So I have a fan. She checks my blog daily – every night. The fact that my Number One fan is my wife doesn’t take away from my excitement over having a fan – if anything it adds to it. I love her, very, very much. If only she didn’t skip over my sports-related posts, because those are my favorite to write.
So, at the risk of alienating my number one fan, I have to report on some recent developments in sports.
Roger Federer won the French Open, beating the guy who beat Nadal (making Fed’s win possible). Fed has now tied Sampras’ major record. In my opinion, Fed is the best of all time, to this point. There has been none better. That doesn’t mean Nadal won’t catch up; barring injury, Nadal very well might eclipse Federer’s accomplishments. But the fact that Federer is just now beginning to break the important records when Nadal has proven he’s clearly more talented should not take away from Fed’s accomplishments at the highlight of his career. Fed has been exciting to watch for a long time, and will be for the very near future.
Tiger Woods won a tournament, I think. Here’s the thing – I’m getting into golf. To this point, I’ve had no real problem with golf, beyond the fact that money appears to be the largest determinant in the quality of a poker player’s game. One thing I’ve never been able to deny is the fact that golf remains the only real “sport” that a person can play competitively well into old age. Thus – it was only a matter of time that I got involved. My putting game is decent, and my mid-range game is solid as long as someone tells me which club I should be using. I’m currently working on my drive. I wish my friend Danielle could go to the driving range with me and tell me diplomatically and constructively exactly what is wrong with my shot. I’d pay her money. If only she read my blog. Anyway – the point is that my respect for Tiger Woods knows no bounds. Keep in mind – Michael Jordan is my favorite professional athlete of all time, precisely because he DOMINATED his sport while he was playing. Tiger Woods is dominating his sport; there can be no doubt. And remember what I said about golf players playing competitively well into old age? Yeah – Tiger Woods is the best there ever will be at golf. Period. And we get to watch him NOW. Henceforth – no self-righteous attacks on the sport of golf from me.
LA Lakers win game two in OT. My Number One fan hates Kobe Bryant, and thus the Lakers. Because Kobe Bryant is one of the closest approximations of Michael Jordan in the last decade, combined with the fact that Jack Nicholson , a front row seat staple of all home games in LA, is such a fascinating part of televised games, I’m a Laker’s fan. I think a Laker’s win sans Shaq is important for Kobe’s legacy, so I support a Laker’s win, if for no other reason. I won’t belabor the point, but suffice it to say – Go Lakers!
Brett Favre had shoulder surgery. There’s no reason for him to have surgery unless he hopes to play football this year; he would let his shoulder heal naturally if he wanted to remain retired. He would only have committed to shoulder surgery and the resulting physical therapy if he had a very specific plan to QB for an NFL team. He’s going to play for the Vikings. Now, I’m a Washington Redskins fan. But precisely because I love Farve’s style over the last, I dunno, two decades, my second favorite team is the Packers. I was with him when he was traded to the Jets, and though my proxy allegiance didn’t transfer to the Jets, I still remained a Favre fan. But this is too much. I’m trying VERY hard NOT to offend my Number One fan by making a sexist remark, but real men aren’t this indecisive. That said, Favre playing for the Vikings makes things VERY interesting for me. Why? Because if this actually happens, and I’d say it’s about 50/50 at this point, Favre officially moves to the dark side of the force. For Green Bay fans, for many NFL fans, and MAYBE for me. There’s no reason for him to go to Minnesota specifically unless he’s specifically aiming to claim revenge on decisions made by the front office and coaching staff of the Packers last year. He’ll be Hollywood Hulk Hogan (I apologize for the wrestling reference, since I know nobody who understands this reference – but the reference is too applicable to ignore.) Evil Favre is compelling to me, and for that reason I choose to hope he returns. Because if he does, I’ll have to choose whether to root for or against him, and in so doing, open myself up for the first time to the possibility to rooting for the villain.
In poker news – the Tiger Woods of poker (a name he hates), Phil Ivey won a WSOP bracelet this week. He won just under 100 K in the event. He also won somewhere between 1 and 3 million dollars in sidebets that he would win a bracelet in this year’s WSOP. Go Ivey. I love his style, precisely because it so reminds me of Tiger Woods’ style. If Ivey actually DOES resent his moniker, he’s a very silly rich man. As I write this, by the way, Negreanu (my favorite player) is heads up in a Limit Hold-Em tournament for his (6th?) bracelet. There’s actually an important point here. Poker players (and other obvious business institutions) have been lobbying for years now to legalizing online poker. Their argument is that poker, specifically derivatives of Texas Hold-Em, is a game of skill, not luck. This appears to be the developing center of debate. I’m not sure why – I could probably write a book exploring the implications of this debate, alone. Regardless, Ivey’s and Negreanu’s recent accomplishments appear to support the argument that poker is more a game of skill than luck. While I would disagree with the premise and conclusion of this statement, I am still happy. For one, Negreanu and Ivey are undoubtedly good at what they do. People who choose to put money against them deserve what they get. And if you have caught the theme of this post – I respect talent. Talent should be rewarded. Talent should not be legislated against.
Of course – nothing is as simple as it should be.