Monday’s Sports Missive: Serena, Novak, Jordan, Roger & Wayne

sportsnewsNo Louisville Cardinal fan rooted harder for Wayne Blackshear to succeed, and become a major Double Arches AA-quality collegian, than I did.

Some have even used the word apologist.

Truth is he never met fans, coaches, or his expectations. It happens.

I happened upon a couple of his summer league games during the last week or so.

In the first, contested in Utah, he played about half the minutes, but contributed little. In the second, after the Spurs had moved on to the Vegas competition, it was all pine time. He never took off his warmup.

So, it is somewhat sad, how he’s expressed his views of his years on the Belknap Campus.

I agree with him. For most of his career, he did sublimate his game to the offensive sets run by The Rick. But . . . a lot of that had to do with the fact that he never displayed the eye of the tiger, the will to take charge, that it was believed he had in him. He never really showed he deserved to have sets run for him.

Luke Hancock played the same position, in a supporting role, and he took over when he entered the game.

So, yeah, that Blackshear’s expressing his frustration by kinda pointing fingers is lamentable, if certainly understandable.

He is, by all accounts, good people. As a student, he won the Final Four Academic Award, the year the Cards took it all. He never got in trouble. He started for a national champion, and contributed significantly to that title.

It’s doubtful he’ll ever make it to the NBA. Not impossible, but far from likely.

I’m still rooting for him to succeed, in whatever land, at whatever level of competition. And, to return for a warm welcome to one of those timeout moments with Sean Moth in a season to come.

* * * * *

My knowledge of the nuances of championship tennis is limited. I dabbled with the game in my youth, so I have a little of how good these players are that compete at the highest levels, of how extraordinary their shot making is.

Running full speed then flicking a backhand within an inch of the endline takes immense talent, developed after decades of practice and coaching. Returning serves blasted at 100+ mph is not an easy thing to do. 1

Anyway, that disclaimer aside, I watched Roger Federer’s semi-final evisceration of Andy Murray, one the world’s four best male players, and realized how very, very, very good he was playing. As good as ever, he said. Who am I to disagree?

When John McEnroe screamed in the mic after a return winner, “Are you kiddin’ me?,” I felt comfortable with my assessment.

That said, Federer, who some have opined may be the best ever, is not the best anymore. Novak Djokovic is. Which even untrained eyes like mine could see, when, during Sunday’s final, a cross-court backhand would bounce just beyond Federer’s racket.

It is possible that Roger’s last hurrah came during the second set tiebreaker Sunday on Centre Court. Down, 3-6, RF saved three set points, then prevailed to even the match at a set apiece.

After which, Djokovic pulled away like American Pharoah for a four set championship.

I was rooting for Roger, but it’s not like the champion is some kind of Evil Ivan Lendl kind of guy. Novak Djokovic is a worthy winner.

* * * * *

Serena Williams.

* * * * *

It’s baseball’s All-Star break.2

What vexes me more than the Kansas City ballot stuff — Is that George Brett staring at 3d? — is how my Detroit Tigers have bumbled, fumbled and fallen. After starting the season with four straight Ws over the Twins, then getting some measure of the Division, they now stand at .500, and too many games out to catch up. Even, probably, for the Wild Card.

The coup de grace came last week, when Mr. Kate Upton — Justin Verlander — finally found his stuff, handing the bullpen a five run lead, 6-1, after eight. The Twins, with like a .003% chance of prevailing, tallied 7 in the bottom of the last, including a three run walk off tater.

Further meltdowns ensued over the weekend, before the badly needed traditional mid-season rest.

Guess I’ll be paying more attention than ever to football this fall. My team won’t be making the post season.

* * * * *

Jordan Spieth.

* * * * *

How cool would it be, were Ms. Williams and young Mr. Spieth both to complete a Grand Slam in the same summer?

Now that would be transcendence.

* * * * *

All that aside, we’re all on Maverick Rowan Watch, right?

— Seedy K

5 thoughts on “Monday’s Sports Missive: Serena, Novak, Jordan, Roger & Wayne

  1. A compassionate and accurate assessment of Wayne who gave us what he could and on his comments on why he didn’t do more. We should remember “potential” is open-ended and not finite.

  2. Wayne who? Has he disappeared again?

    Did you see the Bucs/Cardinals baseball game last night? Priceless! 6-5 Bucs with 3 runs in bottom of 10th with 2 outs…ya gotta love baseball if you have a rooting interest…

    1. Maverick? Who is the latest shoe company he’s playing for on the less-than-honorable AAU summer circuit? That might yield a clue…

  3. I agree with Mr. Joyner. i don’t even have a team to root for since I am a Reds fan, but baseball is still my favorite spectator sport. On those few occasions when the Reds are in the hunt it is really, really fun.

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