starting 2020 with a spectacle or two

The Kansas City Chiefs scored three touchdowns in the last five minutes of the game to surprise the San Francisco 49ers and win the Super Bowl last night. Congratulations to the team, Coach Andy Reid, and all those Chiefs fans who have supported the team faithfully at Arrowhead Stadium through the years when many of them must have felt they were wandering in a wilderness of lost hopes and dreams. (Memo to Agent Orange: the Chiefs are not in Kansas anymore, actually they never were. It’s Kansas City, Missouri. Maybe Mike Pompeo can find it on a map for you.)

What a spectacle. I hardly knew what to focus on during the pre-game and half time shows.  As my friend Saskia from the Netherlands says, Americans know how to make a spectacle of themselves – or something like that. The Super Bowl brings our sports frenzies to new heights every year, and this year was no exception especially with the performances of Jennifer Lopez and Shakira who gave frenzies new meaning.

Meanwhile, as fires continued to burn in Australia, the first major tennis tournament of 2020 was coming to an end. The Australian Open has been going on for the past two weeks during which time I appeared dazed and confused due to my strange hours of trying to watch the tennis matches live on my telly.  For any of you who are mentally making an effort to convert Australian time to Eastern Daylight time here, stop immediately. It’s impossible, and you will never even know what day it is, much less whether it’s a.m. or p.m. Trust me. I’m a veteran of that battle. Still, I feel like something will be missing in my life until the clay court season starts in Europe.

Sofia Kenin, who was born in Moscow and whose family immigrated to the US when she was four months old, surprised herself and everyone else in the tennis world by winning the women’s singles championship at the Australian Open over the weekend when she defeated Garbine Muguruza in a blistering three-set final. In the semi-finals, Kenin walloped Australian Ash Barty in straight sets – much to the dismay of thousands of Australian fans watching in Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne. Barty was the defending champion and ranked number 1 in the world by the Women’s Tennis Association while the 21-year-old Floridian Kenin was at #14. Hopefully Kenin can lessen the load the Williams sisters have carried for American tennis fans for the last 20 years. Is Kenin for real? Gosh, I hope so.

The men’s singles championship trophy was won by Novak Djokovic when he defeated Dominic Thiem in a nail biter five-set final.  That was Novak’s eighth major title down under and not really a surprise to anyone other than Thiem’s mother whose hope springs eternal from the players’ box behind the court. Better luck next time, Dominic – your mother and I see trophies in your future. As for Djokovic, this puts his Open trophy total at 17, which is 2 behind Rafa Nadal at 19, and 3 behind Roger Federer who is at 20 and holding. Just in case anyone is counting. I’m counting because I consider myself privileged to have been a witness to what tennis peeps call the Golden Age of men’s professional tennis. At this point I take “golden age” any way I can get it.

The Super Bowl and Australian Open weren’t the only games in town for Pretty and me this weekend. Our Gamecock Women’s Basketball team polished off a very tall and excellent University of Tennessee team at Colonial Life Arena on Super Bowl Sunday. Our team is coached by Dawn Staley who has assembled a super group of freshmen to complement several returning upperclassmen – they have quickly jelled to become something special this season with a record of 19 – 1 and are ranked number 1 in the nation according to the AP poll. Go Gamecocks! I can almost taste that New Orleans shrimp at the Final Four!

Last, but certainly not least, another season kicks off today in Iowa. The Democratic primary in that state tonight begins the race for a president of the United States to replace the impeached one who will evidently continue to occupy the White House at the conclusion of the Senate “trial” this week. I wouldn’t want to live in Iowa today.  Those citizens carry a heavy burden to their caucuses tonight. I’ll be listening for the returns with much anxiety mixed with anticipation. That’s how I roll through a political quagmire.

Finally, the ground hog that determines our weather forecast has predicted an early spring this year. That makes me happy for Pretty who has signed up for not one, but two, tennis teams for the spring schedule. She much prefers warm, sunny weather for her matches. My bionic knees much prefer warm, sunny weather, too for the sport of bending them to get up out of my recliner.

Stay tuned.

Totally unrelated photo of 4 month old granddaughter Ella

with her NanaSlo, but I just love this picture of us so here it is








About Sheila Morris

Sheila Morris is a personal historian, essayist with humorist tendencies, lesbian activist, truth seeker and speaker in the tradition of other female Texas storytellers including her paternal grandmother. In December, 2017, the University of South Carolina Press published her collection of first-person accounts of a few of the people primarily responsible for the development of LGBTQ organizations in South Carolina. Southern Perspectives on the Queer Movement: Committed to Home will resonate with everyone interested in LGBTQ history in the South during the tumultuous times from the AIDS pandemic to marriage equality. She has published five nonfiction books including two memoirs, an essay compilation and two collections of her favorite blogs from I'll Call It Like I See It. Her first book, Deep in the Heart: A Memoir of Love and Longing received a Golden Crown Literary Society Award in 2008. Her writings have been included in various anthologies - most recently the 2017 Saints and Sinners Literary Magazine. Her latest book, Four Ticket Ride, was released in January, 2019. She is a displaced Texan living in South Carolina with her wife Teresa Williams and their dogs Spike, Charly and Carl. She is also Naynay to her two granddaughters Ella and Molly James who light up her life for real. Born in rural Grimes County, Texas in 1946 her Texas roots still run wide and deep.
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4 Responses to starting 2020 with a spectacle or two

  1. Wayside Artist says:

    My head is spinning from sports and politics. Thank goodness for groundhogs and babies!! 😄

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Luanne says:

    Love that pic!!! As Wayside above says my head is also spinning. I thought it was cool that the 49ers have the first woman NFL coach. I didn’t really care who won other than that as the Cardinals weren’t playing haha. I understand my son wore his Cardinals jersey yesterday ANYWAY.


  3. We don’t follow American football as we haven’t a clue about the rules. Avid tennis watchers but not the Aussie Open. As you say, heaven knows when it’s on but it sure isn’t a good time for us! Great results and have the feeling that the old order will soon be leaving the floor to some talented new stars.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You know, my friend, I think you are right. When I first saw Dominic Thiem on the clay courts several years ago, I told Pretty I thought he might be the next Nadaly on clay. When I saw him at the Aussie Open this year, I thought he has gotten much better on the hard courts as well.
      My heart will always belong to Nadal, but these older guys need to quit before they ruin their bodies for life. I want Nadal to stay home and have children!! Call me a dreamer.


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