Left field

The Reuters global sports blog

Sports villains need apply


Steve Nash’s swollen right eye. Tim Clark finally tasting victory. The Montreal Canadiens’ continued Cinderella playoff run. Dallas Braden simply being perfect. Phoenix Suns guard Steve Nash follows through after taking a shot against the San Antonio Spurs in the second half of Game 4 of their NBA Western Conference semi-final playoff series in San Antonio, Texas May 9, 2010. REUTERS/Mike Stone

The past five days have been a microcosm to why sports are so compelling. It is the dramatic stories that draw fans in, the underdog prevailing against insurmountable odds, that has viewers sitting alone and screaming in ecstasy at the television just as loud as fans in attendance.

But without Tim Duncan’s elbow, Clark’s eight second place finishes, Stanley Cup favourites Washington and Pittsburgh, or the Tampa Bay Rays vaunted offense, these stories would have been quickly forgotten.

Just like any good fairy-tale, the hero needs a villain. David needs a Goliath. But unlike the stories we tell children, sometimes in sports the Wicked Witch of the West pries the ruby slippers away from Dorothy. Heck, the New York Yankees, aka the Evil Empire, have captured 27 championships.

Hockey’s new heroes in wild and wacky post-season


NHL/OK, raise your hand if you took Montreal Canadiens Michael Cammalleri in your Stanley Cup playoff pool. Or how about San Jose Sharks Joe Pavelski.

If you did, then this morning you are feeling about as lucky as the guy who put $100,000 down on Super Saver to win at the Kentucky Derby on Saturday and walked away with a nearly $1 million payout.