Wide world of weird

It’s about 5 a.m. on a Friday morning and I am awake, still suffering from an overdose of the Olympics. I still have hours and hours of coverage yet to be seen on my DVR and I am slowly making my way through it as I write. I still haven’t seen the final day in Beijing, China, so no one tell me how it all ends.

I’m expecting an M. Night Shyamalan twist of epic proportions involving the computerized cover-up Bob Connolly mentions in Pipe Dreams: The Director’s Cut, at www.yournabe.com. I am hoping to find out that the Chinese gymnasts are not underage at all; they are actually CGI characters and China’s dominance in the games is just one big green-screen camera trick. Hey, if China can use a computer to insert fireworks into the opening ceremonies, then anything is possible?

Anyways, I was at a family gathering with my girlfriend over the weekend and was asked by her grandmother, Emily Loiacono, “When will I get to read one of your articles?” Well, here you go. This column’s for her. At 75-years of age, she helps her hardworking daughters everyday, running after her grandchildren, even the ones in their 20’s. I can’t think of a more amazing athlete to mention in these pages.

Going back to Bob Connolly for a moment, I am going to borrow a common focal point of some of his columns. So, as of my writing this, the Mets are 74-60 and need to go 21-7 to win 95 games this season, which may likely be more than needed to make the playoffs. On the other hand, the Yankees are 70-62 and need to go 25-5 to end the season with 95 games and still not even make the wildcard. I guess math takes a backseat to reality here.

Speaking of the Yankees, we are still putting together our Yankee Stadium memories special section. If you ever caught a big homerun, enjoyed a special moment on the field, or participated in any other memorable occasion at the stadium, please write us at bronxtimes@aol.com. Include your name and as much detail as possible. Include pictures if you can. Be a part of our retrospective and a part of Bronx history.

Back to the Olympics, I find it kind of funny that the International Olympic Committee got rid of baseball and softball this year for some rather ridiculous reasoning. The real losers behind this decision are the kids who train hard in high school and college and do not have that international platform in which to showcase their talents. Bronx stars like Jazcelyn Pagan, Domenic Regina, Jeffrey Hostos, Juan Arroyo, and countless other players could use the extra boost the Olympics would bring. It’s a shame some questionable decision-making will hurt their chances. But don’t touch Equestrian. Please!

It was great, just a week after checking out the GHI Bronx Tennis Classic, to once again travel out for the U.S. Open. Lindsay Davenport is still an amazing player, beating Alisa Kleybanova (7-5, 6-3), in a fun match that saw the Russian player show potential against her American counterpart. On the same day, Wednesday, August 27, Andy Roddick destroyed Fabrice Santoro (6-2, 6-2, 6-2). Roddick is the real deal indeed.

I truly enjoyed the whole experience. The U.S. Open is one of my favorite tennis events, but don’t make plans for August 2009 – the GHI Tennis Classic at Crotona Park is where you need to be.

And finally, Triumph Books has released “Then Levy Said to Kelly…” The Best Buffalo Bills Stories Ever Told by Jim Gehman. The stories include O.J. Simpson’s record-setting 2,003-yard season; the infamous 1993 playoff comeback without stars Jim Kelly and Thurman Thomas, the consecutive AFL championship seasons in ’64 and ‘65 and the four consecutive Super Bowl losses, of which the Bills have yet to fully recover. There are over 100 first person accounts well worth the read.

Triumph also released, my personal favorite, 50 Greatest Plays in New York Giants Football History by John Maxymuk, which includes stories right up to the team’s shocking upset of the Patriots in Super Bowl XLII. Other stories include Pat Summerall’s 49-yard field goal in the snow in 1958; Phil Simms’ 4th-down and 17 strike against the Vikings in 1986; and Lawrence Taylor’s 97-yard interception return to defeat the Lions. This is one book that will spark real debate amongst Giant fans, who may have their own favorite plays.

That will be all for this week. PSAL football starts this weekend. I will see you at the games.

Knowing The Score, Jon Minners

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