Good-bye, Legends

If you follow sports, perhaps you’ve heard of Vin Scully and Dick Enberg. As I write about tennis, perhaps some of the readers recall hearing Enberg’s voice call many many big tennis matches. He worked for NBC for years, coinciding with its coverage of Wimbledon and The French Open; later he worked with CBC where he was very involved in covering the U.S. Open. He moved to ESPN and continued to cover tennis for the “mothership.” But Enberg covered so many other sports, as well. His voice is as sports iconic as there is, associated with the NFL, MLB, College Football, horse racing and the Olympics on top of all of the great tennis he’s narrated for us devoted fans.

He finished his career with the San Diego Padres, a baseball team a I grew-up rooting for. Sure his voice is among many great ones in and around the world of sports, but speaking from my own American perspective means recognizing how familiar is that voice (more familiar I might say than any uncle’s or close family friend’s – that’s how much great tennis he called and I’ve watched) its characteristic jovial nature talking me through some of the biggest sporting events (historical events) of my life, and even following me home to call and share in the witness of my team’s perennial futility. Yet he made it always worthwhile.  Thanks, Dick. All the best.

Vin Scully, the Los Angeles Dodgers’ play-by-play announcer for about 67 years (think about that), called it quits today, as well. In the sport of baseball, he’s one of the GOAT announcers. He was quite simply a great story-teller. You have to hear it (again, grow-up on it) to believe it. Farewell, Mr. Scully.

Some examples of the Enberg quality painting to such natural perfection the drama of tennis theatre.

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Folks, I will try to post tomorrow regarding the ball and racquet (work is smothering me right now, I’m afraid, for which I’m very grateful I might add).

I hope some of you recall how my discussions of Novak post-USO might seem a little more prescient now, after hearing Novak recalibrate in public. I have more thoughts on this for sure, everything from reiterating what I said a few weeks ago that has virtually come true with regards to his professional arch, to sharing witness with you all some of the realities of this tennis commentary.

I hope you have the understanding that you come here for some news, but this news is almost always couched in my commentary, which may reach on occasion for the forest through the trees (it might be a bit ambitious); but the bottomline is I’m being as honest as I can and nothing makes me happier than sharing any of this life analysis (we analyze tennis, we analyze life) with any of you.

Even I was a bit surprised that Novak consolidated some of my targeted commentary post the USO. On the one hand, a reader could cast some of this commentary as “piling-on,” perhaps even “hating,” as the Serb was down (this of course is lunacy as I have celebrated Nole throughout my tenure on this blog). But now, one/all can hopefully see that I was speaking  from the heart of my knowledge of the sport. And, indeed, the winds of change are swirling around the ATP.

Nice to see “Silent K” win his first ATP title (ANOTHER youngster ((20 years-old)) first time winner!); I saw on Twitter that Brad Gilbert is playing with possible nicknames for Karen Khachanov (the “K” in his surname is silent). That’s what we’re getting, fortunately, in these early indoors: space for the youngsters to compete and grow a pair (some confidence). Of course, congrats to that big Czech, as well.

We’ll take a look, too, at Beijing and Tokyo. Stay-tuned.

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