Venus: #ClapForHer

A few weeks ago, I had an urge to write about one of my favorite athletes – Venus Ebony Starr Williams.

[Source: The Times of India}
I was on vacation but I woke up early that Saturday morning to watch Venus claim
what I just knew was going to be her sixth Wimbledon title. But it was not meant to be. However, my urge to write about Venus was still there.

But then I got back home and life happened, as it always does. A day turned into days and they turned into weeks and then I looked up and it was September.

The great thing about this though is the fact that Venus, as she always has been, is worthy of having this blog post written about her.

Let us revisit some facts. She has been a professional tennis player since the age of 14. She won her first Grand Slam in 2000 – 17 years ago. She appeared in her first US Open semifinal in 2000 – 17 years ago. In 2011, she was diagnosed with Sjogren’s disease – an autoimmune disease which causes fatigue and muscle and joint pain. In 2017, Venus is now 37 years young and has reached the finals of this year’s Australian Open and Wimbledon. And when the rankings are updated, she will be ranked fifth in the world.

Excuse me but it is a must,#ClapForHer.

It has long become a practice in our society to only celebrate the champion. The one that gets the trophy. The one that gets the celebratory ring. The one that gets the win.

I am one of those persons. Everybody is not a winner. In life, there are wins and losses. Or wins and lessons. I like the latter.

But when it comes to Venus, she will always be a winner. What we are witnessing, at her age, in her sport, with her health challenges, is unprecedented. And I do not think we are appreciating her as much as we should.

This woman should be celebrated to the utmost. She has been a warrior for women. A frontline fighter for equal pay. And a champion in every sense of the word.

My hope is that this weekend, she will win her third US Open title – 16 years after she won her last.

However, even if she does not end up with the “winner’s” trophy in the end, it does not change a thing.

Venus Ebony Starr Williams is and will always be a champion.

#ClapForHer

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Venus vs. Serena…again.

I was not sure I would ever see this again.

But here we are. Again. Venus vs. Serena playing against each other in a US Open match.

Primetime television at its best.

I was asked this weekend who I thought was the better player. It is easy to say Serena and why would you not pick her? But I stopped to think about it. Venus was dominate early in her career but was plagued by injuries. Serena, not as dominant, has found her stride in her early 30’s and is poised to complete the first calendar slam since 1988. I know the choice is clear but I stopped to examine them for a moment. Both have their strengths. Their serves are second to none. Venus is stronger at the net while Serena knows how to completely smother a second serve. I see more power in Serena while Venus tends to be more precise in her decisions. Both know how to dig deep to pull out a win but it will be interesting to see if Venus holds back simply because of what is at stake.

Either way, I will be watching and pulling for a Williams to win! Tune in at 7:00 and #WitnessGreatness.

 

{Source: Google Images}
{Source: Google Images}

Serena: Recognize Greatness

Two words, five syllables…Serena Williams.

I could go in on all the naysayers. I could go in on all the social media trolls who made it a point Saturday to claim Serena had an unfair advantage due to her size. I could go in on all those who refuse to recognize her greatness.

But then I would be stooping to their level and I am already short enough. So I’m going to just leave this here.

{Source: ESPNW}
{Source: ESPNW}

Whether you want to recognize it or not, greatness is here to stay.

Really Serena?

{Source: Google Images}
{Source: Google Images}

Is anyone paying attention to how Serena Williams is DOMINATING at the U.S. Open?? She avenged her Australian Open loss that occured at the backhands of young phenom, Sloane Stephens. Yesterday, she beat 18 seed Carla Suarez Navarro, in straight sets. Not unusual. However, to “double bagel” someone is rare. Has not happened in the U.S. Open quarterfinals since 1989. Oh and for those of you wondering what a “double bagel” is, it is when someone beats a player 6-0, 6-0. And just like that Suarez made history. Up next in Serena’s line of fire, Li Na of China. Hope she brings her quadruple A game.

Until next time….TOODELLS.

The weekender

Hey! Hey! Hey!! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend. Here is your quick rekap of what happened in sports this weekend…

The Cardiac Pack is still alive and well. The Wolfpack pulled out a 20-18 win after merryland’s Brad Craddock missed a 33 yard FG with two seconds left. DOINK!

The Jets allllllllllllmost pulled off the upset of the Pats. So close, soooooo close.

RG3 was sooooo close to pulling off the upset of the G-men, throwing a potential game winning TD to Santana Moss with less than two minutes left in the game. Eli then turns around and throws the game winning TD, 19 seconds later. Womp.

Kansas State though? Ran all up and through the mountains of West Va. Sheeeeeeeesh.

Dwight Howard had a memorable preseason debut with the Lakers…19 points, 12 rebounds, four blocks and two assists. Butter rum, that Thomas Robinson dunk over Howard’s back, WHEEEEEEEEW WHEEEEEE!!

The Indiana Fever defeated the defending champs, Minnesota Lynx, to win its first WNBA Championship. Tamika Catchings was named MVP. Girl power!

The San Francisco Giants, facing elimination, dominated game six, winning 6-1 to force a game seven in the NLCS. Game seven is tonight at 8:00.

Ravens LB Terrell Suggs played in his first game of the season. The Texans welcome back present? A 43-13 rout. Womp.

Suspended/Unsuspended Saints LB played in his first game since being suspended/unsuspended. His welcome back present was his team’s 35-28 win over the Bucs. I have a feeling he will be suspended again next week. Womp.

Matt Kenseth won at the Kansas speedway. Brad Keselowski still holds the number one spot in the Chase for the Sprint Cup.

Feathers were flying all over The Swamp Saturday as Florida blasted South Carolina 44-11. Chomp,  Chomp, Chomp.

BCS Standings…1)Bama 2)Florida 3)Kansas State 4)Oregon 5)Notre Dame. This is going to be real interesting.

Venus Williams ended her two year drought by winning the Luxemborg Open. It was her 44th singles title.

Oh yeah, you guessed it. The NHL is still frozen. Double womp.

Until next time…TOODELLS.

The Weekender

Another beautiful weekend. Here’s a rekap…
Welp, my 9ers got butchered, sliced, diced, mollywopped, shallacked, killt, all dat by the midgets. Way too much talent on both sides of the ball to get beat like that.

What concussion? That is exactly what RGIII had to be thinking as he led the tataskinz to their first home win of the season.

Russell Wilson was who we have all seem him be, a playmaker. He threw a touchdown pass to Sidney Rice with 1:18 remaining in the game to lead the Seahawks to a 24-23 victory over The Brady Bunch.

Crazy weekend in Major League Baseball. It needs its own rekap…The Washington Nationals suffered a colossial collapse blwing a 7-5 lead in the ninth inning with two outs remaining, allowing the St. Louis Cardinals to advance to the NLCS. The San Francisco Giants defeated the Cincinnati Reds in five games to advance to the NLCS. The New York Yankees advance to the ALCS. And while we are talking about the Yankees, Google Raul Ibanez. What a story! The Detroit Tigers are facing the Yankees in the series. By the way, the Tigers are p 2-0 in the series and the Cards are up 1-0.

The Falcons remain the only undefeated team. The Texans got buried by the Packers.

The LSU Tigers brought the South Carolina Gamecocks back to reality. Sorry chickens.

The Brooklyn Nets made the preseason debut. They beat the Philadelphia 76ers 108-105.

Clint Bowyer won the race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Brad Keselowski maintained his number one spot, barely.

Notre Dame finally beat Standford. The win moved them to number 5 in the AP poll.

No new news in hockey. Defrost already!!

The first BCS standings were released. No real surprise that the SEC holds the top two spots with Alabama and Florida.

Novak Djokovic is back to his winning ways. He took home the title at the China Open.

College basketball teams all across the country celebrated the first day of practice by holding various events. I attended Primetime with the PACK, of course :-}.

The Minnesota Lynx, the WNBA’s defending champs, shockingly loss the first game of the finals to the Indiana fever. Erlana Larkins scored 16 points in the 76-70 victory.

A week after I dropped Jets RB Shonn Greene from my fantasy roster, he goes out and rushes for 161 yards and scores three TDs against the Colts. Really dude?

 

Working on some gooooood stories. I am excited! Can not wait for ya’ll to read them and offer up your opinions. Until next time…TOODELLS.

The story you probably missed…

Taylor Townsend. A name you need to know. She is the number one ranked junior tennis player in the WORLD. She is the reigning junior girls Australian Open Champion in singles and doubles and she won the junior girls Wimbledon doubles title this summer. Did I mention she is only 16? Impressive, right?

At a time when we should be celebrating a young woman who has a promising future ahead of her, we are forced to deal with ugly issues that the world can not seem to get past:  BODY IMAGE & STEREOTYPES. Yes, you read that right. BODY IMAGE & STEREOTYPES. Townsend, who planned to travel to the US Open last month, was told by the United States Tennis Association(USTA) that they were not going to finance any more tournament appearances for her until she lost weight and got into better shape. Huh? Did I miss something? The first American girl to be ranked number one since the International Tennis Federation(ITF) combined singles and doubles rankings in 2004, was all of a sudden “too big” to compete. Or as Patrick McEnroe, the general manager of the USTA’s player development program so eloquently stated, “Our concern is her long term health, number one and her long term development as a player.” Was that not your concern before hand Mr. McEnroe? As a PR major, I know a “spin” when I see one and that statement may as well be in bold red letters, in all caps!

I know Mr. McEnroe said her health is his main concern but lets be real this issue centers around body image and stereotypes. The fact is, Towsend is not your stereotypical tennis player. She is tall. However, she is not slim or white. She grunts when she hits the ball. And she is black. Reminds you of some tennis players who came before her, huh? While Townsend herself has admitted that she needs to lose some weight and get into better shape, that is the least of my concerns. I have a problem with an entity such as the USTA making a public spectacle out of a 16 year old girl. I have a problem with the USTA telling Townsend, days before she was scheduled to go to the US Open, that she needed lose weight. This same girl played in tournaments all over the globe earlier in the year, in matches that lasted for hours and suddenly she is too out of shape to compete? This same girl who has been attending the USTA’s academy in Florida, where she attends classes and works out with coaches and trainers everyday now has an weight issue?

This story is disturbing. It screams of what is wrong with the world and how people, especially girls and women, are constantly made to feel less than adequate because of their physical stature. We have created this false Barbie doll image and have forced the notion onto people that every woman should look just like her. The reality is MOST women do not look like her. Every woman in this world was not born a size zero and most women in the world will not be a healthy size zero no matter how hard they try. As petite as I am, I am not even a size zero and according to some I am still too small. The fact is women come in all shapes and sizes. Women are tall, small, curvy, slim, blond, brunette, short, the list goes on and on.

It saddens me that instead of celebrating the accomplishments of a young lady, I am having to write about body image and stereotypes. I think the reason this bothers me so much is because at 16, young girls are so impressionable. They are at an age where a person’s words have the power to change the direction of their life, for better or worse. In the media, Towsend seems to be handling the issue with grace and poise. However, I can only wonder how she feels on the inside. I wonder if she feels humiliated. I wonder if she feels ostracized. I wonder if she feels that she is not good enough. I wonder if she thinks the negativity she will have to endure is worth it. At 16, she should not have to feel any of those things because we should be rejoicing over what she has done regardless of how she looks. We should be proud of her number one ranking. We should be applauding her championships. We should be telling her the best is yet to come. We should be telling her that she has potential. We should be encouraging her. We should be her biggest cheerleaders not her biggest critics. We should be rewarding her for her hard work. And if she indeed does need to lose some weight, we need to be right there in her ear telling her that she can do it.  That is what we should be doing. She needs to know that not being a stereotypical tennis player is not a curse. It is a gift…..one that helps her shine the brightest on a crowded court.

CONGRATULATIONS ON ALL YOUR SUCCESS TAYLOR!!! THE SKY IS THE LIMIT!!