The U.S. Open is underway and Ana Ivanovic is, of course, everyone’s favorite.
Some even like her tennis game. If she bags a few more Majors, she has the chance to become an iconic figure in tennis and pop culture here stateside, thanks to her striking looks and disarming personality. But for Ana to win, she’ll have to avoid being bounced by some formidable bracket busters. And I do mean bounced.
So as a public service, I’m here to document the dangerous curves that may await Ms. Ivanovic. First off in that field, we bring you an old SbB favorite, Tamira Paszek:
Then there’s the ever-dangerous Sania Mirza of India:
And finally, if you’re betting the field:
Clockwise, from top left: Loudmila Skavronskaya, Simona Halep, Marta Domachowska and Andrea Petkovic.
Yeah, it’s all fun and games at the U.S. Open, until someone loses an eye. Or two.
Whittell notes the paltry attendance figures, obsolete arenas and low ticket prices for Euroleague powerhouses and Abbott aptly offers that even if partial ownership was offered to a player, who would want to partake in what would likely be a money-losing enterprise?
Lotsa talk here in Los Angeles about the status of Andrew Bynum, who eschewed care of his ailing knee by Laker team doctors in favor of his own Atlanta-based medical team. For a guy who talked of coming back last playoffs and now claims he’s now 100%, there are still off-the-record concerns among Laker front office staffers that he will not be ready for training camp.
The explosion of online conversation about Jay Mariotti’s ouster today really underlines the raw, unmitigated power of ESPN. For years Mariotti launched his predictably contrarian missives in anonymity for Chicago’s junior varsity daily, the CHICAGO SUN-TIMES.
Then he landed a regular role on ESPN’s “Around The Horn,” and suddenly more than just the janitors checking the tops of condom machines in Cabrini Green cared what he thought.
The irony about the oft-violent reaction to Mariotti by sports fans and the media is that most of them only know Mariotti because of ESPN’s “Around The Horn.”And on that show, Mariotti displays a sensibility that is far removed from his bomb-throwing print persona. His opinions on ATH are usually measured and factual (and actually entertaining). He’s the best panelist on the show, hands down.
Meanwhile, at the S-T, he was the central casting madman shouting from the rooftop.
Marriotti said the main reason for leaving the S-T was that the print media biz was dead, and the internet was clearly the future of sports reportage. Very true. But if it wasn’t for his TV experience on ESPN, how many non-Chicago-centric sites would have any interest in Mariotti’s services? The WWL is clearly driving his career, and if he’s smart, Bristol’s where he should look for his next security detail.
SbB makes the front page of ABCNews.com today:
FYI: I’ll be at the UCLA-Tennessee game at the Rose Bowl on Barry’s dime this Monday night, with a live blog on SbB. Don’t be a stranger.
If you haven’t gotten your college football tix for this Saturday, it’s not too late. Do what I do, and hit up My Boy Barry.
As you would expect, Ohio State is hawking Jim Tressel sweater vests all over the place. Besides overly conservative Columbites, the duds are no doubt huge every Ann Arbor Halloween. Also offered for purchase - a delightful twist (literally) on Tressel’s weekly, regrettable apparel selection:
(Just what OSU fans need, another reason to drink)
I thought initially that a “Jim Tressel Sweater Vest Koozie” was rogue merch, but the website offering the alcoholic companion claims it is “officially licensed.” I’m sure the Ohio Highway Patrol will be happy to hear that upon discovery under the driver’s seat.
Interesting to see Michael Strahan having Jay Glazer do his bidding for him. Glazer, who is a hustler and I do like, reports today that Strahan “has turned down the Giants’ offer to lure him back to action.” Strahan told Glazer the money (likely $8M per) wasn’t the issue.
If the Giants come back with $12M for the season, which has been reported as a possibility in some circles, think Mikey will change his mind? Contrary to an interesting theory by Will Brinson today here on SbB, I don’t think we’ve heard the last of this.
Don Kaplan of the NEW YORK POST reports ESPN “is developing a late night talk show“ to air on ESPN2. Kaplan reports sources at the WWL said the concept “would be more of a cross between talk radio and ‘SportsCenter’ than ‘The Tonight Show.’”
TBL reports Colin Cowherd, Dan Le Batard and Jason Whitlock all turned down the gig. The show might be a great place to try to prop up an unknown and make him a star, much like what ESPN has done with SportsCenter anchors over the years.
Doug Gottlieb on Nomar Garciaparra recently on 710 ESPN in Los Angeles: “When Nomar runs, it looks like he’s dragging a dead body.”
9 NEWS reports Charles Barkley is in Denver this week attending the Democratic National Convention. Chuck is a Barack backer.
I wish Barkley would just get it over with and serve out his two terms as Alabama guv’ner already. Yes, it will happen, matter of time. And I look forward to the day of Barkley-sponsored nickel slots at Mobile truck stops on my annual journey down I-10 to Miami.