By Josh Kramer
It was a heck of a weekend capped off by a double-dose of Monday Night Football. Week 1 of the NFL season is in the books. Week 2 of the College Football season is finished. And the seemingly never-ending US Open has finally come to a conclusion.
The following are the main topics that have caught my attention.
Greatest year of all time?
For the first time since 1971, the US Open continued on past Sunday. And to be entirely honest, it was well worth the wait. This year’s event in Flushing was unforgettable, despite nearly two full days washed out by remnants from Hurricane Irene. Sure the Serena loss was a shocker, but how about the performance of Novak Djokovic?
Many consider Djokovic a “jokester.” And without question, he has a humorous personality. But this guy knows how to handle business when push comes to shove. The Serbian 24-year-old has been nearly invincible all year. This has not been just your typical story of a climb to the number one ranking in the world. The performance put on by Novak Djokovic has truly been one for the ages. It arguably has been the greatest performance ever put on by an athlete during the course of a season in any sport. I am going to rattle off some of the accomplishments on the year, and you can be the judge of which are the most impressive.
-64 and 2 overall record
-20 and 2 record versus the top 10
-41 consecutive victories to start 2011 (43 dating back to 2010)
-3 Grand Slam Titles
-10 Tournament Titles
-6 and 0 record versus Rafael Nadal (all in tournament finals)
I feel the most amazing aspect of this unforgettable 2011 year for Novak Djokovic is the competition he has done it against. Remember, this is the era of the “Fantastic Four” (Djokovic, Nadal, Federer, Murray). He is putting up these epic numbers against remarkable competition. The ATP is certainly not hurting in star power. But without question, the biggest star of them all in the present is none other than the newly crowned US Open Champion, Novak Djokovic.
I thoroughly enjoyed watching last evening’s Monday Night Football doubleheader. The Patriots offensive attack appears to be a juggernaut yet again, and Tom Brady is doing his best to put himself in a position to repeat as the NFL’s MVP. But after watching the game, one item that really stuck out to me was the play of New England second year tight end, Aaron Hernandez.
I remember once upon a time, there was a great quarterback at Florida who was no mere man. His government name was Tim Tebow, but he was really known as the “Gator God.” Back in April, Tebow’s Gator immortality was secured via a statue outside of Ben Hill Griffin Stadium (The Swamp). Well I guess times have changed. As Tebow begins his second regular season in the NFL, it appears one of his former teammates is the man deserving of some accolades.
Now I will never put down Tebow’s college accomplishments. The guy had a remarkable career that will not soon be forgotten by any College Football fan across the country. This led to Tebow being evaluated incorrectly and drafted in the first round 25th overall. Tebow’s teammate, and a fellow first team All-American, Aaron Hernandez, was taken in the fourth round with the 113th overall pick.
Times have changed for the former teammates. Tebow has consistently been in the press for struggling to adjust to the NFL. A constant fixture of media scrutiny. A back-up quarterback. Hernandez on the other hand is a rising star. In year one, Hernandez began to earn his keep, reeling in 45 catches, for 536 yards, and 6 TDs. Extremely solid numbers for a rookie tight end on a team with very established playmakers on the offensive side of the ball. This year, the 21-year-old appears destined for stardom. Consistent lines like last night, where he had 7 catches, 103 yards, and a touchdown will lead to a Pro Bowl Appearance.
Tebow may be the “Gator God,” but Hernandez is the Gator who is thriving at the next level.
Panic time in Beantown again?
Haven’t we heard this story before? After starting the year 0 and 6, people were freaking out in Boston. I knew then, that this team would come around. It was inevitable with a lineup featuring guys like Ellsbury, Pedroia, Papi, and Co. People forget that there was another team who also began the 2011 campaign 0 and 6. A team who also happens to be in the same division. A team who also happens to be nipping at the Red Sox heels for the AL Wild Card spot. I am of course talking about none other than the Tampa Bay Rays.
Things are currently going very bad for the Red Sox. They have lost five consecutive games, in which they have given up an astonishing 40 runs, also known as eight runs per game. In addition, they have now lost 10 of 13. Beantown is not a happy place to say the least as the Red Sox Wild Card lead has diminished to just three games over the Rays, who also happen to be winners of five consecutive games.
I am going to say just want I said back in April. There is no reason to panic in Beantown. This team is flat-out just too talented not to make the playoffs. This cold streak will end. Their pitching will come around (or at least do enough to win). And they will secure their stake to the Wild Card by taking three of four from the Rays at Fenway this weekend.
Just some “Food for Thought.”
Let me hear your thoughts though. Please comment below with any questions or insights that you may have or shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.