wimbledon, 2008

July 9, 2008 at 5:30 am | Posted in aaron d.w., tennis | 1 Comment

for posterity’s sake, i’d like to mention that sunday was one of the greatest days of my life. i got up at 7:30a to watch the wimbledon final between rafael nadal and roger federer. during the first rain delay, i went up to brian and gavin’s house. there’s was a big party, basically. i ate some waffles and then the rain delay was over. we watched a riveting 4th set. i couldn’t believe it. really. then there was a brief rain delay in the 5th set, and i played ping pong outdoors. which is nice because of how much space you have, but also kind of weird because you have to deal with the wind. i typed in “ping pong wind” into google, but it thought i said wind, not wind. like a wind up toy ping pong, pictured below.

when tennis started again, we went back inside and watched a fantastic 5th set that i was sure would spill over into the next day. but by some miracle, nadal broke federer and served out to win. there were so many incredible shots by both of those guys. i was really glad to see federer playing so well, especially considering that according to djokovic, federer was vulnerable after his french open loss.

the main point is that this was more than just the best sporting event i’ve ever been a part of. for probably the only time in my life, i wasn’t disappointed by the athletes i love. i don’t get disappointed in them. disappointment isn’t the right word. but it does make me sad when they don’t play as well as i know they can. in basketball my favorite teams always lose, and they usually lose early. same in everything. but not with this wimbledon. if i’d planned wimbledon out, it might’ve been really close to this. i was glad to see all the early upsets: blake and roddick in the 2nd round; djokovic choking in the 3rd; sharapova in one of those early rounds. and i was really excited to see nadal and federer reach the final so convincingly. nadal only lost a set en route to the final and federer didn’t even drop a set.

so wimbledon is supposedly the most sacred tennis event. i don’t buy into that, but according to people, this wimbledon victory for nadal is the best tennis result spain could hope for. and now spain is trying to do what boston couldn’t… win the championship in 3 major sports. the patriots lost to the giants in last year’s super bowl, so only ended up with 2 championships: the red sox in baseball and the celtics in basketball. basketball, baseball, and football are arguably the most popular american sport and boston is one of the favorite cities, despite a history of racism. but they only got 2 out of 3. i’m trying to think of the top sports worldwide. obviously soccer is number one, and spain just won the uefa final. i think tennis is one of the top 3. and nadal just won two straight majors for spain. maybe basketball is becoming more of a world sport. at least the nba is trying to convince me that it is every chance they get. so all spain needs to do is win basketball in the olympics. and spain will be better than boston. i’m pretty sure most people already think spain is better than boston. except maybe scorsese. that departed movie was awesome.

i found these spanish commercials last week. rafael nadal and pau gasol. the premise is that they’re going to be given these really great watches. but they have to perform some task. after they fail, the lady tells them that they can only have the watches if they give up sports. then they hang out on the beach, making margaritas and telling girls what time it is using their sweet watches.

not the best commercials. i wish nadal would only ones like that commercial from last year’s us open. which reminds me, i’ll be very interested to see how he fares in the us open. he’s on like a 26 match winning streak but has never been able to get it done on hard courts. so maybe this will be the year.

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rex chapman for prez

July 2, 2008 at 10:24 pm | Posted in aaron d.w., basketball, Uncategorized | 3 Comments

so it’s an election year and i’ve been thinking about who i should vote for. it’s a really tough decision every time, since i don’t believe in voting, and this year is no different. i’m supposed to be in love with barack obama because i’m a male in my 20’s and he’s supposedly a hip, young, and cool advocate for social change. but i’m not. i mean, obama did play basketball in high school, and i’m a basketball fan. but big deal. the best basketball player i’ve ever personally known named brandon didn’t play basketball in high school, and i don’t think i’d vote for him for president. on the other hand, john mccain is a war vet, just like the sports specter pat tillman. unfortunately for mccain, i don’t believe in war or vets or ghosts. i can vote for nader again, and everyone can just tell me again that it’s a wasted vote. but then brian said that if he gets 5% of the populace vote that he’ll receive federal funding next election. plus, ralph nader founded the league of fans, which is an organization that fights for the rights of sports spectators. (in 2002, nader wrote a letter to david stern addressing the lopsided calling of fouls in that lakers-sacramento game that’s making news again with tim donaghy. for a recent article on nader as a sports fan, click here.) the decision of who to vote for became even harder for me when i realized that i could write in shaq.

as far as i know, shaquille o’neal is not planning on going into politics. he wants to be a police officer or deputy or detective or something. he has a master’s in criminal justice (he brings law and order to the court), so he’s more suited for a run in the judicial system. (actually, his master’s is in business administration.) so he’s not making a push for the presidency this year. but shaq has a charismatic public personality. during interviews he’s always cracking jokes and wearing (top) hats. both things that make you think, “if only he were running for president.” he’s been a consistent figure in public service over the last few years. when he got to miami, he became a u.s. deputy marshal. “I put a lot into it, and when I am done playing, I plan on going undercover and then being the sheriff or chief of police somewhere.” it wasn’t his fault, but he was on the team that served a child porn warrant to the wrong house. and i guess he was also accused of using excessive physical force in questioning a suspect. as a volunteer. but if the miami police department can forgive him, so can i. so then he got traded to the suns. and became a volunteer for the police department out there. nothing scandalous, just good old fashioned volunteer law enforcement. these are the kinds of things that were making me lean towards voting for shaq.

well, up until he got his phoenix volunteer badge and his two miami deputy badges revoked. for swearing. and making fun of kobe. in a free-style rap in new york. a video of the rap showed up on tmz. and now beford says they want their badges back. so where does that leave me? not voting for shaq, that’s for sure. i was going to write him in. i really was. i was telling everyone. but then he swore. and i don’t condone snap judgements, but swearers don’t make good presidents. shaq is going to have to do a lot of good p.r. work in order to get back in the good graces of the american voting public.

so now i’m probably back to voting for nader. but i’m still open to suggestions. especially since rex chapman hasn’t officially withdrawn from his presidential candidacy. by which i mean that he hasn’t said that people shouldn’t write him in. which is a viable option, considering he made this shot once:

so obama better watch out. i bet he’s never made a buzzer beater.

The pain is not great, but the symbolism is disagreeable

July 2, 2008 at 3:17 pm | Posted in lee, softball | 5 Comments
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I can’t sleep tonight.  I’ve just been laying in bed.  I thought that I would fall asleep easy because I went exercise swimming tonight, and any kind of physical exertion has been exhausting me lately.  By “lately”, I could me the last four years or maybe the last two.  I don’t know for sure, though, because I haven’t been very physically active.

Anyway, I can’t sleep tonight.  I have been wanting to write something for a few weeks now, and since I hate my own blog, I will write here, another blog that I hate.

Something has happened to me lately.  Maybe it has been a gradual thing, maybe it isn’t.  But, I can no longer do athletic things.  Back when I tried out for little league, my coach/neighbor called my mom and told me that I made his team, mainly because I ha(d)ve good hand-eye coordination.  As soon as i found out what that was, I was pretty excited about myself, even though I knew that I mainly made the team because he was my neighbor and a lot of the neighbor kids were on the team.  I don’t really like where this is going, so I will go in another direction.

I can’t catch anymore.  Fielding is my favorite part of baseball, but have become a horrible fielder.  I like to be one of the reliable people on a sports team, but I am starting to realize that I no longer am.  Take last night.  I was at first base for most of the game for the Beekeepers.  I have grown to like first base because it isn’t third base where the balls come at me faster than I have been able handle.  I used to love third base for this reason and because so many balls were hit there.  My stints at third base have yielded no plays made.  Another great thing about 1B is that it isn’t the outfield where I have yet to judge the balls correctly.  A firstbasemen gets to make a lot plays, and most of them aren’t to hard.

Probably my favorite plays to make are easy infield pop-ups.  I don’t know why, they just seem so cool to make.  During yesterday’s game, an easy pop-up was hit to the first base side.  I ran up about 15 feet and called off the pitcher.  I kept my eye on the ball, and put my glove and bare hand up to make the play.  The ball bounced in-then-out of my glove.  Luckily, the baserunner overated me, and didn’t run to the base and we got an easy out.

A few weeks ago, Brian wrote about a catch I made.  I was chasing another fly, this time while I was playing second base.  I read the ball perfectly, and again put both hands up.  The ball completely missed my glove, but landed right in my bare hand.  I was pretty proud of my instincts.  Now I am not so sure.  I also dropped a nice throw from Aaron on what would have been a third out.  Yesterday’s game got me to finally admit that I am not a good fielder anymore.

Actually, I am still not ready to admit it.  I might suck, yes, but I have to other potential excuses:

1) My glove still might not be completely broken in.  I bought it new this year, and though I have molded it into shape, I think it is still too stiff to close properly.  It also probably doesn’t help that I secretly think it is funny to refer to my glove as Mitt Romney.  Stuff like that cracks me up a lot more than I should.  I should probably stop.  (I think I found my solution here: http://www.baseballgloves.com/breakingin/index.html

2) My fielding has digressed as the season has progressed.  About the time fielding seemed to be getting harder, I got new contact lenses that are worse than my previous lenses.  This excuse doesn’t work for yesterday, but for my time in the outfield and third base, it does. 

Or, I suck.

More things:

I like Boozer and I hope he never leaves the Jazz.

I hate that whenever the Jazz draft/sign a white player, Jazz fans are pissed because they think the Jazz are so unathletic.  What about Miles, Brewer, Price, Kirilenko, Millsap, Williams, and Boozer? 

I wouldn’t care if football season never started.

Just because most of the world thinks soccer is the greatest sport doesn’t mean they are right.  I like watching soccer, but basketball, baseball, hockey, and football are more interesting to watch.

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