Thursday, June 24, 2010

I'm going to be able to write quite an Omaha tour guide

Sometime today the insane match at Wimbledon between two tennis players few of us know anything about will finally come to a conclusion. It's in its third day and is tied at 59 all in the final set. Whoever wins will advance to the second round, where they will almost certainly be defeated because of how much they've used up in this match as well as the fact neither is an elite player right now. The mutual will to keep this battle going is something worth honoring though, and hopefully someone will do a better job of that than the Los Angeles Times. Actual headline: "Wimbledon match's enduring legacy will be its length". Gosh, you think? I was figuring it would be the sweet drop shot Nicolas Mahut hit in the third set.

The terrific website Football Outsiders has typically been focused on analyzing trends and statistics from the NFL. Now they've branched into college football as well, and have issued their first Top 25. Alabama at number one preseason will surprise no one, but Florida as the preseason number two probably will. Not sure I'm buying their rationale to explain the choice, but it's worth reading. Their numbers are savvy enough to have South Carolina at number 23, which is where they should be based on the returning talent and schedule. They won't be ranked in the polls because of doubts based on a horrible bowl performance and Steve Spurrier's criticism of starting QB Stephen Garcia, but F.O. doesn't care about emotional things. I'll be looking forward to see what they do with the new college website.

The NBA Draft is tonight, but the story that most interests me at the moment in the league is what's going on with the Lakers. Phil Jackson indicated yesterday he was leaning toward retiring as coach of the back to back champs. This would be despite the fact he dates owner Dr. Jerry Buss's daughter. At least part of the reason for Jackson's potential departure relates to the strong likelihood major cuts are coming across the board in the Laker budget. How is it possible that a franchise owner who's making money thinks it's a good idea to reduce the quality of his successful product? I don't expect owners to voluntarily lose big money to win, but I do think it's reasonable to expect them to be happy with making a profit if they're winning already.

Got a chance to see Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers last night here in Omaha. I've seen the band several times, but this was the first show that wasn't in Gainesville. I appreciate how special those shows were even more now, because there wasn't anywhere close to the same feel in the audience that there was when TP & the HBs returned home. The new album Mojo is strong - bluesier than most of their stuff, but it plays well live. They did four tracks off the new album and the rest was mostly familiar hits with a couple of less well known catalog tunes mixed in. It's remarkable how well the band still brings it in concert considering they've been cranking out hits since the mid 70s - unlike the Stones, age has not diminished them as a live act. If they're in your neighborhood, you should check them out.

No comments: