Weekend in Sports

Certainly a big Independence Day weekend in the world of sports:

1) Steve McNair found dead: Obviously very tragic news.  While the police aren’t willing to say it yet, signs seem to be pointing towards a female acquaintence murdering him in a murder/suicide.  Certainly when you ponder his NFL career the two words “tough competitor” leap to mind.  It seems he was always hurt, indeed that he was always nursing multiple injuries at the same time.  But he almost always played through it and played very well.  I don’t think that you would consider his career Hall-of-Fame worthy, but it was rather close to being that good.  And, either way, a tragic ending to a short life.

2) Tony Stewart survives at Daytona: I haven’t sought out much in the way of postmortem coverage, but I would hope Stewart isn’t being blamed too much for the final turn of final lap wreck that gave Stewart the win and massively re-shuffled the final race order of finish.  Kyle Busch was leading with Stewart right behind.  Tony went to pass low and Kyle blocked, so Stewart then went to pass high.  Busch went to block, but Stewart already had his front even with Busch’s rear, so when Kyle went up they clipped and Busch was spun into the wall, while Stewart was able to maintain control and take the checkered flag.  This wreck was Busch’s fault for trying to block when Stewart was already beside him.  Really, at that point, I don’t think Busch even needed to try and block; just race Stewart to the finish line.  Either way, it made for a dramatic finish to the restrictor plate race.

3) Federer wins 15th Slam title: Wow what a match!  16-14 in the 5th set which pulverized the previous Wimbledon and Grand Slam records for length of final set.  Basically, if Andy Roddick had played that well at any time in the past 5 years he’d have more than 1 Slam title and be better than 2-19 all-time against Federer.  Federer never broke his serve all day until the decisive game.  I’m sure Roddick will rue blowing a 6-2 lead in the 2nd set tiebreaker, but he really doesn’t have anything to be ashamed of.  With Sampras’ record broken and with Federer completed the career grand slam with last month’s French victory, is he the best male tennis player of all time?  Hard to say, but he’s certainly in the discussion.  On the ladies side Serena won the most recent version of sibling rivalry, but will remain 2nd to Dinara Safina in the world rankings despite having one 3 of the last 4 Slam titles.  Oh well, everyone knows who the best 2 players in women’s tennis actually are.

4) Speaking of best, we already knew Tiger was the best golfer going before he won his own tournament, the AT&T National at Congressional by staring down a final round 62 by Hunter Mahan.  With a hot 2nd half of the season he could catch Nicklaus for 2nd all time in PGA Tour wins.  On the ladies side a South Korean named Yi got her first LPGA Tour win by beating a late-charging Morgan Pressel on the first playoff hole at the Owens Corning Jamie Farr Classic in Toledo.  I guess the Buckeye in me could point out that people don’t win in Ohio while wearing Maize & Blue.  Also noteworthy was the final round 64 that vaulted Michelle Wie into a 3rd place finish.  A double bogey on 18 in the 2nd round is essentially what kept her out of the playoff.  Her game is certainly coming around, and I think its a fait accompli that wins will come for her.  Next week at the Women’s US Open I think would shock no one.

5) Rosters for the MLB All-Star Game were announced today.  I don’t really have a lot to add on that topic.  The fans made a couple logical choices, like Pujols being the leading vote-getter.  They made a couple dumb choices like NL outfielders that are injured, but that is par for the course there.  Freddie Sanchez will represent the Pirates and Victor Martinez the Indians, which is sensible.

6) Of course the biggest parlor game the past 48 hours has been trying to figure out what Sarah Palin is thinking, but I have no intention of getting inside her head.

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