Despite a pair of unlikely champions in Kim Clijsters and Juan Martin del Potro, USTA officials have to be wearing their happy pants over the success of the U.S. Open. CBS got a 2.4/5 Nielsen rating for the men’s final, up 41.2% from last year. ESPN also got great ratings, and the economy failed to dent attendance.
The tournament, however, will probably be most remembered for the maniacal ranting of Serena Williams and Roger Federer, the former who inspired the product pictured above as seen on last night’s “Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien.” But was Serena’s profane outburst a bad thing? Depends on how you look at it. Read more…
You know the Bills have had a rough history when they can completely blow a game like they did last night, and you can think of like five worse that have happened to them over the years off the top of your head. Buffalo used a poorly-timed fumble on a kickoff that never should’ve been returned to come from ahead and lose to the Patriots, 25-24, in both teams’ season opener.
(These guys have three Super Bowl rings between them)
It wasn’t a completely devastating loss for the Bills (they were, of course, supposed to lose). It’s not like Vincent Gallo’s going to make a movie about it or anything. But at this rate, the people of upstate New York are just going to start hoping the team moves to Toronto so they don’t have to be so miserable all the time. They also should be happy to know that Brady told his New England teammates that he “knew” the Bills would let them back into the game late.
If anyone wanted to know the difference between college football and the NFL, you just needed to watch the two games last night. (At least the two that anyone cared about - sorry, Florda A&M at Winston-Salem State on ESPNU.) If you like offense, crazy plays and wild comebacks, then the Clemson at Georgia Tech game was for you. But if you prefer low-scoring, hard-hitting football that’s kind of not very exciting until the final five minutes, then the NFL kickoff game between Pittsburgh and Tennessee was for you. (Sorry, is my bias showing?)
First let’s talk about the Steelers’ 13-10 overtime victory. Plainly put, Pittsburgh had no reason to win this game. They could not run the ball, gaining a whopping 33 yards. (Note to the guy in my fantasy league bragging about “stealing” Rashard Mendenhall: eat it.) And between Jeff Reed almost shanking the game-tying 32-yard field goal into the offensive line’s backsides and Hines Ward fumbling after a reception took him inside the Titans’ five with a minute to go, they were teetering on disaster. Read more…
When SbB held its first 30-day moratorium poll this past week, I was somewhat disappointed that there could be only one winner. And while the actual choice (who shall not be named) was fine enough, it meant that we were still going to have to talk about what Terrell Owens is doing.
Oddly, T.O. has a bit of a point. Vick’s livelihood was taken away while he was in prison, so why would Goodell feel the need to tack on a token suspension that is the same length as one for a first violation of the league’s drug policy? I mean, if he really considered the prison time as separate from the league’s punishment, then you would think the suspension would be harsher, like a year or something. Otherwise, isn’t being out of the league for two years and going bankrupt serving the same purpose? I don’t think Goodell has to give him four games off to prove that the NFL doesn’t approve of dogfighters. I think that’s pretty well understood, considering you get in trouble for wearing your socks wrong in that league.
Don’t be fooled by that 5-0 win by Mexico over the U.S. in the CONCACAF Gold Cup final yesterday at Giants Stadium. The Americans have been playing this entire tournament with a second-tier squad made up mostly of players with little international experience. The Mexicans, meanwhile, put a much better team out on the field, as was shown by their dominance throughout the tournament. And, while it was sad to see the U.S. team fall apart, the way Mexico dismantled our guys in the second half was quite a thing to watch (the game was scoreless at halftime). Get ready for goooooooooooools-a-plenty:
The U.S. was somewhat fortunate to advance this far, struggling to a tie with powerhouse Haiti and needing extra time to beat Panama. So a loss was to be expected, though the magnitude was larger than anyone thought. It’s the worst loss for the U.S. since 1985. Perhaps it was for the best that it was only on in English on the tiny Fox Soccer Channel.
If anything, this was a moral boost for the Mexicans going into the huge showdown on August 12th between the two countries in World Cup qualifying in Mexico City. None of the players the U.S. used yesterday are likely to play in that game, while a couple of Mexico’s players will probably see action. But I can’t imagine that this game is really going to have much impact on the qualifier. The NEW YORK DAILY NEWS’ Filip Bondyseems to think that the credibility the U.S. earned in games against Spain and Brazil is diminished by this result, but anyone who follows the sport closely (ie. everyone in the world besides Americans) knows that the U.S. lineup was a shell of the team that made waves in South Africa.
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.
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.
• 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.
• 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).