Monday, February 1, 2010
This and that
By Dick Vitale
Each week I talk about the world of sports:
• Serena Williams always seems to perform at her best on the biggest stages -- the Grand Slams. She had a great comeback against Victoria Azarenka earlier in the Australian Open. Williams lost 15 straight points to Justine Henin in the final, but she roared back to win the final set 6-2. Serena is now tied with Billie Jean King on the all-time Grand Slam women's singles list with 12 championships.
• Then there is Mr. Federer, who always steps up his game in the semifinals and finals of Grand Slams. He got his 16th major championship, taking out Andy Murray in three straight sets in the Australian Open championship. That gives him four men's singles trophies from the tournament Down Under. Murray showed a lot of emotion after the match, and you can almost feel the pressure of a nation on his shoulders. The Brits have not won a Slam singles title since 1936, when Fred Perry earned one. Murray beat Rafael Nadal earlier in the week and it looked like this was his opportunity, but Federer played some of his best tennis and got another trophy to add to his case.
• I heard a lot of talk about the Pro Bowl last week. I understand some fans were upset that the likes of Peyton Manning and Drew Brees were not playing because of the date change. I know some of the players would have preferred a trip to Hawaii. My friends, let's remember that this is an exhibition game. It has meaning to the players going for the first time; guys like London Fletcher. There is also pride involved, but let's not overplay this. I heard radio stations talking about how to fix the Pro Bowl. Are you serious?
• Celtics guard Rajon Rondo has earned all-star status by working hard to improve his shooting. He is a different player from his days in Lexington with the Wildcats. He is a vital asset to one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference.
• Just a thought: don't bet against Tim Tebow being an NFL quarterback! He is a winner with great athletic ability. I know there were some struggles in the Senior Bowl, but I would not count him out.
• With the Super Bowl coming up, I am still disappointed with the NFL overtime system. Was it fair that the Vikings never got a chance in overtime of the NFC Championship game? I am not thrilled with the college system either, but at least both teams get an opportunity to have the football.
• Since everyone loves making a Super Bowl pick, here is my call: Colts 27, Saints 21. It should be a good one, baby!