Since there isn't a damn thing going on, here is one man's wish list for the rest of summer...
...to watch more tennis. The Federer/Nadal final at Wimbledon was riveting, and I don't even watch tennis. I think the last match I watched was like Federer/Roddick like a year ago when people were actually giving Roddick a chance (and before that, it was Michael Chang on USA....man, I loved Michael Chang. And Gladiators. And Wings. I can't believe there was a time in my life when USA was my favorite channel. Seems a little implausible, no?).
But back to Federer v. Nadal: That was just exciting TV. I don't really know what I am talking about, but Nadal seemed infinitely more exciting; it seemed like he wanted to obliterate every ball he hit and had no qualms trying to place the ball in improbably sports, which he did, like, most every time. Federer seemed like a stoic brick wall, even was he was smashing his racket and challenging balls even I could tell were out. It was just a perfect combination; I wanted it to last at least 45 more games.
I may be may off here, but it seemed kind of like Iverson vs. Duncan, which, if you think about it, would be a pretty fun one-on-one game to watch. And to keep the basketball analogy going, I love how tennis players can just stop a match for however long they feel like it and berate the ref (ump?) who sits in the little lifeguard tower (the NBA should definitely have one of those guys at center court). I kept expecting them to get a quick technical whenever they did this while their coach and their masseuse held them back....then I remembered that the NBA was over. 'Sheed should pick up tennis; he'd love the freedom.
But it makes me want to watch more tennis. I have no idea if there are any players outside of Federer and Nadal that can make a match that exciting, but I am willing to give it a try. And I'd love it if I had an American to cheer for. Right now, I am firmly entrenched in the Nadal Camp, but I'll gladly jump ship to a worthwhile American. Is Roddick my best bet?
...Tiger to come from behind in a major, preferably the British this week. It is really the only glaring hole in his resume, and I would like to see him amend it. It is a completely made up and arbitrary and contrived and idiotic hole in his resume, probably thought up by some screaming head who needed something to yell about on TV and I really just don't want to hear about it anymore. I really don't know how you can use it to discredit the guy.
Plus, it would help me win my argument that Tiger is the greatest athlete in the world right now, even better that Mr. Federer. Both of them seem to have one huge problem they need to tidy up before they basically perfect their craft. Federer needs to win on clay; Tiger needs a Major comeback win. That is what Skip Bayless tells me, anyways, and he is always right, because he yells the loudest.
I have a sneaking suspicion that Federer is slipping and Nadal is gaining (I am more than likely very, very wrong here) but when/if Nadal beats him on a surface other than clay and Tiger pulls off a comeback win? This completely made up, arbitrary, contrived argument is ova.
(Oh, and I am thrilled that the British is being held at Carnoustie this year. Van de Velde's six on eighteen is one of my favorite moments of all-time, sports or non-sports. I could watch that on a loop all day. I love how he takes it so seriously, like he is not screwing up at all, and then when he putts in to force a playoff- after heading into the hole with a freakin' 3 shot lead - he pumps his fist and screams like he just eagled to win the tourney. And I love him standing in the water with no socks or shoes on.)
...ESPN's "Who's Now" Contest to be changed. ESPN really dropped the ball on this one. Why only 32 athletes, which can only argued and debated over just the summer? Why not make it 128 entries? No, 256! A million! It is seriously an awesome debate, trying to decide who is the most "Now." Why can't it last for a whole year? I really don't get it, ESPN. You have an awesome host in Stu Scott (for real, he is so cutting edge), so why wouldn't you keep it going as long as possible? The ESPN brain trust had a good thing going, but it is only going to last until August? What the hell, ESPN? I don't want any more damn highlights! I don't want to see games and stuff....I want debate, and more of it! I feel cheated.
Screw the NCAA tournament; we need to get Jim Boehiem to rally for expansion, immediately. I don't know what Wilbon loves more, the "Who's Now" tourney or having Boehim on PTI to whin about only 64 teams getting in, so PTI can devote a whole day to this, with Stu Scott sitting in for Kornheiser! It's a win-win!
...the USA to dominate the Little League World Series. I want Team USA's cleanup hitter to have porkchop sideburns, a fu manchu, grab his cup more than A-Rod, chew and spit relentlessly and swing a bigger bat than Albert Pujols. I want just bomb after bomb; I want him to hit them so far that the little kids that scramble after the balls are exhausted by the time they get to them. I want Taiwan to demand to see a birth certificate.
I want a tall, lanky pitcher throwing "the equivalent" of a 137 major league fastball. I want a lead off hitter who can bunt a double. I want them all to have ridiculous celebrations and handshakes. I want stadiums to chant "U-S-A! U-S-A!"
I want them to capture the imagination of a country.
...to get into baseball. I would like to use the US dominating the LLWS to spring board me back into loving baseball. I don't know why, but I just can't get into it. I really, really want to, but I just can't find the consistant motivation. Hopefully, an 11-year-old with three tattoos can do that for me.
U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A!
...Team USA dominating at whatever tournament it is that they are playing in this summer. C'mon fellas, just put it all together. Dominate. Win going away. Play as a team, play like it is fun, play with some energy, play with some inspiration, play like you want to be there. Give us a reason to cheer for you, other than the fact that it says "USA" on the front of your jersies. Give us a little confidence for the Olympics.
Give us a reason to chant U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A! I really, really just want to chant that a lot.
...one blockbuster NBA trade. I don't even care who it is; the Ray Allen-to-Boston deal just didn't do it for me. Kobe to Memphis. KG to Golden St. If it could involve one side getting completely fleeced, that would be enjoyable, too.
Ideally, I'd like to see both Kobe and KG shipped to the East. I would love a more distributed balance of power. But I will take whatever I can get.
...something unpredictable, but insane, to happen. I don't know what...maybe like Gary Sheffield calling Joe Torre a racist or Ron Artest and Stephen Jackson both getting suspended...although if you though for about 30 seconds, you could come up with both those scenarios. I want a scandal that will creep into the headlines of the "regular" news, but not something as depressing as Mike Vick's dog-fighting ring.
Maybe Bonds breaking the record, then admitting he took steriods, while Selig is helpless to do anything about it. I want something soap opera-ish, that I can follow just a little too much for a month or two. Maybe Zach Randolph can do something at a strip club, I don't know. I just need something.
...to learn how to use Ballhype. I have a vague idea how to use it, but I feel like my grandpa trying to figure out a DVD player. Someone just explain it to me. I don't get it. I am ashamed to admit it, but I don't get it. Help. Please.