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The humanity of the NFL, women's hoops in Somalia and FSU's academics


Wednesday September 6, 2017

The best event I've ever attended is the 2011 US Open. Novak Djokovic at the height of his powers. Serena Williams outraged and upset at Ashe Stadium. I've been to World Series games and a Stanley Cup Final, and they don't compare with watching two world-class tennis players locked in an epic showdown. One of the most audacious spectacles in sports.

That's what Juan Martin del Potro and Dominic Thiem provided at the Grandstand on Monday night. Del Potro pushed back from two sets down. Thiem came unnerved in the fifth set and double-faulted to polish off his defeat. A 24-seed upset over a 6-seed, but it didn't feel like it. Can't blame you if you were watching something else Monday night after spending the weekend knee-deep in college football.

Or spending one last weekend away from the TV before the NFL returns. But you missed the best sports event of the weekend; better than Alabama's latest fait accompli or UCLA's fourth-quarter miracle.

Thiem and del Potro laid it out over three-plus hours. The beauty of two superb athletes flaunting their quick-twitch athleticism on the court. The boxing-like brutality of Thiem losing and having no one else to blame.

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The match sets up a fantastic second week in Flushing. Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal are lined up for a fan-service semifinal Friday night. Venus Williams and Petra Kvitova play Tuesday in a matchup of two heartwarming stories that have to clash. 

Even as football returns, tennis will hold center court. ... JD Martinez is here to chew bubblegum and crush dingers, and he's all out of bubblegum.

The Diamondbacks slugger hit four home runs against the Dodgers. Rarer than a perfect game. Scooter Gennett will meet you in the clubhouse. ... This will melt your heart. Jake Olson, USC's blind long-snapper, got in to snap for an extra point Saturday against Western Michigan. WMU and USC coaches worked out an agreement and lived up to it.

Olson's story is uplifting. A little sportsmanship can go a long way. ... Forcing turnovers like Eric B and Rakim. ... So much sports over a long weekend, closing out a few minutes before Labor Day ended. Georgia Tech took the loss by going for two in OT and failing. What's next weekend going to be like? Make reservations to get off the couch now. NFL season starts. Week 2 of college football. US Open finals. MLB playoff race.

A seamless kind of weekend. ... Live from Death Row. ... No one wields more power on a college campus than head football coaches. They are recruiters, X's-and-O's schemers, and fundraisers. While players come and go, they remain as the face of the program and the school. SportsSET: "Giants on the College Football Sidelines" 



 





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