Category Archives: Sports

The sporting life

Now that Wimbledon has ended, I am suffering from my annual melancholy.

wimbledon tennisWhat did I watch before it was on ESPN for two solid weeks?

What did I talk about?

What did I obsess about on social media?

Sigh.

Luckily, this year The Open begins this Thursday at St. Andrews in Scotland.

St-Andrews-2015-British-Open-Golf-PackagesIt’s on ESPN, too. Coverage starts at 4:00am daily.

All the experts are picking 21-year old American Jordan Speith to win his third major of the year.

Yeah… I can totally obsess about that.

Bad manners

You have to love Brits. So proper,  so polished, so personable.

Wimbledon has always been a prime example…until this year.

image

Novak Djokovic, the defending champion, beat Roger Federer in Sunday’s final.

And Wimbledon had the bad manners to telegraph their choice for the trophy. Both before and after the match, their social media feeds were full of Federer — waxing poetic on the possibility of his eighth title, and openly weeping at his eventual defeat.

In contrast, Serena Williams’ win in the ladies’ championship was celebrated without question or sadness for those she felled along the way.

I expect more from you, Wimbledon.  Remember — even Federer had to defeat favorites in his early years at the tourney.

Today’s top men’s seeds deserve the same respect.

In 7 days…

During this fortnight that is Wimbledon, I can’t get enough tennis.

7DaysInHell-720x1066But that’s not why I loved and fervently recommend 7 Days in Hell, the hilarious mockumentary scheduled to air this Saturday night on HBO.

(I saw it early OnDemand. Gotta love OnDemand.)

Andy Samberg (SNL, Brooklyn 99) is Aaron Williams, a washed up former tennis star long removed from the game who returns for one last epic match against his bitter rival, young tennis phenom Charles Poole, played by Kit Harington (the late — or is he? — Jon Snow of Game of Thrones).

The match goes the full five sets and, since it is played at Wimbledon, does not have a tie break in the final set. So the play goes on and on — for a variety of bizarre reasons — for seven long days.

John Isner and Nicolas Mahut will be a tad jealous when they see why.  (They hold the real record for the longest match at Wimbledon, iffin you didn’t know — 11 hours, 5 minutes of play over three days.)

There are tons of cameos by celebrities from television, film, tennis, even the world of magic. The story is outrageous, but the documentary format is honored, so it looks right…

Even though it is gloriously wrong.

Check your math

wimbledonmatchNovak Djokovic:

#1 in the world
#1 seed at Wimbledon
Reigning Wimbledon   champion
Now playing on Court #1

 

Roger Federer:

#2 in the world
#2 seed at Wimbledon
Last won Wimbledon in 2012
Now playing on Centre Court

Something doesn’t add up…

#norespect

Out!

I love Wimbledon. I look forward to it every year. I consider it a legitimate response to the question,

“What are you doing July 4th weekend?”

But this?

andy-murry-wimbledon-worst-tattoos

No.

On the ball

For a sport with such small balls, golf is an unusually large target.

cu golf ballPeople who don’t watch it or understand the nuances of the game are quick to dismiss it as boring.

My mother never understood why I watched golf on TV as a young child. But if she sat with me for even 30 minutes, she would soon be ‘oohing’ and ‘ahhing’ over some of the precision shots the pros could pull off.

And in television golf tournaments, you see a lot of golf.  The cameras jump from tee to fairway to green, so you get to see sometimes 50+ different golfers swing the club or putt every 30 seconds or less.

So, contrary to what you might think, there is a lot of action in golf.

In contrast, televised baseball and football games — America’s sports — mostly involve standing around.  A Wall Street Journal study calculated that a baseball fan will see 17 minutes and 58 seconds of action over the course of a three-hour game. And the football audience?  A paltry 11 minutes per game.

So for pure entertainment value, swing for swing, I’d put the US Open Golf Championship up against a baseball game any day. I’ve watched both, and I feel pretty good about my chances.