Big Ben Tuesday: Graybeards – Spike’s Antics, Phil’s Heroics, and Ovechkin Goes UFA

BEN-WHITNEY, Meet-The-Matts, James Dolan, NHL Playoffs, Spike Lee, Phil Mickelson, Alexander Ovechkin

STAMFORD, CT – Straight out of Wuhan lab, I’m here to break it all down for you on a Tuesday. I’ll be talking about three men whose best days may be behind them – Spike Lee, Phil Mickelson, and Alexander Ovechkin – but they’re still doing it. I’m still here too, for some reason, and I’ll give it to you straight. Don’t expect any flip-flopping like Fauci or just plain flopping like LeBron. Strap in.

Spike Protein

Ben Whitney

I was thrilled to be able to watch a Knicks home playoff game at MSG, for the first time in what feels like 100 years, until I remembered I’d be subjected to an unending series of shots of Spike Lee. Have we considered the possibility that all that guy does is fire up the other teams’ best players?

Here’s a way to right two wrongs with one move. Let’s get Dolan to reinstate Charles Oakley and give him Spike’s seats. Every time Trae Young gets near him, Oakley could just growl menacingly. Feed him beer and watch the opposing team’s shooting percentages plummet. Bounce Spike up to section 414 and everyone wins. How can Spike still afford those seats anyway? The guy hasn’t made a good movie this millennium.

Anyway, Game 1 was pretty exciting. Expect a few more like that one. The Knicks have the defense to stay close to anyone, but don’t really have the offensive to pull away from anyone. I reckon we’ll see more of Frank Ntilikima, as he has the best chance to slow down Young.

The Philtain of Youth

I don’t really give a crap about golf, but I was surprised to hear that Phil Mickelson was the first 50-year old player to win a golf major. As a recent addition to the 50 club, struggling to keep up with my beer league hockey team, it’s nice to see that you can still accomplish athletic feats on the back nine of your life. Kind of. Golf is barely a sport. But still, a nice accomplishment. I could have sworn that Watson or Nicklaus had a major victory after 50. Mark me down for a double bogie on that one.

It was great to see the huge crowd there following Phil to the 18th hole.

The Mush

The End of an Ovi-Era?

For the third straight year since winning the Cup, the Capitals didn’t make it past the first round. That Barry Trotz guy might be a decent coach. For all the talk about the Rangers not having enough toughness after the Tom Wilson incident, the team with Tom Wilson didn’t do much better.

This the end of the season is also the end of Alexander Ovechkin’s 13 year, $124 million contract. This was the rare deal in sports where the team was still getting good value at the end of a 10+ year contract.

The Great 8 is 164 goals behind the Great One for the most all time. Ovi will be 36 when the next season begins. It is not unreasonable to think he can’t play 5 or 6 more years and average 30+ goals. He averaged about a half a goal per game this season, so he would have had 40 in a full season had he stayed healthy.

I’d reckon he’ll be back in Washington, but they’re not in a great cap situation and have some holes. But there would be some no shortage of interesting potential landing places. The best goal scorer of all time might put a few teams over the top, despite more than a few grays on top. How about a reunion with his old coach on Long Island? They could use a goal scorer right now as we head to the second OT in a thriller in Pittsburgh.

That’s it for me. Come back tomorrow for our Thriller from the Boogie Down, Angry Ward. Follow us on Twitter at @benwhit, @MeetTheMatts, @Matt_McCarthy00, Instagram @MeetTheMatts and like our Facebook page, Meet The Matts.

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About Ben Whitney 260 Articles
Ben Whitney comes from journalistic stock. Aside from his brothers, rumor has that his great-great grandfather was the youngest brother of Eli Whitney and covered the earliest "rounders" games. Big Ben is also another New York Rugby Club player/pal of Different Matt, Short Matt and Junoir Blaber. He likes film noir discussions, has twin girls and took up ice hockey after retiring from rugby.