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Rafael Nadal’s Monday News and Views

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The other day on the golf course, a guy in my group asked me what were the best sporting events that I witnessed that didnt involve UK. Coming up with the list (which included Sid Bream sliding, the Justin Leonard putt, Boise State, etc) was fun, but I now have another one to include after today’s stunning tennis match. I admit to being a Roger Federer guy, and he has claim to be the greatest tennis player ever. But after today, chalk me up as a Rafael Nadal fan as well. Today’s match was arguably the best in tennis history. Nearly 5 hours long….finishing in the dark….unbelievable shots as two of the best to play met each other at their peaks. Every shot seemed to top the one before it and the drama was simply unparalleled. Agassi-Sampras at the US Open a few years ago was great, Becker-McEnroe at the Davis Cup was amazing….I am partial to Michael Chang’s run at the French in 89 and Nadal-Federer was great last year. But today was an example of why when tennis is at its best, it produces compelling human drama unlike almost any other sport. One-on-one, with momentum swings that are unlike any other sports, a great tennis match is as artistic as any event in athletics. I loved today and it joins other great sporting moments of the year (Giants-Pats, Kansas-Memphis, Tiger at the Open) as making the first half of 2008 about as good as it gets in the world of sports.

I didnt make it to the LeBron camp due to work, but the news is still here….

(1): This is the time of year when recruiting stories in basketball will flourish, with names coming and going as writers talk to the various players at the camps. What we try to do here is keep the focus on those guys that may actually become Cats and leave the in-depth look at the class as a whole to the other sites. Along those lines though, we have to do another update on John Wall. The PG out of Raleigh is ranked as the best player in class by Rivals and the 3rd best by Scout. He has yet to make a formal list, but those around him suggest that it would look like this: Memphis, Oklahoma State, Baylor, Kentucky, NC State and Oregon. Assuming we can throw out Baylor and Oregon (because they are Baylor and Oregon) and the fact that Bomani swears there is no way Wall would stay in Raleigh, then Oklahoma State, Memphis and UK look like the big three. Each school has its advantages. Memphis is becoming PG University and is likely the hottest locale in America right now for recruits. UK was once considered the early leader and Wall has a close relationship with the staff. But the X factor may be Oklahoma State….first they have been on Wall for sometime…and second, they have Marshall Moses. Remember him? Yeah you might….he was a favorite of this site for a long time. He now plays at Oklahoma State (where he is projected to start this fall) and is a lifelong best friend of Wall, who has called him like a big brother to him. Remember Marshall, Marshall, Marshall when John Wall makes his decision. Wall is hanging with LeBron this week and we hope to catch up with him soon.

(2): For you local basketball lovers, the Eddie Ford Hoopsfest begins in Louisville on Wednesday. Not the best talent in the country, but a good group of players that you might see pop over the next year or so. Lots of local talent will be there, so if you are in the area, the games go from Wednesday-Sunday at the Kentucky Expo Center and Hoops Academy.

(3): The Jesse McCartney “Leavin” singers we talked about this weekend were Perry Stevenson and Ramon Harris., who both were seen singing and dancing to the song in Lexington. Stevenson now will be known as “Jesse” around these parts, and I will never hear that song again without thinking of his long limbs getting down to the pop hit.

(4): No smoking this year in Commonwealth…thankfully. I have been watching “Mad Men” On Demand this weekend, which is about an ad agency in New York in 1960 and it is striking what a central role smoking played in everyday life. My how thanks have changed….for the better in my view. Now the only smoke will be the lingering of the fireworks after a UK touchdown.

More throughout the day today, including our next media member and a look at a 2010 recruit that loves UK.

And if you have some time, check out this moving article by my favorite conservative writer, George Will, about the individuals in the armed forces whose job it is to inform families when a loved one is killed on the battlefield.

Article written by Matt Jones