THE SPORTS DOCTOR- What a week: Antics made sports anything but Serene(a)
Were you watching sports this past week? I'm still reeling from the embarrassment of riches. So much happened that I can hardly contain myself.
The reason tennis skirts are so short is to show one's butt, apparently. Serena Williams' tirade at the U. S. Open Semifinals Saturday night, September 12, was obscene in every sense of the word. In case you missed it, Williams exploded after being penalized for a foot fault, a disgusting exhibition that cost her the semis.
For Williams to call her behavior an "inappropriate outburst" is an outright lie. I have an extensive vocabulary, but I can't think of a word strong enough to describe the vulgarity and violence of Williams' behavior. What would you call verbally and physically threatening a line judge– not once but twice? How would you classify screaming, cursing, and shaking the ball at an official, all this after brutally smashing a racquet earlier in the match?
Bad behavior has been a tennis mainstay since the days of John McEnroe, but even his diatribes looked tame next to Williams' carrying on.
"If I could, I would take this *** ball and shove it down your *** throat," Williams said, according to a tennis official who watched a replay Saturday night. Of course the booing and catcalling made it a bit difficult to understand exactly what was said, and although Williams' use of the word "kill" is disputed, her body language conveyed nothing but aggression.
Even after being fined $10,000 and warned of a possible suspension, Williams showed absolutely no remorse and waited nearly 48 hours to issue an apology. The apology, such as it was, came a mere half hour before the Williams sisters were to play in the doubles final and was less an act of contrition than an act of convenience.
Speaking of being contrite, if Serena isn't, Jay Cutler certainly should be. The new face of the Chicago Bears threw four interceptions Sunday night, September 13, and it was far uglier than it sounds. Rick Morrissey at the Chicago Tribune wrote, "When someone throws four interceptions and observers say that isn't the worst of it, that can't be a good sign."
Indeed it's not. Cutler's performance was so bizarrely awful it's surprising he completed any passes at all. Cutler's mistakes were so elementary that one wonders if the four interceptions were the result of Green Bay deciding to go easy on him– although the Packers were clearly not playing to their potential either.
If Cutler thinks he has something to whimper about now (as his berating both officials and teammates proves), he'll probably be weeping openly when he faces the Steelers this weekend.
A more subtle yet just as elementary mistake came from Michael Vick Sunday afternoon. Though Philadelphia's new #7 can't suit up until week three of the season, Vick was quite visible in a box overlooking Charlotte's Bank of America Stadium. I may be old-fashioned, but when someone is in hock up to his ears but is trying to earn the public trust, it seems like only good sense to keep those ears ice-free.
Instead of appearing modest and retiring on the opening NFL weekend, Vick sported thumbnail-size rocks on his bankrupt and controversial earlobes; I doubt that, like Zsa Zsa, he wears his fakes in public.
It hasn't all been bad, though– there have been inspiring sports moments, too: Roger Federer's incredible between-the-legs backhand was perhaps the greatest shot tennis has ever seen, and three NFL players have donated their brains and spinal cords to Boston's Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy so the long-term damage from concussions can be studied.
Al Groh and Charlie Weiss both got what they had coming; Jim Tressel lost but looked professional doing it; Keith Olbermann and Dan Patrick were together again, and I was too busy to watch an egotistical and condescending Michael Jordan make his Hall of Fame speech.
It's been a great week for sports fans. It might be too much to hope that this coming week will be as enjoyable, but my fingers are crossed. With Floyd Mayweather Jr. on the docket, how can one not be entertained?
Juanita Giles lives in Keysville where she makes videos and updates her Sports Doctor site.