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Sports are awesome: five things to make you smile

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And they’re not just great for the results on the scoreboard

Lake Louise Pond Hockey Classic Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

The neat thing about sports is that you can have absolutely no connection to a team, a city, an event, a player; you can be agnostic as to the sport, or indifferent to the result. Yet, there always seems to be something you can find to make you smile, to restore your flagging faith in humanity.

Here are five such things on this random Thursday. Lord knows we’ve earned it.

It seems as though whenever there’s a regional (or national) tragedy, the sports gods smile down on an affected city and provide locals something to rally ‘round. This year’s NHL expansion team, the Las Vegas Golden Knights, are no exception. Predicted to finish at or near the basement in the Western Conference, all Vegas has done is instead finish in the top three — and sixth overall in the entire NHL. Without question, it is one of the feel-good stories of the year.

Last night, VGK hosted, and then won, its first ever playoff game.

Aside from great defense and goaltending, the real highlight of the evening was the most insane pregame spectacle you’ll ever see: A sword fight on center ice against, appropriately enough, the Kings.

While on a far sadder note, the North American response to the Humboldt bus crash that killed 16 members of a Canadian Jrs. team has been inspired, to say the least. In addition to millions of homes leaving hockey sticks outside their door, the Go Fund Me for funeral and medical expenses has now become the greatest private act of crowdfunded philanthropy in history -- $8.5 million and counting, as of 18 hours ago. #HumboldtStrong indeed.

The Alabama Crimson Tide football team visited the White House earlier this week. People were generally horrible about the entire thing, both pro- and con (you know who you are, as if the players had much of a choice in any event.)

Instead, we should take a moment to reflect on the fact that Tony Brown appeared in D.C. wearing a Russian hat and then mugged at the Presidential podium. Deft political satire, or Crazy Tony being Crazy Tony? Who knows. But this photo is wonderful, and remains proof that Tony Brown is the president that America truly deserves.

Kim Jong Un only thinks he’s seen crazy.

Say what you will about tanking. But, without teams sucking for draft position, you’d never get the story of the NBA’s Andre Ingram, and this great feature by the NYT:

Andre Ingram is 32, has graying hair and a degree in physics. He’s older than Dwight Howard, once crushed Jimmer Fredette in a 3-point contest and took almost an entire year off to let his wife finish college. Just your typical NBA rookie.

After 10 full years in the D-league, Ingram finally got his shot on Tuesday night, when he was called up on a three-game, season-ending contract.

And Ingram absolutely crushed it.

Like Bull Durham, but with sneakers

The 32 year old math and physics tutor earned more this week than he will the entire year. Someone get this man a bench contract: The league can always use shooters, especially ones who are -- get this — 47.8% career shooters from the arc. (Got any eligibility left Andre? Asking for a friend...his name rhymes with Knavery Bronson)

Finally, how can you not be inspired by this collegian. Two years after suffering a terrible scooter accident that took her leg, threatened her ability to walk, and was supposed to end her lacross career, Noelle Lambert had different plans.

A Londonderry, New Hampshire, native who was involved in a serious moped crash almost two years ago made a big comeback on the lacrosse field on Saturday.

Lambert finally returned to the pitch on her prosthesis, and in her first game back scored a goal for UMass-Lowell.

This is a helluva’ story: