Hi friends. How are you? It’s been a while. Luckily for you, online the SDI family was never too far from my heart. Every time I saw some asinine sports atrocity, nurse I kept it in my mental rolodex (i.e. my Twitter favorites) just in case I was able to share it with you guys. And now the opportunity has finally come to share my thoughts on random sports stories with you.

So here we are. It’s football season. Baseball season. I’m sure hockey might be on (???). Or table tennis. Maybe curling is happening…in Canada or Russia or wherever they watch that. The Cubs are good (right?). The Bears have a two-time-Super Bowl-appearing coach (he lost, cialis but still….he was in the building). Everyone’s favorite Bull may or may not have been involved in a gang rape (I. Can’t. Even.) And the Blackhawks dismantled their championship team and have deflated the hopes of another ticker tape parade in Chicago for like a decade.


So what have I been up to sports-wise? Well, I learned to golf. Ok, well not like actually learned to golf. I got golf clubs, try hopelessly to hit the ball with either my driver or my nine iron, and give up at around the third hole to focus on keeping score and getting drunk. You have no idea how difficult it is to count when you’re six mimosas in. I am a great humanitarian.

I also moved to Pittsburgh and have spent the past five months devising a plan to bribe bartenders to play Bears games when the Steelers are on. In addition to that, I am trying desperately to become the best amateur binge-watcher in America: I devoured four seasons of Game of Thrones in two weeks. If I keep this up, I’ll surely qualify for the Olympics. Because America.

But enough about me. Let’s talk about other people. So pop the cork on the Cabernet, light your pumpkin-scented candle and let’s talk proper sports.


I really don’t want to talk about Deflategate but since I have a column with thousands of readers (right? RIGHT?!), I’ll throw in my two cents. Here’s the thing: the Patriots are known simultaneously as champions and cheaters. So it’s very difficult to believe that Belichick and Brady wouldn’t do this. That’s the thing about lying; get caught doing it once and everything else you say comes into question. Do I think they did this on purpose? I sure hope not. I would like to believe that what we are witnessing is a great team headed up by a brilliant coach and a seemingly terrific owner in Bob Kraft who are playing a brutal, unforgiving game as fairly as possible. But I will say this: it wouldn’t exactly surprise me if this ended up to be true.

In other news, Seahawks’ quarterback Russell Wilson is dating singer Ciara. And that makes sense for both parties. Russell probably never got any action with chicks as ridiculously gorgeous as Ciara. And now, because she’s on his arm, Ciara is introduced as an R&B star (which – name three unaccompanied Ciara tracks not called “Goodies”… exactly.)


So, two things:

  1. Kansas has a football team! WHO KNEW?!
  2. Students at the University of Kansas cannot name the head coach of said football team.

Yep. Moving on.


I am very confident in my relationship, but if some heifer EVER asks my man out on a date with me standing right there?! {link:} No ma’am. In the illustrious words of Tupac, ‘you betta back the duck up before you get smacked the duck up.’ Because no rapper rant will ever beat the one at the end of Hit ‘em Up. {link:}

Aside: can someone tell the people in charge of autocorrect over at Apple that I literally never mean duck? Thanks.


Drake and Serena Williams have been a thing for a while, so this is not news{link: I compare this to having a real boyfriend, breaking up with him occasionally and hooking up with the side piece. Who is Drake in this scenario? Side piece.

One last thing…

Im currently drinking my way through Italy so I feel it would be remiss not to talk about soccer. JUST KIDDING! Thanks for reading. Until next time!


If you don’t know the name Rafael Nadal, no rx we don’t know what you’ve been missing. The tennis player just earned his ninth French Open title yesterday in a repeat of last year’s final versus Novak Djokovic, illness making the 28-year-old clay legend (he’s got a 63-1 record!) our HAM of the Week.

Rafa”, as he is known to his legion of fans, is the current world #1, and he’s aced his way into our hearts. He’s a sexy and single Spaniard who has won more than 50 titles in his 13 years of turning pro—what more can we love about our HAM of the Week?

For starters, he is only one of two singles players (behind tennis legend Andre Agassi) to complete a Career Golden Slam, meaning he has won the Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and U.S. Open, in addition to the Olympic gold medal (which he won in 2008) in the span of his career.

He’s also an avid soccer fan, having played the sport when he was young in addition to tennis. Though he chose to focus on the latter, he still supports Real Madrid and RCD Mallorca as well as the Spanish national team, fitting for the World Cup, which begins this week.

Rafael Nadal HAM

Rafael Nadal,

Turning pro at 15, Nadal participated in events at the junior and senior circuits, winning his first major senior match on the ATP circuit just before he turned 16. But it wasn’t until the following year that he faced current rival Roger Federer at Wimbledon.

By 19, Nadal won his first French Open title in his first appearance at the event, the first man to win the title since 1982. He went on to win the tournament the next three times.

Injury sidelined Nadal in 2012, but he’s obviously emerged as the reigning king of the (clay) court, quite possibly making him one of the best tennis players of all time.

If Nadal ever reaches a final in a tournament, you can bet he’s either going against Djokovic or Federer, the other two players who seem to be challenging Nadal for the best of the best. Nadal has faced Djokovic more than 40 times, with about half of those matches faced in the final round. Nadal has faced Federer 33 times, with 20 of those matches faced in the final.

Rafael Nadal HAM

Rafael Nadal,

According to his autobiography, while he does have a game plan against Federer, he’s still looking for one against Djokovic.

We’re not sure about Rafa’s constant habit of biting his trophies, but wow, it makes him so much sexier…

And it’s not everyday that you have an asteroid named after you. According to ATP World Tour, the asteroid is located between Mars and Jupiter and travels through space at 20 kilometers per second. Talk about star power.

Nadal is also charitable; his organization, Fundacion Rafa Nadal, provides educational programs for deprived children and teenagers through sports.

Rafael Nadal,

Rafael Nadal,

The one sport he’s not good at? Golf. But we’d rather have a superstar with 15 major Grand Slam titles to his name on the tennis court than anywhere else.

As a spokesman for Nike, Nadal also has a collection with the retailer, and has also emerged as a somewhat fashion icon. At just over 6 feet, he seems to be all muscle and pure heart.

Not to mention, being photographed by famed photographer Bruce Weber for the June 2009 issue of Vogue:

Catch up with Rafa at Wimbledon, which starts Monday, June 23. Follow Rafael Nadal on Twitter at @RafaelNadal (he tweets in Spanish and English!) and at

Andy Murray US Open 2012 Champ (USA Today Sports)

The tennis season’s final Grand Slam event, remedy the US Open, cialis begins today in Flushing Meadows, N.Y.  This hard-court slam lasts two weeks and culminates with the Women’s final on Sunday, September 8th and the Men’s final on Monday, September 9th.

This has been a crazy tennis season, with three different men and three different women winning singles titles in the year’s first three Grand Slam events.  Not to mention the big name players that crashed and burned at Wimbledon earlier this summer.

In the spotlight are last years’ champions #3 Andy Murray and #1 Serena Williams with the question of whether they can both defend their 2012 US Open singles titles.


Murray has reached the final of the last four Slams he’s played and most recently won the title at Wimbledon.  Unfortunately, he’s on the same side of the draw as #1 Djokovic, so a repeat final of 2012 is impossible this year.  I’d look forward to a Murray vs Djokovic semi-final on Saturday, September 7th, assuming that Murray isn’t upset by Tomas Berdych earlier in the quarters.

Djokovic is always a favorite to win and has six consecutive semis-or-better at the US Open.  Djokovic and 2009 US Open Champion Juan Martin del Potro could see each other in the quarterfinals, if everything holds true to seed.

This could be a not-to-be-missed quarter final, as del Potro is the only man outside of the “Big Four” (Djokovic, Murray, Nadal and Federer), that can upset the status quo.  At 24 years old, del Potro is the youngest player in the ATP top 10.

Juan Martin del Potro (Getty Images)

Due to the draw, Djokovic will likely need to also beat Murray and Nadal in successive matches to win the tournament.  This will probably prove too much for even Djokovic.

#2 Rafael Nadal has had a roller-coaster year winning the French Open, but getting knocked out of Wimbledon in the first-round.  But Nadal is 15-0 on hard-court this year, including wins at Indian Wells, Montreal and most recently Cincinnati, and thus has proven his ability on a surface other than clay this year.

Nadal winning the Western & Southern Open final in Cincinnati 8/18/2013 (AP Photos)

Nadal is on the same side of the draw as #7 Federer, so we could see a fantastic quarterfinal between Nadal and Federer.

My Prediction:  If his knee holds up, Nadal is my pick to win the U.S. Open. Nadal has the much favorable draw, his early exit at Wimbledon appears to have been a fluke, and he is undefeated on hard-courts this year. Since Murray is in the other half of the draw from Nadal, Nadal will need to beat only Murray or Djokovic, but not both, to win the tournament.



US Open 2012 Champion Serena Williams (Reuters)

On the women’s side, clear-cut favorite #1 Serena Williams will be looking for her fifth career U.S. Open crown and third since 2008.

#2 Victoria Azarenka has proven she can beat Serena Williams on hard courts. She is 2-0 against Williams on the surface this year, including a three-set victory over Williams in Cincinnati, their last tournament before the U.S. Open. Azarenka reached the finals of the past two Grand Slam events on hard courts: a victory in the 2013 Australian Open and a tough fought loss to Williams in the 2012 U.S. Open finals.

Maria Sharapova surprisingly withdrew last week from the US Open because of bursitis in her right shoulder. Even more surprising: Wimbledon champion Marion Bartoli isn’t entered in the U.S. Open because she suddenly announced her retirement this month at age 28.

Due to the lack of any real competition, a Williams vs. Azarenka Final seems likely, but with Azarenka’s 0-7 record against Williams in Grand Slam events, this should be Serena’s event.

My Prediction: Serena Williams will repeat her 2012 US Open championship, as long as she isn’t bothered by her persistent abdominal issues of late.

All right Sports Divas, who do you think will win the US Open this year?

US OPEN TV Coverage

TV Coverage is spread over a number of networks: CBS, CBS Sports Network, ESPN, ESPN2 and Tennis Channel, plus you can catch the live stream on WatchESPN.  See US Open TV Coverage for complete listings.

Fashion that Performs (Photo Mike Caplan)


wimbledon-2013 logo

Wimbledon, medicine the third of the four grand slams of the tennis calendar year, there begins today in London. Tennis’ brightest stars and biggest names from around the world will be competing for the Wimbledon trophy that is awarded to the winners of the oldest and most prestigious tennis tournament.

Wimbledon is the only grand slam which is played on grass; the French Open is played on clay and the US and Australian Opens are played on hard court. Wimbledon is played at the All England Cub in Wimbledon, London where it has been held since 1877 and lasts  two weeks.

Let’s take a look at which players are the early favorites heading into the tennis season’s most coveted and conservative event.

Men’s Singles Championship

Federer Def Murray 2012 (Photo:

Until this year, no man had won eight titles at the same Grand Slam. Rafael Nadal just won No. 8 at the French Open. Now, Roger Federer can try to match him at Wimbledon.

Federer is the defending champion and he’s still as good as it gets on grass. He finally ended a 10-month title drought by winning a tuneup tournament on grass at Halle, Germany. Wimbledon is the major tournament he’s most likely to win if he’s going to add to his record total of 17 Grand Slam titles.

Nadal second-round defeat at Wimbledon last year (Photo:

However, he may be going home early, as Federer could face Nadal in the quarterfinals at Wimbledon due to Friday’s draw that placed the third-seeded Federer and No.5 Nadal in the same half.  The winner of the Federer vs Nadal match will most likely go on to meet home favorite Brit, Andy Murray, who is seeded No.2 in the semifinals – all three wound up on the same side of the draw.

Djokovic, meanwhile, is on the other half and at most would need to beat only one of that other trio to earn the championship.

Brit Andy Murray trying to win at home (Photo

Murray once again will try to give Britain its first male champion at Wimbledon since Fred Perry in 1936. Last year, Murray became the first British man to even reach the final since 1938, then lost to Federer in four sets. However, Murray did go onto win the Olympic singles gold medal at the All England Club, beating Federer in the final.

In September at the U.S. Open, Murray became the first British man in 76 years to win any Grand Slam singles title. He pulled out of the French Open with a back issue, but won the grass title at Queen’s Club June 16th, so all appears fine with his back.

Nadal and No. 1-ranked Novak Djokovic together have won 11 of the most recent 13 Grand Slam titles. Those two, plus Federer, have collected 31 of the past 33 titles. Add Murray to the mix , and these four seem a good bet to win the championship this year.

My Pick for the Men’s Title

Novak Djokovic winning 2011 Wimbledon title (Photo:

Coming off of his French Open victory, I would normally pick Nadal.  But because of the seeding at Wimbledon, Nadal will be in line to face Roger Federer, Andy Murray or Novak Djokovic in the quarterfinals, and he might have to beat all three to win – hard for someone even as hot at Nadal.  So while Nadal may be my personal favorite to win the championship, due to the easier draw, I’m going put my money on Novak Djokovic for the title.  But I think anything can happen here – so you won’t want to miss any of the action.

Who Can Beat Serena?

Serena 2012 Wimbledon (Photo:

It’s hard to imagine anyone ever being a bigger favorite to win a Grand Slam title than No. 1 ranked Serena Williams is at Wimbledon this year. She comes in as the defending champion; she’s on a 31-match winning streak – the longest single-season run in women’s tennis since her older sister won 35 in a row in 2000.

Serena is 74-3 since last year’s Wimbledon. Williams has claimed three of the last four major titles to raise her career total to 16 — two less than Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova.

Williams vs Sharapova in the Final (Photo:

There are other women capable of winning the title, especially Maria Sharapova, who won the title in 2004 by beating Williams in the final.

[However] “I don’t see a weakness,” three-time Wimbledon champion John McEnroe said. “She’s playing the best tennis of her career. She’s not only in the best place I’ve ever seen, I think she’s the best player that’s ever lived. I said that a while ago, but she’s cementing it in everyone’s mind. She’s just a level above anyone. There’s no doubt about it.”

Serena Williams will need to keep her emotions and her wardrobe in check over the next two weeks. Wimbledon has a strict dress code that will limit Williams from her normal ‘colorful’ outfits that she is known to wear during the grand slams.  Furthermore, Williams has had a bad dose of press lately, first publicly commenting on a controversial Ohio rape case of a 16-year old girl and just recently, taking shots at Sharapova who is allegedly dating one of Serena’s exes.  More details on this story HERE.

My Pick for the Women’s Title

Kvitova def Sharapova 2011 (Image:

Although Sharapova put up a fight in this year’s French Open final against Williams, she wasn’t really much of a hurdle and has lost the last 13 times they’ve played.

Petra Kvitova, the 2011 champion, seems to have the grass game figured out. No. 2-ranked Victoria Azarenka is a two-time semifinalist; Agnieszka Radwanska and Marion Bartoli have each also been the runner-up.

Still, it’s hard to imagine any of them beating five-time champion Williams if she’s healthy. Considering Serena’s game is even better on grass, it’s difficult to pick anyone to defeat her at Wimbledon.

The only place Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams can meet at Wimbledon is in the final. It’s my prediction that they will meet again. There’s no doubt that Serena will win her 6th Wimbledon championship in 2013.

Wimbledon TV Coverage

ESPN, the sole television home of the live Wimbledon tennis tournament, has 140 hours of coverage scheduled over the two-week period beginning Monday, June 24. (Note: ABC will air encore Wimbledon coverage on June 30, July 6 and July 7 – The July 6 and July 7 telecasts will be encore presentations of the singles finals.)

Monday, June 24
6 a.m.-4 p.m.: First round, ESPN
Tuesday, June 25
6 a.m.-4 p.m.: First round, ESPN
Wednesday, June 26
6 a.m.-4 p.m.: Second round, ESPN2
Thursday, June 27
6 a.m.-2 p.m.: Second round, ESPN2
Friday, June 28
6 a.m.-4 p.m.: Third round, ESPN
Saturday, June 29
7 a.m.-3 p.m.: Third round, ESPN


Smashing Golf & Tennis


Will the Magic of Monfils Continue? (Getty Images)

If you’ve been watching the first week of the French Open, drugstore you’ve probably noticed the less than perfect conditions. The first five days of the French Open at Roland Garros have been unusually cold and rainy causing long delays and postponed matches, levitra however, there’s still been plenty of upsets, drama and exciting play to discuss.

Maria Sharapova was unable to finish her second-round match against Eugenie Bouchard on a rainy fifth day of action in Paris and the officials finally suspended play and will pick up where they left off on Friday. Match play has been delayed, but with the hope that Friday will bring better weather and a chance to finish the remaining second and third round matches before the weekend.

In the meantime, some highlights from the week so far.

Men’s Singles

Nadal First Round Scare

Rafa in Disbelief in early 1st Round (Gallo Images)

French Open favorite Rafael “Rafa” Nadal had a very scary first two sets in the first round.  Rafa struggled during his opening-round win over German Daniel Brands after dropping the first set—only the 15th set he has lost at Roland Garros—and falling to 0-3 in the second.

Of course, Rafa then made it look easy and then went on to win decisively in four sets, but it was exciting to watch live and wonder if my prediction would fall on only the second day of play.

Monfils the “Magician”

Monfils “The Magician” (Washington Post)

The biggest upset on the Men’s side this week so far has been fifth seed Tomas Berdych’s shocking loss after five sets by unseeded Frenchmen Gael Monfils on Monday 7-6, 6-4, 6-7, 6-7, 7-5 in a thrilling four hour and two minute match.

Monfils continued to perform his magic to the delight of local crowds Wednesday by beating 40th ranked Ernests Gulbis  6-7, 6-4, 7-6, 6-2, in what was one of the most entertaining and competitive matches so far.

Ironically, a Frenchman has not won at Roland Garros since Yannick Noah, the father of Chicago Bull, Joakim Noah,  in 1983.  Monfils will next play 34th ranked Tommy Robredo on Friday, who’s first 2 rounds have not have been as hard fought as Monfils, but the local crowds will be cheering on for more of Monfils magic and will be a match not to be missed.

The Other Top Seeded Men

Roger Federer (Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Novak Djokovic eased into the third round with decisive 6-2, 6-0, 6-2 win over Argentina’s Guido Pella Thursday, and Federer barely broke a sweat defeating Somdev Dewarman of India in the second round 6-2, 6-1, 6-1.

Women’s Singles

Mattek-Sands Shocks 2011 Champion Li

Bethanie Mattek-Sands (Photo : AFP)

Unconventionally dressed American Bethanie Mattek-Sands delivered the biggest upset of this year’s French Open so far by beating the 2011 champ and current #6 Li Na of China  5-7, 6-3, 6-2.

Mattek-Sands is renown for her unusual style and says “I’m kind of doing my own thing, I want my tennis to do my talking.”  This week at the French Open, she did just that.

Serena – Inevitable Champion? 

Serena Williams (USA Today)

Serena Williams easily extended her winning streak to 26 matches Wednesday by beating #114th ranked Caroline Garcia of France, 6-1, 6-2 in the second round.

The No. 1-ranked Williams seeks her first French Open title since 2002. She hasn’t reached the semifinal since 2003 and lost in the first round last year at Roland Garros.

Other Upsets

Former top-ranked and current #10 ranked Caroline Wozniacki lost 7-6 (2), 6-3 to 47th ranked Bojana Jovanovski of Serbia in the second round of the French Open on Wednesday.

Who to Watch Friday

(Roland Garros)

Due to the rain suspended play on Thursday, the match schedule was not finalized at time of writing.  Check link for Friday final schedule of play at French Open.

However, the following matches should be worth watching.

Men’s Singles  

  • Rafael Nadal vs. Martin Klizan
  • Gael Monfils vs.Tommy Robredo

Women’s Singles

  • Maria Sharapova vs. Eugenie Bouchard – To finish rain delayed match, currently at 6-2 4-2
  • Serena Williams vs. Sorana Cirstea
  • Agnieszka Radwanska  vs. Dinah Pfizenmaier

The matches get started at 4 a.m. on ESPN2, and will run on that channel through 9 a.m. The Tennis Channel will then pick up coverage from 9 all the way through 6 p.m., so there will be plenty of opportunities to watch on Friday. The Tennis Channel then has the French Open Highlights at 6 p.m. and this program runs again at 9pm.

Smashing Golf & Tennis – Made in Chicago
(Photo: Mike Caplan)

French Open 2013

Are you a tennis lover? Or maybe just a casual fan? Perhaps you just like to watch the big name stars to see what all the fuss is about? Tennis aficionado or not, check get ready because the summer tennis tournaments kick off this weekend with the 2013 French Open.

The four historic tennis Grand Slam tournaments, capsule The Australian Open, advice the French Open, Wimbledon and the US Open, are the most important and highly anticipated tennis events of the year. The second tournament of the “Slams” (also called the “Majors”), The French Open, is set to start this weekend at Roland Garros, Paris. This tennis fortnight will run from this Sunday, May 26th to June 9th, 2013.

The current singles title holders are Men’s 2012 Singles Champion Rafael Nadal and Women’s 2012 Singles Champion Maria Sharapova.

Who to Watch : Men’s Singles –  Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal winning in Rome
(Photo: Gabriel Buoys, AFP/Getty Images)

World #4 ranked Nadal is heavily favored to repeat his win this year. Nadal has dominated play in the last few months, winning six titles in eight events (reaching the final in all eight) since returning in February from a knee injury. He topped off  this hot streak by winning the Italian Open in Rome by beating #3 ranked Roger Federer in straight sets. Coupled with the fact he is known as the “King of Clay”, having won at Roland Garros more than anyone else.  He won seven of the last eight times, and vying to make it his 8th. (The French Open is the only Slam played on a clay surface.)

Nadal’s biggest threat will be world #1 ranked Novak Djokovic, coming off of his commanding Australian Open win over #2 ranked Andy Murray in January, winning his third straight Australian Open and six Grand Slam titles overall. Federer is always tough to beat, but he is much better on grass courts. And unfortunately, Andy Murray withdrew from the French Open on Tuesday because of a chronic back injury.

Novak Djokovic (Photo:

Few believe any men not ranked in the top 4 really have any chance to win the French Open, so decide which is your favorite out of Djokovic, Federer and Nadal before opening up conversations about the French Open, because ‘who will win’ is always a topic of discussion.

Who to Watch : Women’s Singles – Serena Williams

Serena Williams defeats Victoria Azarenka in Rome. (Photo: AP)

The Women’s singles championship seems even more cut and dry, with #1 ranked Serena Williams heavily favored to win.  The iconic tennis star has won four consecutive titles, clinching the Rome title by defeating #3 ranked Victoria Azarenka, 6-1, 6-3. Serena has also won a career-best 24 matches in a row and will be the top seed at the French Open trying to avenge a first-round loss in Paris a year ago and some speculation at the time that it might be time for her to retire.

However, Serena has only won at Roland Garros twice and #2 ranked and current French Open Champion Maria Sharapova might have other ideas.  However, she had to withdrawal from Rome last month due to sickness ahead of her quarter-final against #5 ranked Sara Errani.  But realistically, the only way that Serena doesn’t win at Roland Garros is if she does it to herself – she can often be her own worse enemy at times.

So at this point in time, a Nadal and Williams championship seem inevitable.  Check back next week to see what upsets and dark horses there were in the first week of match play, because in grand slam tennis, anything can happen.

The French Open airs on ESPN, NBC Sports, and the Tennis Channel. The first round of match play begins Sunday, May 26th and will be shown live starting at 4am CST on ESPN3 and at 9am CST on the Tennis Channel, see link for complete listing Tournament Schedule.

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