By Josh Kramer
Since the beginning of time, sports have been filled with loveable losers. Sports are generally a zero-sum game. There are winners and losers (occasional ties such as the 2002 All-Star Game ten years ago). It is a part of life. On Sunday, watching the tears stream down Andy Murray’s face and the heartbreak of an entire country got me thinking about some of the loveable losers in sports.
No I am not going to talk about the 86-year Curse of the Bambino and the rebels out of Beantown. Also, don’t hold your breath in regards to Wrigleyville’s finest (the 105-year streak isn’t ending any time soon). Today, is Andy Murray’s day. God knows if this guy will ever take home a Grand Slam title. As I have stated many times before, Andy Murray is quickly becoming the “Greatest Of All Time (GOAT)” to never win a Grand Slam.
Andy Murray has won over 375 professional matches. He has won 22 tournaments. Murray has been ranked in the top ten in the world for over five years and spent the majority of that time ranked in the top four. And he has made four appearances in the finals of a Grand Slam tournament (Australian Open twice, Wimbledon, US Open). If Murray can somehow get over the hump and avoid Rafael Nadal until the finals at Roland Garros next May, he will complete the career Grand Slam. The career Grand Slam of finishing second that is. Not exactly as good as the real thing I guess.
Unfortunately for Andy Murray, he isn’t getting any younger. Federer may be on the way out (though it didn’t seem that way on Sunday), but Rafael Nadal is just 26-years-old. Oh yeah, there is also a pretty good player named Novak Djokovic that is a week younger than Murray. Murray is capable of winning on all services. He has an outstanding all-around game that likely would have sufficed for a Grand Slam title or a few in any other era. Not in the era of the “Ultimate Trio.”
Federer graciously said during the post-match ceremonies on Sunday that Murray would eventually win one. How does he really know? Besides, even though Federer is currently ranked number one, he is nearly 31-years-old. Murray’s greatest threat moving forward will be the tandem of Nadal and Djokovic. Do not expect Rafa to ever let someone steal his crown as the “King of Clay.” And Djokovic has looked pretty strong “Down Under” having won two straight titles at the year’s first Grand Slam.
Murray’s best chance may be at the All England Club. Despite the absurd amount of pressure that comes with being the hometown favorite, grass is both Djokovic and Nadal’s weakest service. Until that day though, Andy Murray has earned himself a new nickname. He will be known as the “Heartbreak Kid” until he finally breaks through and wins a Grand Slam.
LaRussa is losing.
I don’t care if the man won 2,728 games. I don’t care if he won three World Series as a manager. The guy is retired, yet still tarnishing the Mid-Summer Classic. First there were the obvious retaliatory snubs against the entire city of Cincinnati. Now he is starting Matt Cain over R.A. Dickey? Give me a break. LaRussa already has made it known that he considers himself the “smartest” man to ever step foot on a baseball diamond. He made that clear on his way to becoming the ultimate micromanager. Who bats the pitcher the 8th anyways? For having managed well over 5,000 Major League games, receiving a law degree, and playing professional baseball for over ten years, he sure doesn’t understand a lot. Or he just doesn’t care. Whether the NL wins or loses tonight, LaRussa will have lost.
Rusty Hardin: The lawyer of athletes
Rudy Tomjanovich, Warren Moon, Wade Boggs, Rafer Alston, Scottie Pippen, Steve Francis, and most recently Roger Clemens. What do all of these athletes have in common? They all have utilized the services of Rusty Hardin at one time or another. The newest athlete to join Hardin’s esteemed clientele is Adrian Peterson. I was not super surprised to hear of AP’s arrest. In this day and age, despite Peterson’s relatively clean record, athletes have run ins with the law almost every day. What I was surprised about was Adrian Peterson’s tweets following the arrest. Regardless of the outcome, at least Hardin’s client has been using famous Winston Churchill quotes via Twitter.
Mr. October has become Mr. Uninvited
Who else remembers what happened on October 18, 1977? That was the night that Reggie Jackson really transformed into Mr. October, hitting three home runs as the Yankees clinched their 21st World Series Championship. Following some recent comments in regards to Yankees third-baseman Alex Rodriguez among others, Jackson has been officially benched from Yankees events indefinitely. 35 years ago New York City loved this guy. Now Mr. October has become Mr. Uninvited.
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.