Well, my favorite time of year for binge-watching sports is at an end.
Chris Froome (Richie Cunningham’s doppleganger) is, once again, the winner of the Tour De France. I was disappointed his teammate Landa didn't try to overcome the 1 second gap that kept him off the podium.
The 21-stage event had the usual NASCAR-worthy crashes. The worst of which was the Martin/Plante wreck that left Plante with a concussion. It could have been so much worse. In fact if Plante has decided to fight the lateral path of his bike, he’d have ended up going over the side of a very steep drop. But eventually the trees would have stopped his fall. Eventually.
It is worth mentioning the Martin returned to the race to finish ahead of the bulk of the peloton. He would be competitive throughout the three weeks.
The ejection of Sagan was an absolute outrage especially considering Nacer Bouhanni’s behavior. In Sagan’s case, he was already close to a wall and Mark Cavendish tried to pass him inside. At one point it looks like Cavendish even leans into him. It is impossible to tell if Sagan was trying to make contact or just keep his bike upright when Cavendish hits the ground.
Bouhanni’s sorry behavior is clearly intentional and brazenly on display. Sagan was a favorite this year. He would have contributed to a great event. Most cycling fans couldn’t care less if Bouhanni falls into a sing hole. He should have gotten his walking papers days ago.
And Marcel Kittel was amazing. He took 5 of the first 11 stages, only to crash out of the race a few days ago. I hope he comes back strong next year. He gained a lot of respect, especially that last day trying to ride injured.
Wimbledon ended last week. Garbiñe Muguruza (cool name) took the Women’s Trophy over Venus Williams (sister to the woman who broke my heart). Venus didn’t come into the final match looking as wound up and confident as she had earlier in the tournament.
For the men, it was Roger Federer who beat Marin Cillic to walk away with the cup. He was, in a word, remarkable. He scored the title having not dropped a set throughout the event. He is far older than any of the players he defeated. (One commentator noted that all the young players were struggling with the heat and injuries, etc. And there’s Federer, almost 36 and fresh as a daisy.)
It was his eighth win at Wimbledon and a record. He looks as though he may have one more in him. We’ll see.
The big story at center court remains Andy Murray. He played well through most of the rounds. And he's still ranked #1. I had no idea until the second round that he is just coming off hip surgery.
I always thought he had an odd gait. It turns out that he has a limp. When he walks, his left hip remains straight but his right hip rotates back with his leg. The number one tennis player in the world is beating everyone despite a limp. And the limp is not on display when he charges the net or bounds across the court to recover a blooper and stick it up his opponent’s ass. Expect more greatness from Federer and Murray.
The Open Championship
I thought this was scheduled the previous week, but that was the Scottish Open. I did watch that one too.
If you are a golf fan, you didn’t want to miss the Open. It had a little of everything including about 25 minutes of WHAT-THE-HELL-IS-HE-DOING, as Jordan Spieth ran around the practice range looking for a place to drop his ball. More on that in a bit.
But it was Spieth’s weekend, wire-to-wire! The kid who exploded onto the scene two years ago (he was actually amazing to watch as a junior amateur) came back with a fury at Royal Birkdale.
I have to admit, I was pulling for Matt Kuchar all the way to the 16th green in the final round. Kuch is a class act. And he is one of the leaderboard regulars never to have won a major. It sure would have been nice to see him pick up the Claret Jug. But it was not to be. He held neck and neck with Spieth for three days. Not a power hitter, he just plodded along, making the magic he could. He was steady Eddy.
But on the back nine, Spieth showed why he is one of the greatest 23-yr-olds ever to play the game. His clutch putting was mind-blowing.
From the 13th tee, Jordan landed in the rough on the back of a steep hill. Somehow he got the judge to call it unplayable. Spieth, talking a mile a minute, discussing options for a drop, walked all over the practice range and a crowded lot where communications vans were parked. Look at the hill, walk and talk. Look at the hill, walk and talk.
I know what you are thinking: How could a good-looking man, who isn't of retirement age, be watching Wimbledon and the Tour De France AND the Open? That's right. I watched every morning. Well, listen up, buttercup! By next year you could BE at Wimbledon, center court! Or you could watch the peloton zip by from the courtyard of a French Bed and Breakfast. All you need to do is pay attention!
In the end, he dropped his ball about 230 yards out, took his caddie’s advice and pulled out the three iron. He put a blind shot next to the green. Up and down for a bogie. This episode held up play for 25 minutes.
He fell behind Kuchar by a stroke, but that didn’t last. His short work for the rest of the game, especially his putting was flawless, while Kuchar “yipped” a few. Spieth went on to win at 12 under to Kuch’s 9 under.
It was a great weekend of golf. And keep your eye on a Canadian beansprout named Austin Connelly. He’s got real potential.
I’ll put up the best content and images I can find on all this. Keep an eye out for it.
This is a great time of year for binge-watching sports. Alas, it is over. I guess I'll have time to move my office back to the beach on the Gulf:
It's a tough life, but somebody's got to live it.
Matt Jordan is the author of Street Politics: It Ain't Your Daddy's GOP Anymore! Unlike Russell, I will not give this to you for free. But you can get it here NOW!
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