1. The U.S. of A in the World Cup. Can we just talk about, for a second, how amazing yesterday's match between the USA and Algeria was? I mean, wow. What you saw there was a team who was not going to give up, come disallowed goals or cheap shots to the mouth.
(And can I just take a second to ask what does it take to get a proper call in soccer? After the last two months in professional sports (MLB and World Cup soccer), I hope someone in authority sees how much instant replay is needed. It's sad when a deserving team gets robbed of one win and almost another because the referee was 58 percent sure that there was an offsides call.)
Although I know that most people, especially in the South (ahem...Rick and Bubba), don't get soccer (futbol), don't understand what the big deal is, and think it's a communist sport, I particularly love world wide sporting events like the World Cup and the Olympics. As a world, even when we are competing against each other, there is a unifying thread of love for sport and country that is just undeniable. As a country, it's nice to see that even with all the issues that our nation is dealing with right now that we can get behind our fellow Americans and show them how much we believe in their success. It's sad that it can't be that way politically.
2. The marathon match at Wimbledon. I've always wanted to go to Winbledon ever since I took a trip to London after my senior year in high school and saw it on the list of Metro stops. The place has such a neat history of sport, royalty and culture. It's on my bucket list for sure.
If you've been living under a rock for the last three days, American tennis player John Isner (see picture: and is it just me or does he favor Dave Barnes in that pic?) has been trying to win a match over Frenchman Nicolas Mahut for three days, an 11-plus hour match suspended twice for darkness. And just minutes ago, Isner put the final nail in the coffin, winning 70-68. Which, by the way, is...INSANITY!
After having covered tennis my first two years here at Samford, I really came to have an appreciation for the sport and for what these players go through. Having watched one of my own players fight through insane body cramps and a horrible hip injury in mid-90 degree weather against one of his most heated rivals to win a conference championship that rested solely on his shoulders, I can appreciate the pressure that a tennis match might apply on one young man. However, had I been playing in that match, I think I might have offered to buy the guy an ice cream topped with gummie bears and rainbow sprinkles to maybe intice him to stop the madness. But then again, I'm a sore loser so I probably would've fought to the death.
It made history. Longest match in history. Longest five-set match. Eight hours and 11 minutes. 98 minutes more than the longest match in history. It took 65 minutes for him to win today. 2:54 on Tuesday. 7:06 on Wednesday. Seven hours.
I know it might be a little cheesy and it may just be the writer in me looking for something, but I think a day after the U.S. soccer team shocked the world, it's cool to see another young American (and SEC kid -- he played at Georgia) representing his country in such a way. It's sort of a message to the world about how no matter what this country faces, it's people are going to fight to the death to overcome it.
3. Lady Gaga's antics around NYC. First, it was her showing up at a Mets game wearing just a leather jacket over a bikini, causing a rukus and flipping off fans. Then she made an appearance at a Yankees game wearing fishnets, a black bra and a pinstriped Yankees jerseys. She was reportedly banned from the team's clubhouse after being clearly plastered and repeatedly groping herself.
I won't talk about how she's just another attention-hungry pop star who is on the verge of a nervous breakdown. That's clearly the case.
What I do want to address is the fact that someone in the Yankees and Mets front office let someone into their gates dressed like she was. I know when you work for a spors organization on the professional level, it's not about what you know, it's who you know. It's not about what you have at your events, it's who you have at your events. However, I don't know that I could honestly say that I wouldn't have refused to Ms. Gaga admittance into my park with her dressed like that.
A slice of advice to Gaga. If you don't want people to pay attention to you, try a t-shirt and jeans.
4. Italy, the reigning World Cup champions, just got knocked out of this year's World Cup. By Slovakia. Wow.
5. This is just a bonus. I heart this commercial so much.