So last night the Miami Heat beat the San Antonio Spurs 109-93 to even the NBA Finals series at 2-2. Here’s an actual headline for a sidebar story at Sports Illustrated: “Disappointed Spurs Refuse to Concede.”
Wow, how shocking! Because sports teams have such a long history of just conceding after reaching the championship for their sport. Remember Shaquille O’Neal, after the Orlando Magic were down 3-0 against the Houston Rockets in 1995, declaring “The Dream just schooled me, and there’s no point carrying on this pathetic charade any longer, so we concede the NBA Championship to the Rockets.” Or John Elway, his Denver Broncos down 27-3 to the San Francisco 49ers in Superbowl XXIV, declaring at halftime “We suck, so we quit.”
And who can forget legendary Notre Dame coach Knute Rockne’s immortal concession speech conveying the great words of the late George Gipp, “Some time, Rock, when the team is up against it, when things are wrong and the breaks are beating the boys, ask them to go in there, roll over and mewl like sick little kittens and concede one for the Gipper.”
Yet, bucking this long tradition, the Spurs have declared that they will actually continue to play a tied championship series in the top professional sports league in which they’re paid millions of dollars. Thanks for clarifying that shocking development for the rest of us, online Sports Illustrated headline writer!