unfortunately forgot to notice his arrow.

Kids, recycle your bottles. God knows we need it.

Aja Wilson’s transition to the WNBA was as uninterrupted as setting foot on the basketball court. His rookie season is gone in such a way that every fan imagines that the first-overall pick should be a rookie season – so impressive that fans don’t have to imagine too much in the end. Premature, polished footwork told you Wilson would be a WNBA star for a long time. The numbers tell you that he was already one: he finished third in league scoring that season, tied with Diana Tourasi. A’ja was his.

In terms of relationships, the players Aces picked with No. 1 before and after Wilson যোগ add them to the level of Cavs / Oilers in the draft lottery — sometimes seemed frustrating. Who wouldn’t? Jackie Young, a guard who drafted for Upside in 2019, showed off his rookie season: he could drive through people with his perfect strength and defend himself. The offensive numbers, however, were somewhat less than imaginary. Kelsey Plum’s first year at WNBA played in a similarly forgettable fashion. In 2017, the front office thought so little about their No. 1 pick that they enjoyed the idea of ​​trading him on Draft Day. After suffering an ankle injury in the preseason, he played irregular minutes as a Rocky. Bill took over as head coach of Limbia the year after the franchise moved from San Antonio to Las Vegas, and the plume he saw on the 2017 tape described him as “a lost person.” Years. ” Last year, in Plum’s fourth season, she ended up on a bench role, where she would win the sixth-woman award of the year ৷ her first season averaging over 10 points in a game.

Coaching is a matter of imagination, which is why a coaching change can be so fresh. A brand new person here! Bringing a new set of their eyes! On a roster that might use some new perspectives. When Becky Hammon took over from Aces this summer, the first thing she told reporters was that the team would take three more. The 8-1, red-hot Las Vegas Aces have made that promise: Under Hamon, they are taking 25.1 per game, the second-highest in the WNBA, and their league-wide game-leading low of 13.5 last year. At Sparks’ 104-76 closing last week, the team set a WNBA record for making three in a game, including 18. Where they’ve always been a great three-point shooting team, they’ve now added three. Volume To calculate it. “If you have a guard, remove it. If you’re open, shoot it. It’s not a genius, “said Hammon after the Sparks game.

Whether genius or not, the system has helped unlock Young, who made a big leap defensively last season but plays with a new confidence in the offense. Now averaging 18 points in a game, he is one of the best players in the league Kevin Pelton’s War Metric. “For me, it’s a mental thing,” Young told reporters. “If I’ve been feeling good, confident and aggressive, it shows up in court.” Everyone seems to be having more fun with the green light Hamon has given to the team. Even point guard Chelsea Gray, whose stubborn midrange game I have come to accept and appreciate, is shooting from the deep; Some infectious effects may play. “Basketball is a game of confidence. When you see one or two people go to the basket, people roll around, “said Hamon Sparks after the game. “When you see the ball go through the hoop, it becomes real fun as an offensive player. Especially when you know your teammates will find you when you are open. “

For all the shot profile differences, not everything that made them so good under Lambier left the aces. They still reach the line more than most teams and use Wilson to anchor strong defenses. Young, Wilson, Gray, Diarica Humbi and Plum’s starting lineup offensive rating of 112.5 and a defensive rating of 88.2, it has been the best in the league by a good margin.

And yes, that’s right you can now become known as a Lord of the Rings. “Fuck on the bench,” Plum said Athletic Before the start of the season. “I am very sick on the bench. I’m a starter in this league and I know it; And I think everyone else does. “Hammon agrees, and removes both Aces’ Sixth Women, Plum and Humby for forming this super-charged starting lineup. As a starter, Plum averages 18 points per game, up from the previous one. Shooting more than, and flying around there, looking like the assassin that everyone expected could happen.

The downside of the super-charged starting group is the super-drained bench. With Plum and Humby, the Aces bench was a team strength. When the Aces play Sky on Saturday, their bench really did nothing but cut off the Sky led by Vegas. Seriously: All of Aces’ 83 points came from starters. In actual playoffs, with small rotations, it may not be very important. But on the way there, as a matter of fatigue and injury risk management, it will help Aces some bench contributors that they can trust. (One, Ricuna Williams, is battling a foot injury but should be back soon.) The only defeat of the Vegas season, to the Mystics, as Washington’s swarms of maintenance fell under the Aces starters. Could the same thing happen tonight and Thursday when Connecticut faces another elite defense of the sun? Hmmm. Let’s ask Kelsey Plum how she thinks about all this.

As the season progresses there will be plenty of time to pick a net about fatigue and bench depth, but in the end there is nothing more to do but applaud a team with an 8-1 record and a plus-14.7 net rating. Hammon brings his vision, the players are making it a reality, and there’s not much to complain about.

I knew this day would come. I knew there would come a time when resistance bands would keep their promises and rise up against mankind. That time has come.

“Only baseball!” It has any number! Injuries occur on an annual basis. A relief jug broke his hand in a milk carton punch. A catcher suffered a massive stab wound to the thigh after accidentally walking in a forklift. Philly breaks his leg while dry-humping while playing fanatics. Most of these injuries occur in spring training and most of them are bad camouflage cover stories for players who hit themselves while shitface.

But in the case of Jonathan Wheeler, the Cubs’ second baseman, I really believe a resistance band attacked him. I can now see the image of the attack. I can imagine Wheeler, under the direction of his personal trainer, doing some horrible, failure workouts when the band slips out of his hands and oh snap! The band forces him to endure “significant dental work”, giving him lashes in the face; The details of which, at this moment, have been left to my cruel imagination. Maybe the band lost some of its teeth. Maybe his jaw is broken. Maybe it became sensitive, wrapped around the uvula at the back of his neck and tore at the roots. All of these things are possible, and you know why? Because the resistance band is the worst, so.

If you have no history with resistance bands then consider yourself lucky. Because most of us are forced to count with them in the instructor’s room, or in the workout class or during the physical therapy sessions. A resistance band is a simple, terrifying thing: a greasy ribbon of latex that looks like something you want to buy at a clothing store to make your own balloons. Physical therapists often give me resistance bands for free, probably because, like a copy of it. Helter Skelter, They want to keep themselves away from the hexing power within themselves. I have been ordered to stretch these bands across my chest; Wrapping them around my legs like a failed tourniquet and wrapping them around each of my arms, was taken as far away as a blood pressure test. I had to sit on a yoga ball — yet another simple machine that firmly belongs to the “sex toys for adventurer” genre এবং and had to do tedious exercises after tiring exercises because the resistance band tore the hair out of my hands. I did not feel any pleasure after doing this exercise. I didn’t feel strong or fresh. I feel abused. Abuse by this… this banal Judas Cradle. This is unfinished prophylactic. This monochromatic embodiment of Tom Brady’s whole personality.

I know that resistance bands can be effective. I know these are the ultimate consequences of a personal-training revolution that long ago avoided the bench press — which is still great, and everyone who has seen you want to have sex with you জন endlessly weighing in on negative things with lighters, and often without any weight. That’s how you end up tying these hellish scarves to the surrounding bars for professional athletes and other older adults, and twisting and shaking their way to the Callisthenic superiority.

But it’s embarrassing, childish nonsense, and I hate it. At least some significant days to work with me. Let me drag an anchor across an active freeway. Give me a polished barbell that will tear the palm of my hand so that there is extra norling in the grip. Give me a stack of Nautilus machine weights that I can move up and down, like I’m a one-man steel mill. Kettle Bell! Yes, give me all the kettle bells. Show me that I am working in a prison. Give me something I like. Don’t give me a shred of the dusty packing material in the corn starch and hopefully I’ll be happy with it. There is no touching pleasure in this band. There’s only pain, and not the kind of funny macho. No one is happy working with resistance bands, and anyone who likes them is mentally ill and should be expelled quickly.

And yet, bands are expanding, like their ugly siblings, the resistance cord. You will never enter a gym এমনকি not even a hotel gym! Just as a shoe box can be anything to a sporty child, a resistance band can be anything to a fitness guru who hates the idea of ​​people looking calm when toning their laces and glutes. Jonathan Wheeler and his ailing Pihole have just learned what these things are capable of. We must obey this sign. We must destroy our resistance band before they can destroy us, and whatever we cherish.

It may also be inaccurate to call a commercial barrier in-picture during a sporting event a “recent trend.” They are here, they have been established, and as long as the broadcasters are in need of some extra revenue milk from the event whose rights are pointing to a more obscene amount of money they will stay. These are annoying, of course, just like any other ad, but I’ve come to the realization that they’re often going to be there after the kick-off in the NFL, after the icing on the NHL, during the free throw in. NBA, and MLB at-bats seemingly at random intervals (I think you can do that anytime in baseball).

The ruthless desire for efficiency that defines any company on this scale — leagues, networks, major advertisers — is an opportunity to place a bet on the next player to push or sneeze every knock or cranny visitor to change their insurer. . This is another annoying fact of the game that we all have to deal with if we are to see them. I’m probably too crazy to be actively obsessed with this development as a whole, but I find myself becoming more and more evaporated into a particularly repetitive feature of the NHL playoff telecast. These games take advantage of the whole picture-in-picture advertising strategy like any other picture, but in this case they are distracting you from the Stanley Cup playoffs and taking it to the … curse Stanley Cup playoffs!

Check it out from Game 4 of Cannes-Rangers last week. I’m looking double here!

It’s not just an ESPN thing, either. Here is TNT from Avs-Blues Game 6. Please note that the flames featured in the advertisement were dead and buried at this time.

They did the same ad with Dang Flames during Game 7 in Carolina on Monday:

Why? Why! Why. It would be a thing if these ads were hyping certain games to play in the next few days – a McKinnon-McDavid sizzle reel would not be out of place during Monday’s action – but it was just promoting the general idea of ​​a Stanley Cup playoff. Anyone who’s been watching, and paying close attention to these ads, probably already knows about the Stanley Cup playoffs. Aiming at those who like your game, it is “please like my game”. If you don’t want to move fans towards a specific future broadcast, why is there something that they are watching to remind them of what they are watching?

I imagine that there must be some anti-bureaucratic argument, somewhere along the line, which has led to this result. A high-ranking person fell in love with these ads and wanted to show them as often as possible They booked a picture-in-picture spot but did not snatch a real sponsor for them. It is somewhere in the TV deal that each broadcast must include at least a few NHL vanity spots. Anyway, it’s dumb and annoying and the boundaries are degrading. The best possible advertisement for a hockey game is a hockey game. This league needs to stop feeling so needy.

Stanley Cup playoffs have tried very hard to give customers what they want, but so far it’s like a half-in-half-out offer. This gave our Penguin-Rangers three overtime in 2 days but then a negligible list of 11 overtime games that averaged less than seven minutes. It promised us the first great battle of the Everglades but Dad (Tampa) swept us over the kids (Florida). It promised us Alberta’s first great fight in 31 years but the series lasted only five games after a great 9-6 opener. It gave us Toronto Maple Leafs, but it also gave us the leaves that fell apart in the first round (you can decide which of these people wanted).

Thus, the Colorado-Edmonton at the Western Conference could be the last chance to get the cup really right this year. Nathan McKinnon vs. Connor McDavid is presented each year by the Internet Dollars for the crown of the best player in the world. Gabriel Landskog vs. Leon Drysitol for Best Adjutant. Mikko Rantanen Vs. Zach Hyman for the best guy you didn’t plan to target but would be compelled. The best team in the game vs. the team that was considered the best team in the game since McDavid was drafted seven years ago. Jared Bedner vs. Jay Woodcraft in a coaching battle that you never thought about. Mike Smith vs. Mike Smith. If it is not seven games and with multiple overtime, we will be cheated.

Compared to the Eastern Conference Final, where Tampa Bay, trying to win its third cup in three years, battling the New York Rangers, wanting to win their third cup since the start of World War II, the West is looking for that gem as a crown. Thunderbolts are like watching a snake eat: it is not very fun except for the part of the jaw that is detached. In addition, they are all excited for the return to Braden Point, whose core temperature never rises above 63 degrees. And the Rangers are Eger Shestarkin taking more shots than more than 100 goalkeepers and Chris Kraider is waiting to pinch a defender very aggressively.

Edmonton is the successful overchiever who fired his coach midway through the season because the Oilers were the only Oilers, in 10th place and far ahead of Vancouver and San Jose. Colorado is a scary underachiever who hasn’t reached this post-season level in 20 years.

But don’t think anything of that. Those of you who don’t watch hockey much because you think it’s still more interesting to argue why Andre Igudala was named the 2015 NBA Finals MVP just want to know about McKinnon and McDavid. You want to see them on the ice every minute where there is ice to play and you want to be unreasonably angry for every second of every 38 minutes of the game that they are not playing. You want to know what all this fuss is about and you’ve been told that these guys can explain it to you without a word exchange.

It won’t be so easy, to be honest. They both play a third of the game because asking too much is too much to ask, so you have to do what you hate the most: pay attention. Don’t worry too much about missing it though; TNT McMinnon-McDavid will rum your pihole with bathroom plunger. This time, though, the network can be forgiven for its dog’s pursuit of painfully obvious. This is the biggest and last best moment of the cup this season. There is no more pressure than that. There is no World Cup full of summer you have to lose.

It may also be inaccurate to call a commercial barrier in-picture during a sporting event a “recent trend.” They are here, they have been established, and as long as the broadcasters are in need of some extra revenue milk from the event whose rights are pointing to a more obscene amount of money they will stay. These are annoying, of course, just like any other ad, but I’ve come to the realization that they’re often going to be there after the kick-off in the NFL, after the icing on the NHL, during the free throw in. NBA, and MLB at-bats seemingly at random intervals (I think you can do that anytime in baseball).

The ruthless desire for efficiency that defines any company on this scale — leagues, networks, major advertisers — is an opportunity to place a bet on the next player to push or sneeze every knock or cranny visitor to change their insurer. . This is another annoying fact of the game that we all have to deal with if we are to see them. I’m probably too crazy to be actively obsessed with this development as a whole, but I find myself becoming more and more evaporated into a particularly repetitive feature of the NHL playoff telecast. These games take advantage of the whole picture-in-picture advertising strategy like any other picture, but in this case they are distracting you from the Stanley Cup playoffs and taking it to the … curse Stanley Cup playoffs!

Check it out from Game 4 of Cannes-Rangers last week. I’m looking double here!

It’s not just an ESPN thing, either. Here is TNT from Avs-Blues Game 6. Please note that the flames featured in the advertisement were dead and buried at this time.

They did the same ad with Dang Flames during Game 7 in Carolina on Monday:

Why? Why! Why. It would be a thing if these ads were hyping certain games to play in the next few days – a McKinnon-McDavid sizzle reel would not be out of place during Monday’s action – but it was just promoting the general idea of ​​a Stanley Cup playoff. Anyone who’s been watching, and paying close attention to these ads, probably already knows about the Stanley Cup playoffs. Aiming at those who like your game, it is “please like my game”. If you don’t want to move fans towards a specific future broadcast, why is there something that they are watching to remind them of what they are watching?

I imagine that there must be some anti-bureaucratic argument, somewhere along the line, which has led to this result. A high-ranking person fell in love with these ads and wanted to show them as often as possible They booked a picture-in-picture spot but did not snatch a real sponsor for them. It is somewhere in the TV deal that each broadcast must include at least a few NHL vanity spots. Anyway, it’s dumb and annoying and the boundaries are degrading. The best possible advertisement for a hockey game is a hockey game. This league needs to stop feeling so needy.

Something terrible happened to me this weekend. As the Champions League final between Liverpool and Real Madrid came to an end, I looked out the open window and noticed how beautiful the spring day was. Seventy-five degrees and sunny, and a heaviness in the air that promises more heat and sun in the coming weeks. A gust of wind blew through the window, and the smell of flowers and freshly cut grass filled my nose, and a strange, unintentional thought took hold of my mind: Oh yeah, it’s almost World Cup time. After a split-second, destroy. Because my body and my heart briefly forgot that my mind already knew: we have been betrayed.

Everyone is aware of the fact that the 2022 World Cup will be played in winter for some time, but whenever it comes to my head it does not make it any less annoying. The unmistakable patterns on the sports calendar set a certain rhythm to life, and at the moment I associate summer with something close to a cellular level, with international football tournaments, mainly with the World Cup. The World Cup is coming out of bed at 7:00 am, the first hint of oppressive heat lingering in the air, turn on the TV, for your great pleasure, that Croatia is playing with Nigeria, and then spending the rest of the day watching football from the sofa; Spending the day in the backyard of the bar, Ohhh And Ahing With dozens more people each through ball and curling shots; It’s looking at a young attacking midfielder you’ve never heard of before tearing up the group stage, and then the following week your favorite club team is trying to figure out if he has a shot to buy; It has been caring for nothing but football for a whole month.

This year, the World Cup will run from November 21 to December 18. What should I do with the World Cup in winter? Wrapping myself up in a crowded bar on a 33-degree day, with a room-temperature beer in one hand and my winter jacket bundle in the other, and watching Tunisia play Denmark in this environment? Television networks will certainly try to make a big deal out of the US-England game scheduled for Black Friday, but this game deserves better than being stuck in one of the busiest parts of the American sports and cultural calendar. The World Cup is meant to be enjoyed at leisure, with each stage enjoyed by spectators free from any other distractions. It’s nowhere near the horrors of airline travel, American consumerism and the Lions football game.

The reason for its absence is worse than the possibility of a summer without a World Cup. By now you must have heard of some terrible things that happened to Qatar as the host country of 2022, but it was like running through the list again. In short: the tournament had to be moved to winter because Qatar’s summer is too hot for football to survive; FIFA awarded the 2022 tournament to Qatar when officials were shamelessly bribed; Over the past decade, Qatar has built the infrastructure for the World Cup in violation of the human rights of migrant workers, thousands of whom have died while working on unsafe construction sites. This World Cup, to a greater extent than any other in the past, is a monument to the ugly aspects of international sports.

Of course I will still watch the World Cup with everyone, and I’m sure that when I score the first great goal of the tournament, everyone who is with me in that packed bar will start to think for themselves, Oh, it’s not that bad! And sure, maybe it won’t be that bad, but there’s no reason to forgive some of the bad guys in the world for making such a favorite tournament. Enjoying a World Cup game while the sun shines on your face is a small pleasure, no different than eating some wings while watching an NFL game or drinking the biggest beer you can imagine in a baseball game. As I said, small things, but each of those little pleasures is a huge part of adding to a pile that makes the following games so satisfying, sometimes even more so than games. The loss of this kind of thing will not ruin anyone’s summer in any meaningful way, but it does not mean that we should forgive the corrupt people who have taken it so madly. So this summer when you find yourself alone one day, filled with feelings of uncertainty and missing something important about what to do with yourself, take a moment to shake your fist in the sky and curse FIFA. And then do the same thing when Christian Policeman inevitably pulls his hamstrings in the 10th week of the Premier League and he has to miss the World Cup completely.