SportsNet - July 2012
I wanted to take a look at what it is exactly that makes the best 4 players in the world as good as they are. Unfortunately the majority of analysis and commentary on tennis, as in most sports, succumbs to a level of hyperbole and uses a lexicon that while sounds impressive, tells us absolutely nothing about the different facets of the sports we love.
The top four players in the world, for the last 4 or 5 years now, have been Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, and Andy Murray. The first two have legitimate claims to be the best tennis player of all time; Djokovic has since partially eclipsed them in their prime by putting together the best season of all time in 2011; and Murray, while not belonging in the same category of all-time greats until he wins a slam, has been a consistent member of the top 4 and a huge factor in the era.
Subsequently I created a chart with the 15 categories I consider most important in the make-up of these great players and rated each player out of 10. Some attributes are physical and tangible, some are mental and illusive, and the categories are not perfect - but it hopefully gives an illustration.
NFL.com is reporting that 2012 second overall draft pick Robert Griffin III has finally signed his rookie contract with the Washington Redskins.
The terms of the deal are said to include $21,119,098 guaranteed money spread across four years.
The news is welcome relief for Redskins fans as Griffin had missed the first two days of the team's rookie training camp. Any fears of a potential holdout have been quashed by the quick deal.
Griffin is seen as the saviour for a franchise that has been blighted by quarterback troubles, ever since Mark Rypien led them to their third and final Super Bowl triumph, following the 1991 season.
Head Coach Mike Shanahan and general manager Bruce Allen are counting on Griffin to salvage a rebuilding project that has so far yielded only 11 wins in two years.
The backlash that came out of New York this week regarding Jeremy's Lin contract was nothing short of "ridiculous." Even more so was the mentality that, as of yet, Lin hadn't proven anything, he of the 25-game resume just weeks after jumping off his brother's couch. The terms of his Rockets contract does give one pause when observing the pay hike Lin will receive in year three. The Ivy Leaguer is set to make an intial $5 million, then $5.225 million in the second year, and a perplexing $14.8 million at the back end of the contract. But when looking at the overall package of $25.1 million for three years, it's not exactly the kind of number that's offending the market.
Did anybody know the Oakland A’s were 46-43, and a half game out of the second wild card spot coming into Tuesday’s game against Texas? I sure didn’t. The A’s haven’t been relevant in baseball since the players in “Moneyball” were actually on the team.
With any Oakland A’s team in the 21st century, their current nucleolus revolves around starting pitching and youth. The movie failed to mention the real reason Oakland made the playoffs in 2002, which was Tim Hudson, Mark Mulder and Barry Zito. Billy Beane has stayed true to his form and rebuilt that pitching staff with young arms that have given the A’s quality innings.
Oakland has three starters that are in their first full year in the Major Leagues. Tommy Malone leads the team with 9 wins, despite a 3.54 era and the 27th ranked offense for support. Malone came over from Washington in the trade for Gio Gonzalez. Jarrod Parker made four starts in the minors before being called up in April. The 23-year-old is 6-4 with a 3.16 era in 15 starts.
The recent publication of the Freeh Report on what exactly took place at Penn State while Jerry Sandusky abused his status in the community to sexually molest at least 10 underage males has left the country in awe. Not only did Joe Paterno and his fellow higher-ups at State College fail to act, they covered up what will go down as the greatest scandal in the history of college sports. And now the football program they fought so hard to protect is going to pay the ultimate price -- the death penalty.
For those unfamiliar with this version of the death penalty, it is a pseudonym for a measure the NCAA has taken in the past where it can exercise the power to ban a school from participating in a particular sport for at least one year.
The most pertinent example of the usage of the death penalty is from the 1980s when the NCAA cancelled Southern Methodist University's football season in 1987 as well as the home half of its 1988 season. The penalty arose as a result of numerous recruiting violations involving thousands of dollars being paid to players, and the NCAA handed down the penalty citing an utter lack of institutional control.