Posts Tagged ‘Rafael Nadal

15
Sep
10

Sports Digest 9.15.2010

Fall is in full swing, as the weather in Chicago reminds us every morning. With football back, MLB races heating up and another U.S. Open in the books, Chicks Dig Sports Too is over-due for a sports digest.

NFL

New York Jets-I’m sticking with my pick of the Jets going to the Super Bowl. Did they play horribly on Monday night? YES. Their sloppy play resulted in one converted third-down the entire night, Cromartie had more dumb penalties than he has children and don’t even get me started on Keller’s fourth down play which was one of the biggest bone-head plays I’ve ever seen. A pathetic offensive performance, yes, however the Jets defense DID hold the Ravens to 10 points (albeit, the Raven’s offense was pretty horrendous.) With DT Jenkins out, it will be an uphill battle for the Jets but ‘m not flip-flopping- it’s just week one. Team’s should be playing their worst ball, and the bright side is, the Jets offense can’t get much worse. Maybe Sanchez had the jitters, maybe he’s an awful quarterback, time will tell, but I’m not ready to bail yet. Am I concerned? Sure but not ready to call a fire drill just yet.

Perhaps exchanging recipes after the game??

Pittsburgh Steelers-The Steelers fought hard for that win on Sunday and they deserved it. Dixon performed fine, which is exactly how he needed to-controlling the ball and having as few turnovers as possible. With an inexperienced QB (and a  usually solid kicker that inexplicably froze TWICE in his home stadium) the rest of the team, especially the steel-curtain defense, stepped up to secure the win…and don’t even get me started on Hines Ward’s layout catch in the second quarter. With the win over the Falcons, the Steelers are already better than worse-case scenario of going 0-4 without Ben, which is huge. Hopefully they can scrape together another win against the Titans on Sunday.

Mendenhall Rushes for the Game-Winning TD

Washington Redskins-I love when games come down to one play–under the lights on a Sunday night is about as primetime as you can get. For what it’s worth, Dallas QB Tony Romo did a great job of leading his team down the field and was an inch away from stealing the game at FedEx field (another bonehead play to end the game). But I was impressed with Washington. Shanahan appears to have whipped this team into shape. McNabb is playing well and they seemed way more prepared than I gave them credit for. In a far departure from the previous 15 years of my life, I actually am warming up to the idea (read: would relish every second of) McNabb winning a Super Bowl WITHOUT Philly. It would be just desserts to a city that treated him like garbage for a majority of his time there…hmm. I like the thought of it 😀

Philadelphia Eagles-Ugh. A quarterback “controversy” in week 1? Philly I am so over how easily your love can be bought. In my opinion, there should have never been a “controversy” to begin with–Vick’s your guy.

MLB

The Twins are on FIRE which is unfortunate for the White Sox who have been playing their best ball all season. A  crushing 9-3 loss last night may have delivered the final blow to the team. As a Cubs fan, I’m not sure what’s worse–being 20 games back in July and continuing down a spiral of misery through October, or having a glimpse of hope towards the end of the season and having it extinguished. But I will tell you one thing–it’s rough to be a freaking Chicago sports fan.

Ian Kinsler of the Texas Rangers is appealing his one game suspension with the MLB. I’m torn on this one–however, being ejected means you cannot be a part of on-field activities and  Kinsler’s boyhood excitement for a walk-off home-run, which is undeniably charming, can’t be claimed as a reason for not abiding by the rules. With the Rangers magic number down to 10 with 18 games to play, I think he should just serve it and move on while they have some wiggle room to lose a game or two. I would hate for this to get tied up and have him serve it at a later time when they need him in the game (i.e. magic number is two with three games to play.)

U.S. Open

Another U.S. Open is in the books and I couldn’t be happier about comeback kid Kim Clijsters and perennial powerhouse Rafael Nadal winning the Slam in singles.  For Clijsters, a former number 1 who retired due to injuries in 2007, it was her second-straight U.S. Open win, making her the first woman to achieve this feat since Venus Williams did it in 2000-2001.

Clijsters Wins U.S. Open

In typical fashion, Rafael Nadal was dominant in his  performance in Flushing-dropping only one set in seven matches at the Open. At 24 years old, this win gives Rafa a career grand slam, as well as a “golden slam”-all four grand slam titles and a gold medal. (Sidenote: at 24, my biggest slam accomplishment is housing the free Denny’s Grand Slam on my birthday…but I digress :-)) Rafael Nadal is poised to pass Federer as the best tennis player of all time (given their head-to-head record, he already has in my opinion), and I, for one, couldn’t be happier for him.

What are your thoughts ont his crazy week in sports? Are the Jets really that bad? Are the ‘Skins that good? Should Kinsler appeal his one game suspension? How much of the Open did you watch?

Talk to us people…from traffic numbers (which have been INSANE the past few weeks..thank you! :-D) we know you’re lurking…we’d love to hear from you!

–Sam

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27
Jan
10

Sports Digest 1.26.10

Hockey

Since I NEVER talk about hockey I’d just like to say: How ‘Bout Dem Penguins?! Cooke’s last-minute goal on a Power Play Sunday helped the Pens send the Flyers home crying…AGAIN. A win at the Rangers on Monday has the Pens sitting pretty, tied for third in the Eastern Conference. I smell a repeat 🙂 But I AM ridiculously biased.

2009 Stanley Cup Champs!

Australian Open

Bummer about Andy Roddick. Huge bummer. He wasn’t playing his best tennis, that’s for sure, but I always see him as a dark horse in any grand slam competition (minus the French Open though, since he can’t play for squat on clay) After his win in Brisbane, I thought he had a good shot. Roddick was playing a lot of grueling long matches throughout the Australian Open and it looked like he was favoring his shoulder. While those are all valid excuses, I don’t want to take anything away from Cilic, who went up on Roddick 2 sets to love and staved off a triple break point in the 5th.

Also a bummer about Rafael Nadal, who retired after being down 2 sets to love with an apparent knee injury. At 23 years old, Nadal is right to be better safe than sorry in retiring, but it’s a shame to see the defending champ bow out. We haven’t had enough of Raffa lately, and tendonitis in the knee has been the cited source of his troubles lately. The sport isn’t the same without him. Similar to Roddick’s case though, we should not take anything away from Andy Murray, who–even with Raffa’s injury– was making pretty short work of the defending champ. His explosive play has really started to capture the tennis world and deservingly so. So instead of a Nadal/Roddick semi…which would have been AWESOME (Raffa leads the series 3-2) but we have Cilic vs. Murray, which is a match no one could have predicted but we arguably are lucky to have.

Nadal getting medical attention during his quarterfinal match

Federer hangs in there as a heavy favorite to be playing on Sunday in the Australian Open final.

On the women’s side, Justin Henin is through to the semi’s (holler!) and a Williams/Williams semi seems inevitable.

Comeback Kid, Henin

College Basketball

How good does No.4 Syracuse look? No seriously, how good do they look? ‘Cuse rallied after being 14 behind in the opening minutes against arch-rival  No. 7 Georgetown yesterday, to win in an impressive fashion with a final score of 73-56. At times, watching this Orange team is almost unbelievable. They look unstoppable. Their one weakness, and it’s a big one, is that they are a second half team. They have been slow to start in almost all of their contests this year. While it’s all worked out alright, it cannot continue, especially when we play Villanova on February 27th. If we can put together 40 minutes of solid ball we’ll be unstoppable. I say right now, on any given day, we play about 30 minutes of solid ball. Either way, I’m excited to see Syracuse ride it out for the season (we’re final four bound) and PUMPED to see them play at DePaul on Saturday 🙂

I Heart Dome

NFL

I will do my Super bowl predictions closer to the game but just a word on officiating in the NFL. While I really like the Saints and am SO thrilled they are going to the Super Bowl, the officiating toward the end of the NFC Championship game was tres lame. So lame in fact, that it ruined the whole experience for viewers and robbed the Saints of what should have been a very legitimate game. The three plays I’m talking about all occurred in over time back to back. 1) the pass interference call –which I allowed since they are always somewhat subjective 2) the forward progress call — should have been negated because the running back LOST control of the football 3) THE PASS THAT HIT THE GROUND THAT WAS COUNTED AS COMPLETE.

So while I love you Saints, especially for sending that pompous ass Brett Favre home, I think you deserve to go under better circumstances. The game (as my twinny @jrflynn86 would say) COMPLETELY stood up to its billing, until the end…and EVERYONE deserved a better ending than that. Still, I’m pumped about two #1 seeds playing in the Super Bowl (First time since 1993!) It should prove to be a helluva game.

Congrats Drew!

What are your thoughts on the recent developments in sports? Who you got in the Super Bowl? Who you got in the Australian Open? What basketball team do YOU like?

Talk to me people 🙂

–Sam

21
Jan
10

Sports Digest 1.20.10

College Basketball

How good does Syracuse look? I mean seriously, how good do we look? Wes Johnson is AWESOME. Andy Rautins is on FIRE, Triche is playing well. We weren’t supposed to be this good this year, especially after losing Johnny Flynn (and Harris and Devendorf) Next up, SU faces some tough competition against 2 of 3 of the best 3-point shooting teams in the country. First up is Marquette on Saturday, ALWAYS a feisty team and Georgetown, our hated rival on Monday. SU is going to have to play really tight, but I think we’re up for the challenge.

Holla Back Rautins...ooh ooh!

and speaking of playing tight….Congrats to Kansas State! I’m not even going to pretend like I’m familiar with this team, in fact, I had to google their mascot name (wildcats) but they played with FIRE on Monday night. They played a little sloppy at times, but they WANTED it. Their defense was awesome and they managed to hold Damion James to NINE points…which is unbelievable. Kansas State has proven to be a threat by knocking off the undefeated number 1 seed. I’m anxious to see how they do throughout the rest of the season. One thing is for sure, a rivalry was born–cause it got pretty ugly towards the end of the game with the crowd involvement.

Can't you just feel the tension?

Tim Tebow

It came out earlier this week that Tim Tebow and his ma’ are going to star in a pro-life ad to run during the Superbowl. While I may or may not agree with his viewpoint, I applaud him for standing up for SOMETHING. I think a lot of athletes shy away from an extreme stance, as it may affect contracts or endorsements–so it takes guts to take such a firm stand for something–even if it’s not the popular view point. (Although for all we know, Tebow has FINALLY realized that he won’t exactly be a great NFL QB and that maybe his endorsements/contracts won’t be as high as he originally thought, therefore he CAN take a stand on something) I’m not a Tebow fan, obviously, but I respect the decision he made to speak out on his beliefs.

This is his pro-life face.

Australian Open

Roddick through to third round (holla!)

Sharapova out (not surprised)

Federer drops his first set but handily wins the next match (jitters)

Nadal on to the third round..(it’s good to have him back)

Upcoming

Spring sports are the ISH! And this year, we get the Winter Olympics! So it’s going to be a busy February with college basketball, the winter olympics, college lacrosse, college softball (my FAV) and MLB pitchers and catchers reporting soon. Not to mention the Super Bowl and the return of LOST…can February get any better?

What are your thoughts on the college basketball scene? Are you surprised with anything about the Australian Open? (Are you even watching the Australian Open?) What’s your take on Tebow? Talk to me people 🙂

–Sam

18
Jan
10

Australian Open!

With the NFL playoffs being SUCH a drag (as in no really competitive games or surprises) I’m looking forward to the start tonight of the Australian Open. Tennis is such a fun and exciting game to watch…and a freaking HARD game to play. While my knowledge in tennis has dwindled a little over the years, I can only speculate about who will win…and unlike in football there are tooo many players to choose one…but here’s my breakdown for what it’s worth.

Women

Serena Williams comes in ranked at No. 1, obviously I think there is no way anyone can count Serena out, especially in this resurgence of her career. Same with Venus. What’s interesting (maybe ten years ago) is the sisters are in the same half of the draw, so we don’t have to worry about a Williams vs. Williams Championship match.

Tennis Dynasty

I would not count out Clijsters (who won the most recent grand slam, the U.S. Open) or Justine Henin-Hardenne, who has taken Clijsters return as motivation to spawn a comeback story of her own.

Sharapova is back too, and while she always seemed a little bit of a flash in the pan to me, I think she’ll put up some good competition and at least make it to the quarters (and we’ll get to hear her grunts!)

Safina was/is the most over-rated former No.1 of all time, so I don’t expect her to make much of a dent in this field.

I probably could have been a better no.1

Men

Praise the Lord we’ve got Federer AND Nadal healthy and in the same tournament! I don’t think anyone can doubt that Federer is the best player in the history of tennis, but his recent Grand Slams have seemed to be (at least in my eyes) less poignant because Raffa was not in. I anticipate a Federer/Nadal showdown (Duh!) It seems that Nadal has had Federer’s number in recent championship match ups, so if Federer can squeak by Nadal, I think he can retire fully knowing that h’es THE BEST. (Raffa is DEF going to give him a run for his money in that category if he can stay healthy, but with such an advantage over Federer in Grand Slam finals (5-2, losing the first two Wimbledon’s in 06 and 07) it’s hard to say that Federer is the BEST, especially since another active player regularly has his number)

Suck it, McEnroe

There will be some spoilers on the men’s side though: As always, I am a HUGE fan of Andy Roddick, not just because he’s been tennis’ resident studmuffin for the better part of a decade, but because he’s actually playing REALLY good tennis right now. He just won the Brisbane International tournament, which will add confidence to his schedule. If he plays well, he should wind up facing Raffa in the semi-finals, giving him a run for his money 🙂

It was really hard for me to pick a photo with his shirt ON.

I’m also a fan of Tommy Haas, No 18. Though he has been quiet over the tour in the past couple years, I would never count Tommy Haas off as a nonthreat. His days of being world no. 2 are long behind him, but Haas has always been a solid volley-er. I expect him to make it to the quarters, and he MAY knock off a player a few above him.

No. 3 Djokovic has been playing really well, and CAN beat the big two players, as evidence in his win in the semi-finals of the Australian open against Federer in 2008. In the past two years, he’s made it to FOUR grand slam semi’s, in addition to his Austalian open win.

James Blake–remember a few years ago when there was a little group of guys that were suppossed to change the face of US Tennis? The gang consisted of James Blake, Mardy Fish and Robby Ginepri (who even dated Minnie Driver for a bit!) Well, all of these guys have turned out to be a disapppointment and a joke, but none is worse than Blake who had the most talent for sure! (His career high at No.4 and 10 men’s tour wins CREAMS anything Fish and Ginepri could do combined) James Blake could have been a better player…and I’m not sure why he isn’t. Expect him out in the third round.

All of America misses your dreadlocks, James

What do you think about the Australian Open? Who do you think is gonna take it this year? Is Serena going to have another HUGE meltdown? Jonesing for another Raffa/Federer showdown?

Talk to me people! 🙂

–Sam




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