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1. Yesterday, after a rain delay pushed back his match against Juan Martin Del Potro, Andy Roddick was eliminated from the US Open and his career ended. It was sad to see him go. We thought we might see one more upset out of him and maybe get to see him give Novak Djokovic a run in the quarterfinals. Instead, Roddick is done and the ovation he received in his final appearance at Arthur Ashe Stadium in Flushing Meadows brought goosebumps to all American tennis fans watching.
… or was it his final appearance? Listen to the goodbye speech he gave on the court.
Toward the end of the speech he said, “Hopefully I’ll come back to this place some day and see all of you again.” So what does that mean? We know that Roddick is going to pursue continuing his radio show with Bobby Bones and likely making it a daily show because of its success. But that doesn’t mean he’ll be completely through with tennis. We’ve seen before, in this sport, athletes retire, take some time off, and then return to the game. Frankly, we’d love to see Andy back.
What we loved about Andy was that he was charismatic, funny, and, most importantly, played with heart. He took losses tough, even if he played well and earned the respect of his opponents. He never missed an opportunity to chime in, either. After losing to Roger Federer in the Wimbledon final in 2009, Federer tried to console him in the post-match interview say, “Don’t worry, I lost here in the final last year and I came back to win.” Roddick couldn’t help himself, “Yeah, but you won five before that.”
He’ll still have a voice. He’ll be a figure in the media now. But it just won’t be the same off the court. We can only hope that he comes back soon.
Photo courtesy Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images
2. What a game the Dallas Cowboys played in beating the New York Giants last night 24-17. Among the surprises was how well the offensive line played and Kevin Ogletree’s emergence. You should check out our Five Observations from the Cowboys Win. But among the other things that surprised us was to see Jason Witten getting the start last night at tight end.
Witten had been listed doubtful and was even ruled out at one point, only to show up on the team’s active list. Witten didn’t play particularly well. He was targeted three times and made two catches for just 10 yards. He was called for as many penalties as he made catches as he appeared overwhelmed when facing off against whichever Giants pass rusher was put in front of him.
I’d attribute this to his rustiness since he hasn’t even been able to work out much while recovering from his spleen laceration. Many will include the fact that the guy is getting older, but I think he can still play well this season and has a couple of years left before we see significant decline in the quality of his play.
If the Cowboys feel good enough about his health to play him in a game, surely Witten will return to being a full participant in practice and we’ll see the Jason Witten that we’re used to seeing during the season. The one making clutch catches, scoring touchdowns, and playing well on the line.
Photo by Javi Perez/Playmaker Magazine
3. A recent story for Forbes Magazine declared the Dallas Cowboys the most valuable franchise in the NFL and the country, the first worth more than two BILLION dollars. A history of winning championships, spending money, and doing everything to keep their names in the public view and their merchandise in the hands of fans will help build that kind of empire. It also helps that, among NFL fans, if you don’t love the Dallas Cowboys, you hate the Dallas Cowboys. It’s way more important to be hated than to not have fans think of your team. Being part of the discussion has everything to do with popularity.
Look at John Cena in the WWE. You either love him or you hate him if you watch WWE programming every week. But even if you hate him, the fact of the matter is that he elicits the strongest reaction when he appears in the ring than any other wrestler in the company.
What I’m most impressed with though is how the Houston Texans, having only been in the NFL for about 10 years now, with just one playoff appearance in their history and only recently with big name players that are recognizable league-wide, are the 5th most valuable team in the NFL.
That’s impressive and not surprising considering Houston is such a big city and you’re starting to see more and more Texans fans across the state of Texas. And if the Texans can find a way to advance further in the playoffs than they did last year and continue to build on what they started in 2012, look out. The two most powerful teams in the NFL could be in the state of Texas.
Photo courtesy Ed Zurga/Getty Images
4. I can’t remember the last time that the Texas Rangers brought three guys out of the bullpen and had each one of them give up a run… and still have the Rangers win the game. Luckily, Texas was able to pull out a 7-6 victory over the Kansas City Royals last night despite Alexi Ogando, Mike Adams, and Joe Nathan giving up a combined four runs in three innings of work.
I was most impressed with Ryan Dempster in this game. In six innings of work, Dempster allowed two runs on just four hits while striking out eight Royals. It’s his 4th straight start in which he’s given up two runs or less and pitched at least six innings. After a slow start in which he gave up a combined 16 runs in (two of the) first three games he pitched for Texas, he’s given up just five runs in his last 26 innings with his best performance in that stretch coming against a Baltimore Orioles team that is just one game back of the New York Yankees for the lead in the AL East and tied for the wild card lead, so a team that Texas could possibly face in the first round of the playoffs.
Meanwhile, Texas has increased its lead in the AL West to five games over the Oakland A’s, the largest lead in the American League.
As for the offense, seven Texas Rangers reached base, six got hits, and five scored. It was a team effort. Two of them got multiple hits. If you’re a regular reader of the Daily Six Shooter, it should come as no surprise that Adrian Beltre was one of them. The guys has the hottest bat on the team and one of the hottest in the majors. Over the last 30 days, Adrian Beltre’s OPS is 1.107. Only Garrett Jones of the Pittsburgh Pirates and Jay Bruce of the Cincinnati Reds have better numbers over that span.
There’s some renewed talk of Josh Hamilton as the American League MVP, but Beltre has to be closing in on the discussion. Beltre’s OPS for the year (.907) is the 7th best in the AL thanks to this hot streak he’s on. And with this run coming in September, on the verge of the playoffs, Beltre could find himself in the MVP discussion if he keeps this up.
5. And the Houston Astros lost again. Their 6-3 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates was a tough one because it’s rare that Houston has a chance to win a series in a runner match. But that’s the way this season has gone.
Houston has 25 games left this season and their record stands at 42-95. So if the Astros want to avoid becoming just the 13th team in MLB history to lose 110 games, they’ll have to finish the season better than 10-15. Houston hasn’t even won 10 games in the 2nd half of the season, so in all likelihood, we’re watching the final stretch of one of the worst seasons of all time.
Hey, at least they’re making history.
6. Finally, you should make your way over to our friends at Entertainment Weekly (EW.com) and check out the trailer for the new found footage horror movie directed by Oscar-winner Barry Levinson (Rain Man).
I love a good horror movie and while “found footage” has been overdone and, as a result not been done well over the years, I trust Barry Levinson with this movie. It certainly looks interesting because it’s bringing a mix of medicine, law enforcement, news coverage, and individual stuff from cameras in computers, cars, and other areas. What will be interesting to see is how the infected are affected. It’s scary enough, and kind of old school, throughout most of the trailer to see people dying and not actively spreading the disease by acting like zombies.
But at the end of the trailer, as a woman gets into a car with her child, she’s attacked from the back seat. She clearly forgot the rules that Zombieland tried to teach us. Rule #31: Always check the back seat.
Count me in to see The Bay.