Firstly, don't believe the polls. President Obama is not leading, or building a lead, or any such thing. He's in a fight for his political life, and he knows it. It has never been obvious that an incumbent president is going down, and it won't be all that obvious if it happens this time. I doubt Clinton's people knew they were going to win in 1992 until they did. Oh, sure, they believed they had a shot. And you have to have a ludicrous amount of confidence to be a candidate. But let's get one thing straight: it will never be an easy thing to beat a sitting president, and I've never, ever, seen an incumbent behind in most polls in the summer, even when they lose.
I'd like my crow steak medium-rare, Roger. The greatest tennis player of all time showed us why when he played at Wimbledon. Quite frankly, Andy Murray never really had a chance. And when he did, he was the one who cracked. Federer had an edginess about him; he dared Murray to play the match of his life, the match of the tournament, really, betting that he couldn't do it. And he was right.
I want to start by saying that I know, respect, and love probably dozens of military service personnel. No one ought to doubt, on any side, that they see and deal with horrific situations that most of us can’t even guess, much less cope with. Courage is both tested and proved in their lives and stories over and over. But—and we’re quite good at saying the opposite—I don’t believe that bravery translates into policy. Frankly, I resent the suggestion that to urge a massive change in policy denigrates them.
By now, regular readers of my sports columns here know my schtick: I say something provocative, make a prediction about an upcoming contest that is completely, utterly wrong in retrospect—thank you Patriots, Steelers, and Miguel Cotto for nothing—and we talk about the thing behind the thing.
Sports and sports journalism are replete with overwrought praise, military imagery, and hero worship. I get that. I’m a theologian; when the excesses of this sort of thing get really out of hand, few feel worse about it than me. But I’ll take the risk now, and I won’t dare try to be objective. Pat Summitt is the reason women’s college basketball matters, and why it matters to me.
On the very day that nice guy and legendary trainer Angelo Dundee — in the corner with Ali, Foreman, and Sugar Ray Leonard — died, it was announced that the troubled fighter with arguably the fastest hands in all of boxing, Floyd Mayweather, Jr., has been licensed to fight in Las Vegas on May 5 against Miguel Cotto. Cotto, whose only real loss is to the best fighter in the world, Manny Pacquiao (54-3-2, 38 KO), will fight Mayweather (42-0, 26 KO). And so the third-best fighter will fight the second-best, while the world of boxing waits and hopes for Pacquiao-Mayweather.
In my last installment, I threatened to let an ‘80s teen idol return to rock us. It was difficult to acquire the material for my subject until I found our friends at Spotify. In any case, I knew that I’d heard things I liked from an artist one might be tempted to dismiss: Rick Springfield.
Bill Belichick will coach in his fifth Super Bowl, the coach and quarterback Tom Brady linked like Hall & Oates, Laurel & Hardy, like peanut butter and jelly. They both know the forty-second edition is a black mark upon what is a nearly unimpeachable legacy. Montana. Bradshaw. Brady.
Connie had just finished shopping. It was a pleasant day, the sun was warm, the light was high, and she was in the sort of mood where catchy, summertime pop songs spring to mind. She would never see the two men ready to grab her when she looked up toward the other man who’d asked for help. Such a pleasant smile, she thought.
Sometimes we put too much stock in the Iowa Caucus. This caucus has its share of odd results after all, like Pat Robertson winning in 1988. Or we can ask Governors Huckabee and Dean how well their Iowa victories translated to national victory. But, this year will likely be different.