I spent all of last night in a Jim Carrey state of shock at the number of 7s that swirled around the sports world this week. Staring at SportsCenter in a sleep deprived state may have had something to do with my arithmomania. Unlike most weeks though, this week was Halloween. There may be something spooky going on. I may also be crazy and you may not want to deal with my sports version of 23. However, if you want to enter SBDS own version of the Twilight Zone, read on.
Our saga appropriately begins the day before Halloween with Real Madrid forward Christiano Ronaldo, who wears number 7 for the Spanish side, netting three goals against Sevilla in a La Liga match up. Despite a large difference in talent level and league spots, Sevilla made the game interesting into the half. The Blancos were too much for their La Liga brothers, as Garreth Bale netted two more in his home debut to add to Ronaldo’s hat trick. Madrid looked incredibly dangerous and unstoppable going forward, so much so that even Karim Benzema netted a goal on their way to a team total of 7. However the aggressiveness that Real Madrid possesses could end up being their downfall this year. Yes they looked strong going against an average defensive effort, but they made a decent attacking side look terrifying. The win was great but it was only good enough to bring them to 3rd on La Liga table, 5 points back from their in city rivals.
The string of 7s continued a few nights later up in Philadelphia. The Ovechkinless Capitals racked up 7 goals against the home side. The Flyers took offense to the score total which involved Capitals player Grabovski with his 7th assist and subsequently broke out in a line on line fight in the third period. For those who have never seen a goalie fight, the spinning melee of padding and punches is something that is rare on ice, but worth the watch. The resulting punishment ended up being 10 penalties to the Flyers and you guessed it, 7 to the Capitals. The Capitals continued their winning ways over the Florida Panthers the next night at home, achieving their 7th win of the year. Don’t get too excited Washington fans though. Both victories were over subpar teams and the chemistry among the Capital lines looks like it could use some work.
The streak continued the next morning with Manchester City scoring 7 goals against Norwich City. The boys from the Etihad should be proud of acheiving the highest goal differencial in on game during this Premier League season. However, Manchester City has struggled with a consistency all year. In the last 7 Premier League ties they are 4-2-1, far from what is expected of a title contending side. During this period they also looked completely outclassed by Bayern Munich in a Champions League tie. However, thanks to every other team struggling, the Rowdy Neighbors find themselves 5th on the table and not out of Champions League contention. The midfield looks phenomenal when Nasri and Silva are willing to get wide and Pelligrini unleashes Yaya Toure to rampage. Whenever Toure is asked to take a more defensive role though, Man City’s offense comes to a grinding halt and relies too much on their strikers. The availability of Vincent Kompany is crucial to their form since Garcia looks fragile as a center back, and could add confidence to City’s midfield.
This wasn’t the end of our 7 trend. Nick Foles threw 7 TDs tying an NFL record. Russell Westbrook, on his first game back, was responsible for 7 assists. Jimmy Johnson won on the Sprint Cup series putting him 7 points ahead of 2nd place driver Matt Kenseth, who has seven wins on the year. It is true 7’s are used across all of sports whether it is a 7 game series or 7 points from a touchdown and a point after, but this was more. 7 goals in the upper divisions of Soccer and Hockey are rare, as is a 7 touchdown passing game. In fact, before Peyton Manning did it this year it hadn’t been done in 40 plus years. These were incredible feats that even though the scoreline may have not said it, was still must watch TV.