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Keith Strudler

  • This is not a tennis eulogy for Serena Williams. That will only come from the 40-year-old Williams herself when she decides to put down her racket for the last time, at least competitively. That may happen this year, or next, or at some undetermined time in the future. The only thing we do know right now is that we will not see the greatest women’s tennis player in history any further at Wimbledon after she lost her opening round match to Harmony Tan in three sets.
  • As a spectator sport in the US, competitive swimming ranks somewhere between sailing and dressage. The only time we seem to care is around the Olympics, mainly when an American is winning lots of medals and setting records. But in the interim four years, not so much.
  • I’ve said this many times before, but it bears repeating. I do not like golf. I don’t like to watch it, and I really don’t like playing. There’s a long list of reasons for that, most routed in the fact that it’s slow and intensely boring. And if you’re not good at, which to be clear I am not, it’s like forcing yourself to take a calculus exam over and over again – and to spend a lot of money for that privilege.
  • This past weekend, my 12-year old’s travel soccer team played a match against a team with more than a few 13-year old’s, which tends to happen in spring seasons as clubs look to play on a full-sized pitch for the first time. My son plays right fullback, and I believe is quite good at it, as I suppose all parents tend to believe, but he is fairly slight and average height for his age. And in this game, he was largely marking a forward on the other team that was a year older, was a good foot taller, and probably fifty pounds heavier as well. I’ll spare you the full game story and me bragging about my kids, but I’ll just say this. When it comes to youth sports, one year can make a huge difference.
  • Steve Kerr is no stranger to politics. Not in the traditional, elected office, but the machinery of policy and power that both maintains and more notably corrodes our social condition. His father was a former professor of political science and later the president of the American University of Beirut, where he was assassinated by political extremists. And his son Steve, a former NBA guard but perhaps more notable as the head coach of the multiple time NBA Champion Golden State Warriors, has used his platform to speak publicly on hot button political issues in the US, typically with eloquence and considerable fortitude.
  • If you’re a parent of a kid who plays in some kind of club sports, at some point you’ll find yourself perusing the website of whatever governing organization runs your kid’s league. Quite often, it’s a big operation that oversees divisions and flights either statewide, or regional, even more. That’s where you can see your teams schedule, the standings, and whatever else you might want to find out about the landscape of, in my case at least, youth soccer.
  • For the last 10 years, I’ve spent most fall or spring weekends, and eventually weekdays as well, on the sideline of some soccer pitch watching teams that evolved from those identified by shirt colors to club teams to now even one high school squad. I’ve watched teams that were flat-out God awful and others that won their flight. I’ve sat through everything from what felt like a Nor’easter to games that needed water breaks because of a heat wave, and I’ve worn through enough lawn chairs and bought enough cleats to stock a Walmart. And in that time, I’ve gone from soccer ambivalence to what can only be called unadulterated soccer fan. Beyond my own kids’ games, and that’s easy, I also watch Premier League and Serie A and know the difference between Man City and Man U. I understand relegation and can almost tell you when something should or shouldn’t be a foul – although that does still get a little nutty. I’ve taken my kids to a PSG match in Paris, and we go to a whole lot of NYCFC games every year. I am, by all accounts, a soccer convert.
  • We’ve all heard of the great resignation, the pandemic induced trend where people leave their current jobs for perhaps something better, something more flexible, or perhaps for nothing at all. It a confluence of generational divide, Covid aftershock, a robust job market that empowers the labor, and, at least by popular vernacular, the idea that people are now taking stock of what matters most to them, which apparently isn’t making as much money as possible. As someone with kids and a mortgage, I don’t fully understand the movement, but I do get that people are looking to leave jobs that make them miserable and eventually find ones that make them less so, realistic or not.
  • This is definitely not the first time I’ve talked about this, or something like this. And I’ve typically had the same basic take each time, which is pretty rare if you talk out loud enough. I’m talking about the case of Joseph Kennedy, a former football coach at Bremerton High School in Bremerton, Washington near Seattle. But to be clear, I could and have been talking about any number of public high school coaches and players. Kennedy, who coached at Bremerton from 2008 to 2016, was and is a devout Christian, and vowed to pray on the field after every game, typically at midfield
  • In case you’ve been waiting, now Is officially the time of the year to start caring about the NBA. I know a lot of people watch all year long, the whole regular season and the preseason that comes before it. And the draft that comes before that. But that’s really the prelude to the real thing, the part of the year that decides champions and bragging rights and the faint hope that your roster won’t be completely overhauled in the off-season.