“An Atypical Day in American Sport”

A couple of days ago I wrote a post entitled, “Proud To Be An American.”  In this post I discussed why I love the sports that Americans tend to prefer such as basketball, baseball, and football.  And basically talked about how soccer and the World Cup is nice, but it is not even on the same level as the American big 3 (baseball, basketball, football).  I still stand by this statement. 

But today was a day full of amazing sporting occurences in the non macho American sports.  Today was a day dominated by a thrilling end to a World Cup game that sent the American squad to the round of 16 and the longest tennis match of all time.  And the scariest part.  The  tennis match is still not even over yet.  John Isner and Nicolas Mahut head into Thursday still not knowing if they have advanced past the first round.  How many times do players head into Thursday without having advanced to the 2nd round of a Grand Slam?

So earlier today the American soccer team took on an Algeria squad looking to dash the Yanks’ dreams of making it out of pool play.  The refs once again really hurt the Americans and took away a Clint Dempsey goal on an abysmal offsides call.  Heading into extra time of the 2nd half, the Americans appeared to be headed home.  And even though they were on the attack for the majority of the game, they could not seem to find the back of the net.  England had won, and with a tie, the Americans would fail to advance beyond pool play for a 2nd consecutive World Cup.  Then all of the sudden Algeria got a decent shot on goal.  And the Americans went on the counterattack.  Landon Donovan, who I am not calling the Derek Jeter of US soccer, put the ball in the back of the net and did a beautiful head first slide onto the grass in celebration (did he learn how to slide like this from Derek Jeter?).  A sigh of relief rung throughout the American soccer nation.  What a disappointment it would have been to fail to advance out of pool play again.  The Americans live another day in the World Cup. 

Then the other exhilarating sporting event of the day.  A first round tennis match at Wimbledon.  John Isner, one of the top ranked Americans in the world split the first 4 sets with Nicolas Mahut on Tuesday and headed into Wednesday expecting to probably finish the match within an hour.  Boy was he wrong.  Their 5th set is currently knotted up at an astounding 59 to 59!  Their 5th set has lasted longer than any other full match in the history of the game.  The total span of the match thus far is over 10 hours.  And they still are not finished.  The previous longest match ever was 6  hours and 33 minutes in a 2004 battle between Fabrice Santoro and Arnaud Clement.  The 5th set alone in this match has lasted longer than that entire match.

How are these guys still standing?  Running a marathon would be easier than this.  It is a shame that this match is on one of the side courts and is not between 2 high-profile players, but it is still epic anyways.  Hats off to both of these amazing athletes and it is a dire shame that only one of them gets to advance into the 2nd round.  Also Isner and Mahut will forever be linked and in the record books with this astonishing battle.  So even if Isner never develops into a Grand Slam Champion like most Americans hope and expect he will become, he will always have this match to talk about.

So there you have it.  A day of amazing excitement in the non big 3.  A day of major excitement even for the Americans.

What more could you really ask for?

Stay tuned for the next edition of Sportskraze.

-Kraze

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