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In A Somewhat Fitting Turn Of Events, The State Of Arizona And The Phoenix Metro — Which Happens To Be A Respectable, Although Not A Top-Tier Area — Is On A Run Of Respectable, Although Not Top-Tier, Sports Championships


By Wayne Schutsky
Modern Times Magazine

Sept. 16, 2014 — Arizona has won it’s second sports championship in as many months.

Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton is going to be eating good, too. That’s because the Mercury defeated the Sky in three straight games to win the WNBA championship. Stanton had a running bet with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel over the results, with each mayor putting his city’s culinary delicacies on the line.

After easily taking the first two games, the Mercury had to come back in Game Three to put the Sky away for good.

The Mercury were without star center Brittney Griner, who missed the game after having surgery to repair an eye injury suffered in Game Two.

The Mercury were trailing 63-61 at the end of the third quarter, but outscored 26-19 in the final quarter to take an 87-81 victory. Candice Dupree and Diana Taurasi each led the team with 24 points apiece.

Taurasi also took home her second championship MVP. She put the game away when she made a shot and was fouled with just over 14 seconds left in the game.

The Cardinals have started the season 2-0 despite another outing that didn’t always look pretty. At least the team has an excuse this time. Starting quarterback Carson Palmer was a late scratch with a shoulder injury, so backup Drew Stanton had to fill in. He hadn’t played in a regular season game since 2010.

Stanton was solid, if not impressive, and was able to lead the team to a 25-14 victory over the Giants.

Most of the accolades should go to the defense and special teams, however. With the team down 14-13 in the fourth quarter, Ted Ginn Jr. put the team back in the game with a71-yard punt return for a touchdown. On the ensuing kickoff, linebacker Kenny Demens forced a fumble to give the Cardinals an extra field goal’s worth of padding.

Speaking of field goals, rookie kicker Chandler Catanzaro continued his perfect start to the season, hitting on four of four field goals with a long of 49 yards.

The Cardinals defense played solid against the run, allowing only 81 yards on the ground. They were cut up by quarterback Eli Manning, though, who threw for 277 yards and two scores.

After a rough start that saw a defensive line deflection turn into an interception by linebacker Sam Acho, Manning settled in and had his way with the Cardinals secondary. His second interception of the game was a throwaway pass in the final seconds of the game.

Arizona is now alone in first place in the NFC West after both the 49ers and Seahawks were upset on Sunday. The Cardinals will face a big test next week when the team faces the 49ers at home.

The snakes may have had a summer to forget — like ‘past life’ forget — but after a seven-game losing streak, the team looks like it might have found a little mojo to take into the off-season. A couple of days does not a season make, but at least there is a little life in the team.

Trumbo’s grand slam Monday night against the Giants — his first since Aug. 9 — made it three in a row.

Who knows, maybe the team’s brass is right and they are not that close. All they need is a couple of aces, after all.

Sun Devils
The No. 15 Sun Devils scored a big win this weekend, and no, it was not the football team. This season is looking good so far for the ladies on the volleyball team with a win over Morehead State in the final match of the Comfort Inn and Suites Invitational in Kentucky.

The names might not be as familiar as Taylor Kelly — really bad news about the broken foot, by the way — but Arizona State sophomore middle blocker BreElle Bailey, junior middle blocker Mercedes Binns, and  junior outside hitter Macey Gardner helped thump Morehead State.

Wayne Schutsky is a senior contributor to Modern Times Magazine.
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