The Best College Recruiter

Welcome to this edition of

First Downs and Second Guesses

Blog #159- July 2018

Two major sporting events with worldwide recognition are now in the books:  World Cup soccer and Wimbledon tennis.  I want to take a couple minutes to discuss both events.

     World Cup.   The 2018 winner was France.  Not Germany or Mexico or Brazil or England, or any other major player in professional soccer.  Let's not forget that the World Cup is a battle of professional teams playing under the banner of a country.

I'm thrilled that one of the Big Four in soccer didn't win it.  I was even more thrilled that Croatia was the other finalist.  Little Croatia.  The name doesn't send shudders up and down the spines of soccer-savvy people.  But there they were, beating higher-seeded teams on their way to the finals.  Outstanding.

It's also sad that a team from the United States did not qualify to play in this World Cup competition.  But USA Soccer is in shambles right now.  The lack of leadership at the top is shameful, and a keen sense of what needs to be done to get relevant in world soccer again is missing.  I believe the players are there.  Coaching and leadership are not.  And until the two most important facets of team building are cemented, don't expect much from Team USA on the world stage.

     Wimbledon. Jack Sock, a professional tennis player with Nebraska ties, teamed up with Tom Bryant, one of the Bryant twin brothers, to win the men's doubles championship. It was his second Wimbledon doubles championship. Very happy for him.

But the person who I want to discuss is Serena Williams. She was seeded somewhere like 18th, yet fought her way into the finals. She lost in two sets to the winner, a player from England. It's always cool when an English player wins Wimbledon on the home court in front of the home fans.

But Serena was the top story during the tournament. She's a mom now, with a 10-month-old daughter taking center court in Serena and her husband's life. Her difficult Caesarean birth and subsequent emergency surgeries to combat complications from that birth, have been well documented. Which makes it all the more amazing of what she accomplished at Wimbledon. Williams, in my estimation, is the best female athlete on the planet. Her 27 majors championships makes her number one of all time among female tennis players. She's 37 years old, which means her days are becoming numbered for competitive tennis. But she certainly hasn't given any indication of retiring at this point.

I'm eager to see little Olympia follow in her mom's footsteps. Not necessarily on the tennis court, but in the realization that a young woman in today's world need not be intimidated by any kind of deterrent in her life. Granted, Olympia will be brought up with a lot of perks around her. But I hope she grows up understanding that nothing should be given to her because her mom is Serena Williams. I hope she grows up understanding that she will be responsible for herself and the effort she puts into whatever life she decides to live. But with Serena as her mom, she has a great role model to follow.

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