There are two things every year I look forward to on the sports calendar more than anything else. Happily for my wife and the health of my marriage, they’re spaced six months apart.
One is March Madness. The other is the U.S. Open, my love for which I have written about many times here. Tuesday started the pre-Open qualifying tournament, which is the best value in sports.
The qualifying tournament is for those players whose pro ranking isn’t high enough for them to be invited into the main draw of the Open, which starts next Monday. These are players usually ranked outside the Top 100, and they usually fall into three categories: young players just on the way up, former stars who have fallen pretty far and are trying to get back, or career “journeymen” who are in their mid-20s to mid-30s, just trying to scrape out a living doing what they love.
Anyway, “the qualies” always produce great, compelling tennis, and they’re free for fans. I went Tuesday and saw all the cool new stuff at the Open this year, including the new Grandstand court, above (it looks way too big and the lower seats, always available on a first-come first-serve basis at the old, beloved Grandstand, are now cordoned off for the hoi polloi only) and the new food court by Court 17.
If you’re anywhere in the New York area, I highly recommend checking out the qualies. You can get mere feet away from future stars, the crowds are non-existent, and again, it’s FREE.
Going to be doing a lot of freelancing from the Open again this year and will link some stuff; this first story is on women’s Top 50 player Madison Brengle, the pride of Delaware.
**Next up today, another one of those stories that I prayed was just an Onion satirical thing, but is actually real.
Kentucky Fried Chicken (sorry, KFC, because they don’t want to remind you that their product is fried) has come out with a new sunscreen that smells like KFC food.
Yes, step right up at the beach, folks and get yourself some “Extra Crispy Sunscreen,” SPF 30, guaranteed to protect you from the sun’s rays and leave you smelling like fried chicken. (sorry, it the ad says “leaves you with a healthy chicken aroma.” As if that’s a thing.)
Come on people, I know Donald Trump is a major-party nominee and everything, but have we sunk THIS low? Who the hell wants to walk around the beach smelling like fried chicken? Are you trying to attract birds or something to your towel? Are you hoping other sun worshippers smell you and get hungry, then come over to your sand and ask for a thigh or a leg?
Who would want this? Sigh. America.
UPDATE: Yeah, KFC gave away 3,000 bottles of this stuff in two hours on Monday. I weep cholesterol-filled tears for the future.
**Finally today, my little guy and I had a unique lunch experience the other day. I heard about this place on “CBS Sunday Morning” a while back, and it was as cool as I’d hoped. Kellogg’s NYC is a new cereal-only restaurant in Times Square, where they concoct twisted versions of your favorite cereals that taste great.
Besides the wide variety of toppings and spreads you can get on your Corn Pops or Frosted Flakes, there are some cool touches here, like getting your order out of a little cabinet. It’s totally a tourist-y thing to do if you’re in NYC, but me and my boy enjoyed it. But it’s pretty inexpensive, and who couldn’t use a bowl of Cocoa Puffs every now and again?