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From here on out, June 23, 2010 Day will be celebrated with pig piles. Lots and lots of pig piles.
If sports had a Twilight Zone, yesterday had to be it. Not only did it bring us the longest match in professional tennis history, we also saw perhaps the most celebrated goal in US soccer history, and a strange reunion in Los Angeles. By the end of the night, we were expecting a Stephen Strasburg perfect game, or an announcement that Pete Rose would be inducted into the Hall of Fame.
Those things didn’t happen. But here’s a little more info on the crazy stuff that did.
Thanks to a disallowed goal in their game and England’s 1-0 lead over Slovenia, the Americans were three and half minutes away from being ousted from the World Cup. Instead, Landon Donovan coolly and calmly scored a goal in the 91st minute (the latest scored in this year’s Cup so far), taking the U.S. squad from Early Exiters to Group Winners. That’s right. With the 1-0 win over Algeria, the Americans won Group C, something they haven’t done since the first World Cup back in 1930.
This marked the first shutout in the group stage for the Americans in 19 matches and the first World Cup match the Americans won after being tied at the half. It also marked the moment where Hollywood started casting Kerr Smith (of “Dawson’s Creek” fame) as Landon Donovan in the movie “Stoppage Time.” Oh, and it practically broke the internet.
If this was a promotional stunt by the Wimbledon folks to steal some attention from the World Cup, then well played, Sirs. Of course, the 10-hour, 163-game match between John Isner and Nicolas Mahut was not a publicity stunt. It was, quite simply, the longest professional tennis match in history. And it’s NOT OVER YET!! It was suspended – for the second day in a row! – due to darkness, tied 59-59.
How long have these two been playing? Well, as our friends over on the SportsCenter broadcast side reminded is, they’ve been playing long enough to watch all six “Rocky” movies, to drive from New York to Dayton, Ohio and to watch a full MLB double header. Well, we have several burning questions about a match this long. 1. Don't they ever have to, you know, go to the bathroom? 2. The line judge had to be sneaking Red Bulls to stay awake, right? And 3. How did Trey Wingo get any work done?
That last one needs a bit of explanation: the marathon match was providing excellent twitter fodder for one @wingoz, who tweeted out comedy gold like “Isner/mahut= real group of death,” “The Yankees have just won the 2010 world series...in other news isner and mahut play on,” and “Isner has just filed palimony papers against mahut...citing common law situation.” Ahhh, what did the world do before twitter? Get stuff done, apparently.
Fresh off their NBA championship, the Lakers are saying they’re interested in Raja Bell. Yes, Raja Bell. The same Raja Bell who played only six games last season before undergoing season-ending surgery on his left wrist. But that’s not the weirdest part. The weirdest part is that Kobe Bryant was named as one of Bell’s strongest supporters. Yes, Kobe Bryant. The same Kobe Bryant who, in a 2006 first round series between the Lakers and Suns, had some harsh words for Bell, including such gems as, “… maybe he wasn’t hugged enough as a kid.” Of course, those comments were in response to Bell’s words, which included such gems as “I think he’s a pompous and arrogant individual.”
Apparently, Kobe’s let bygones be bygones. Or, maybe this is the beginning of Kobe’s master plan to assemble all his enemies in one place. Will the Lakers be saying they're interested (with Kobe’s blessing) in Shaq next? We’ll be on the lookout.