One of the joys of following a hundred sports or so is that you’re not stuck dissecting the Super Bowl to the point that it becomes joyless. Instead, we have all this:
– Marta signs with Western New York. A WPS shocker. Good news from a media point of view because it means more of us will be paying attention to veteran Rochester reporter Jeff DiVeronica, who jokes on Twitter that Marta will push him up to 1,000 followers.
The conventional wisdom would be that Marta would sign with The Club Formerly And Still Partially Known As The Washington Freedom But Also With Magic Jack In The Name (TCFASPKATWFBAWMJITN) so that Dan Borislow would have a marquee player to market in South Florida and perhaps somewhere in Washington once the team hires marketing and sales staffs and finds venues in which to play. Instead, Borislow has given us the best WPS smack talk in the league’s brief history, via Our Game: “This came as a total surprise. I am glad she will be playing in the league. She will discover we are the team to beat, so I hope she is at the top of her game when she plays us.”
For all the talk in MLS about “Rivalry Week,” maybe we should be circling the calendar for TCFASPKATWFBAWMJITN’s visit to Rochester.
– Nadal loses. And it’s a pity. Tennis could use a Grand Slam charge from the charismatic, humble Spaniard, but an injury has derailed his Australian Open campaign. Nadal didn’t want to use the injury as an excuse, but he wasn’t fooling opponent David Ferrer. Class acts all around. (NYT)
– Winter X Games time. And the NYT notes that several more X sports may be joining the Winter Olympic program. No word on women’s ski jumping, though that sport has a better-defined set of rules and so forth.
The Summer Olympics might be too big. The Winter Olympics aren’t, and it’s hard to begrudge slopestyle its place. But if the IOC adds the X sports without women’s ski jumping, the excuses will ring hollow.
– Handball heaven. It’s only $20 away. At least the highlights are free, so I was able to scout semifinalist France in their win over my buddies from Iceland in a rematch of the 2008 Olympic final. (Dan Steinberg also enjoyed covering that team in Beijing and linked to my highest-read blog post ever.)
Iceland plays Croatia for fifth place on Friday. The semifinals the same day: France-Sweden, Denmark-Spain.
– Also this weekend:
- Cyclocross World Championships. The muddier, the better.
- U.S. Figure Skating Championships, in my former hometown of Greensboro.
- Luge World Championships. U.S. sliders not having a particularly good year.
- Paralympic Athletics World Championships.
- Millrose Games.
- Strikeforce: Middleweight and welterweight title fights, plus Herschel Walker.
- Final weekend of Tata Steel chess classic, where U.S. player Hikaru Nakamura shares the lead in an elite group.