Christian Cieri, Illustrator

Finals week. What a time to be at the University of Rochester: trying to figure out the partial fraction of an integral as summer plans fall into place and the temperature starts to approach 60 degrees. We delve deep into the intricacies of gendered language by late Victorian novelists right as the question of “socks vs. sandals” as a viable footwear option makes itself emphatically, urgently present. With all that going on, it seems absolutely necessary to have a little time to kick back, ignore your Orgo study guide and check out some way-more-necessary-than-your-Religion-final feats of athletic prowess. Without further ado:

1. The NFL Draft: The draft is actually the perfect way to start off our list, firstly because it’s tonight, and secondly because it’s not even an actual sporting event. The draft­—with its predictions, last-second dramatics and ill-fitting hats—is perhaps the most time-consuming and most likely to distract you from your finals. Watch this one for Roger Goodell getting booed and Mel Kiper, Jr. comparing Jameis Winston’s field vision to a Blackhawk Helicopter.

2. The NBA Playoffs: The first round might still be in full swing next week, with a few series threatening to reach those tense Game sixes and sevens. Clippers-Spurs, for example, the best first round matchup that never should have happened, promises to provide a lot more highlights and lot more great basketball. Besides that series, Milwaukee and Brooklyn are both showing a little life against Chicago and Atlanta, respectively, so if you’re into upsets, check those series out, too.

3. The NHL Playoffs: Grass and turf not your thing? How about ice? The NHL playoffs continue during finals week, and the Rangers are making a strong bid to be the best team in the Eastern Conference for the second year in a row. The chase for Lord Stanley’s Cup figures to be way more interesting than your Optics final.

4. Early Season MLB Action: In an odd year for baseball (the Mets are good? A-Rod too? What year is it?!), April is as fun as ever. Small sample sizes be damned, there’s enough intrigue already to last us through the summer. Will the Marlins, Mariners or Nationals live up to expectations? What’s up with the AL Central? Can the Cardinals be the Cardinals without Adam Wainwright? I bet you forgot you have studying to do while you read that.

5. Pacquiao vs. Mayweather: Is it five years too late? Yes. Is this, like, the tenth fight in the last few years to be hailed as the fight that’s going to save boxing? Yes. Is Pacquiao far enough past his prime that Mayweather’s going to embarrass him in front of what figures to be the biggest pay-per-view crowd of all time? Quite possibly. Even though this fight is kind of like Pacino and De Niro in “Heat” (yeah, pretty good, wouldn’t this have been better in their primes?), it’s still definitely worth watching (again, “Heat”). I mean, what else are you gonna do, study?

Finals suck, but finals week doesn’t have to. And remember Yellowjackets, Cs get degrees.

Bernstein is a member of the class of 2018.



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