Here is a question:
Roger managed to pull out a victory in a Wimbledon Final that was even longer than last year (more games; less elapsed time–no rain delay this year).
Of course I couldn’t watch every minute of the match. I had to go to church.
But I can tell you this: Roddick won more games than Federer. Roger won two sets on tie-breakers. In fact, Roddick held serve every game he served (38 games)–until the 77th game of the match.
On the other hand, Roger had 50 aces. Fifty. He won his last three service games on something like fifteen serves.
In other words, this match was what happens when an irresistible force meets and immovable object. Awesome.
I always will be a Federer fan. Nonetheless:
1) The runner-up this year lost with more class than the runner-up last year.
2) The top prize for the day goes to Rod Laver. As soon as the sun began to shine on the royal box at Centre Court, Laver produced a straw hat with a green ribbon. He nestled it smartly on his head.
Quote of the day from Mary Carillo:
The Williams sisters love each other. They inspire each other. They each claim that they are as good as they are because of the other one.
Yet here they are at Centre Court at Wimbledon, trying to make the other one cry.
Many things do us proud. It does our nation proud to have three out of four Wimbledon finalists be Americans, two of them sisters. (Serena won it! by the way)
But on Independence Day let’s remember that we are dependent on God for everything. Our nation is dependent on God for everything. To God be all the glory!
King Lear divided his kingdom between his two daughters and decided to retire.
He retained only his faithful knights and the title of king.
His daughters Regan and Goneril conspired against him. Lear traveled between his two daughters’ castles to live a month at a time. The daughters decided not to accommodate the King’s full retinue of knights.
GONERIL Hear me, my lord;
What need you five and twenty, ten, or five,
To follow in a house where twice so many
Have a command to tend you?
REGAN What need one?
KING LEAR O, reason not the need: our basest beggars
Are in the poorest thing superfluous:
Allow not nature more than nature needs,
Man’s life’s as cheap as beast’s: thou art a lady;
If only to go warm were gorgeous,
Why, nature needs not what thou gorgeous wear’st,
Which scarcely keeps thee warm. But, for true need,–
You heavens, give me that patience, patience I need!
Here is James Earl Jones doing this scene. It is worth watching all ten minutes. Your spine will tingle at the end.
Anyway, I thought of “Reason not the need!” when I read section IIB of the Draft NIH Guidelines for Human Stem Cell Research, which reads:
Human embryonic stem cells may be used in research using NIH funds, if the cells were derived from human embryos that were created for reproductive purposes, were no longer needed for this purpose…
Needed? Like you need some ball-bearings to fix your dishwasher?
When you and I were embryos, who debated about whether we were ‘needed’?
The most inhuman slavemasters have talked about ‘needing’ their human chattel. But civilized people do not reason the need for human beings.
None of us are needed. Our Creator does not need us human beings any more than He needs a pedicure.
He wants us. He freely wills us into existence–every last one of us, no matter how small.
Click here for a thorough commentary on the Draft NIH Guidelines.
…Serena almost lost her Wimbledon semifinal. Elena Dementieva played with so much heart, I almost started rooting for her. (Please do not tell my beloved Serena.)
The Russian had a match point after two hours and fifteen minutes. She did not capitalize. Serena finally dispatched her at 2:49. Unforgettable match.
Meanwhile, Venus won in 51 minutes. So the Williams sisters will meet again in the Final.
Carleton Bryant quote of the week:
President Obama recently named a “pay czar” and a “Great Lakes czar,” and he thought about naming a “car czar.”
And he already had a drug czar, a border czar, a health reform czar, an info-tech czar and a regulatory czar, among others.
That’s a lot of czars. It looks like the Obama administration is the path to czardom. I just hope that if they ever need a “bacon czar,” they’ll keep me in mind. Because I know bacon.
…Fathers’ Day Scripture Ephesians 3:14-15:
I kneel before the Father, from Whom every fatherhood in heaven and on earth takes its name.
…We have nothing against gorillas. But baptizing effigies of them is a sacrilege:
This objectionable travesty reminds me…
1)…of my favorite thing that Bl. Columba Marmion, O.S.B. ever wrote:
(I cannot lay my hands on my collected works of Marmion at this moment, so I will paraphrase.)
…[So-and-so] asked me what I thought of the “historical-critical” method of Scriptural interpretation. He maintained that, although it is flawed, it could be ‘baptized.’
You cannot baptize an ape.
2) It also reminds me of the most chilling atmospheric literary device of P.D. James’ novel, Children of Men.
(They made this novel into a terrible movie which bears practically no resemblance to the book.)
Here is the spectacle:
No children have been born for almost twenty years. Society is fraying at the edges. A man stumbles into a country church. A small ceremony is underway. The curate is baptizing a doll.
Turns out the priest does it regularly. It appeases the women who are desperate for the semblances of motherhood. Creepy.
…Speaking of England, Raffy has withdrawn from Wimbledon due to knee problems. There will be no epic re-match in the final…
This was the most exciting summer in sports I can remember. It included the following unforgettable events:
1. The Boston Celtics second-half comeback win over the Los Angeles Lakers in Game Four of the NBA Finals on June 12. The Celtics were down by twenty-four points at halftime—in Los Angeles. Then their starting center Kendrick Perkins went to the locker room with a shoulder injury early in the third quarter. And then the Celtics came back to win 97-91.
Even though the Lakers won Game Five, they were beaten after their Game Four loss at home; it was just a matter of time before the Celtics took the trophy. (Note regarding the fickleness of the basketball fan: I hated Kobe in June. Kevin Garnett was my man back then.)
2. The greatest Wimbledon Mens’ Final of all time on July 6. I turned off the t.v. at about 11:05 a.m. (I had to go say Mass), figuring that Nadal had Federer’s number and would soon be through with him. At 4:00 p.m., I turned the t.v. back to see who won—and it wasn’t over! Federer had rallied, and they were finishing the fifth set. Nadal certainly deserved to win, but Federer showed a level of resilience and determination not seen since the Pelopennesian Wars.
3. The emergence of Phil Dalhausser onto the world stage. This guy is my man! I have never had more fun than watching Rogers and Dalhausser march to the Beach Volleyball gold. (May-Trainor and Walsh are awesome and beautiful; Rogers is deeply impressive—but the Beijing Beast is MY MAN!)
4. USA Basketball Redemption in an unforgettable Gold Medal game. It was a championship game for the history books. Our NBA-star squad played as a team with high-school-like heart. It was enough to restore your faith in the goodness of man. (Perhaps that is a bit of an overstatement—but here’s to hoping that the Bad Years are over. I can even live with the arms full of tattoos now—though the sooner Dennis Rodman is altogether forgotten, the better.) And of course now I love Kobe as if he were my own blood brother.
Of course, there is also the business about Michael Phelps winning eight gold medals, more than anyone has ever won at a single Olympic games. (He did win; he definitely touched first.)
Let’s give the good Lord His due for giving us such an unforgettable summer. We should never take His blessings for granted. I can’t imagine He will give us another summer like it for a while. Will He be pleased to give us a good Redskins’ season? Will He exult or chastise Jim Zorn? (At least Jason Taylor has no ligament damage.) Only time will tell…