Long Time (OR What are yooouuuu doing?)

July 5, 2009

Wow… it’s been a long time since I’ve posted. I’d say “too long” but something tells me it’ll be a while again before I’m back here. Maybe it’s that summer time, maybe it’s that work is crazy busy, maybe it’s the the news never changes… or maybe it’s that I’ve finally reached my limit of “political junkiness”…

It’s been about a year and half that I’ve paid pretty close attention to what’s been happening in national politics, and while the election cycle was interesting, if disturbing in its inanity. We’re now established in the governing cycle, and there’s no reason not to believe that the next year plus will be much like the last 6 months: Republican brainless obstructionism, Democratic policy conservatism, and MSM idiocy.

Anyway, I really can’t stand it any more… our economy continues to get worse, the climate continues on it’s irrevocable path toward catastrophic change, our health care “system” continues to degrade, and our political institutions aren’t equipped to take effective corrective action. Paying close attention only depresses me.

On the other hand, there was a fantastic tennis match earlier today. I fear that Andy Roddick’s performance is going to get lost in all the talk about Roger Federer breaking Pete Sampras’ record of 14 Grand Slam titles. You’ll be able to find plenty of stories about Federer, so I wanted to take a moment to acknowledge Roddick.

The NBC bobbleheads mentioned in passing that Roddick played the best match of his career two days after playing the best match of his career. As great as he played against Andy Murray in the semis, he was even better today. His serve, which has always been powerful, was a phenomenal weapon today, but it wasn’t just that. He played so well behind his serve. The fact that, until the last game of the match, he was not broken by the best player on the planet is absolutely incredible.

And Federer was on his game, too. Yet, Roddick broke him twice. He was patient, and did very well picking his spots in which to attack, and made his share of shots. The only thing I think he might have done better was attack more on his forehand.

Regardless, however, Roddick is playing the best tennis of his life and once he recovers from the heartbreak of the loss today, I feel like he’ll be a threat to win the US Open. He’ll certainly still need to get past Federer and probably Nadal, but if he keeps playing the way he’s playing he’s proven today that he’s capable of it.

So, here’s to Andy Roddick, who, I think, surprised everybody today, for giving us yet another highly memorable gem of a Wimbledon final. It sucks to lose, but you played your heart out in the match of your life. Well done, Andy.

This Week In Semi-Obscure Sports

May 25, 2009

Today marked the start of the summer tennis season, my favorite under-sung sport of the last few years.  Mostly under-sung, at least on the men’s side, because we are witnessing absolute and utter world domination by two players, neither of whom are American.  Which makes it hard to know who to cheer for, you know?

Nadal set the men’s record today, winning his 29th straight match at Roland-Garros.  Not too shabby.  He’s aiming to be the first player to ever win 5 straight French Opens, which I assume would cement his reputation as the best claycourt player of all time.

Of course, he is well on his way towards nosing his way into the conversation as one of the greatest players of all time, having unseated Federer at Wimbledon last year as well, pulling off the extremely  rare clay/grass same-year twofer – the last player to do so was Bjorn Borg in 1980.  He also won his first hardcourt major in Sydney earlier this year.

At the same time, Federer actually beat Nadal, on clay, a few weeks back, a move that has to give him a little confidence and might help exorcize some remaining demons from last year’s 6-1, 6-3, 6-0 demolition at Nadal’s hands in the French Final.

I, for one, cannot wait to see these two meet up, yet again, in the finals this year, and I’m looking forward to another summer of tennis excitement!

Can’t Wait (OR Is it here yet?)

September 7, 2008

Like Dave, I’m excited for tomorrow. Partly, for that tennis final, which I’ll be unable to watch (damn work and commute.)

Even more so, though, I’m excited for Rachel Maddow’s new show. Why? Watch the first minute of this, that’ll explain everything.

While I have you, though, I thought I’d spend some time rambling about tennis.

After Nadal’s win at Wimbledon, all the bobbleheads (I’m looking at you McEnroe) were claiming that, without question, Nadal was the now the best player in the world. Personally, I was a little hesitant to subscribe to that belief. Until that win, the only major Nadal had won was the French. He’d never made the final of the Australian or the US Open. Sure, he beat Federer on grass, which was a feat in and of itself, but it didn’t seem certain that Nadal was, without doubt, the better player.

Now, don’t get me wrong. Nadal is a phenomenal player, and he’s having a phenomenal season. His season rivals some of those that Federer had a couple years ago (when he won 3 majors and reached the finals of the french). And yes, Federer is not as dominant now as he once was, but it still seems like an open question about who is the better player.

And now, Federer has reached the US Open Final to play…  Andy Murray, who beat Nadal in the semi.

So, is Nadal still the better player? Who knows…  Nadal still has one more surface to master. Until then, this should still be open for debate.

Needless to say, if Federer wins tomorrow, regains some of his confidence and has a few months to regain his form, the Federer / Nadal rivalry will be truly awesome to watch.