Which Scoop would you rather have?
As I traipsed along Sydney Royal Botanical Gardens the other day, flanked by encamped Gray-Headed Flying Foxes and the serene Circular Quay, I decided to treat myself to a dollop of hazelnut gelato.
And after I had returned to the confines of my dorm, crashing into my weary bed and flipping open the awaiting ESPN.com, I perused the most recent musings of columnist Scoop Jackson.
Two scoops. Two things I love, gelato and sports writing.
But only one left a good taste in my mouth.
Leaving aside the fact that I love hazelnut, it really wasn’t that hard to decide which scoop I could digest easier. Take a look at that column. It begins innocuously enough, posing a simple question. ‘What should Fernando Gonzalez have done?’ (Apparently, Scoop is practicing to be a third-grade teacher.)
Seeing as my eyes had been previously epoxied to the Phelps extravaganza, I had barely registered that Gonzalez was the Chilean tennis pro who knocked off James Blake in the Olympic semifinals, one round after the American had trounced then No. 1 Roger Federer.
Intrigued, I delved into the column, soon learning that Gonzalez had stolen victory with the help of a shot whose contentiousness made the Russia-Georgia conflict look like a pillow fight. On a ‘pendulum point,’ the chair umpire botched what replays seem to have clearly shown: that the rocketed ball, which would have landed Blake one point from his first Olympic final, actually skimmed off Gonzalez’s racket before landing out of bounds.
To his credit, Blake contained his inner John McEnroe and merely pleaded with the Chilean to come clean to the umpire. To tell the chair that the Gonzalez felt the vibrations, heard the thudding as the ball ricocheted off his racket and into the green yonder. To put Blake a breath from the height of his career.