Manny Joins the Cast of The Hills

He's ready for his close-up

He's ready for his close-up

 

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last couple hours (or at the movie theater seeing Space Chimps), you know that arguably the greatest right-handed hitter of all time was just traded where else but Los Angeles. The Dodgers desperately needed a power bat in the middle of the lineup (they haven’t had one since the pride of the Jewish community – Shawn Green), and they got one, and then some.

Nobody’s questioning the Dodgers in this deal, as they gave up their ‘best’ hitting prospect in Andy LaRoche, who couldn’t win the position from some guy called Blake DeWitt or a gimpy Nomar Garciaparra. The only question is how Manny will fit in in LA LA land. I know Manny will be a great fit for several reasons:

 

1. In Los Angeles, the fans don’t show up until the third inning and leave in the seventh. So does Manny.

2. Dodger fans can often be seen talking on their cell phones in the stands during the game. So can Manny.

 

 

 

3. Angelinos enjoy the night life, often heading to clubs to spend tons of money on overpriced drinks with celebrities. So does Manny.

4. Many aspriring actors come to Los Angeles with the hopes of becoming the star of their own sitcom. So has Manny.

5. People in Los Angeles are free to express themselves through their appearance, especially through unique and interesting hairstyles. So is Manny.

 

So it looks like Manny will have no problem being Manny in LA, and the kooks and vegetarians will even embrace him for it. Just make sure he sets the alarm so he knows when to turn when he’s on the beach tanning. There’s nothing worse than an uneven tan.

Man Crush of the Week

 

You know how much it frustrates you that girls always seem to be attracted to the bad boys? You know, the ones that smoke, ride motorcycles, and wear leather jackets? Ok, maybe we’re not in the days of The Fonz anymore, but today’s women seem to be attracted to the jerk who goes to the bar for the sole purpose of waiting until he inevitably gets bumped and then shouting, “You wanna start somethin, bro?” before pushing the culprit to the ground, who he later finds out is a girl.

I could never understand why girls were attracted to this guy. That is, until Thursday night when I suddenly and inexplicably developed a man-crush on Julio Castillo. I know, I know, the name sounds familiar. Well, maybe this will refresh your memory:

 

 

 

 

Ooooooooooh yeah, he was the lunatic that launched a 94 mph fastball into the opposing dugout……and missed…..and sent a helpless, unsuspecting fan to the emergency room. Talk about a high hard one.

Apparently this is nothing new for Castillo, who has less control than a sex addict at the Playboy Mansion. Castillo has 47 walks in 90 career innings, and according to former Ivy League Player of the Year Marc Sawyer, who played with him in Boise last year, Castillo has absolutely no clue where the ball’s going. That can be quite an advantage for a guy who throws in the mid-90s. Guys fresh out of high school and college were inching into the back corner of the batter’s box shaking like Henry Roengardner.

The fear factor has allowed him to have success thus far in his young career…that is until Thursday when he started taking taking target practice on the Dayton Dragons’ helmets.

So all this begs the question, how on Earth is this guy my MCOW? Let’s start with the basics. I do not condone what this guy did in any way, shape, or form. As a fan and former player, I’ve seen my fair share of brawls and NEVER have I seen someone fire a baseball as hard as he can towards a human being.

It might even be understandable if Castillo was being charged by the batter, and in a state of panic and desperation he threw the ball at the charging Dragon. Ok, still uncalled for, but somewhat understandable.

What nobody can understand is while his teammates and opponents rushed out of the dugout, Castillo thought that his best move was to take a baseball and wing it towards the opposing dugout. I mean, was he actually trying to kill someone? That’s really the only logical explanation. He’s a contract killer. He was hired to take out one of the players in the Dayton dugout. He failed and sent a civilian to the hospital in the process.

I bet he’s being worked over by the Dayton police right now, trying to get him to give up his boss. Good luck, Castillo is probably giving them the Sammy Sosa “I don’t speak English” defense. Although from what I hear he actually can’t speak a word of English.

I know he should be suspended for the year by his team and deserves whatever legal punishment he gets, but for some reason, I can’t stop thinking about the guy. I guess it is the brash defiance of all reason and logic that intrigues me. Or maybe it’s the “Who else want some!?!?” look on his face after he throws the ball at the dugout. In any case, I don’t know why, but Castillo was the object of my affection this week.

Hopefully next week I’ll pick the nice guy who’s really been there for me during the hard times and never tries to force the issue. Or maybe I’ll just pick another A-Hole. Does Barry Bonds have a team yet?

We Got Next

The WNBA is ready for the big time

The WNBA is ready for the big time

Is it just me, or is the WNBA rapidly becoming the most exciting pro sport in the country? Alright, well maybe I’m getting ahead of myself, but “the W” went from obscurity and ridicule to headlining SportsCenter this week with it’s seminal moment: the league’s first all-out brawl. Here’s the video with some analysis afterwards by Pam Ward and Doris Burke.

This was no hair-pulling, tops-getting-yanked-off, Springer-esque catfight, but it definitely ranks up there with the best brawls in recent history. The highlights include:

– Candace Parker with a “Sweep the Leg Johnny” moment initially taking down Plenette Pierson to start the whole thing

– Rick Mahorn having flashbacks to his days with the nasty boys and using his large posterior to take down Lisa Leslie. Mahorn later claimed he was trying to be a peacemaker. I think he confused peacemaker with haymaker.

– In a reverse Milton Bradley moment, Cheryl Ford tearing her ACL trying to restrain her teammate. She’s now out for the season.  They say she tore it before the brawl, but that seems a little suspect to me. In any case, I’m sure the brawl didn’t help. What have we learned here? Never try to stop a fight. Someone could seriously get hurt.

 

Suspensions were handed down today. Jeez, that was the worst professional basketball related brawl in Detroit in at least, like, three and a half years.

 

 

 

On the heels of the biggest “disaster” thus far in the WNBA (which conveniently got them more headlines they’ve ever had in their 11-year history), the Detroit Schock obviously had to do something to prove that they were ashamed and don’t see this as a publicity stunt. So what did they do? Well, what else could they do?

I wonder if the WNBA will now impose a maximum age ruleThey signed 50-year-old Nancy Lieberman to a seven-day contract. Lieberman has been a broadcaster and actually coached the Shock, and now she has become the Gray-Bearded Lady in the Circus that is the WNBA. This is remeniscent of the late, great Bill Veeck, who was known for absurd publicity stunts like when he sent 3-foot-7-inch Eddie Gaedel to the plate for the St. Louis Browns with the uniform number “1/8” on his back.

 

Lieberman, who already set the record for the WNBA’s oldest player at 39, will make her return tonight complete with sponsorship from Ben-Gay, Metamucil, and Ensure. Hopefully they don’t get into another fight, because she might break a hip. Look on the bright side, at least people are talking about the WNBA now, and they should feel good that their fight didn’t turn out like this one.

 

Titletown, Shmitletown

 

By now you’ve seen it. You tune into SportsCenter hoping for a recap of the night’s games and news, but instead you see Wendi Nix sitting on a makeshift set next to someone you can only assume is a former athlete. They proceed to discuss for 15 minutes why whatever city they happen to be in is going to take the crown of TITLETOWN, USA.

I guess the goal is to hit every city in America so that everybody at one time can say, ‘Oh Man! I can’t believe they’re in my city!’

I still don’t see how Williamsport, Pa. and Valdosta, Georgia are supposed to compete with Detroit, Los Angeles, and Chicago, but I guess it’s this year’s ESPN summer gimmick, and far be it for me to deny them (my personal favorite was Beg, Borrow, and Deal). Plus they cap the amount of Brett Favre coverage at 35 minutes, so what else are they gonna fill time with, baseball?  Please.

By the way, let’s just clear the air, everyone knows New York is going to win. Yankee Fan and Mets Fan LIVE for this kind of contest. They’ll call in and vote and make sure Derek Jeter is elected Mayor of TITLETOWN.

“Yo, Vinny, you see they got us up against the Little Leaguers for TITLETOWN? Fughedaboudit!”

Since New York is gonna run away with it, I figured I’d give some other MLB cities some honorary Titles, just to make them feel better.

Atlanta: Nineties Town, USA

Baltimore: Jeffrey Maier Town, USA

Pittsburgh: Rebuilding Town, USA

Milwaukee: Dollar Beer Town, USA

Tampa Bay: Empty Stadium Town, USA

Oakland: Mediocre Town, USA

Toronto: Content With Two Town…..C……A? (Mitch ‘Wild Thing’ Williams honorary Mayor)

San Francisco: Denial Town, USA

St. Louis: Boring Town, USA

Houston: How Long Til High School Football Town, USA

Seattle: Remember When We Beat The Yankees Town, USA

Boston: Still Not New York Town, USA

 

Hopefully those cities can take some consolation in these newly appointed titles, and the fact that New York could also be named, No Titles Since 2001 Town, USA.

2008 All-Star Game Blog

Who knew what we had in store?
Who knew what we had in store?

As I write, I’m preparing for the 2008 MLB All-Star game. It’ll be tough to top Josh Hamilton’s performance last night (MCOW forthcoming), but this proves to be one of the best all-star games in recent memory….or so I’ve been told by ESPN and FOX. I could have had an entire post devoted to the ‘Red Carpet’ pregame show, but I figured (and hoped) nobody else was watching. Anyway, these are my highlights of the night, typed in real-time…enjoy.

 

8:00 p.m. – Teams line up on the left and right field lines, Joe Buck does the introduction….goosebumps ensue.

8:01 p.m. – Ernie Banks gives the NL a pre game pep talk, begging them to break the AL’s 11-game win streak…Edinson Volquez stands behind him with his hat backwards and jersey untucked with a look that says, “Why the f*** is Morgan Freeman giving us a pep talk?”

8:06 p.m.- Apparently the Oakland A’s representative is named Justin Duckshire.

8:11 p.m. – I am forced to watch a FOX NFL Sunday Ad. Can’t baseball have three hours for itself?

8:12 p.m. – 49 non-steroid Hall of Famers take the field. On a related note, Barry Bonds’ agent says he’s not getting any offers.

8:14 p.m. – Goose Gossage is introduced to a chorus of fans saying “Gooooooose.” Well, half of them are saying Goose, the other half thought he was a Red Sock and started booing. Does it really matter?

8:18 p.m.- Arod takes his position and shakes the hands of men he has passed or will eventually pass on the All-Time hits and Homerun Lists.

8:20 p.m. – Milton Bradley takes his place next to two guys who play the game the right way: Albert Pujols and Paul Molitor. Maybe some of it will rub off, but more likely Bradley is bombarding them with stories about how he’s finally getting respect and how everyone’s always out to get him.

8:22 p.m. – Brian Cashman hears the ovation for Josh Hamilton and immediately gets on the phone with the Rangers GM.

8:23 p.m. – Brian Cashman’s call goes straight to voicemail.

8:26 p.m. – I see Yogi Berra behind the plate and mistakenly think I’m watching a GEICO commercial.

8:33 p.m. – George Steinbrenner is carted onto the field and I can swear they’re playing the Darth Vader music. Unfortunately, he looks the part (like after he gets his mask ripped off and he’s all gross).

8:36 p.m. – With the field now ruined from the pre-game festivities, it’s the groundscrew’s turn to show why they’re All-Stars.

8:44 p.m. – Pacey from Dawson’s Creek is in a new show, Fringe….count me in, what the hell is a Frutista Freeze?

8:48 p.m. – Tim McCarver calls the strikeout pitch a ‘cutter on the hands’ when it paints the outside corner. And….we’re underway!

8:51 p.m. – 1,2,3 in the first inning. Cliff Lee I would say something nice about you if you didn’t ruin my fantasy team for the past two years. Damn you.

8:55 p.m. – Ben Sheets is not in the best shape of his life.

8:56 p.m. – Chase Utley intentionally mishandles Derek Jeter’s ground ball in an effort to avoid being pelted by beer bottles by the Yankee Stadium crowd.

8:59 p.m. – Manny, being Manny, leaves the weighted bat in Geovany Soto’s way, looking to injure the Cubs catcher just in case the two teams meet in the World Series.

9:08 p.m.- Preview for ‘Swing Vote,’ in a tight race for worst picture of the summer with ‘Beverly Hills Chihuahua’ and ‘Space Monkeys.’

9:33 p.m. – Starting to doubt whether a run will be scored tonight.

9:40 p.m. – Albert Pujols called out on a double when he was clearly safe, ensuring the fact that no runs will be scored tonight.

9:45 p.m. – Carlos Zambrano, with some hidden Latin agreement, throws an eephus breaking ball to Manny Ramirez that lands behind his head. According to the FOX Hot Zone, Manny Ramirez cannot hit a pitch below his waist.

9:47 p.m. – Hanley Ramirez showcases his All-Star defensive ability (16 errors), by winging a ball to first base. He’s still in the Scout Ball mind frame where throwing it 95 miles per hour into the stands is better than 85 at the chest. Milton Bradley is promptly picked off at first base. Surprisingly, he doesn’t tear his ACL or complain.

9:54 p.m. – Of course Ervin Santana gives up a dinger to Matt Holliday for the first run of the game. Get used to it Angels, you’re gonna be seeing a lot of that in the second half.

10:20 p.m. – Terry Francona pulls Derek Jeter in the middle of the inning so he can receive his standing O from the New York crowd. Jeter, unlike Arod in the previous inning, milks this opportunity for all it’s worth. Surprisingly, he doesn’t run into the stands and cut his eye while running into the dugout.

10:48 p.m. – Corey Hart misplays a ball in right field. Probably would have caught it if he didn’t insist on wearing his sungalsses at night.

10:52 p.m. – Joe Girardi warms up Frankie Rodriguez in the bullpen. I don’t have a joke for that one, that’s just awesome.

10:53 p.m. – JD BOO comes through, tying the game at 2! He was a jerk-off for the Dodgers but I have to respect this guy. Everybody hates him. He doesn’t look like he cares about baseball. But gosh darnit, the guy can hit. Even as he’s walking in the dugout he doesn’t even look like he knows that he’s in the All-Star game.

11:01 p.m. – Yankee Fan starts chanting “overrated” as Papelbon throws a 98 mph fastball to strike out Dan Uggla. Yankee Fan, you’re the one that’s overrated.

11:12 p.m. – Brian Wilson gets his two outs, wipes his brow, and heads to the dugout, hoping that his 4.58 ERA gets him through the second half of the season.

11:19 p.m. – Much to everyone’s shock and dismay, Billy Wagner blows yet another save by giving up a single to Grady Sizemore and a double to rookie Evan Longoria. He gets Justin Morneau to ground out to him, and sprints to first base to record the out. I’m surprised Longoria could focus, what with his recent marriage to Spurs point guard Tony Parker.

11:32 p.m. – Mariano Rivera strikes out Ryan Ludwich on (surprise, surprise) a cutter, and Dioner Navarro throws out Cristian Guzman trying to steal second base to end the inning. Mo is now set up for the victory. If only Jim Leyritz, Scott Brosius, or Aaron Boone was on the AL bench…I guess someone else will have to step up.

11:42 p.m. – Free Baseball! The game goes into the 10th inning as thousands of households across the nation start their DVR’d copy of “Wipeout” before they go to sleep. Extra innings, can you say….tie?

11:56 p.m. – Aaron Cook coming in, Dan Uggla error, this game is over.

11:57 p.m. – Dan Uggla back to back errors after grounding into a double play last inning. Is there an All-Star game LVP? At least he has his steroids to look forward to when he goes home. And they love you, even when nobody else does.

12:00 a.m. – Joe Buck compares Yankee Stadium to the Coliseum (I hope he’s talking about the one in L.A.)…I think it’s time for everyone to go home. Grady Sizemore will try to do it for us.

12:02 a.m. – Uggla somewhat redeems himself by throwing a strike to home plate on Sizemore’s grounder. 1 out with Longo coming up. Do it for the LBC!

12:03 a.m. – Goodness gracious. Longoria grounds into a fielder’s choice, third to home. Bases still loaded, 2 outs for home run derby winner Justin Morneau. Please, we all want to go to sleep!

12:04 a.m. – Miguel Tejada saves the game with an unbelievable off balance body-control throw to get Morneau at first. We’re destined for a tie. I’m assured of it.

12:22 a.m. – Nate McLouth throws out Dioner Navarro at the plate (thanks to a great block and tag by Dodger Russell Martin) to thwart yet another attempt to end the game. Runners on 2nd and 3rd for Carlos Quentin. Come on Q!

12:23 a.m. – Groundout to third, 12th inning here we come……..tie, tie, tie, tie.

This was me passed out in my tortilla chips around the 12th inning

This was me passed out in my tortilla chips around the 12th inning

12:29 a.m. – Russell Martin lays down a sacrifice bunt that is definitely headed toward foul territory before Morneau fields it and takes the out. Morneau knows we want to go home. Atta boy.

12:30 a.m. – Intentional walk loads the bases for, guess who, Danny Uggla, who stirkes out looking like a little leaguer on a Joakim Soria yakker.

12:37 a.m. – George Sherrill strikes out Adrian Gonzalez to end the inning. I’m getting delirious. I see little purple dogs running around my room. Am I dreaming? Did this game actually end 3 hours ago?

12:39 a.m. – Carlos Guillen hits one off the wall in left. Nooooooooooooo! Why couldn’t it go over the fence? There’s no way he’s scoring from second base. Let’s see how many runners the AL can get thrown out at home this inning.

12:40 a.m. – Grady Sizemore moves Guillen over with a sharp grounder to second (almost booted by Uggla yet again) and the stage is set, once again, for Longoria. Do it for Tony!

12:42 a.m. – Longoria strikes out swinging. I’m starting to think conspiracy. I don’t know what or by whom, but there’s something wrotten in the state of New York.

12:43 a.m. – Intentional walk to Morneau brings up Ian Kinsler, who looks like a 14 year old who’s trying to start a rock band but nobody will join. He looks anything but confident as he steps to the plate, facing Aaron Cook, who suddenly has the stuff and mental makeup of Orel Hershiser.

12:45 a.m. – Kinsler grounds out to third. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.All work and no lay makes Jack a dull boy.

1:00 a.m. – Uggla another error. There’s nothing I can say anymore. Please somebody end this game.

1:05 a.m. – Going to the 14th inning. This was the worst idea I’ve ever had.

1:10 a.m. – Poor Scott Kazmir looks like he’s been at the prom two hours past closing and he’s missing the afterparty. Funny that’s kind of how I feel.

1:13 a.m. – Brandon Webb, do yourself, and all of us a favor and serve one up. Let’s get the eff out of here. The whole ‘this time it counts’ thing is getting very annoying. If it didn’t count they would have cashed this in an hour ago. Stupid Bud Selig.

1:18 a.m.- This is not a joke. My cable just went out. If I don’t see the end of this game I am going to single-handedly bring down the Comcast empire.

1:20 a.m. – Apparently I didn’t miss much. It’s now the 15th inning and Comcast is still on the fritz. They are the worst service of all time. Hands down. Write your congressman.

1:29 a.m. – This is all Joe Buck’s fault for complaining about how fast the game was going in the first 4 innings.

1:31 a.m. – Damn you Ryan Ludwick! Diving catch to keep the game going. Know your role first time All-Star!

1:33 a.m. – Stop putting the camera on Kevin Youkilis, we’re in enough pain already.

1:36 a.m. – Bases loaded, 1 out, if it doesn’t end here, it’s never going to end. Goodness gracious thank you Corey Hart for having the arm of a 12 year old girl. The throw was late, the AL wins for the 12th straight year. 4 hours and 50 minutes. I am a dedicated journalist.

 

 

I would come up with some witty conclusion comparing this to the Hundred Years War or some other applicable historical reference, but I’m way too tired and I’m going to sleep.

P.S. – If you read this far, you’re either related to me, my girlfriend, or somebody I feel deeply, deeply sorry for.

Dunking With The Stars

I was watching SportsCenter for the 4th time today when I saw some highlights of Terrell Owens (while they were saying that he was the one pro-bowl caliber player that they wouldn’t want on their team). One of the highlights showed T.O. doing one of his least original and most low-key touchdown celebrations, the time-tested and well-received football dunk over the goal post.

Now, the goal posts in football are 10 feet off the ground (the same as a basket), and T.O.’s arm was a good two feet over the post. That got me thinking that I’d like to see him in a dunk contest. Then I got thinking about other non-basketball athletes I’d like to see in the same contest.

I think I remember hearing something about a Non-Basketball dunk contest in the 80s featuring track runners and high jumpers, but my extensive research (typing “non basketball dunk contest” into google) didn’t give me any results.

Luckily, on my trip to the gym I noticed a group congregated on a local outdoor basketball court. It turns out the Non-Basketball Dunk Contest is alive and well, and all athletes (except for basketball players of course) were invited.

There I saw some of the most amazing dunks ever displayed, which I will now recount to you in all of their golry:

 

Terrell Owens: Natually T.O. went first. He backed up all the way to the other end of the court as if he was going to take off from the free throw line. He got the cheerleaders ready on the sidelines, placed a mystery item behind the basket (a surprise for the post-dunk celebration) and began running with his 4.4 speed to the opposing basket. To everybody’s shock and amazement, T.O. took off from the THREE-POINT LINE and glided gracefully towards the basket.

He was well on his way to making it when, in mid-air, he received a call from his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, on his bluetooth earpiece telling him not to complete the dunk without a $4 million bonus. T.O. ended the call, put the ball on his waist, and grabbed the rim to let himself down without dunking the ball. Of course after the “attempt” he was bombarded with questions, and he fielded them while doing shirtless bicep curls and situps on the pavement.

Score: Despite not actually dunking the ball, T.O.’s athletic display (and consequent workout) earned him a score of 40.

 

Prince Fielder: In an effort to put his own spin on Gerald Green’s “Birthday Cake Dunk”, the 5’10” 275 pound Fielder got a ladder and balanced a box of twinkies on the rim. He then asked teammate Ryan Braun to assist him by throwing him an alley oop. Fielder backed up, then started running full-speed toward the basket (his man-breasts smacking him in the face with every step). Braun threw a perfect lob to Fielder, who ignored the basketball, detached his jaw bones and swallowed the box of twinkies (wrappers, box, and all) as the ball fell through the hoop.

Score: The judges all had an uneasy look on their faces as they hid their laminated scorecards under the table. Because the ball went through the hoop (and Fielder still looked hungry), he received a 42.

 

Brett Favre: It put a smile on everyone’s face to see the gray-bearded 38-year-old out to have a good time. He took the ball and went to the three-point line. He tossed the ball in the air, as so many dunkers do, waiting for the perfect bounce for a self-alley-oop. Favre ran up to the ball, then stopped claiming the toss was too high. He then did it again, but this time the toss was too low. He threw the ball again, caught it in the air, but stopped just before throwing the ball through. Favre continued this for about 20 minutes before people realized he was never going to dunk the ball, so they switched baskets, leaving Favre and his indecision to continue his ‘attempt’.

Score: Favre is technically still attempting his dunk, and since there is no time limit, he cannot be given a score. ESPN will be sure to update you everytime he’s close to dunking though.

 

Tiger Woods: In a surprise move, Tiger Woods, still not cleared to walk by doctors after his recent surgery, rolled his wheelchair to center court. He stood up, walked slowly towards the basket and threw down a standard two-handed dunk. The judges were impressed and gave him a score good enough to get it to the second round. In the second round, he stepped up a did a 360. In the third round, Tiger found the strength to go between the legs. And finally in the finals, Tiger did a dunk with more contortions and acrobatics than a Cirque De Soleil performance, blowing away the competition and unanimously winning the title.

Rocco Mediate was seen shaking his head and smiling on the sideline.

 

Needless to say, the contest was quite entertaining and I was happy to see that such a thing exitsts. Apparently they go from city to city using abandoned hoops, so who knows when I’ll come across another one.

Man Crush of the Week

 

Talk about a no-brainer.

Not only is Rafael Nadal the Mr. Olympia of tennis, but he also just outlasted the greatest tennis player of all time in the longest Wimbledon final of all-time. Nadal, in four hours and 48 minutes, effectively displayed to Roger Federer how the guns will, in fact, get you.

What a week for Spain. First Euro 2008, now this? I’m telling you now, watch out for the Gasol brothers leading Spain to Olylmpic basketball gold in a couple months.

We all have ESPN, so I don’t need to tell you what all the analysts have been saying. This is the greatest Wimbledon final, and possibly the greatest tennis match of all time. I’d like to argue that the epic three-setter that my brother and I played two years ago on the Taft High School hard courts (finished on a whopping 74 mph ace that I called out and he called in) was better, but we’ll leave that for another time.

 

Watch out for the guns

Watch out for the guns

The greatness of this match almost made me miss my flight. I was in Buffalo (on my way back from Canada) and Rafa and Roger were on the plasma in the bar, about 4 gates down from mine. It was 6-5 in the fifth set when it was time for me to board, so I walked down to the gate. Since I saw no plane I asked the lady at the desk what time we were scheduled to board.

“You want to watch the tennis game don’t you?” she said with a smile. “Just be back in 15 minutes.”

Despite the unusually friendly suggestion by a flight-related worker, I still was forced to board when it was 7-7.  My new best friend in 7A (he had a blackberry) informed me that it was 8-7 just before the flight attendant called the “writ of no electronics.” It immediately occured to me that Federer had served that 15th game, so Nadal must have broken him and was now serving for the championship.

Fifteen minutes on a prop plane later, we landed in Rochester and as soon as 7A got the all-clear signal from the flight attendant he turned around and shouted “Nine Seven!” On one hand I was disappointed I didn’t get to see the conclusion, but from what I hear the last two games were played in near darkness, so it’s not like I missed anything, right? Right?

 

Anyway, by beating Federer on a surface that you can’t make pots out of, Nadal has now turned this into an official rivalry. It’s great for both of them and, more importantly, it’s great for men’s tennis.

Rafa, with your flowing locks, bulging biceps, and propensity to teasingly wipe yourself down with a towel after every single point, you have unanimously (one vote to zero) won the coveted MCOW Award.

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