Clearing my head and notebook while coming to grips that Ty Cobb is now a lawyer in the White House …
I had never heard of Jarrius Robertson, who received the ESPY’s Jimmy V Perseverance Award the other night, but he’s now high on my list of most unforgettable characters.
The 15-year-old Saints Superfan, who is battling a chronic liver disease, managed to make a lasting impression with his effusive personality when New Orleans players visited a hospital in 2015. His energy and positive attitude has since made him a fan favorite throughout Louisiana.
Because of his battle with biliary artesia, Robertson doesn’t look to be any older than 10 because his growth has been stunted. He’s had two liver transplants in his young life and even survived being taken off life support when his first transplant in 2004 failed. He was in a coma for a year.
Like I said, his story of overcoming medical odds and adversity is incredible.
“Jarrius is such an inspirational young man,” Saints quarterback Drew Brees said. “His strength, determination and resolve along with his infectious energy and attitude should be an example that no matter the circumstances or adversity, with a positive outlook and embracing the motto of ‘Don’t give up. … Don’t ever give up,’ there isn’t a challenge that cannot be conquered.”
A GoFundMe account has been set up to help Robertson’s family pay his staggering medical bills. If you can spare a few dollars, I’d encourage you to consider his cause.
For me, after hearing Robertson’s story, it made all the other ESPY honors insignificant. Seriousy, who cares which athletes ESPN viewers think are the best players in their respective sport?
Taking time off to start a family with fiancé Alexis Ohanian, a co-founder of Reddit, Serena Williams no longer has to worry about financial stability.
But becoming independently wealthy took some getting used to, according to Williams. She said that when she began playing professionally she never really thought about the riches success would bring her from prize money and endorsement contracts.
Thus, she swears she didn’t think twice about driving up to an ATM and trying to deposit her first $1 million check. A teller had to request she come inside to make the deposit.
She said now she wishes she had a photo of the check, but it didn’t occur to her then.
“Selfies didn’t exist back then,” said Williams, who has a net worth of $160 million these days.
A-Rod & J-Lo
Former New York Yankee All-Star Alex Rodriguez has learned through dating Jennifer Lopez that there are different stages of celebrity. He said its been a surprisingly humbling experience.
“You know, when I was with the Yankees and we won the world championship and you’re wearing the pinstripes, you think you are pretty cool,” he told host Jimmy Fallon when he appeared on The Tonight Show last week. “But then when you hang out with Jennifer, people confuse me as a security guard all the time.”
Fark.com: “Mayweather vs. McGregor is the “Kardashians” of sport.”
From TheOnion.com: “New X Games event just driving monster trucks off cliff.”
From SportsPickle.com.com: “6 ways to confront a friend or family member you suspect may be watching NBA Summer League
From TheOnion.com: “13-yearold quietly trying to get through rest of soccer game after getting wind knocked out of him.”
From Fark.com: “Calvin Johnson admits he retired from football rather than continue to play for Detroit Lions.”
Time to focus
The U.S. men’s national soccer team (well, this junior varsity version) has had a much tougher time than expected in Group B play of the Gold Cup.
After a 1-1 draw with Panama, Team USA struggled mightily against a Martinique squad that has a roster of mostly semi-pro players. It took a second goal from Jordan Morris on Wednesday night for us to escape with a 3-2 win.
That puts the United States atop the group standings, but only because it has scored one more goal than Panama entering Saturday night’s game in Cleveland against Nicaragua.
The U.S. shouldn’t have a problem winning its final round-robin game since Nicaragua lost to Martinique 2-0. Still, Brad Guzan can’t afford any more lapses in goal and the U.S. can’t continue to squander a half dozen scoring chances.
To be fair, U.S. coach Bruce Arena went into the group battles planning to experiment with players who haven’t seen much national team duty.
Players like forwards Dom Dwyer and Jordan Morris and midfielders Gyasi Zardes and Paul Arriola have done well enough to be on the field Saturday against Nicaragua.
But with that said, we can also expect that Arena will replace as many as six roster spots for the knockout stages of the tournament, bringing in more experience with the additions of players like Michael Bradley, Darlington Nagbe, Jozy Altidore or Clint Dempsey.
So if Dwyer or Morris want to claim a roster spot for the next round of World Cup qualifying, now is the time to do it.
They said it
R.J. Currie of SportsDeke.com: “Titans cornerback Logan Ryan wed former Rutgers softballer Ashley Bragg. I’m guessing he allowed her to complete a few passes and she let him get past first base.”
Brad Dickson of the Omaha (Neb.) World-Herald: “The Cincinnati Reds Billy Hamilton was finally tagged out by the Rays after a 6-5-2-4-5-7 rundown between third base and home. The good news for Hamilton is he was credited with completing his first 5K.”
Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times: “The Warriors’ Stephen Curry just signed a five-year, $201 million contract.
Yes, why stop at 200 when you can tack on the biggest “and one” in hoops history?”
New York Yankee Aaron Judge on competing in the Home Run Derby: “It’s just another round of BP, but in front of 50,000 people.”
Bob Molinaro, in the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot, on a friend who said two or three Orioles pitchers should’ve gotten All-Star invites: “They’re more than qualified, he said, to pitch in the Home Run Derby.”
LPGA president Vicki Goetze-Ackerman is bringing a stricter dress code to the tour with a crackdown on sex appeal.
Her edict bans players from wearing:
— Racerback tank tops unless they have a collar.
— Anything with a plunging neckline.
— Leggings unless worn under shorts or a skort.
The tour has benefitted through the years from the glamour and sex appeal of players like Jan Stephenson, Laura Baugh, Paula Creamer, Natalie Gulbis and many others. Lately, its been Michelle Wie who has raised eyebrows from some by playing in shorts and sleeveless tank tops.
With the new dress code set to be rolled out next week, players have been warned that any violations will bring a $1,000 fine.