Welcome back, fans, to my slightly belated Labor Day week edition of High Five—five sports stories you should know for the office, the offspring, and the other half…
1) Don’t Mess with Swimmin’ Women
Through countless currents, storms, sharks, and jellyfish stings to her tongue, 64-year-old endurance swimmer Diana Nyad finally succeeded in becoming the first person (not “woman” — person) to swim from Cuba to Florida without a protective shark cage. The 103-mile journey took 53 hours and a 35-person team to keep critters clear before she set foot in Key West on her fifth try in 35 years. Kinda makes my laps at the community pool seem pretty pitiful…
2) Fan Fashion That Fits
With fan clubs like WOW Women of Washington Redskins and the Baltimore Ravens PURPLE women’s club, there’s never been a better time to be a female football fan—including what we wear. It was fun in high school to sport your boyfriend’s football jersey, but being Mature Grown-Up Gals now, we like our fan fashion to fit. Luckily, the NFL has heard us. Gone are the days of boxy, unflattering jerseys—now Target sells gridiron gear for girls: shirts that are sporty and even sexy. But before you accessorize, remember that model won’t pass muster with the NFL’s “All-Clear” bag policy.
3) Texas Two-Step Continues
After weeks of uncertainty around his partying and alleged autograph sales, can we finally focus on Texas A&M quarterback “Johnny Football” Manziel’s arm? Maybe. The sophomore served his one-half-game suspension in a 52-31 defeat of Rice Saturday. It was an agreement between the Aggies and the NCAA (which becomes more dubious by the day for seemingly unfair policies, as in my previous posts about player images in video games and the Marine who can’t gain football eligibility). But despite throwing for three touchdowns, Manziel was benched after an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. Man up, Manziel—the “eyes of Texas are upon you.”
4) Tennis’ Teen Queen
There were no major upsets in the first week of college football, but the U.S. Open saw several, including 17-year-old Haitian-American Victoria Duval—269th in the world—over 2011 champion Samantha Stosur. Unfortunately, Duval, who is coached by longtime prodigy-producer Nick Bollettieri, lost to Daniela Hantuchova in straight sets. Still, the teen relies on God and the inspiration from her father’s near-death experience during the Haitian earthquake as she strives to be the next U.S. tennis sensation. Meanwhile, Roger Federer—owner of 17 Grand Slam titles—fell Monday in the round of 16 to Spain’s Tommy Robredo.
5) Finally, here are two guys so nervous about upsets, they’ve choreographed a pre-game dance to avoid them. Check out the San Francisco Giants’ Pablo Sandoval and Hunter Pence performing their popular superstitious salsa below.