It has to be difficult carrying the expectations and hopes of an entire kingdom on your shoulders.
For most of his tennis career, that burden was too much for Andy Murray. It weighed on him, this idea that it had been seven decades-plus since a British man had won Wimbledon, and that he would be the chosen one to break that epic drought.
He came close, oh so close, a few times. Last year when Roger Federer beat him in a close final, he cried and said “I’m getting closer.”
Then he won Olympic gold on Center Court, and then the U.S. Open, his first Grand Slam tournament win, and suddenly you got the feeling maybe Murray would actually win the greatest trophy in tennis one day.
Sunday was that day. I didn’t think it would happen; I thought Novak Djokovic would be too strong, too steady, too mentally tough for Murray to handle.
But as I often am, I was wrong. Murray was fabulous, Djokovic was less than at his best, and for the first time since 1936, a British man is the champion of Wimbledon.
So many questions spring up in the wake of this tremendous win. Can Murray get to No. 1 in the world now? What the hell will the Brits complain about now? Did Djokovic’s epic 5-set semifinal win on Friday take too much out of him for Sunday’s final?
Man oh man, the storylines in tennis just keep getting better. Can’t wait for the U.S. Open.
**And now, one of the most unusual first pitches you’ll ever see. Many celebrity tosses are terrible, but this one is fantastic thanks to the delivery by Shin Soo-ji, a rhythmic gymnast throwing out the first pitch at a Korean Baseball League game last week.
Very, very cool.
**Finally today, more ugliness revealed about the National Security Agency and their vast, secret spying on Americans. If anyone thought that the information Edward Snowden revealed a few weeks ago was the end of the NSA’s secret doings, I’ve got a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you.
This New York Times story reports that America’s “surveillance court” has “created a secret body of law giving the NSA the power to amass vast collections of data on Americans while pursuing not only terrorism suspects, but also people possibly involved in nuclear proliferation, espionage and cyberattacks, officials say.”
There are people who will be OK with this, who say that it’s all in the name of fighting terror, and that anything our government has to do, anything, it’s all well and good because we’re at war, we’re fighting the bad guys and this is how we have to do it, yada yada yada.
I could not disagree more with those people. This is NOT what America is about. This is NOT a nation where we just blindly trust our government to do what’s right and look the other way because we’re at war (how’d that go in 2003 when Congress let Bush/Cheney take us into that quagmire of Iraq?)
What President Obama and the NSA are doing is going outside the law without American citizens’ knowledge and doing things that just shouldn’t be done.
It’s shameful, and I hope more U.S. citizens start paying attention to what civil liberties of ours are being given up in the name of “security.”