At The Laundromat

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I thought for about two seconds that I might call my weekend sports and life review something else, but the laundromat kind of makes sense if you spend your weekends like I imagine you all do. Don't ruin my incredibly cool imaginary perceptions of each of you by telling me you went to Barnes and Noble or something this weekend. Quick hits inside.

Like I said, this is just kind of a way to tie up things that happened over the weekend into a nice little package. Seeing as how there's the whole "lockout" thing going on though, it mostly doesn't pertain to basketball. Mostly.

  • Over on ESPN, there's an article that recaps the US Women's stunning victory before placing it into the realm of prophecy by noting the distinct air of destiny they seem to have about them. Without excluding myself from the exponentially increasing (hopefully) number of people who want to see them win, I have to say that I can't quite place them in that same realm. US Soccer, regardless of it's gender or denomination, has become one of those things about which I constantly have to remind myself to just take it as it comes, almost like it's perpetually a new girl on dates 1-7. Sometimes I catch myself wanting to jump to conclusions about it and it's ever-present potential for greatness, but each time I do I'm also bombarded with the reminders of times I've felt good about where things were going, only to have them inexplicably collapse and disappoint me. I can't claim to be a religious follower of soccer, due in part to the fact that only about 1/5 games ends up being very interesting to me, but I respect it and want to like it. This reason is partly why I continue to watch US Soccer matches, as the dual need for patriotism and horizon broadening is fulfilled. The byproduct of this would naturally be my increasing familiarity with the US' relative futility in the face of potential success. Each time American Soccer (nee futbol) has found itself poised for success, they end up saying the wrong thing at dinner, leading to me never wanting to see them again. Though the US Women's footballing track record far outpaces that of their male counterparts, I've never found myself able to shake the uneasy feeling I get that US Soccer as a whole seems preordained to break down at the most inopportune times, even with history being firmly on the side of the US women.
  • The relative lack of fanfare concerning Jeter's 3000th was a little disappointing for me. WIth sports affiliates the world over (at least the American world) beating the dual sport lockout story to death, and with the US Women's Cup quest (the only legitimate reason to snub such an achievement, if there even is a reason), Jeter's milestone got placed on the back burner as much as something can be while still garnering a mention on ESPN's front page that isn't actually a front page anymore. People like to pile on Jeter, chiefly because he's a Yankee, and the Yankees are the sports world's original Lakers, but the fact of the matter is that he's been both a stalwart and ambassador for his sport ever since he broke out. Short of Griffey Jr, baseball hasn't had someone they can roll out to the masses with such ease. He doesn't have the all out firepower that pre-injury Griffey had, nor would I consider him to be as glitzy a frontman for his sport as say, a Kobe or Lebron are for the NBA, but he's always been there, and this achievement proves that. Baseball is a full time job. You can say what you want about it, but do so under the knowledge that your favorite sport doesn't require near the time investment that baseball does. To get 3000 hits is a testament to both proficiency and durability, and to do it the way he did, by tagging one over the left field wall, was yet another exclamation mark on what's already been a great career. To that end, Jeter's career has become a comic book explosion, an event with so much punctuation tacked on that you can't help but notice. JETER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • Yao's retirement is set to cause the NBA to lose its supposed foothold in the Chinese market? Oh... Cool... I'm kind of at a loss for this, because when I read about how people in China are claiming that they will either severely cut back, or eliminate altogether their following of the NBA completely based off the actions of one player, I really can't do anything but shrug my shoulders and just get on with my day. Tim Duncan, my absolute favorite player of all time, is surely not that far behind Yao as far as retirement goes, but my following of the NBA won't cease the very instant he's gone. The NBA isn't beholden to China any more than China is beholden to the NBA. Yao has done, and will likely continue to do great things of mutual interest for both parties, but he is savior to no one. It's been 9 years since he was drafted first overall, and 9 minutes since he still received 800 bajillion All-Star votes, and during that time, no player from China has stepped forward to carry that baton when we've known all along that it will eventually be passed. Unlike other countries featuring players in the NBA (Argentina and those in Eastern Europe being chief among them), China hasn't populated the NBA with a steady stream of talent since breaking into the league. If anything, with players like Stephon Marbury venturing there in order to play, it's been the other way around. Short of Sun Ming Ming, an NBA prospect who became a talk show curiosity once it was ascertained that no team wanted or needed him, China hasn't produced very many newsworthy players who might keep the NBA fires lit for them. If Yao was the end all, be all for that many people, then the whole "China and NBA: Together Forever" thing probably wasn't ever going to happen anyways.
  • Rosie Huntington-Whitely, not an actress by trade, is a better actress than Megan Fox, who is an actress by trade. Without letting this become an argument over which of them is more fun to look at, allow me to say that this most recent Transformers was a hell of a lot more fun to look at than the second one, which was just an awful movie all the way around. In full realization that Transformers is the type of movie you'll generally have had your mind made up about long before you tell everyone you'll either see immediately, or not at all, it bears mentioning that if there are any fence standers out there, the movie is as good as a summer action blockbuster can be. Michael Bay constantly manages to elude my ire for the fact that he seems to be the chief propagator of all the jokes about him, and not simply in on them. It isn't the best movie ever, and it's not even "the best action movie ever" (Terminator 2 will never be dethroned. Sorry, Also-Ran Newspaper that made that claim), but it's good and it's fun, and go see it. Things blow up, and at the end of the day, that's really all that matters when you're trying in vain to escape the heat.
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