Despite leading my 10 year old AYSO league in goals scored (I was a legendary "cherry picker") in 1991, I do not at all consider myself a soccer fan. I am, however, a pretty big sports fan and love any excuse to break out the red, white and blue. So, I woke up a bit early today PT and flipped on ESPN for what was a mostly painful-to-watch match against Algeria, as the American's seemed to blow every great opportunity... That is until stoppage time when Landon Donovan's rebound goal sent America soaring into the round of 16 at the World Cup and me soaring up from my sofa as I thunderously clapped and hollered. My surprisingly enthusiastic reaction prompted my wife, who was on her way out the door for work, to turn and sarcastically utter "You'd think you were a soccer fan or something".
While it may be true that I know very little about the nuances of the game and that it's highly unlikely I'll be signing up for Galaxy season tickets anytime soon, the pageantry of today's game led to an excitement level that I usually reserve for college football Saturdays in late November. Buzzer beaters, walk-off home runs, hail mary's - they all are great when they happen, but very rarely do you see a game-winner go in after the game is over, like we did today.
Then, just when you think its strange that your random Wednesday will be consumed by awe over a sport you usually could care less about, comes a tennis match between two guys you've never heard of that literally doesn't end. I have a friend who couldn't hit a tennis ball of a tee if his life depended on it, yet he called me this afternoon to say that he'd been driving to a lunch meeting while watching the epic 5-setter at Wimbledon between John Isner and Nicolas Mahut on his Slingbox from his iPhone. That match, now in its 10th hour and tied at 59-59 in the last set, still hasn't ended and has been called for the second consecutive day as its gotten too dark to play - and they have actually been the two longest days of the year (in terms of sunlight)!
On a day where the College World Series is heating up, Steven Strasburg is taking the hill, a football great is going to the slammer, and the NBA Draft is about to go down while the greatest coach of our era may be retiting - I never would have imagined that it would be an Algerian soccer game and a Nicolas Mahut tennis match would have left me clinging to the edge of my seat.