Break-It Bryce, Big Apple Beatdowns, & Basketball Playoffs.
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Friday, April 15, 2016

Friday Fun
  • Wreck-It Ralph? We Prefer Break-It Bryce. Washington Nationals star Bryce Harper hit his 100th-career homer yesterday in a 6-2 win over the Atlanta Braves. His grand slam blast was so powerful it broke a piece of the scoreboard.
  • Big Apple Beatdowns. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a bill yesterday making UFC legal in the state of New York. Now toothless, smelly people in their underwear can fight in Madison Square Garden instead of on the streets.
  • Draft Day Dominance. The UConn women's basketball team kicked as much ass in last night's WNBA Draft as they had during their undefeated season. UConn players were selected with the top three picks, with Breanna Stewart taken #1 overall by the Seattle Storm.
  • Comeback Kids. Liverpool made it to the Europa League quarterfinals (yes, another goddamn European soccer league) by mounting one of the greatest European comebacks in recent memory against Borussia Dortmund. Down 3-1, Liverpool drew even in the 77th minute before stunning Dortmund with an incredible cross and header in the 90th minute. Liverpool joins Sevilla, Villarreal, and Shakhtar Donetsk in the semis, with the first legs to be played on April 28th.
  • Rink Roundup. Last night's continued Game 1 NHL playoff action saw the Capitals top the Flyers (2-0), the Islanders beat the Panthers (5-4), the Stars killed the Wild (4-0), and the Sharks edged the Kings (4-3).

The Main Event
WHAT?
It's NBA playoff time. Starting tomorrow, the 73-9 Golden State Warriors will begin their march toward an inevitable second-straight NBA title, while 15 other teams run meaningless circles around each other.

WHAT ELSE?
Below we've included the first-round matchups, along with our patented can't fail, bet your life savings on 'em predictions. Friendly remember that if you clean up in Vegas based on our predictions you'll need to cut us a check for 10% of your winnings, made payable to Good Old Sport. Check out full dates and times for the first round right here.

Eastern Conference
(1) Cleveland Cavaliers vs. (8) Detroit Pistons - Cavaliers in five
(2) Toronto Raptors vs. (7) Indiana Pacers - Raptors in six
(3) Miami Heat vs. (6) Charlotte Hornets - Heat in five
(4) Atlanta Hawks vs. (5) Boston Celtics - Celtics in seven

Western Conference
(1) Golden State Warriors vs. (8) Houston Rockets - Warriors in four
(2) San Antonio Spurs vs. (7) Memphis Grizzlies - Spurs in four
(3) Oklahoma City Thunder vs. (6) Dallas Mavericks - Thunder in five
(4) L.A. Clippers vs. (5) Portland Trail Blazers - Blazers in six

THOUGHTS?
Obviously, the Warriors are favored to win the whole damn thing. But just for kicks, let's pretend Steph Curry and Klay Thompson get into a bar fight with each other tonight and knock themselves, and effectively the Warriors, out of the chase. With the aforementioned scenario considered, here's our...

2016 NBA Finals Prediction: San Antonio Spurs over the Cleveland Cavaliers in four games. The Spurs are the surest bet outside the Warriors, and this would be Cavs star LeBron James' sixth-straight trip to the Finals, and fourth loss. That's just funny enough for us to wish it so.

Good Sport
A New Hope
Like a jealous girlfriend, the NFL was envious of all the attention the NBA was getting this week, so they did something to win us back by releasing the 2016 regular season schedule. The season begins in Denver on September 8th when the defending champion Broncos take on the Carolina Panthers in a Super Bowl rematch on Thursday Night Football. If you think we're going to list out the rest of the schedule you're out of your goddamn mind, but you can check out who your squad has lined up right here. And make sure you do, because the schedule release represents a fresh start, a blank slate, and limitless potential for all 32 teams. It's a time where even the most hopeless of fan bases (looking at you, Cleveland) can fantasize about a Super Bowl winning season, before ripping off their jerseys in disgust as their team collapses into an incompetent heap of failure once again. Oh, what a glorious time to be a football fan.

Somewhat Related: Speaking of teams that actually have a prayer of winning, the United States women's national soccer team's Olympic schedule has been released. They'll look to become the first women's team to win Olympic gold after winning the World Cup the previous year.

Bad Sport
Haven't We Seen This Before?
The Tennessee Titans just pulled a "St. Louis Rams" on the St. Louis Rams. The Titans baited the Rams into giving up a bounty of 2016 NFL Draft picks, which includes two first-rounders, two second-rounders, and two third-rounders (among others), so the Rams could move from the No. 15 overall pick to the No. 1 pick, presumably to draft a quarterback. Doesn't this sound familiar? It should, because the Rams baited the Redskins into giving up a king's ransom worth of picks to move up and select quarterback RG3 with the second overall pick in the 2012 Draft, and as you know, RG3 ended up being a bust. Now, the Rams gave up the farm (the Titans now have six of the top 76 picks in the draft) to select a quarterback from one of the worst QB classes in years. With the Rams unable to learn from history, they'll have no one to blame but themselves when this turns to shit.

G.O.A.T. of the Week (What is G.O.A.T.?)
San Antonio Spurs. Seeing as we've already spent enough time figuratively blowing Kobe Bryant and the Warriors this week, we thought we'd give someone else a little love. The Spurs' 102-98 win against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Tuesday moved their home record to 40-1, tying them with the 1985-86 Boston Celtics for the greatest home record in NBA history.

Goat of the Week (What's a Goat?)
Ian Desmond. Remember the time outfielder Jose Canseco tried to make a catch but had the ball bounce off his head and into the stands for a home run instead? Well, Texas Rangers outfielder Ian Desmond pulled off the same maneuver this week, although he didn't have the added shame of the ball ricocheting over the wall for a dinger. Although, the error did lead to a run for the Seattle Mariners in the Rangers' 4-2 loss. D'oh!

(Dis)Honorable Mention: Not only does Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Daniel Strumpf have to go through life with a name that reminds people of Donald Drumpf, he was just suspended 80 games for anabolic steroid use too.

Quote of the Week
"You should not go crazy, as anything can happen in football (soccer). I never lost my head as a player, and will never do so as a coach" - Zinedine Zidane

The current Real Madrid manager, and former French soccer star, discussed the importance of keeping your cool. Ironically, Zidane used that same head he "never lost" when he infamously head-butted another player in the 2006 World Cup Final, which resulted in an ejection from the match. France went on to lose the Final to Italy on penalties (5-3). That's right, Zidane, you're cool as a cucumber.

Good Old Caption Winner
"Two men one ball"

Thanks, Jack Hafertepe, for bringing back warm, log-shaped memories of the worst internet video of all time. Unlike, "2 Girls, 1 Cup," at least this picture doesn't need its own reaction video. Your Good Old Sport tank top is on the way, Jack... you sick bastard.

What to Watch (All Times Eastern)
Don't miss a second of all the playoff action this weekend. Check it out right here.
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