A Quiet Week
It doesn't look like a great amount of sport has happened since my last communiqué to the Post. Dour Frenchman, Thomas Levet, won the Loch Lomond Open - the precursor to this weekend's British Open at
Troon. Both Britain and America were deep in Olympic athletic trials. The Americans produced some notable surprises after big names such as Marion Jones and Tim Montgomery failed to qualify; the Brits produced fewer surprises, but our star heptathlete, Denise Lewis, over-stretched herself by trying to enter all seven of her events, injuring her foot as a result. It is now not known whether Denise will be able to compete or not. The other big surprise at the AAA's (which double up as Olympic trials in appropriate years) was Christine Ohuruogu storming the women's 400m to beat established favourite Lee McConnell.
Off the Track and onto the - er - other Track
Michael Schumacher surprised no-one by winning his 10th Grand Prix (in 11 races) at Silverstone. The race was even more of a yawn-fest than usual, and I doubt there'll be too many disappointed fans if the British Grand Prix is pensioned off for good next year. There has been vague talk of running a Monaco-style Grand Prix through the streets of London (the actual streets, not the Ralph McTell song). It is not known whether all the drivers will have to pay the congestion charge or just the back-markers.
The British Open falls this weekend to Royal Troon, a blustery course, but more appealing than the scrub-strewn links courses of Carnoustie or Muirfield. The BBC is providing us with blanket coverage from 9:30-7:30 every day, lest we miss a single shot.
I have to say I find it very hard to pick a European winner; there are the likes of Ernie Els and Vijay Singh who are hitting a rich vein of form, and the European field does indeed look very weak. Perhaps
the best bet among the Brits would be Philip Price, whose solid fairway-to-green play would rate pretty well at Troon. Kenneth Ferrie, too, is hitting some strong form, but I don't believe he'd have the stamina
to see out the week.
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Well, that's the best of a bad week from me: I hope things have been more interesting over the other side of the pond...
Several A/K/A Random's 'sporting blues'
Well, it's past the holidays weekend that lasted two weeks, and Major League Baseball is holding its midsummer All-Star Game festivities as I type. In case I haven't made it clear, fans worldwide select nine players for the game online, the players, coaches and managers themselves select 16, and THE manager, last year's League champion, rounds out the team with seven picks of his own choosing. Each ballclub must have a representative. Some minor grumbling in that five players from the beloved Cleveland Indians have been named to the All-Star team, since the Tribe is fighting to get to playing .500 baseball and clubs ahead of them only have one or two players selected.
Tough, I say.
As for the standings at the 'midway' point, there are serious pennant races in four of the six divisions, stiff competition for all for the 'wild card' spot in the postseason playoffs.
In news you just don't find anywhere else, a 39-year friendship between sailors from America and Canada renewed that relationship, with a 54-mile sailing yacht race across Lake Erie. Sailboats ranging from over 40 feet in length down to 20 feet long meet annually in Port Stanley, Ontario, Canada and Ashtabula, Ohio, America and a good time is reported for all in both ports.
Yachts named Dr Pepper Too, Hiawatha, Nice Butt, Rip II, Hanalei and Sojourn were the division winners, while boats named Epiphysis, Batella, Wildfire, Anonymous, Ma Cherie and Entropy finished second in division standings.
The race alternates starting points; this year the Canadians racing among themselves to America, and staying overnight with a yacht club party and sightseeing, then all the boats raced back to Canada for another yacht club party and sightseeing... I've had the pleasure of being about one of these boats, not for the race, and I'm ashamed to report that these quarter-to-half-a-million dollar yacht$ have better bathrooms than I have in this old house.
At that price, they dang well better have, is all I'll say.
In other unrelated news, there seem to be coyote in the woods across the street from me, chasing deer around for their summer sport, and it's somewhat curious to hear a coyote howl in Ohio. There is a 'blue moon' (the second full moon of any calendar month) at the end of July, so I suspect I won't be the only one howling around these parts.
And that's a wrap, so they say, for the AmSports part of your weekly Post. Questions and comments will be ridiculed and elaborated upon, in no special order, at the bottom of the page. Over and out.