Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Perspective in Sport

Earlier this week, Maria Sharapova lost a tennis match to Serena Williams.


It was the 18th straight time Williams has defeated Sharapova, which makes you think Sharapova might just not be very good at this whole tennis thing.

But she's actually. Good. Like really good. She's won five major titles in her career, which I don't have to tell you, is five more than anyone reading this. She's currently ranked fifth in the world. But when Sharapova plays Williams, you'll see a lot of "oh, Sharapova sucks. She's not any good" and other nonsense like that.

Sure, the goal is to win, but in the end, only one woman is going to win the tournament and for 21 times in major tournaments, that woman has been Serena Williams. She's one of, if not the, most dominant tennis players ever to play the sport. She's fantastic and, in all honesty, I should probably write about her sometime.

Today isn't that day. Today it's about Sharapova and perspective. Right now she's the fifth-best woman's tennis player in the world. But the storylines that surround her are that she's no good because she always loses to Williams. Think about it. Is there anything in your life that you're the fifth-best in the world at? I grew up in a family of five and there were times I had to settle for being the fifth-best in my family.

I know when we say a professional athlete isn't any good, we're saying it in the context of how they compare to the other athletes in their sport, but take a step back sometime and realize that the players you're watching on television are the best in the world. There's no shame in being ranked fifth, or fifteenth, or fiftieth. That is an accomplishment that should be marveled at more often.

CTE Is Found in an Ex-Giant Who Died at 27 - Football remains remarkably popular in American culture, which only means more and more stories like this are going to come out. Watch or don't watch, that's totally up to you, just know what you're watching.

A Day In The Life Of An Iowa Family Drowning In Campaign Ads - I think Dante left out a circle of Hell that is living in Iowa before the caucus (or living in a swing state during the election.)

Hillary Clinton Goes Back To The Dunning School - Ta-Nehisi Coates with a brief post about what Clinton got wrong during the town hall and why it's important.

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