Sunday, July 27, 2008

E-pic Battles

In an era when we are supposed to have little attention span, when mail now of the e-variety and photos now digital are instant and disposable, and we should be ready to multi-task 24/7, it was refreshing to watch the Wimbledon final and the 15 inning all-star game. Two titans of tennis, representing youth vs experience, fought for 4 hours and 48 minutes plus rain delays, often in long, breathtaking volleys that took especially incredible strength, in often wet, wild, and windy conditions. It almost did not matter who came up on top, because both contestants won in a thrilling contest.

The All-Star Game this year was led in by a Home Run Derby, a made-for-TV event, that featured the titanic, continuous long-ball blasts of Josh Hamilton, a reformed drug-addict, in the legendary Yankee Stadium. The All Star Game, itself lasted15 innings with many twists and turns from the eighth inning on that relied in the end on substitutes (all-star subs at that) performing above their level, and sometimes at positions they had never played. It went late into the night with no end in sight, but end it finally did with the same winner as always since 1996. The 15 innings tied the 1967 game for the most innings, and the 4-hour, 50-minute affair (two minutes more than Wimbledon) stands tall as the longest game in All-Star history.

All 63 available players saw action--and position players, J.D. Drew and David Wright were ready to take the mound had the game gone later. The long event brought on unexpected twists as it should.

"It seemed like the Stadium didn't want it to end," said Derek Jeter, one of three Yankees representing the AL. "That's what we were talking about. It just wanted baseball to continue. I thought it was fitting."

Two fitting, attention focusing events for an attention-deficient era.

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