You tell me.
(Glam vs. Damn. Make that Damn vs. Damn.)
Federer and wife Mirka in Corsica last week: Read more…
You tell me.
(Glam vs. Damn. Make that Damn vs. Damn.)
Federer and wife Mirka in Corsica last week: Read more…
(Love the “WARNING: KOALA SEX” from Herald-Sun editorial)
Comes as no surprise that Roddick, not Decker, “took considerably more convincing to tentatively touch a very large python.“
Nightmare game for Nebraska today, as the Huskers lose at home to sad sack Iowa State 9-7.
The big comeback against Mizzou two weeks ago hinted that Nebraska football may be back on the rise, but two ugly losses in a row at home has thrown the program back down the stairs.
I’ll keep saying it Coach O.: Turner Gill?
Here’s the thing about Charles Barkley: he may come off as contrarian and opinionated and anti-establishment or whatever, but that’s not really the case. He’s just in the normal early stages of Cranky Old Man Syndrome, in which COMS sufferers begin alienating themselves from the changes in the world around them. It wasn’t immediately obvious; Barkley’s frequent shots at his superiors could have been just a garden-variety case of a problem with authority.
But now that he’s going after TWITTER, well, we’re kicking ourselves that we didn’t diagnose the COMS earlier. It’s so obvious, in retrospect. He doesn’t hate authority because they tell him not to do things, he’s just not used to the culture of responsibility. And the kids, with their Twitter Tweet Twoodles or whatever they’re called? Well, Charles Barkley doesn’t much cotton to these computers today.
Back in January 2008, the Australian Open finals featured Ana Ivanovic and Maria Sharapova in one of the most eagerly-anticipated women’s tennis matches ever. Sharapova won the match, but it seemed like the sport was set for one of the hottest - in every sense of the world - rivalries in recent memories.
Now flash forward to last night. While a Bedazzled Sharapova (more on that in a minute) started her comeback from shoulder surgery with an easy straight set win over Tsvetana Pironkova, Ivanovic continued her freefall into oblivion by getting bounced by unheralded Kateryna Bondarenko. That makes a tidy zero titles for Ivanovic this year and no appearances past the fourth round in any major - and another early round exit from the U.S. Open after last year’s shocking loss to Julie Coin in the second round.
(Ana Ivanovic in happier times…for everyone)
It’s not just that Ivanovic lost - at times, she looked absolutely lost, seemingly unable to do something as simple as throw the ball into the air correctly during her serves. Call it the tennis equivalent of Rick Ankiel’s pitching yips, although more attractive to watch if just as awkward. Ivanovic took to burying her head in a towel during changeovers, which is probably what a lot of fans wanted to do after watching her stumble to defeat.
Meanwhile, Sharapova was confident and poised in her easy victory. Her tennis game looked great, while her outfit … let’s just say it looked like something you might have seen in a teen dance competition in Sioux City, Iowa, in 1987. And not to go Mr. Blackwell on your here, but honey, Cher called from 1975 and she wants her beaded headband back. Unless you are planning on belting out a rousing version of “Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves” after winning your next match - in that case, it’s all yours.
Sharapova said that her outfit was “inspired by the architecture of New York.” Which is a perfect transition to talk about one of the other great metropolises of the Americans: Saskatoon. Because FACEOFF.COM says that one of the bidders for the Phoenix Coyotes has already booked five dates at the Credit Union Centre (the Madison Square Garden of Saskatchewan) to hold games there if they get the team next season.
(There really is nothing quite like Saskatoon in December…)
Which leads to the question: what other events would possibly be happening in Saskatoon so you would need to save the date? A quick look at the Credit Union Centre event schedule shows a lot of minor league hockey…and not much else. Somehow I think that the arena would be willing to postpone the Saskatoon Blades vs. Moose Jaw Warriors showdown for an NHL game.
A partner for Ice Edge Holdings said that the team would be playing most of its games in Phoenix and not moving to Saskatoon permanently, which is too bad: it would be great to see NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman get an involuntary eye twitch every time he tries to explain how having a team in Saskatoon is good for the league.
Finally, Adrian Beltre returned to the Seattle Mariners last night after learning a valuable lesson about wearing a cup while playing third base on August 14 - as in “for the love of all things good and holy, wear one!” You might remember that Beltre thought his testicle had “exploded” after taking a scorching drive to the crotch.
After sitting out a few weeks (and probably getting some counseling for his lingering trauma issues), Beltre was back, and the Mariners decided to have a little fun at his expense. Ken Griffey Jr. had said he had the “perfect” music for Beltre’s first at-bat, and the person in charge of the songs being played over the PA delivered. Our own Scott Sepich was at the game, so I’ll pass along what he relayed to me:
“I was at the Mariners-Angels game tonight, and in Adrian Beltre’s first at-bat since coming off the DL, the music they played for him when he came to the plate was the “Nutcracker Suite.” A few of us in the press box caught on, but I’m not sure that the crowd got it. I thought it was pretty brilliant.”
Brilliant, indeed. In case you need further proof, the SEATTLE TIMES game blog not only mentions the musical cue but has audio of it as well. While I find it ironic that Ken Griffey Jr. - a man who once suffered a season-ending groin injury while fielding a fly ball - thinks that Beltre’s situation is hilarious. But it was a good choice of music, certainly more subtle than what I would have selected.
Of the different sports out there, the one with the largest variation in playing conditions might be tennis. There’s grass, clay, that weird concrete stuff down at the local courts… okay, that’s all I could think of, and maybe my initial premise is way off. But whatever, we’re plunging ahead with this one.
Less well-known, though, is the variation in tennis balls from court to court. As Andy Roddick noted at his latest victory, the different hosts of the hardcourt series (yes, that’s it! Hardcourt! Replace “weird concrete stuff” with “hardcourt” above, please.) have been using different brands of tennis balls for their tournaments, and he has just about had enough of it, mister.
While Brooks and the rest of the SbB crew worked hard to get you the very latest on the Steve McNair murder, Sunday turned out to be a pretty big day for three of the world’s biggest athletes — who just happened to have co-starred in the “Citizen Kane” of awkward athlete endorsement campaigns.
That’s right, now that Thierry Henry has been booted from the Gillette posse (at least in America), all three razor-wielding superstars had pretty huge days.
First, Roger Federer made history by winning his 15th Grand Slam title in a crazy five-set win at Wimbledon over Andy Roddick. Pete Sampras was in the audience, taking in the match as only Sampras could —
puking his guts out on the sideline looking bored out of his gourd. The 30-game fifth set was the longest in Slam history by a full 10 games. The final game was the only time Federer broke Roddick’s serve the entire match. Only Roddick’s inability to put away four set points in a second-set tiebreak kept him from pulling off the huge upset.
As Federer was accepting his trophy, Tiger Woods was getting ready to tee off in the final round at the AT&T National, which he hosts. I’m not sure I understand the “host” thing, is that like when Heidi and Spencer “host” a party at PURE? He started the day in a tie with defending champion Anthony Kim, but soon found himself needing to keep up with Hunter Mahan, who started well back but fired a 62 to zoom all the way to the top of the leaderboard. Tiger drained a 20-footer on the 16th hole to take the lead, and he got to the clubhouse with two easy pars to wrap up his 68th PGA Tour win. And he interviewed himself afterward. I have to give him credit, though, as it was the first time the questions in a Tiger interview were as boring as the answers.
Meanwhile, at Yankee Stadium, Derek Jeter was trying his best to hold up his end of the bargain in a measly regular-season game. But he came through with a four-hit day, including what turned out to be the game-winning home run in the bottom of the fifth inning of a 10-8 win over the Blue Jays. Better yet for DJ, he was officially named the starting shortstop for the AL All-Star team when the rosters were announced later in the afternoon.
Jeter got more votes than anyone else in the AL, but is joined in the starting lineup by just one other Yankee — first baseman Mark Teixeira. A-Rod is nowhere to be seen, with Evan Longoria getting the starting nod instead. Josh Hamilton was voted into the starting lineup despite missing all of June with an injury, and this year’s recipient of the Lance Carter Memorial “Who?” Award is Oakland reliever Andrew Bailey, who is a fine pitcher but a guy even baseball fans would be hard pressed to tell you anything about. And while it looks like manager Joe Maddon pulled some homerism by adding Jason Bartlett, Carl Crawford, and Ben Zobrist to the team, all three of those guys are having huge years. And yes, if you’re scoring at home, Zobrist is the last All-Star ever, alphabetically speaking. The other big story is that of 42-year-old Tim Wakefield, who surprisingly has never been an All-Star until now. And congrats to the Royals for producing an actual All-Star this year, rather than their usual token “we gotta put someone on the team” guy.
The NL team is headlined by Albert Pujols, who received the second-most votes ever (only Ken Griffey Jr. got more, in 1994). At age 37, Raul Ibanez is an All-Star for the first time, and has been voted in as a starter. Unfortunately, it looks like he’s probably not going to be able to play. Nor is fellow outfielder Carlos Beltran. That means that reserves Hunter Pence and Brad Hawpe are likely to be out there when the game starts. No true no-name on the roster, as even Pittsburgh’s representative — Freddy Sanchez — is fairly deserving of his spot.
Full rosters can be found here. And there is now voting going on at MLB.COM for the final roster spots. Vote Kung Fu Panda!
(This fat man should be an All-Star)
• If you click on only one link today, read this story in the L.A. TIMES about Zac Sunderland, a 17-year-old kid who is nearing the end of a solo circumnavigation of the world on a sailboat. Pirates, broken sails on the open seas, armed police escorts in New Guinea. It’s safe to say he had a more eventful year than the rest of us.
• Rasheed Wallace is going to be casting ill-advised 26-footers for the Celtics next year, meaning Big Baby Davis is probably on his way out. And Jason Kidd is about to get overpaid by Mark Cuban (enjoy 39-year-old Kidd at $8+ million in 2012, Dallas)
• POLITICO says that Sarah Palin’s lawyer has fired a warning shot to the media in order to squash lingering rumors that Palin awarded the contract for constructing a sports arena in Wasilla (where she was mayor at the time) with the understanding that the same company would build her a house. In other news, the Phoenix Coyotes have just announced they are moving to Wasilla.
• SPORTS RUBBISH has video of the most crucial moment in yesterday’s Wimbledon final. What? Tennis? No, it’s Andy Roddick’s brother searching for a snack inside his own nose:
• I gotta admit, I just don’t really get the Tour de France. One guy clearly won today, but somehow everyone except two guys (that’s like 178 people) were credited with the same time. Hey, but at least Jussi Veikkanen is finally wearing the red polka-dotted jersey!
• OK, there was something called the “Junior World Football Championships” going on for the last week, and you’re not going to believe this — but the USA won. Shocking, considering our boys had to take down the likes of France, Mexico, and Canada (which they did by a cumulative score of 174-3). Next time, in an effort to even the playing field and give other countries a fighting chance, the U.S. is just going to send Washington State’s football team instead (they might be able to beat Sweden).
• Beavis would be excited by the news that a man in Scotland set a world record by running nearly 100 yards while on fire (and people complain that eating a bunch of hot dogs is bizarre?). And yes, I am aware that 1994 has called and wants its cultural reference back.
• Ryan Braun is an All-Star, which I guess gives him the green light to talk about how much the Brewers’ starting pitchers suck.
• That fan who says J.C. Romero “assaulted” him at a Rays-Phillies game last week should be thrilled he doesn’t live in Colombia. There, the athletes just shoot and kill fans who heckle them.
• The city of St. Louis thinks it can tax the bonuses All-Stars receive for appearing in the game at Busch Stadium, but the POST-DISPATCH says that won’t fly if players can prove that their bonus was earned from their previous play outside of the city’s jurisdiction, and not for simply appearing at the game.
• Sure, losing 16-14 in the fifth set of the biggest tournament of your life is pretty brutal, but don’t feel too sorry for Andy Roddick. He has a pretty nice shoulder to cry on:
• But it was nice to see Brian Bosworth help save an Oklahoman’s life.
• Wedding bells have rung for a couple of tennis stars: Andy Roddick ties the knot with Brooklyn Decker, while Roger Federer marries his manager.
• Padres pitcher Heath Bell is p.o.’ed about ESPN’s overwhelming coverage of all things Yankees, Mets & Red Sox.
• That stinks: Dwight Howard has a passion for passing gas.
• Sick of ESPN’s baseball coverage only showcasing the Yankees, Red Sox & Mets? Padres pitcher Heath Bell feels the same sourness.
• Fights, stabbings, gunplay - just another Opening Day at Dodger Stadium.
• John Calipari greets the Memphis faithful one more time - but not without some bodyguards.
• Former Duke basketball star Greg Paulus gets a pro tryout - with the Green Bay Packers?
• Dallas would be happy to take the College Football Hall of Fame off South Bend’s hands.
Ah, love is in the air in the tennis world. And I’m not talking about Billie Jean King canoodling with Elton John at a Bud Collins-hosted Streisand listening party.
(Roddick finally nails it to the floorboards)
This week Andy Roddick will finally close the deal with Brooklyn Decker, marrying the SI swimsuit model. While Decker isn’t really my cup of tea, there’s no debating she’s regarded as a mega-hottie.
Roger Federer also married recently, consumating his relationship with a woman named Miroslava Vavrinec. With a name like that, you’d think he snagged a 5-star supermodel.
And you would be wrong.