Monthly Archives: June 2012

Roger Federer’s Inevitable 2012 WImbledon Victory

By Dan Fitzpatrick

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You’re traveling through another dimension–a dimension not only of sight and sound but of strawberries and cream. A journey into a land whose only boundaries are a set a of rectangular white lines on a patchy grass court. This is a place of dreams and nightmares, where champions can be made or broken. This is Wimbledon Centre Court.

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Above: The typical British tennis audience

     Enter the #3 Seed–6’1″, 187 lbs., and a net worth of 140 million American dollars (that’s almost $750,000 per pound). Entering the tail end of his career, he prepares to face his bigger, stronger, and, in the  Majors, better rivals for a shot at the coveted Wimbledon trophy. A tournament victory would bring him back to the top of the sport, but another disappointing loss may shake off the belief and desire of the champion. He needs to come up with his best tennis to thrust himself back into winner’s circle. Fortunately, as they say, necessity is the mother of invention.

Before getting too far into this post, I have to admit that I am the furthest thing from an objective, non-biased analyst on this topic. I have been filling out Grand Slam brackets since I was 14, and I have picked Federer to win every single tournament. Obviously, this was a fairly effective strategy through the mid to late 2000s, but has been much less successful since his 2.5 year Major drought. These past couple years have not been easy for a diehard Federer fan, but, alas, life can be tough when you’re emotionally invested in the career of a 30-year-old European stranger.

Still, the old man already seems to have luck on his side, receiving perhaps the easiest draw of the top 4 seeds. At Federer’s age, he cannot afford to scramble through hours of the physical, bludgeoning tennis through his first few matches if he wants to have the energy for the big Nadal or Djokovic encounters. Providence itself has scattered most of the dark horses and heavy hitters in other parts of the draw. The only possible threats in his quarter come from the racquets of the towering John Isner or the wily Gilles Simon, who both have less-than-steller records at Wimbledon. Federer’s draw should see him through comfortably through to the semifinals, where he will encounter his more battle-weary opponents, possibly with a few upsets.

Despite Federer’s age, his physical talent has seen no major decline over the years. He still possesses the most versatile and precise game in the sport, capable of demolishing anyone when he is at his best. His biggest weakness, however, is his mental strength. More than any top player, Roger struggles to maintain his focus and intensity for an entire match. This opens the door for the improbable comeback losses and devastating moments of self-destruction that have eliminated him from the past nine Majors. These lapses do not come as much of a surprise either. After 16 Majors, 74 titles, 285 weeks as no. 1, and over a decade of the nonstop grind of a professional athlete, Federer cannot possibly prevent the erosion of his drive. He needs motivation beyond another small trophy or meager million dollars (I remember when I earned my first million); Federer now requires the occasion to provide the drive for him.

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Roger’s alternative drive provider: Mercedes-Benz

     Luckily, a victory at this Wimbledon has so much to offer. Primarily, another Major win would bring his total to 17 and broaden the thinning margin between Federer and Nadal’s respective tallies. His 7th Wimbledon title would also tie Pete Sampras’s Open Era record and redeem his two past quarterfinal losses. In regard to the rankings, Federer can regain the Number 1 spot with a victory, thus breaking the pattern of Nadal/Djokovic dominance and putting him in prime position for the Olympic tournament in a few weeks. With favorable conditions and a considerable amount of history at stake, Wimbledon will invigorate Roger’s ailing mental game and deliver him with yet another title at the All-England Club. The King will retake his throne.

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Not overdramatic at all, really.

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T-Shirt Idea

Caption: “There’s no ‘U’ in solipsism.”

© Dan Fitzpatrick

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Saving Face: Courage and Righteousness in the Era of the Sideburn–Part I

By Rev. Daniel J. Fitzpatrick

We all grew up believing our male role models were invincible. Superman deflected bullets with his chest, Dad was the toughest guy in town, and President Kennedy’s head seemed to never explode. Callous reality, however, soon swept away the fog of precious childhood naiveté. These heroes and legends of our youth were tragically human, prone to the same caprice, doubt, and dishonesty indigenous to the human condition. Still, a brave few stepped forward to redeem the ideals of a disillusioned society. Each member of the brotherhood shared a common mark, binding them to the cause. Like animals, they were branded, though their burns did not originate from the unholy fire. These burns grew from hair on the side of the face and, through a process of complex linguistic evolution, became known as “sideburns,” a Latin phrase meaning “phallic supremacy.”

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Above: General Ambrose Burnside, credited as the Father of Sideburns. His body produced such an extraordinary amount of testosterone that the excess hormone sprouted from the edges of his sideburns and joined at a point above the upper lip, resembling a handsome mustache.

     Virtuous men everywhere carried on the sideburns’ legacy. Their love for this facial hair united the rich with the poor, and the cavaliers with the rebels. Victorian gentlemen, rock ‘n’ rollers, rednecks, and Civil War reenactors all wore the crest of raw masculinity throughout their days, living and dying by the buzz from the fuzz.

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Above: A proud heritage. The glaze in his eyes indicates a bright future ahead.

     People say first impressions are everything. What does one notice when he first meets a side-burned man? Surely good posture, a polite disposition, and a pleasant musk are among the most popular answers. (To the inconsiderate survey-taker who answered “buttface,” I will find you). Because the perception of others inevitably shapes our identities, we cannot risk an ambiguous feature, perhaps an unsightly mole, compromising the integrity of selfhood. Sideburns leave no room for error and show the wearer for what he truly is–either a “musician,” college professor, or an extra from Deliverance.

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(You’ll know to squeal like a pig right away.)

     Unfortunately, just as the ends of the noble sideburns must never merge to form a beard, the entirety of this article cannot be contained in a single post. Check back soon for the thrilling account the author’s personal sideburn experience, as well as commentary on some of history’s greatest wearers. Goodbye, and may your cheeks never be cold.

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And so it begins. Introductions are unnecessary at this point, since I’m pretty sure my associates have already covered that. As you know, these posts can be about anything, ranging from what I ate at lunch today to my thoughts on moral philosophy. Regardless of the topic however, you should pay attention, because these will be the thoughts of some of the greatest minds that this earth as to offer.

(it’s kind of like this)
 In short, be prepared for anything.
Right now I am updating this from work via smartphone, and I am quickly leaning now inefficient and difficult this is. For this reason I will finish this post later tonight, so stay tuned for more action and suspense.
 Try not to stab anyone while I’m away.
—Anthony

The Maiden Voyage: A Daring Foray into the Blogiverse

By Dan Fitz

     Hello, readers. Whether you are new friends, old enemies, or presumed-dead former lovers, I would like to welcome you to the blog. Willed into existence by three of eastern Pennsylvania’s greatest minds, this site thrusts us into the realm of unlimited possibilities. Summoning the spirit of the conquistadors of old, we twirl our mustaches and bravely venture forth into cyberspace, a land full of strange peoples and magnificent riches.Image

(It looks crowded. Good thing we brought our smallpox blankets)

     Nobody knows what form this blog will take. Much like the very computer I am typing on, its mechanics, nature, and purpose are an utter mystery to the entire human species. All we can do is respect its power and appease it with the occasional blood sacrifice–my goats will not be pleased to hear about that.

     My only intention for this blog is nothing, and I take comfort in that fact. Beyond each post, there is no room for moralizations, idealogical crusades, or grammer checks. Pure expression wins the day. And nothing is better than that.

“It’s hard to imagine

That nothing at all

Could be so exciting,

Could be this much fun.”-David Byrne, Heaven