The Week at Wilson with Blair Rickers: February 20th

Hello All,

We hope you are all enjoying family day.  A few quick hits before I get back to family fun:

Do You Know the Way to San Jose?

Milos Raonic enjoyed tremendous success in the Bay area for the second year in a row.  The young Canadian, using his Blade 98, won his third Tour title with a 7-6, 6-2 win over Denis Istomin.

Victoria Azarenka continued her hot start in 2012 with a finals win in Doha over Stosur.  Azarenka and her Juice 100 are now 17-0 for the season.  Roger Federer, with his NEW Pro Staff 90, captured another title with a win of Juan Martin Del Potro at the ABN Amro World Tennis Classic.  I know we’ll all be pulling for Roger to take another Grand Slam this year, as well as great performance at the London Olympics.

A Fairytale in New York

In what appears to be a story made for Hollywood, an undrafted, unheralded Harvard grad has taken the NBA by storm.  Jeremy Lin, who has spent the last few weeks sleeping on the couch at his brother’s apartment, is now the toast of New York City.  Despite leading his high school team to a state championship he did not receive a single Division 1 scholarship offers.  He was cut by two NBA teams and spent the past year playing in the D-League in glamorous Erie, Pennsylvania.  Now, while being hailed as the savior to the Knicks, he remains humble and only interested in helping his team win.  With all the great stars in the NBA: LeBron, Wade, Kobe, Durant, Love, and Howard, who could have guessed that it would be a 6’3” guard of Asian descent to become the hottest story in sports?  AWESOME.

March Madness

Yes, March is almost here, that means it’s time for our 2nd Annual March Madness Pool.  We’ll leave the basketball to the NCAA, so we’ll be focusing on the greatest Sports Movies of all time.  Last year we had a great tournament involving rock bands.  The final between Zeppelin and AC/DC was a barn burner.  The boys from Zep were unable to make the awards ceremony, so John Derringer from the Mighty Q accepted on behalf of Jimmy Page and Bobby Plant.

Check over the 64 teams currently in the field and the “teams on the bubble”.  If you have an opinion, now is the time to speak up.

Football & Martial Arts

Jerry Maguire                   Tom Cruise shows us the money.

Rudy                            This classic underdog story doesn’t score as big now that we’ve been exposed to “LINSANITY”

Brian’s Song                    Jimmy Caan is classic as Brian Piccalo.

Something for Joey              Great made for TV movie about a Penn State football star and his brother.

The Karate Kid                  Mr. Miagi shows Danielson how to wax on, wax off..

Heaven Can Wait         Warren Beatty throws TD’s while dealing with Angels.

The Blind Side                  Great book turned into a sappy movie.

The Longest Yard                Burt Reynolds was never cooler.  The Sandler re-make was horrific.

Friday Night Lights             An AMAZING book turned into a better than average film.

All the Right Moves             Tom Cruise is a star defensive back battling with his coach, played by Craig T. Nelson.

The Express                     The Ernie Davis story, Heismann winner from the ‘Cuse.

Enter the Dragon                Bruce Lee has to be represented.

Remember the Titans             Denzel coaches his team through racial strife.

We Are Marshall         Chronicles the rebuilding of the school’s team after a terrible plane crash.

The Waterboy                    From back in the day when Sandler made relatively funny movies.

Any Given Sunday                Half time speech by Pacino is a You Tube must see..

Basketball, Hockey & Other

Hoosiers                        An all-time classic. Gene Hackman leads the Hickory Huskers through the state tournament.

Slapshot                        Turned the Hanson brothers into hockey icons.

Miracle                         USA, USA, USA

Hoop Dreams                     Basketball documentary follows the lives of two urban Chicago players through their high school careers.

White Men Can’t Jump            Wes Snipes before the Blade movies and tax evasion.

Finding Forrester               Sean Connery at his crusty best.

Fast Break                      Gabe Kaplan leads his ball team to an all time high.

Above the Rim                   Tupac Shakur dominates without ever hitting the hardwood.

He Got Game                     Ray Allen shoots better than he acts.

The Jericho Mile                        Peter Strauss goes for the mile record while in prison.

Invictus                                Matt Damon plays rugby without any help from Ben Affleck.

Days of Thunder                 Tom Cruise gets the girl and his future real life wife in this NASCAR flick.

Pumping Iron                    Arnold hits the big time in this awesome documentary.

Dogtown and Z-Boys              This doc, chronicling teen skate boarders, was later made into a movie.

The Mighty Ducks                Martin and Charlie Sheen must mock Emilio for this film.  Then again, the series grossed ½ a billion.

Blue Chips                      Shaq and Nick Nolte together on screen.  Could you ask for more?  Well, yes, how about a decent script.

Baseball, Soccer and Track/Cycling

Field of Dreams                 Kevin Costnar builds it, and they come.

Bull Durham                     Costnar again delivers with the help of a Tim Robbins fastball.

Chariots of Fire                        Brits battle it out for Olympic glory.

Bend it Like Beckham            Beck’s is the inspiration for this soccer story.

Breaking Away                   Local kids in Bloomington try to co-exist with university students.

Moneyball                       Brad Pitt plays the A’s Billy Bean. I had no idea Oakland’s GM was that good looking.

The Natural                     Robert Redford takes out the lights with a long ball.

The Damned United               A manager’s ego leads him to highs and lows.

Eight Men Out                   Shoeless Joe and the White Sox scandal.

Major League                    Charlie Sheen goes WILD THING.

61*                             Roger Maris goes bomb for bomb with the Mick.

The Rookie                      School teacher finds a live arm.

Cobb                            Tommy Lee Jones plays the biggest jerk in baseball.

The Sandlot                     Kids playing in park find the true meaning of the game.

Bang the Drum Slowly            Ball player takes ill.

Victory                         A group of POW’s lead by Sly Stallone try to beat the German National Team in WWII

Golf, Boxing and Misc…

Caddy Shack                     Rodney Dangerfield duels with Ted Knight to see who will rule Bushwood.

Rocky                           The Rock and Appolo Creed go toe to toe for 15 rounds.

Raging Bull                     Robert DeNiro at his best in the role of Jake La Motta.

Million Dollar Baby             Clint hits the Oscar payload without shooting anyone.

Tin Cup                         Costnar scores in golf and baseball movies.  A true double threat.

The Color of Money/The Hustler  Paul Newman reprises a role and wins an Oscar with the help of Tom Cruise.

Searching for Bobby Fischer     A chess prodigy tries to find the right moves through childhood.

The Wrestler                    Mickey Rourke makes a HUGE professional comeback playing a washed up wrestler.

Vision Quest                    Matthew Modine is a high school wrestler looking to pin Linda Fiorentino.

Kingpin                         Woody Harrelson and Bill Murray throw strikes throughout this bowling epic.

The Big Lebowski                Dude

Rocky II                        Rock gets a re-match with Creed.

The Fighter                     Christian Bale and Mark Wahlberg tell the story of Mickey Ward.

Rocky III                       Clubber Lang wants to bring Rock down.

The Hurricane                   Denzel stars as the boxer who is wrongly imprisoned.

Happy Gilmore                   Adam Sandler is at his best as the hockey player turned golfer.

On the Bubble

Rollerball                      James Caan as Jonathon E kicks some futuristic butt.

A League of Their Own           We are all Madonna’d out after Super Bowl half-time.

Youngblood                      Rob Lowe as an OHL hockey star.  Yeah, I can see that.

Ali                             The Fresh Prince as the Greatest.

Secretariat                     Diane Lane saves the family farm with the help of the greatest race horse of all time.

Lucas                           A young Charlie Sheen wins the girl and stops the bullying of a young kid in this G movie..

The Program                     James Caan heads a corrupt university football team..

Have a great week.

A New Reality By Nicolas Pereira

This past week in the World Team Tennis ‘Bubble” I have seen the efforts to keep everyone safe while carrying on a team competition with around 60/70 players and coaches onsite. Counting organizers, officials, media, and support personnel are around 150 people trying hard to make this happen. I am very impressed by how the strict protocol has been handled and how everyone is invested in making this event a success, but The Open is a completely different scale of details.

ONcourt Interviews NGTL Co-Founder Yves Boulais

It does not matter that you get your rating playing locally or that you had spent an insidious amount of money playing the ITF junior tour tournaments. Your rating is your level of play (you get no bonus for playing more or playing far away). This allows us to break free of the ITF competitive structure potentially saving us time, money, and headache. We see this as a great opportunity to improve the logistic of our sport.

Brandon Burke (son of ACE President Doug Burke) Elected to WTA Board

As revealed in a recent news release issued by the WTA Tour – Brandon Burke has been elected to the WTA Board of Directors (to start officially in September). Oncourt got together with Brandon to delve a bit more into his background and to gain some insight into this wonderful appointment he has attained at such a young age.