From The Sidelines
(Maximum Sports Channels – PDL
) With the Independence Day
holiday behind us, the summer of 2016 is officially upon us. I suspect everyone had a fun weekend or at the very least watched some fireworks, ate some ‘burgers and dogs’, chatted with friends and family and probably knocked off a 6 pack or two.
You have probably noticed the reduced summer radio programming on MSC-Radio. Simply put, Basketball ended with the Cleveland Cavaliers winning the NBA Championship, thwarting the Golden State Warriors record breaking winning season. The Pittsburgh Penguins lifted Lord Stanley’s Cup to close out Hockey. The Triple Crown Horse Races ended with Nyquist taking the Kentucky Derby, Exaggerator the Preakness, and Creator the Belmont Stakes. The year following American Pharoah proved to produce no stellar performer. Baseball started its march to the Fall Classic. In Tennis, the Austrialian Open closed out with Novak Djokovic (men) and Angelique Kerber (women) taking the honors. The French Open closed out with Novak Djokovic (men) and Garbiñe Muguruza (women) winning. The results showed very little US presence and Wimboldon does not look much better for US Tennis. In Golf, a new crop of players are emerging with Danny Willett slipping on the green jacket at Augusta but no one making their presence so prominent. In NASCAR, rookie Alexander Rossi of Andretti Herta Autosport won the 100th running of the Indy 500.
With the Olympics coming up in August, I was thinking about Ralph Rose, who in 1908 refused to dip the US Flag in the Olympic Games held in London. Legend has it that he stated that “This flag dips for no earthly king.” According to Mark Dyreson, professor at Penn State, says it is now believed that this act of arrogance had more to do with the treatment of the Irish being forced to compete under the British flag. Akin to the Black Power Fist Salute by Tommie Smith and John Carlos in the 1968 games in Mexico City during the playing of the American Anthem for the ceremony of the 200 meter race; whether Tommie Smith’s “Black Power” salute was simply that or a “human rights salute”, as he claims in his autobiography Silent Gesture, these events are considered the most politically charged non-violent acts in modern Olympic history. It is here where all the intentions, expectations, speculations, opinions, conjectures, and theories fade from interpetation and memory. Any words uttered become academic. Simply put, they are acts of defiance from citizens of a country founded by an act of defiance.
On the more personal side, Phil Naessens took the summer off and headed off to Maine to teach several Tennis Clinics and Carlos Ortega took a break from the grind of World Soccer as National Teams turn their attention to the Olympics in Brazil. The big issue there is the Zika virus with some attendees questioning going. So we will see what shakes out.
Enjoy the summer and the sports and we will be back to the grind ourselves in September !!!!