One of the greatest elements of sports is the escape from reality. For three hours at a time, you can forget about the real world for a while and immerse yourself into a baseball, basketball, or football game. In an election year, this means seeking safe shelter from the thousands upon thousands of political attack ads. In years past, ESPN was relatively secure from the world of "that guy is going to destroy freedom and liberty" and "that other guy is going to destroy freedom and liberty." But this year, ESPN will air more political campaign ads, not just from the campaigns themselves, but from those kind and gentle Super PACs as well. Details from Politico via the Wall Street Journal:
Last night was the MLB Home Run Derby, a tradition that takes place yearly before the All-Star Game. The Derby is announced by Chris Berman, who tends to go way overboard with his home run calls for each and every shot. I diligently watched the Derby last night, and tracked Berman's homer calls. The results were disappointing.
I counted 66 instances of Berman saying the word "back" which includes each instance of the word said during his calls. This seems very low from pre-event estimates. My initial prediction was somewhere in the neighborhood of 300 backs, which we fell way short of. It's worth noting that The Victory Formation counted 64 backs from Berman, so it's good that we're both in the same neighborhood.
The most frequent target of Berman's calls was Jose Bautista, who got 16 in his first round performance, four in the second round, and five in the final round for a total of 25 backs. Eventual winner Prince Fielder only had a total of 13 backs. It seemed like ESPN was trying to distract viewers from the event taking place, because they had numerous players being interviewed at various times during the Derby, taking attention away from the on-field exploits of the players and moving it towards their guests. That definitely brought the total number of backs down.
Monday night's Home Run Derby was quite the spectacle. You had Kansas City fans booing Robby Cano without mercy, John Kruk eating ribs during a spectacular "interview" with George Brett, Pedro Gomez trying to read tweets, and of course the presence of one Chris Berman. At times, it was easy to forget about the actual Home Run Derby, which was won by Prince Fielder of the Detroit Tigers. Yes... the Detroit Tigers, and not the Milwaukee Brewers, Prince Fielder's former club. Perhaps ESPN missed that little 9 year, $224 million dollar contract in the offseason when he left Milwaukee. Then again, with the surreal nature of the broadcast, the production truck could have just said forget it and went out for drinks after about the fifth batter. Honestly, who could blame them?
Roger Federer defeated Andy Murray and 62 million citizens of Great Britain Sunday to win his 7th Wimbledon title and 17th Grand Slam tournament. The win also pushed Federer to #1 in the world at the age of 30. The win may be the capstone in the career of the greatest male tennis player who ever lived. But the Wimbledon Final was as much about the man who lost as the man who won. Andy Murray was seeking to become the first Brit to win Wimbledon since Fred Perry in 1936 and played bravely before succumbing to Federer's elegance in four sets. Watch as Murray breaks up as he addresses the London crowd, who respond with the most rousing ovation of the tournament. It's one of those simple moments that shows us why we actually care so much about sports.
Roger Federer defeated Andy Murray and 62 million citizens of Great Britain Sunday to win his 7th Wimbledon championship and his 17th major championship. Federer cemented his status as the greatest male tennis player that has ever lived by also incredibly climbing back to #1 in the world at the age of 30. The four set victory in the Wimbledon Final was just as notable for the performance of Murray, though. The first Brit to appear in the Final since 1938, and seeking to be the first British champion since 1936, Murray won the first set before succombing to Federer's elegance.
But in defeat, Andy Murray provided one of the most poignant moments of the year in sports. It was just a brief reminder about why we care way more than we should about these games. As Murray addressed his home crowd, he started breaking up to the massive cheers at Center Court in a scene that will stand as one of the most memorable at Wimbledon.
Some bonus thoughts on ESPN's Wimbledon coverage after the jump...
Earlier this week, we already saw Steve Nash traded to the Los Angeles Kings instead of the Los Angeles Lakers, but thankfully according to the Worldwide Leader in Sports, they got someone even better. On Friday night's SportsCenter, ESPN had an interview with Kevin Durant and inexplicably slapped a Lakers logo next to his name. Kevin Durant most certainly does not play for the Lakers, but is still indeed a member of the Oklahoma City Thunder. One has to wonder though... is this foreshadowing? Is Durantula taking his talents to Hollywood? Yea, he's under contract with the Thunder until 2016, but it's never too early to prepare for the possibility, Oklahoma City.
All of the seismic events throughout the history of mankind, the ones that rest in the dwelling place of the gods, have been trilogies. Ali-Frazier. Gatti-Ward. Star Wars. The Hunger Games. Die Hard. The Naked Gun. (The Godfather would have made the cut had it not been for the abomination that was Godfather III.) At long last, the immortals have opened their gates and welcomed another epic trilogy into their midst.
Darren Rovell vs Richard Deitsch.
The soon-to-be ESPN sports business reporter and the media savant of Sports Illustrated have taken centerstage in Twitter Wars before on a couple of occasions. Since their last battle a few months ago, there had been nothing more than tactical blows from a safe distance. Little more than a few sly jabs back and forth.
That changed Friday, when these two gladiators of social media finally brought their trilogy to completion. The pitch of the battlefield was tennis. Yes, tennis. The health of tennis in America has been the central sticking point between Deitsch and Rovell for the last year. Rovell sees the sport as struggling in the United States. Deitsch has defended the game. With Wimbledon reaching its climax, now was the time for Deitsch and Rovell to settle matters once and for all.
Get your popcorn ready! Deitsch vs Rovell III. Who emerged victorious... here's how it played out...
After College Football Live today on ESPN, the worldwide leader went to an everyday SportsCenter Right Now update. These updates happen all the time, providing a few news items on what's currently happening in the sports world, traditionally without incident. That wasn't quite the case today as SportsCenter anchor Max Bretos had THE MOST EXTREME CLOSE-UP IN THE 33 YEAR HISTORY OF ESPN!!! Thank goodness he didn't have broccoli for lunch, or else the timing here would have been really bad. That wasn't all though as Bretos began reading a Wimbledon update when the accompanying graphics focused on the PGA Tour.
But wow, that close-up really got out of hand. Where's Cecil B. DeMille when you need him!
Steve Nash has been a busy man lately. There was that whole sign and trade to the Los Angeles Kings Lakers, and there's also the videos you're about to see. They are all part of a movie parody series from Nash on the same Youtube channel (The NOC) that features Judge Sapp that you can check out after the jump. After watching all of these videos, Nash should just go ahead and forego the Lakers thing and hit movies full-time. He's already far better than Adam Sandler, and somehow he still finds work...
Dutch star Robin Van Persie made waves in the soccer world by announcing his intent to reject a new contract offer from Arsenal this week. RVP will be out of contract at the end of next season and this decision for all intents and purposes will bring an end to his time at Arsenal sooner or later. Van Persie made it clear in his statement that the ambitions at Arsenal (appearing more frugal as a "big club" compared to the likes of Man City, Barcelona, and Real Madrid) did not match his own ambitions. Van Persie led the Premier League with 30 goals last season, but it was another season without a trophy for Arsenal, who haven't won a competition since 2005.
Why does this matter to you? It matters because this guy, KSIOlajidebt (who appears to be something of a Youtube sensation), has made one of the great fan rants of all-time. If you want to imagine the pain on display below, imagine being a fan of any team that has seen their star player leave for seemingly greener pastures - Toronto and Chris Bosh, Cleveland and LeBron James, Orlando and Dwight Howard, etc. Imagine your franchise savior in Minnesota, Milwaukee, or Cincinnati leaving you for the Yankees. Except, Arsenal is supposed to be a big club, not a feeder for the big spenders. After all, it was less than 10 years ago when Arsenal went an entire EPL season undefeated with The Invincibles.
All of this leads to what is a fantastic eruption of volcanic proportions. Our friend KSlOlajdebt not only rips Van Persie, his statement, and his ambitions... he drives a stake through RVP's heart by quick selling him from his FIFA 12 Ultimate Team. That'll show him!