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Friday, July 6, 2012

This Week in Sports: July 6, 2012

The Week That Was ... did not include any power in the Banshee Lair.  The only good part about the timing of all this was that I officially decreed in last week's column, that there weren't any sports on the schedule that were appointment television.  Despite the power outage, I did my best to get a few posts on the blog and Facebook.  Unfortunately, many of the regular Banshee Blog followers were also without power and probably missed those posts.  So, instead of rehashing the sporting events that I did not get to watch, I'll just include the links to the posts you might have missed.

Cooking With Banshee:  Southern Belle  A refreshing vodka drink for hot July days.

July Banshee Rant:  Stephen Strasburg and Innings Limits  Due to the power outage and 4th of July vacations, a lot of people missed the Rant when it was posted this week.  But, this edition got encouraging reviews from those who did have enough electricity to listen to it.

The Week Ahead:

Wimbledon:  We are nearing the end of the fortnight at the All England Club.  The finals will be played this weekend.  On the ladies side, Serena Williams will try to capture her 14th Grand Slam championship when she plays Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland.  Williams has been playing extremely well throughout the tournament, but Radwanska is actually the higher seeded player.  That match can be seen live on ESPN at 9:00 a.m. EST on Saturday morning.

Serena Williams always brings attention with her when she plays in a Grand Slam final, but it's the men's side of the draw that has the tennis world all abuzz.  In the first of today's semi-finals, the all-time great Roger Federer defeated Novak Djokovic, the current #1 player in the world.  This will be the eighth time that Federer has played in the finals at Wimbledon.  His opponent, Andy Murray, will be making his first appearance in a Wimbledon final.  in fact, this will be the first time that the British fans will have one of their own to root for on the final Sunday at the All England Club since 1938.  At least, that is how the story is being sold.  Murray is actually Scottish, so I'm not sure how William Wallace would feel about all this British love.  Nonetheless, it should be a well-played and emotional match.  This final will be shown live on ESPN at 9:00 a.m. EST on Sunday morning.

NASCAR:  NASCAR is headed back to its birthplace this weekend.  That's right ... Daytona ... under the lights.  The July night race is Wild Banshee's favorite race of the year.  Visually, it is stunning because the cars look amazing under the lights.  This race is only 400 miles long.  And, every car that is still running with 10 laps to go has a realistic chance to win the race.  Some racing purists do not love the races at Daytona and Talladega because random wrecks often take out several legitimate contenders in one fell swoop.  But, that randomness also leads to amazing finishes.  This race will be broadcast on TNT at 7:30 EST on Saturday night.  If you are going to watch one NASCAR race this season, make it this one.

MLB All Star Game:  The Midsummer Classic is the only all star game worth watching.  There are two reasons for this.  First, baseball is the only sport you can actually play without risking a career ending injury.  Second, there is actually something on the line in this game.  When the National League takes on the American League in Kansas City, home field advantage in the World Series is at stake.  I actually think the home field advantage is an arbitrary and ridiculous prize for an event like this, but it does give East Coast fans a reason to stay up for the end of the game.  The All Star game will be played  will be shown on FOX at 7:30 pm EST on Tuesday, July 10.

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