SPORTS TALK: Bianca Andreescu, hopefully, is what Canadian tennis has been waiting for

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Fake news is the favourite term Donald Trump likes to use when he’s not happy with things he reads or hears about himself.

When Hurricane Dorian was busy laying waste to the Atlantic, Trump trotted out a map on Sept. 3 with the hurricane’s projected path. Alabama was included but only after it looked like a bubble, drawn by a Sharpie, added the state in the path. Naturally, people were curious but none more so than Dan Rather, who had some comments regarding truth, old maps and fragile egos.

Dan Rather is absolutely the last person to talk about anything having to do with factual information because if anyone knows anything about fake news, it’s Dan Rather.

Anyway …

She The North

We all thought Eugenie Bouchard was the answer to what ailed Canadian women’s tennis for such a long time: will someone ever hit the heights not seen since Patricia Hy-Boulais at the U.S. Open? We all know the answer.

That question was answered on Sept. 7 as Bianca Andreescu went where no Canadian woman has ever gone before in the women’s singles draw. She won the whole damn thing by beating Serena Williams in straight sets in the final and, in the process, setting the country on fire.

Andreescu has been on some sort of run and when she said she felt like she could beat anyone heading into the U.S. Open, I believed her. She can beat anyone right now the way she’s playing and you could have bet your last East German Ostmark she wanted another crack at Williams. Andreescu defeated Williams in the final at the Rogers Cup in Toronto but Williams retired through injury. It was a win, yes, but you knew Andreescu wanted to finish her off for real with match point. And she did.

I’ve told more than one person that Bouchard would turn into the next Anna Kournikova and it’s looking like I’m right. Andreescu is becoming the next Milos Raonic in terms of Canadian tennis and I’ll have some more on this next week. I promise.

And they call it respect

I don’t know about you but if anyone decided to throw a pejorative term my way, my first reaction would be to figure out how to injure them. Not kill them … that would be extreme.

Which is why I took the statement from a supporters group aligned with Italian soccer club Inter Milan exactly how almost everyone else took it: what in the hell was that?

Romelu Lukaku, seen playing for his native Belgium in the 2018 FIFA World Cup, was the target of racist chants during a Serie A game in Italy on Sept. 1. But never mind that because it's a term of endearment, according to a supporters group aligned with Inter Milan. photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Romelu Lukaku, seen playing for his native Belgium in the 2018 FIFA World Cup, was the target of racist chants during a Serie A game in Italy on Sept. 1. But never mind that because it’s a term of endearment, according to a supporters group aligned with Inter Milan.
photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Here’s what happened: Romelu Lukaku of Inter Milan was subjected to chants of “monkey” by fans from Cagliari when the two teams played on Sept. 1. Lukaku had the best last laugh ever by scoring the winning goal to give Inter Milan a 2-1 victory. Now, this isn’t the first time Cagliari has had to deal with some of its fans – and I stress some, not all – racially abusing a black player. The club had to once again issue a statement denouncing the chants; Moise Kean suffered the same crap at Cagliari when he played with Juventus last season.

Curva Nord, the supporters’ group in question, stated that the chants were not at all racist and actually said that it was a form of respect. I kid thee not. This is a paragraph from the statement, which you can find on the group’s Facebook page:
“Please consider this attitude of Italian fans as a form of respect for the fact they are afraid of you for the goals you might score against their teams and not because they hate you or they are racist.”

This is awesome. Racism is cool again, kids! So next time you see someone who looks different than you, be sure and belittle them with a trope. If they get offended, tell them it’s a sign of respect.

And finally …

Good Idea: Ducking to avoid getting hit by a wild pitch.

Bad Idea: Ducking to avoid getting hit by a wild pitch only to discover you’ve been fooled by one of the best curve balls in the history of Major League Baseball.

There is nothing better in sports than watching a batter get twisted like a pretzel when thrown a curve ball. Ask Kyle Seager of the Milwaukee Brewers, though, and you may get a different answer.

The Brewers took on the Chicago Cubs on Sept. 2. Seager came up in the top of the ninth inning to face Cubs pitcher Brad Wieck. With a 2-2 count, Wieck unleashed his nasty bender which Seager thought was coming right for his head. Seager ducked to get out of the way … as the ball ended up coming across the plate belt-high for strike three. Seager never saw the pitch come in and was stunned when the home plate umpire rung him up.

Absolutely filthy, for sure, but for me, there’s nothing like watching a batter break their ankles when faced with a change-up in fastpitch softball. You never expect it and when they come in, it’s a thing of beauty to watch.

Until next time, folks …

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