Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Grumps and Sports

The Saccharinist is back from holiday and ready to analyze this week's amazing sporting ventures. Let's start with Wimbledon...Now, I'm not one to be fickle -- I've been a great fan of Roger Federer since he beat out that bushy-browed wimp Pete Sampras in the 2001 Wimbledon. However,I have become quite keen on this younger-than-he-looks Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis, for several reasons. First of all, he's damn good. Second, his name is very curious -- I have no doubt his ancestors are from that sacred valley between the Tigris and the Euphrates rivers, the name says it all. And Third, I do enjoy a cheery chap on the grass -- not like that grump Andy Murphy who never even breaks a smile.

Which reminds me, what about that Maria Sharapova? Today a happy streaker cartwheeled his way into her quarterfinal match against Elena Dementieva (yes, it sounds like she's demented, not a great name in a superficial world where names can have such a huge impact on anything and everything, just ask Michael Dukakis) and she didn't bat an eye! At least Elena held back a smile -- what less could a person do, I ask, when head to, errm, head with such a scenario? Besides, just when we could lean back and watch tennis without Monica Seles's horrificly screeching grunts, Sharapova has brought them back with a vengeance, especially noticeable when her mood (and game) is down.

Nope, nobody likes a grump, unless he's the sort like Irakli Labadze of Georgia or that all-time great John McEnroe who throw rackets and rake up fines for swearing and being amusingly disruptive. Now that's a real champion: someone who wins and entertains.

Speaking of boring old grumps, the Germans are set to play the Italians in the World Cup semifinal which, according to that hero of yore Juergen Klinsmann will be a surefire win. It's strange to admit that for so long I used to be a fan of German football (in the Berlin wall days, of course). Now, I could care less. They're personality just doesn't win me over like their underdog status used to so many years ago. And I, along with the rest of the seeing world, could do without another barrage of Angela "I-like-my-wiener" Merkel on my tv set. Klinsmann and his team may win, but only to the detriment of an already weak worldwide opinion of the Germans.

In short, this week will be an international fiesta of sport...may the best (ie. the ones I'm supporting) players win...