TGIF everyone, here's my Top 5 for June 25, 2010 from Len Berman at www.ThatsSports.com.
1. Quick Hits
* The match that wouldn't end finally ended. Over 3 days, John Isner took 11 hours and 5 minutes to beat Nicolas Mahut a ridiculous 70 games to 68 in the 5th set.
* Kentucky's John Wall was selected by Washington as the #1 pick in the NBA draft. All 5 Kentucky starters went in the first round, and they didn't even make it to the Final Four.
* Bobby Valentine is expected to be offered the Florida Marlins managerial job. The National League East just became more interesting.
* The Yankees will face their old manager Joe Torre for the first time tonight in L.A.
* The U.S. plays Ghana tomorrow in single elimination at the World Cup.
* The defending champ Italy, is gone. Who would have thunk Italy and France would be dead and the U.S. still alive?
2. Soccer Fever?
So is this love affair with the American soccer team a passing fancy, or the birth of a movement? My subscribers come down on both sides of the issue.
Here's why Jay B. loves soccer. "Professional soccer games are completed in a little over two hours. There are no commercial breaks, no stops for foul shots, penalties being walked off, no time outs, no reviews of plays by the referee, no batters stepping out of the box after every pitch to adjust their batting gloves, etc., etc. The players never stop moving and running, they don't take time out to spit or grab their crotches."
But Don A. is skeptical. He says, "Some people will get excited over any chance to chant 'U-S-A' and drink beer. If you want to know if the World Cup victory 'moved the needle,' check back 2 years after the competition is concluded."
I view this like the Olympics. Americans get caught up in patriotism for a couple of weeks, and then go back to living their lives. It's not like a huge upset in Greco-Roman wrestling or luge fosters a legion of new wrestling or sliding fans.
3. Queen for a Day
Proving she's a homer like commoners everywhere, Queen Elizabeth II showed up at Wimbledon yesterday for the first time in 33 years, and she watched a Brit. She took in Scot Andy Murray as he won his match on Centre Court. Subscriber Mark M. had this take on the Queen. "The Queen went to Wimbledon for the first time in 33 years today.The last time she attended Wimbledon, she saw the beginning of the Isner/Mahut match. She wanted to see the completion."
4. Friday eMailbag
D.R. like many of you, didn't care for Tiger Woods' remarks after the U.S. Open. He writes, "Tiger will never be Tiger again. His brief, ungracious comments at the end of the round (as contrasted with those from Havret and Mickelson) show clearly that he is the same selfish, cranky, introverted Tiger."
Editor's Note: Not to mention his wayward shots at his own caddie.
R.M. doesn't buy my reticence about returning an Olympics to Munich after what happened in 1972. He writes, "Life needs to be lived NOW and in the future. Yes there is something to be said for 'never forget,' but dwelling on past grievances and hurts is for losers."
In regards to fans smoking cigars at the old Madison Square Garden, L.F. writes: "Whenever I smell cigar smoke now, it brings me right back to those days and memories of my Dad who passed away in 1969."
And when I mentioned the anniversary of the first lip reading tournament being held in the United States, S.G. asked, "Was the first round challenge 'no new taxes?'"
5. Spanning the World
Here's this weeks Spanning the World highlight. An easy third out ground ball.
Don't you love the announcer? "An inside-the-shirt-single."
Reminds me of the minor league game when a fair ball down the line was swallowed in foul territory by a local hog from the county fair. The umps huddled and ruled, "inside-the-pork-homer."
Have a great weekend, everyone.
Happy Birthday: The Captain, Knicks great Willis Reed. 68.
Bonus Birthday: Singer Carly Simon. 65.
Today in Sports: ABC's Monday Night Football announces a new team, Frank Gifford, Joe Namath and O.J. Simpson. 1985.
Bonus Event: Microsoft releases Windows 98. 1998. (Duh)
Also worth noting: A sad day in the entertainment world. The passing of Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett. 2009.