There are worse ways to wake up than to the commentary of Phil Ligget and Paul Sherwen and the amorphous athleticism of the Peloton, chasing breakaway cyclists up an ancient French hillside. All on Versus HD.
Big time bicycle racing — there is none bigger than the Tour de France — is an amazing sport, full of strategy, speed and danger. For the latter, ask the guys hit by a car. Or the one who went into a barbed wire fence.
At the end of the day, a gamble by Frenchman Thomas Voeckler who went with the breakaway paid off. He finished second in this mountainous stage, yet is several minutes out front, claiming the yellow jersey.
Frankly, I could care less if they’re all on drugs. These guys are amazing athletes and their competition is invigorating.
* * * * *
I trust you’ve heard by now that some New York Yankee baseballer went 5 for 5 yesterday, knocking a tater out of Yankee Stadium for his 3000th hit as a Bronx Bomber. The first guy in pinstripes ever to garner that many.
So, as tired as I am of hearing about Derek Jeter. The guy’s done something that Ruth didn’t do. And Gehrig didn’t do. And DiMaggio didn’t do. And Mantle didn’t do.
Tip o’ the ballcap to you, dude.
* * * * *
One of the Busch bros. won at Sparta last night.
But the big story was the hellish, horrific traffic jams coming and going to and from the Speedway.
I don’t do traffic reports. So that’s all I’m going to say about that.
* * * * *
Notwithstanding all the excitement commented on above, the highlight was the cockamamie World Cup quarterfinal between the from the U.S. of A. and their counterparts from soccer-addled Brazil.
The Americans struck early. Really early. Attacking a minute into the match, their aggressiveness resulted in a 1 nil lead on an own goal.
The teams played even. The U.S. caught a break at the 51:00 minute mark, when Carli Lloyd playing on a yellow card — not to be confused with the yellow jersey — got away with a deliberate hand ball. The good luck didn’t last long.
At 65:00, American Rachel Buehler caught a red card, checking Marta inside the penalty area. Buehler was gone.
Then goalie Hope Solo stopped the penalty kick by Cristiana of Brazil. Then was given a yellow card for dissenting, a replay because another American jumped the box too soon on the play.
Marta scored on the replay.
Playing 10 on 11, the Americans attacked until the end of regulation, but failed to score, sending the match to OT, tied 1-1.
Despite an arguable offside which was not called, Marta gave the Brazilians a 2-1 lead in the extra period, as quickly as the U.S. grabbed the lead at the game’s start.
Then, when it appeared that the match belonged to the South Americans, Abby Wambach headed in a tying goal in the game’s 122d minute.
Then, to finish, one of the best soccer games I’ve ever seen — admittedly not a great sampling — the Americans hit all five of their penalty kicks for the W. The lone missed Brazilian penalty kick was by Daiane, who ironically gave the U.S. the own goal at the game’s start.
– Seedy K