Tag Archives: Wimbledon

Food for Thought 9-11-2012

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Robert Griffin III (pictured above) made things look very easy in the Big Easy on Sunday. Will he continue to play this way all season?

By Josh Kramer

Sports played a prominent role in helping our country cope with the unthinkable terrorist acts that occurred 11 years ago to the day.  Our nation holds sports near and dear to their hearts on a daily basis.  The USA has grown stronger as a nation since the horrific terrorist acts of 9/11 and sports are still doing their part.

RGIII was made for DC

Maybe Robert Griffin III is football’s version of Superman.  The reigning Heisman Trophy winner put on a debut performance for the ages on Sunday, leading the Redskins to an opening day victory over the Saints.  Now sure, one could argue that Matt Ryan put up slightly better numbers on Sunday.  Or that Cam Newton threw for 422 yards in his rookie debut last September.

Let’s focus on reality though.  Matt Ryan has far more experience and an outstanding supporting cast.  Also, exactly one year ago, Cam Newton passed for an astonishing 422 yards, but he also tossed an interception, and his team lost the game.  With five rookie quarterbacks starting on Sunday, I think much of America forgot just how hard it is to be a rookie quarterback in the NFL.  By Sunday evening, everyone remembered after four of the quarterbacks went home losers and tossed a combined 11 interceptions (and just two touchdowns).

RGIII on the other hand made things look easy as he outplayed future Hall of Famer Drew Brees in front of a hostile Saints crowd. Continue reading

What to watch for at the 2012 London Olympics

Image courtesy of olympic.org. The 2012 London Summer Olympics are here. All eyes will be on London for the next 16 days.

By Nick Craddock

After years of planning and preparation, the world’s eyes are on London for the 2012 Olympic Games.

London 2012 represents the 30th edition of the Games (that’s including both the Summer and Winter Games) and will certainly represent some of the best drama sports has to offer. Just as the city of London has been preparing for many years, so, too, have the more than 10,000 athletes from 204 nations expected to compete over the course of 16 days.

After the British attempt to top the Chinese spectacle of 2008 in Beijing at tonight’s Opening Ceremony, here are some storylines to follow during the Games:

1. Michael Phelps—The soon-to-be star of Full Medal Jacket Continue reading

Food for Thought 7-10-2012

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Andy Murray (pictured above) was brought to tears on Sunday. Just call him the “Heartbreak Kid.”

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. Continue reading

Weekly Nickel 7-9-2012

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Tony Stewart (pictured above) had his way at Daytona this past weekend. Will he stay hot in New Hampshire on Sunday.

By Josh Kramer

Andy Murray has officially established himself as the “GOAT (Greatest Of All Time)” to never win a Grand Slam.  His tears and pain were felt by an entire country.  The MLB enters the All-Star Break with both the Pittsburgh Pirates and Washington Nationals sitting atop their respective divisions.  NBA free-agency has every team around the League on high alert.  And guess what?  This week is going to be jam-packed in its own right.  Here are the events to keep an eye on.

5.  The countdown is on.  The whole world will focus their attention on one place in a mere 18 days for arguably the greatest event in sports.  Get ready for the London 2012 Summer Olympics.  It should be one for the ages.

4.  Big Tony Stewart thoroughly enjoyed his stay in Daytona.  Now it is time to head to New Hampshire.  Not exactly Daytona, but still an important stop in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.  Last year, Ryan Newman came out victorious at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway.  Newman currently finds himself ranking 15th in the current standings with one win on the year.  A repeat of last year could go a long way in helping Newman solidify a spot in the Chase come September. Continue reading

History in the making

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Roger Federer (pictured above) handled world number one Novak Djokovic on Friday. Will he make history on Sunday against Andy Murray?

By Josh Kramer

On Sunday, history will be made at the All England Club.  Either Roger Federer will capture a record-tying 7th Wimbledon title, or Andy Murray will become the first native of Great Britain to take home the prestigious Wimbledon crown since Fred Perry did in 1936.  By stepping on the court, Murray is already the first native of the host country to play in the final since Bunny Austin back in 1938.  Lastly, if Federer wins, he will not only add a record 17th Grand Slam title to his portfolio, he will also make the leap to number one in the world and tie Pete Sampras’ record of 286 weeks as the top ranked player on the globe.

Talk about a historically significant match at the most tradition-filled tournament of them all.

Andy Murray has an entire country depending on him to end a 76 year drought.  Roger Federer is nearly 31-years-old and likely will not have another opportunity to win a Slam like this ever again.  The pressure is mounting.  Who will crumble under the bright lights of Centre Court at the All England Club? Continue reading

The Switch

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Serena Williams (pictured above) put on a vintage performance yesterday in dismantling Petra Kvitova.

By Josh Kramer

Yesterday, tennis fans across the globe felt like it was 2002 again.  At least for a couple of hours.  It was a vintage Serena Williams performance on Centre Court as she dismantled the defending Wimbledon champ, Petra Kvitova in straight sets.  I know that a few days ago, I mentioned a “major changing of the guard” in regards to the tennis world we once knew.  I still fully believe that the times are changing.  But yesterday demonstrated to me something I have known all along but never pieced together.

No athlete in our generation has the ability to flip on the “Switch” the way that Serena Williams can.  It is truly a fascinating phenomenon.  She also has the ability to turn off the “Switch” at any time as well unfortunately. Continue reading

Food for Thought 6-3-2012

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Johnny Cueto (pictured above) is the biggest snub this year in terms of the MLB All-Star Game.

By Josh Kramer

The “smartest” man ever to step foot on a baseball diamond strikes again.  This time, he is playing for keeps.  Despite being retired, Tony LaRussa is still going after his bitter rival, the Cincinnati Reds.  Now I am not naive enough to think that snubs don’t happen every year in regards to the All-Star Game rosters.  Due to a flawed selection system, this is inevitable.  But it is very atypical to see a particular “city” get snubbed like this. Continue reading

Weekly Nickel 7-2-2012

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Tiger Woods (pictured above) leapfrogged Jack Nicklaus with PGA Tour win number 74 yesterday.

By Josh Kramer

Spain took their place among the elite teams in soccer history this weekend after taking home a third consecutive major title.  Wimbledon has had a March Madness type of feel with Venus Williams exiting in Round 1 and Rafael Nadal going down in Round 2.  Brad Keselowski was the king of the Kentucky Speedway.  And the “Dwight Howard Soap Opera” has opened up Season 2.  Last week was a great one, but this week will be jam-packed in its own right.  Here are the events to keep an eye on.

5.  Kentucky Speedway got it right this year.  Brad Keselowski was a happy man on Saturday night as he moved into 10th in the Sprint Cup Standings.  Now the NASCAAR crew heads to Daytona to see who can take home the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Daytona.  David Ragan came out victorious last year at this event, while the current leader of the Spring Cup Standings, Matt Kenseth, finished second.

4.  Tiger Woods is back in the building.  Or at least in the win column.  Woods has leapfrogged Jack Nicklaus in terms of PGA Tour wins and now ranks second all time at 74.  I am not going to get carried away though.  He is still out in the “Woods” in my eyes and the Tiger we once knew will never return.  Next stop, White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia for the Greenbrier Classic. Continue reading

A major changing of the guard

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Serena Williams (pictured above) was pushed to the brink of elimination by Jie Zheng earlier today.

By Josh Kramer

First there was Venus in Round 1.  Then Rafa in Round 2.  Nearly Federer in Round 3.  And then Serena was pushed to the brink of elimination in Round 3 as well.  What is going to happen in Round 4?  These four players are all former number ones that have a combined 47 Grand Slam titles (including 17 singles championships at Wimbledon) between them and unparalleled popularity.  In a span of a mere 24 hours during Week 1, three of them almost bit the dust, while one (Venus) had already crumbled a few days earlier.

At a time not so long ago, guys like Sampras and Agassi dominated Men’s tennis, while Graf and Seles were doing similar things in Women’s tennis.  Then following short-lived reigns of a few others in between, Federer took over Men’s tennis, while the Williams sisters took over Women’s tennis.  Since, Nadal and Djokovic have had their turns on Federer’s throne, while the injury-prone Williams’ sisters have shared the wealth in recent memory as well.  Now these four superstars and former number ones are a mean age of 29.5 (30 is considered dinosaur age in tennis).

Despite the ripe age, I never thought I would see the day where all four superstars were nearly eliminated during Week 1 of a major.  Luckily, Federer once again demonstrated that he may be old, but he isn’t dead yet, in coming back from two sets down against Benneteau.  He still has the heart of a champion.  Serena also demonstrated outstanding mental fortitude in serving her way past Zheng.

So two of this fantastic four are still left standing as we head towards the Round of 16.  But how much longer are they really going to last (both here and in general)?  Venus has not won a major in over four years since handling business at the All England Club in 2008.  Serena has gone winless in the major tourneys since nabbing the title at Wimbledon in 2010.  Plus, Serena exited in the first-round of a Grand Slam for the first time in her illustrious career at Roland Garros a few weeks ago.  After winning at least one Grand Slam for eight consecutive years, Federer went Slam-less in 2011 and has not come out victorious at a major since the 2010 Australian Open.  Lastly, Nadal had participated in the finals of five consecutive Grand Slams before having his dreams of a third Wimbledon Championship dashed by little-known Lukas Rosol.

Though none of these four superstars have hinted much at retirement yet (especially not Nadal), times are changing.  Outside of Rafa at Roland Garros, none of these players are a sure bet to take home any of the major championships these days.  We have been blind to it, but this week has highlighted for us all that there is a major changing of the guard occurring right before our eyes in the tennis world.

Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.

Food for Thought 6-26-2012

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Kevin Youkilis (pictured above) received a nice curtain call from Red Sox Nation on Sunday. Now he will take the field for baseball’s other Sox (Chicago).

By Josh Kramer

From one Sox to another Sox.  Kevin Youkilis is now a member of the Chicago White Sox.  This is a great transaction for both Sox involved.  Boston rids themselves of a potential ongoing locker room problem (Youkilis/Valentine feud), and gives rising star Will Middlebrooks a chance to spread his wings.  Chicago on the other hand gets a proven All-Star who can provide the team with a 3rd baseman who can indeed bat above the Mendoza line ( Orlando Hudson batting .194 and Brent Morel batting .177).   Youkilis could even potentially bat over .300 (he has done this three times).

After a very successful 8.5 year stint in Boston, where Youkilis helped end the curse and bring Beantown two World Series, it was time to move on.  The great thing  is Boston has a solution in young stud Will Middlebrooks, while Chicago gets a guy who is only 33-years-old.  The White Sox are looking to make a deep playoff run in the present.  As much as Boston would like to be a playoff contender, they currently find themselves near the cellar of the AL East.  It is hard to believe, but with the departure of Youkilis, Big Papi is the only member of the 2004 championship team still left in Beantown.

Chicago’s hitting has been good this year, but not great.  Youkilis has the ability to provide the production out of the 3rd base position needed to help this team reach the next level.  It is no secret that the AL Central is perhaps baseball’s weakest division.  The White Sox have a golden opportunity to make postseason baseball this year.  As we all know, anything can happen in October.  Just ask Youkilis. Continue reading