a jim jividen blog

Here's the thing. I'm watching one of these shows on the Cooking Channel featuring food trucks. There's a Scottish expat making fish and chips; in a thick brogue he somewhat wearily explains his irritation with Americans who habitually order a side of tartar sauce: "tartar sauce is basically gherkins." That's this blog. I claim no particular insight, no revelation. If you enjoy the flavor, great, but this blog is basically gherkins.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

612

What kinda day is it when the greatest defensive football player who ever lived gets indicted for statutory rape and it's not even the second biggest sports story of the day?

I'm in between houses, he says euphemistically; my stuff is split between old and new home; I'm sleeping in a bed so small my queen size memory foam is doubled in half in order to fit, and one of the handful of personal items not currently boxed up somewhere, a public speaking trophy I won the summer between high school and undergrad, punctured my thumb - coincidentally enough, the same thumb (the back of my right) which still bears a blackened discoloration from a pencil stabbing incident in 1983.

But I do have a new TV.  And couch.  And cable.

And this morning, I was able to sit to watch my first sporting events in the new digs.

Landon Donovan.  And then the longest tennis match ever played (and that was just the fifth set).

A set so long I had an end of the quarter faculty meeting that began while it was underway and ended before the match was called for darkness.

You know how on Survivor they'll do those endurance challenges, and every few seasons there will be some ridiculous battle where two women hang by their thumbs on bamboo sticks for eleven hours?

This was that.  Except instead if being for a million dollars, it's the first round.  You can read a Guardian live blog from the match.  It's the best thing you'll read all week.  Can a live blog win a Pulitzer?

On Court 18 a match is not won and lost; it is just played out infinitely, deeper and deeper into a fifth and final set as the numbers rack up and the terrain turns uncharted. Under the feet of John Isner and Nicolas Mahut, the grass is growing. Before long they will be playing in a jungle and when they sit down at the change of ends, a crocodile will come to menace them.

In order to stay upright and keep their strength, John Isner and Nicolas Mahut have now started eating members of the audience. They trudge back to the baseline, gnawing on thigh-bones and sucking intestines. They have decided that they will stay on Court 18 until every spectator is eaten. Only then, they say, will they consider ending their contest.


What's going on here? Once, long ago, I think that this was a tennis match. I believe it was part of a wider tennis tournament, somewhere in south-west London, and the winner of this match would then go on to face the winner of another match and, if he won that, the winner of another match. And so on until he reached the final and, fingers crossed, he won the title.



That, at least, is what this spectacle on Court 18 used to be; what it started out as. It's not that anymore and hasn't been for a few hours now. I'm not quite sure what it is, but it is long and it's horrifying and it's very long to boot. Is it death? I think it might be death.

What happens if we steal their rackets? If we steal their rackets, the zombies can no longer hit their aces and thump their backhands and keep us all prisoner on Court 18. I'm shocked that this is only occurring to me now. Will nobody run onto the court and steal their rackets? Are they all too scared of the zombies' clutching claws and gore-stained teeth? Steal their rackets and we can all go home. Who's with me? Steal their rackets and then run for the tube.


The longest match in Wimbledon history was 112 games.  This fifth set is longer.  The longest grand slam championship ever was last year's Wimbledon final, 77 games.  This fifth set is longer.  By 40 games. 

They've both broken the record - by about 20 - for most aces in a match.  The fifth set has had 612 points.

It's the most remarkable thing we'll see all year.  And on a day when the US made it to the round of 16 in the World Cup (and into a game that could be described as winnable against Ghana) with an extra time goal by Landon Donovan.

Throw in the Marlins firing their manager for his outrageous comments in Rolling Stone and CP3 saying he'd be open to a trade to Golden St for Charlie Bell and Dan Gadzuric, and it was quite the sports day.

I may be confused there.

On the draft - I want Cousins, but assuming he's gone at #6, I'm willing to take Monroe.  I don't see any other positive outcome for GSW if neither of those things happened come Friday morning (Udoh's a mistake; I don't think Wes Johnson falls but he looks like a bust to me and I don't want anything to do with him).  I'm glad, incidentally, my cable/internet are working - I've seen every NBA Draft, either live or through some type of taping mechanism, since 1992, when I took a date to a drive in movie showing of Basic Instinct (hard to communicate, in the pre-Internet, pre-Britney Spears getting out of limos, pre-giant TVs on which you can watch the World Cup era how startling that leg crossing police interrogation scene was to see at a drive in movie theater) and I'll be able to watch this year's.  Bit of a jump ball about who had a better night in June of '92, me, Michael Douglas, or the Wizard Walt Williams.  That's my new answer to the question, "if you could have dinner with any 2 people, living or dead, who would they be?"  Michael Douglas and Walt Williams. 

I don't have any tables.  Or food.  But there's a giant TV and probably that tennis match will still be on.