Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Quiet, please

Reason number 1,456,687,432 why I am a bigger fan of Roger Federer than Rafael Nadal:  Their pace of play.

In the time it takes Nadal to serve between points, the viewer can surf other channels, catch up on the endings of all the NFL games and still not miss a single shot of the match.

With Federer, blink a couple of times and you may have already missed the latest exhibition of shot-making from the maestro.

Check out this split-screen video.  Roger Federer wins a game in the time it takes Nadal to get ready to serve the next point.  Roger's video begins with him serving at love-all.  Nadal's video begins with him hitting the winning shot of a point.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Surf's up: Random musings - 7

a)  So, last night the result of an NFL game was determined by the shoddiness of replacement referees.  Ho-hum.  The debacle could have been avoided had any of the Green Bay Packer defenders followed the first rule of defending Hail Mary passes - KNOCK THE BALL DOWN!

Take a look at the replay - no less than three Green Bay defenders had the chance to ice the game by simply batting the ball away.

Yet, all of them went for glory and tried to intercept the ball.    See for yourself.

Serves you right.  You don't have my sympathies.

b)  VVS Laxman retired a few weeks ago and it hasn't sunk in yet.  I am still not in the mood to write my eulogy but am getting ready for it.  Until then, here are two must-read articles about the good guy of Indian cricket.

First, Peter Roebuck is no longer here to write about VVS, but when he did (in the aftermath of 281) it was fantastic.  Poetry in prose.

As Laxman took guard he found himself surrounded by the din of the crowd and the biting resolution of his gum-chewing, green-capped opponents near at hand. Habitually, he cuts an impressive and impassive figure upon which hostility falls like raindrops upon a bear. He stood his ground.
Laxman was about to play the innings of a lifetime, one of the greatest knocks the game has known. His effort has not shrunk in retrospect for it was not a mere protest against fate but rather a purposeful pursuit of an impossible dream.
Second, check out Siddhartha Vadyanathan's piece, not so much for what he wrote but for some of the videos link to in the comments section.

c)  If you are a famous sportsperson, maybe even the best ever in your sport, winning a match is not the end of your day's work.  Here's Roger Federer's grueling post-match interview schedule.  I used to wish I could play like him.  Now I don't, for I do not want to have to do all the additional things that come with that gift.

d)  Roger Federer is the Most Interesting Man in the World.  Stay thirsty, my friends.

e)  Very rarely do I burst out laughing when I read a straight-forward sports article about how someone can help Tiger Woods get his game back on track.  But this one did.  Johnny Miller is soooo modest, it makes me blush to hear about all the great things he has to say about....himself.

Bonus: Here's Johnny's unvarnished thoughts from a different article:
The drive I hit on the last hole at Oakmont in 1973 at the U.S. Open was special. I'd hit every green that day, and my average birdie putt was about 10 to 12 feet. To this day, I've never seen a major championship round of that precision, with tee shots and iron shots, by anyone. That sounds like bragging, but I've seen a lot of rounds. 
f) If you have a few minutes, take a look at some of the photographs submitted to National Geographic for the National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest 2012.  Which is your favorite one?

g)  And finally, one last look as VVS walks off into the sunset.  A big part of cricket's allure died that day.

(Copyright 2011, AFP)

Friday, September 14, 2012

Light at the speed of light

Are we on the verge of the next hyper-leap in scientific possibility?  It sure seems that way.  The possibilities are endless...if we don't end our world in December, that is.

Watch the whole video.  it is worth your time.