We can’t say goodbye anymore.
We didn’t even come out a week from the US Open, or two weeks from the last game which was a great signing for Serena Williams. Sure, it was the third round, and we don’t define Serena by the third rounds. Which is kind of the point, where we’re going to spin around again. But she defeated the No. 2 player in the world on her way in at least three sets and was eliminated in three. Serena gave it her all, and it just wasn’t enough, and that’s a great ending to a legend. Not everyone gets sampras, but Sampras was in his early thirties. In the end, even the greatest champion doesn’t have enough in the tank. Considering all the injuries Serena has gone through, it comes as no surprise.
There were tears, loud cheers, and there was the utmost respect. She didn’t come out on the coach’s table, but she did come out on her shield. Maybe not perfect, but it’s definitely more than acceptable.
Well, Serena already make a noise That night won’t be. Here’s the quote that makes one cry in the stomach.
“I mean, you never know,” Williams said when asked if she could be persuaded to return to tennis. “I just said I think Tom Brady started a really cool trend.”
No means no. Tom Brady never started a great trend. Brady has chased away any trend that has run through empty noodles in the hope that it will remain relevant to any advertiser who has the slightest desire to dump it by the millions. He’s not at the forefront of anything. It’s actually the bat’s nod to anything exaggerated, meaningless, and awful. It’s your dad wearing a FUBU jacket (a scenario I’ve actually lived through). If Tom Brady did it, you know it was done.
It is also the desperate stimulus of the attention addict. Brady hasn’t really retired. He didn’t miss anything. We now know that he was trying to take advantage of his retirement to move to Miami. It wasn’t really about leaving the game behind. But it was also a way for Brady to indulge in adulation, writing thousands of articles about the Cannes legend, making all appearances, and then waltzing anyway because he soon realized that all those honors would soon be gone. It will be in the background. He couldn’t stand it.
But he’s not the first. Remember Brett Favre’s diva act that he pulled for years, trying to straddle the fence as long as he could so Packers fans, the media, and the NFL world as a whole would beckon him to come back until his shitkicker pecker was just tumescent enough? That went on until the Packers finally came to the conclusion that having their dreams of another Super Bowl end on yet another season-killing INT from Favre had gotten old and they were going to pivot to the guy who was better anyway. Then Favre pulled the same bullshit on the Jets, after leading them to squarely nothing, so he could play for the Vikings, whom he then kneecapped twice in the playoffs with unconscionable picks. Like everything with Brady the person, nothing of it is original.
We know it must be hard to let go. And Serena’s sister is still out there. But Venus is a different person, and though an all-time great in her own right, Venus’ Cause of Existence That “be there” for a long time now. But this is not Serena. Serena is there to win and dominate. This is now gone. While the top of the WTA tour always seems to be in flux (although Iga Swiatek seems to have a stranglehold now) the game has moved on. Serena could probably pop another band, but we’ve been saying that for a while now. And it wouldn’t get any easier in her forties.
The thing about Serena, other than the accomplishments, is that she always felt like she didn’t care what anyone thought. Remember, after the first game of each set, when each player quickly returns to their chair and gets some water? And will Serena walk to the other side of the court around the other side of the net? The Ultimate IDGAF Movement. If Serena wanted to spend some time focusing on fashion or acting? That’s what she would do, she doesn’t care what you think. Players make fun of some of her antics? It doesn’t matter. Crowd against it for years? Damn this, you’ll win anyway. Skipping to Indian Wells for a decade due to her and her sister’s disgusting boos? What Serena wants (and doesn’t think the crowd was on her side until recently).
Going back now, or ever, you’ll get the feeling that Serena can’t live without adulation. Flattery she didn’t really have for long and made it clear she didn’t need it. She has things on her plate. She has things to do.
This is not Serena. Never follow Tom Brady.
Let’s finish with another woman kicking her athletic butt until it’s purple, and that’s Mallory Beau of the Chicago Red Stars. Pugh is not only a full sun of red stars, nor just one of the best players in the NWSL, but she is now a vital player in the USWNT. There may not be a more terrifying player on the break than Pugh right now, as the Kansas City Stream found out wildly on Wednesday night:
That’s nearly 90 combined yards that Bug tore with vengeance without any KC players getting a Phaser distance from it, and the first one included two nutmegs just to be rude. Pugh is ramping up the World Cup next summer, and she could easily be the top USWNT player.
When you step into the open field, the feeling is akin to Bruce Banner hitting his toe.