Tuesday, October 5, 2010
It will be 40 years to the day this Saturday, October 9, that two kids (I mean, dontcha just wanna pinch those baby faces!) who immigrated to the U.S. from the Philippines came together in holy matrimony and began their journey together as husband and wife.
They also happen to be my mom + dad.
This young couple, pictured here on that momentous day in 1970, pursued the American dream with fervor and vigor but never without strong discipline. My dad may have learned that skill as a proud member of the U.S. Navy for 30 years while my mom, who was herself the daughter of a Navy man, worked full-time and somehow managed to keep our lives organized and under control. It couldn't have been easy for her to raise three boys while my dad was away at sea, sometimes for 6 months or longer. In fact, he was away for most of my mom's pregnancy with me and only flew in for my birth before having to take off again (that might explain A LOT and, no, it's not your fault dad.) But they did the best they could under the circumstances and I couldn't be more proud to call them my parents. Happy 40th Anniversary Mom + Dad!
Kalil + I will be traveling to Florida on Wednesday in preparation for their big anniversary celebration. I'll be following the tennis happenings while I'm away and will post if, and when, I can get to my laptop. No guarantees, though. I plan on being very happy and very happily drunk during the lead up to and at the actual event in honor of my parents. It's the least I can do! Regular posting will most likely resume on Monday, October 11.
On an entirely different note, I've noticed some of you guys have been submitting comments ANONYMOUSLY. These comments get flagged and don't get published. If you'd like to leave a comment but you're not registered or have an OpenID, please use the 'Name/URL' option. You're required to use a name (any of your choosing) but not required to submit a URL.
That is all. Enjoy the rest of your week!
We've all heard it said in different ways: "Stay tough", "Play up your strengths, hide your weaknesses", "There's no crying in [enter sport]!" or as the famous saying goes, "Never let them see you sweat." (Thanks Dry Idea.) However it's said, professional athletes are never supposed to show vulnerability when competing, never mind showing up in a wheelchair.
But don't tell that to Esther Vergeer. She may have wheels for life but she's also turned it into her weapon of choice, along with HEAD, dominating her sport like no other athlete on the planet. And that's not hyperbole.
Esther, 29, is unbeaten in wheelchair singles tennis since January 2003 and is currently riding a 396 match winning streak. Oh, she's also tied with a one Roger Federer with 16 major singles championships, the latest one coming courtesy of a double bagel win over Daniela di Toro in the final at this year's US Open. But even the Swiss star can't claim the same dominance.
Remarkably, the Dutch lady baller gets to try on a new title this Friday: cover girl for ESPN The Magazine's second annual 'Body Issue.' There she is in the buff, for all the world to see, with only her racquet, arms and a seated position hiding what we know is already there. Scary much? Not by the look on her face or the intense gaze into the camera lens. "Come for me" she seems to be saying.
But wait - people with disabilities aren't supposed to be sexy, right? Well, leave it to Esther to prove us wrong all over again.
[Photo(s): ESPN The Magazine]
Monday, October 4, 2010
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Gael Monfils are taking part in a stage show during the welcome reception for the Rakuten Japan Open Tennis Tournament at the Hotel Grand Pacific Le Daiba in Tokyo, Japan. The pair are nervously watching the proceedings, unsure of what's going on or what they're holding in their hands. They're also wondering if they give a damn. About any of it.
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga: "Am I the only one who wants to know why these Asian tourneys make us do this crap?"
Gael Monfils: "Hell no you're not. I guess Federer + Djokovic weren't available since they're not entered this week. They do everything for these tourneys. Kinda like someone else we all know:"
JWF: "Fuck. Can't he give it a rest? He was, like, everywhere in Thailand. I mean, EVERYWHERE."
GM: "That's what being No. 1 gets you. Good thing it's not me. Phew."
JWF: "Don't worry, La Monf. It won't be. Now about that hair..."
GM: *flips the bird*
[Photo(s): Getty Images]
If you're any kind of tennis gear and equipment head then you probably know of Robert Wallace or have run across his long-running and extensive blog What's All the Racquet? at some point while scouring the Internets. As a fellow tennis fashion fiend I have been following his blog for some time, and it has been and continues to be a great resource for Down the Line! Robert is still going strong with What's All the Racquet? but this time he's not only talking about another brand's goods but also his own newly formed label, Old School Tennis.
Robert had been mulling the idea for years before officially launching the website this past July. The idea spawned from observations of two things he was already passionately covering in his blog: tennis + fashion.
"I watch the grand slams religiously, and what I saw (with the recent exceptions of Fed and Rafa), was that McEnroe, Borg, Connors and Becker were still the biggest draws in the media," said Robert during a recent email exchange. "These are the players I grew up with so I loved it, but there must be something enduring there. Then, I kept seeing fun variations on the 'Viva Che' and 'What Would Jesus Do?' tshirts. Those two ideas came together and the idea for Old School Tennis was born."
The men's range includes basic + ringer tees and hoodies while the women's range features tees, sleeveless tops and tanks. There are even offerings for kids and babies! Seriously, could there be a more fitting image plastered to a screeching baby than this one?
Right. I didn't think so (nor did baby.)
The prices range from $19.99 - $44.99. For more information check out the Old School Tennis website here. One more t-shirt shot featuring Martina Navratilova after the jump (click the head.)