Friday, July 06, 2012

5 Things That I Am Following This Week

1.  The debate about slavery that has popped up this past week.  Sprinter Michael Johnson says that descendants of slaves have a superior athletic gene that lets them be great athletes.  Chris Rock saying that the 4th of July is basically a white man's holiday because when the Declaration of Independence was signed, it didn't affect the black man and his fortunes.  And this is a conversation that is worth having.  Racism is still alive in America and it is alive in sports.  This conversation is needed in the entire context of America and why our history is sometimes glossed over in sports.  However, I am troubled about the way race is portrayed sometimes in the sports world.

2.   Wimbledon 2012.  In the Women's finals, you have a resurgent Serena Williams playing a Polish player in Agnieszka Radwanska who has a severe respiratory illness that has made it nearly impossible for her to speak.  Radwanska is the 1st Polish player since 1939 to make a Grand Slam Final.  Over in the Men's draw, it looks like Andy Murray might make the finals.  He plays Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in one semifinal while Federer-Djokovic match in the other semifinal is being looked at as the true title match.  There is lots of drama here and it comes to a head this weekend.

3.  The Doping Case Against Lance Armstrong.  Armstrong is using the vendetta defense against the U.S. Anti-Doping agency.  He is alleging that the anti-doping agency has caught others doping and is giving them leniency in exchange for false testimony against Lance to catch the big white whale in cycling.  Reports have 5 former teammates, 2 former team managers, and a fromer trainer willing to testify against Armstrong in exchange for 6 month suspensions for the people involved.  Without their testimony, they could be banned from the sport of cycling or face at least a year long expulsion from the sport.

4.  Formula One - Another week, more chaos.  Bernie Ecclestone has proposed a London Grand Prix.  The German banker convicted of bribery is appealing his conviction, he was involved with Ecclestone.  Marussia F1 test driver Maria De Villota lost her right eye after the race car she was driving crashed into the team hauler.  She was in surgery for approximately 18 hours according to reports.  She underwent procedures from nuerologists and plastic surgeons during her time in surgery.  Her head took much of the brunt from the accident.  An investigation is taking place because apparently De Villota was slowing down at the end of her run when the car suddenly accelerated and hit the team hauler.  All of that doesn't overshadow the British Grand Prix going on in Silverstone, England this weekend.  Fernando Alonso leads the points by 20 and Sebastian Vettel, a favorite to win the championship at the beginning of the season, is trying to turn qualifying performances into race results after June failed to produce a podium finish despite 3 poles.

5.  Golf and Tiger.  Tiger Woods has won 3 tournaments this year, although none of them a major title.  He isn't as consistant as he was when he was the undisputable #1 player in the world and has shown that he can crumble in a tightly contested tournament.  However, the biggest thing for the PGA is that Tiger still has the ability to pull in eyeballs.  Tiger is 8 wins behind Sam Snead for all time wins on the PGA tour.  Snead won an amazing 82 PGA tournaments.  Tiger is four major tiles behind Jack Nicklaus with 14 major titles.  Jack won an outstanding 18.  I think that he makes the Snead record, but narrowly misses the major tourney title.  I am sure that is OK with the PGA though.  What a storyline 4 times a year, with Tiger chasing Jack for the most major tournament titles. Even if tiger doesn't reach 18 major titles, golf's popularity will be increase.  Why?  Because America is a sucker for trying to see if history is achieved.  And if Tiger is on the verge of making history, then it should be where America and it's eyeballs watch to see if Tiger can pull it off, especially if Tiger is in that final pairing on Sunday.


Anonymous said...

I just found out the American LeMans race at Lime Rock will be on ESPN2 tomorrow afternoon, which is a great way to lead into the Daytona night race.

It's sad what happened to Maria De Villota. She lost one of her eyes and still remains in critical but stable condition.

Brent said...

I might have to watch the LeMans race if it is on ESPN2.

It is sad what happened to De Villota. The 1st Female F1 test driver in 20 years and then this happens. I hope they figure out what went wrong.

Zebster said...

I'm not buying the "slavery" gene...makes no sense at all, just ask a Kenyan marathoner. Being of African descent, that's a different thing and there's something to that.
I'm a Phil fan and always root against Tiger, though I have nothing against him. But his presence makes for much better viewing, I agree.
I'll be watching Daytona tonight. Thought it interesting to see the 43 pushing the 3 last night.
I don't follow tennis hardly at all but I do hope Murray wins Wimbledon...what a great story that would be.

Brent said...

I agree about the African descent thing. But remember, you are talking about Americans, who by and large, ignore everything else besides their local area, so slavery instead of the descent would be the thing they focus on.

Brent said...

Tsk, tsk, A.J. Allmendinger. Success has gone to thy head. Next, you'll be known as the next Jeremy Mayfield.