Thursday, June 24, 2010

Red, white and blue...

This post was to be centered around good news stories from the Pacific Rim. No particular reason behind that other than a couple articles happened to wander past my line of sight. But then a couple of things happened in the wide world of sports I just had to note. My apologies to those who are non-athletic...

The small nation of Slovakia put together an incredible upset of defending World Cup champions Italy, 3-2, that sent the former republic of the Soviet Union to their first World Cup as an independent nation and the Azurri home to a very unhappy public. What turned out to be the game-winning goal came from Kamil Kopunek, a little-used substitute, who scored
in the 89th minute on his first touch. and the New York Time’s Goal blog have excellent coverage of the match.

Then I found out via ESPN the absolutely epic Wimbledon tennis match between American John Isner and France’s Nicholas Mahut had finally ended. Isner was the second American to stage a comeback on the international stage this week. He pulled out a 6-4, 3-6, 6-7 (7), 7-6 (3), 70-68 win in 11 hours spread over three days. Jim Caple has a funny article on on all that has changed since the match began “way back when.” The match set records for most games in a match (183), most games in a set (138), most combined aces (215), most individual aces (Isner 112) and, certainly, longest match. And get this, it was Isner’s first-ever win at Wimbledon...

And of course, one cannot help but mention the other (group of) American(s) who made a comeback yesterday. Striker Landon Donovan pulled the US back from the brink of despair by knocking in a goal in stoppage time to send the red, white and blue through to their first World Cup since 1930. I’m not even a soccer fan, and I may have cracked my knee on the bottom of my desk and yelled, albeit quietly, when I heard the “goooooooooal!” cry. 

I’m sure you can find an endless number of stories about the game, so I thought I’d include some YouTube videos of the reaction around the country to the “goal heard ‘round the world” here (shot in the style of “Saving Private Ryan”), here (love the woman in the pink) and here (my favorite part of this one might be the dude in the front who lifts a bar stool into the air and then sprays the people around him with a random drink from the bar).

And in case you're wondering why I've included Slovakia in a post entitled "Red, white and blue" and whose other stories center on the USA, check out this photo.

(Top photo courtesy of Suzanne Plunkett-Pool/Getty Images)

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