AP Photo/Roberto Candia
Germany flipped the script on Argentina with an unrelenting attack of their own.
Summer may be in full swing, but this early July was just as busy as any time for sports headlines. The long American holiday weekend was brimming with enough championship, playoff and offseason drama to feed drama-starved fans across the globe. Let's get down to the round-up:
Our World Cup Runneth Over With Upsets
You won't see many days of heart-stopping reversals like on Friday in South Africa. First an own-goal from Brazil then a spectacular double-header corner kick goal sent the Netherlands past FIFA's number-one ranked team in the universe. Meanwhile, a blatant handball from Uruguay's Luis Suarez earned him a red card, but saved a sure goal for Ghana. Asamoah Gyan connected with the crossbar on what would have been the game-winning penalty kick. Instead, the overtime shootout saw Uruguay headed towards the semifinal as Africa's last representative nation fell in heartbreaking fashion.
Over on the other side of the bracket, Germany put on an absolute clinic against Maradona's hapless Argentina squad with a 4-0 drubbing. With 14 World Cup goals to his credit, Miroslav Klose is getting "klose" to the all-time tournament goal record of 15 (held by Ronaldo). While we're sorry to see Diego and his sideline antics go, we still have German Chancellor Angela Merkel for at least one more game as the world's favorite cheerleader. Next up for Die Mannschaft: Spain, who relied yet again on Golden Boot frontrunner David Villa for a strike in the 83rd minute. Never a dull moment with these four semifinalists.
Heavyweights Live Up to the Hype
UFC 116 had a doozy of a title card as Brock Lesnar rebounded from a cringe-worthy first-round beatdown and got bruiser Shane Carwin to tap out. How Lesnar could withstand a barrage of blows that left his face bloodied is one thing; finding the second wind to choke out his fellow wrestler is quite another. Let's not forget that less than a year ago Brock's MMA career (and his life for that matter) was in danger.
"Ladies and gentlemen, I stand before you a humble champion," he said after the match. "And I'm still the toughest SOB around, baby." Glad to see his mic skills haven't diminished, either.
Kobayashi Crashes the Party
Joey Chestnut won his fourth consecutive Yellow Belt at the annual Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest. And he only needed 54 wiener-bun combinations to do so, fourteen off last year's record-setting pace. Archrival Takeru Kobayashi may have been out of the competition due to a contract dispute, but that doesn't mean he was out of the picture. He took the stage after the competition was over, wearing a t-shirt that read "Free Kobi" in what's perhaps the most outrageous third-person reference since ANNIKA magazine hit newstands. The former champion was arrested by police, but released the next day in what shall live on as a day of competitive eating infamy.
Serena and Rafa Put Wimbledon Cycle on Repeat
After being treated to the longest match in Wimbledon history less than a fortnight ago, the strawberries and cream set saw brisk action the rest of the way as the usual suspects took home the hardware. Top ladies seed Serena Williams barely broke a sweat dispatching finals newcomer Vera Zvonareva in straight sets. It's her fourth title on Centre Court and 13th Grand Slam singles championship overall. Meanwhile, 2nd-seeded Rafael Nadal cruised past No. 12 Tomas Berdych in his own straight set match, notching his second Wimbledon trophy and eighth Grand Slam. Are grass stains the toughest competition these two have at the moment?
Stoudemire Swaps Orange Jersey for Garden Variety and a Whole Lotta Cheese
In NBA free agent news, Amar’e Stoudemire agreed to a 5-year contract with the Knicks worth an estimated $99.7 million. We can only imagine that his knee surgeon gets a heckuvah holiday gift this year. Stoudemire will be reunited with head coach Mike D’Antoni. They served together as player and head coach from December 2003 until the end of the 2007-08 season, so New York fans shouldn't tolerate any excuses when it comes to running the playbook. Meanwhile, LeBron made headlines just by showing up to a Nike camp in Akron. We haven't seen a guy create this much of an impact with saying less than the glory days of Marcel Marceau.
Hey Now, You're Not An All-Star
Rosters for baseball's Midsummer Classic are in, and despite leading the National League in wins, the San Diego Padres are only sending one representative to Anaheim, and that's Adrian Gonzalez. Maybe everyone respects their pitching so much they're rewarding the staff with a weekend of rest? As for Joey Votto's case, no one's exactly sure what's missing so Votto went out and hit two more home runs last night. For those keep track at home, the J-man leads the NL in home runs, is third in batting and fifth in RBIs. If that sounds All-Star-worthy to you, feel free to express yourself and vote here.