Great drama and a great, if under-appreciated, Canadian athlete
Well, if that weekend didn’t show what being a sports fan is all about, I don’t know what will.
Since I’m of the opinion that true fans can get caught up in the drama and athletic excellence of anything – even if they aren’t quite sure what they’re watching – that Davis Cup stuff was thrilling and compelling and it’s a shame if you missed it.
Now, I am also certain there are many among us who still aren’t quite sure how the big-picture Davis Cup thing works or what it means or where it fits in the pantheon of “events” but the doubles match Saturday was as dramatic as anything you’ll see and watching the dream die in Sunday’s reverse singles was pretty darn good.
It’s why we love sports, isn’t it? We latch on to stories, to personalities, to the pursuit of glory and drama of competition and are compelled to watch men and women push themselves to the limits.
And as I was watching Saturday – glue to a TV in a Regina hotel room – this struck me:
Does Daniel Nestor get his due as one of the great Canadian athletes of our generation?
I remember being sent to the airport as a valued representative of The People’s Wire Service way back in 1992 to interview a rather shy and overwhelmed Nestor after his stunning Davis Cup upset of Stefan Edberg and there he was on Saturday still doing his stuff as a grizzled veteran nearing the end of a brilliant career.
In between there was an Olympic gold medal in Sydney and Grand Slam titles and a career that would be the envy of any tennis professional, I would surmise.
But I don’t think he’s as appreciated as he should be and I guess that’s on the fans on the periphery of the sport as much as anything, and I suppose the media as well.
For two decades he’s been one of the best at his craft in the world and if he’d been, say, a golfer would he be more appreciate? Had his career, as outstanding as it’s been, unfolded in North America, would it have been different? Is doubles tennis so far off the radar that it’s the determining factor? Does any of that drop him down a peg?
I have best friends who are tennis fans and since I respect and value their opinions – and because it’s part of what we talk about – I’ve had a greater appreciation for the game outside of the Grand Slams this summer.
And watching a relatively old Nestor work his stuff on Saturday was pretty cool.
No, I still don’t know tennis from the inside like others but I do like competition and drama and stories and for that reason alone, Saturday was a wonderful sports afternoon.
I hope there are Irregulars who feel the same way, it was fun and it reminded me why we pay close attention to good stories and great drama.
And when the discussion comes around to great Canadian athletes of our generation, I’m throwing Nestor’s name out there.
Someone mentioned Vancouver to me last night so …
(Yes, my mind works in mysterious ways)
Remember all those times we’ve talked about hotel rooms and what they need and how they should be designed?
Here’s one more I don’t think we’ve touched on and I’m not sure how many casual travellers would share it but …
How in the world can anyone design a hotel room where the desk doesn’t face the TV?
Seriously. Move some furniture around, do what you have to do but on behalf of all business travellers who might have to sit somewhere and do some work can you PLEASE turn things around so I don’t have to look in the mirror or over my shoulder to see things?
Imagine not all of you saw the tweeter thing on Saturday about the HOTH rounding out training camp by bringing in Angolan guard Carlos Morais.
He’s a former MVP of AfroBasket, played in a couple of Olympics and a couple of world championships.
I don’t have all the contract details, I don’t presume there’s a full guarantee by I’m not 100 per cent on any of it quite yet (not that it really matters, don’t see anyone as a 15th man getting a fully guaranteed year-long deal anyway) but the Raptors now are at the 17-man camp roster I’ve been told they want.
So, yes, that means the next two weeks are destined to be quite boring as we get set for the grind to begin.
When you get to Regina, find your way to Beer Brothers downtown, excellent choices, good food, fine people. Don’t imagine you’ll be sorry.
Was what I expected, seas of green, everyone having fun, lots of noise and a truly unique CFL experience that I’m glad I saw.
Wasn’t a big fan of the deadline stress of a buzzer-beater football game (if the Riders had tied it, I was screwed) but Argo Boy life is better ‘cause I got to a game at Mosaic.
Next stop, Calgary.
The pucks pre-season has begun!!!
The world seems a better place, no?
One word of caution as we get closer to the start of NBA training camps and those informal workouts and pick up games unfold around the league.
Everyone – rookies, vets, regulars and backups – looks good, or at least that’s what we’ll be told.
And while some of it could very well be true, until things start for real, it’s all just speculation and whatever transpires with no real coaching and no real structure should be taken with a grain of salt.
There’s your dash of cold water because we won’t know anything about anyone, really, until we get into November.