Monday, February 15, 2010

Packs

When I hear the name Judd Apatow, a few movies come into mind: 40 Year Old Virgin, Superbad, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, etc. I also associate a certain group of actors with Apatow, ones that he often collaborates with: Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill and Paul Rudd. I am not a Pop-culture junkie, but they have managed to grab my attention. I like to group people together, and I am not aware if this group has a certain title or not. But they need one!


We had the Rat Pack consisting of Dean Martin, Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr. in the 1950's. The Brat Pack in the 1980's which included Rob Lowe, Demi Moore, Molly Ringwald, Emilio Estevez, etc. In the early 2000's we had the Frat Pack of Will Ferrell, Luke Wilson, Owen Wilson, Vince Vaughn and etc.

And how could I forget! Is there a name for the usual collaborators in Wes Anderson films? Luke Wilson, Owen Wilson, Jason Schwartzman, Anjelica Huston and Bill Murray. I wonder if they have a group name? I'm too lazy to check or come up with clever names.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Facebook and Parents

Parents have been able to create their own facebook for a couple of years now. A good number of my facebook friends are indeed friends with their parents, but now the story hits home. Not just one parent has an account now, but both. I've been at home for the past few days and they've been asking me how to upload photos, respond to various notifications, etc. Ugh. It's not that bad though. Despite knowing for years that I have an account, they have yet to add me. I don't think they signed up for one with the intent to spy on me. From what I gather, they couldn't care less. They are just amazed at how this social networking site has allowed them to connect with acquaintances from the past. Mainly classmates. These classmates are scattered all over the world, and my Mom seems to enjoy the gossip aspect of it. She would show me her acquaintances that were beauty queens in the past and remark on how fat they have become and etc. So its really not that bad.. As long as they don't add me. Then I might have to tinker with some privacy settings ;)

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Roger Federer's Legacy

For each Grand Slam win that Roger Federer wins, discussion occurs about his place in tennis lore. Is he the greatest of all time? He has his share of supporters as well as detractors. Also appearing in this discussion are Pete Sampras, Rod Laver and Bjorn Borg. Since hoisting his latest Australian Open Trophy, the message boards I frequent are chirping the same old songs once again. In my opinion, I am watching the Greatest Tennis Player of All Time and the holder of the most Grand Slam victories at 16. A very skilled and consistent player that plans to play beyond 2012.

So what do other casual fans like myself say about his legacy? We shall start with the detractors since they usually draw first blood as soon as Roger hoists up a trophy..

  • Rafa Nadal's domination. The 23 year old Spaniard has been Federer's biggest rival since 2005 and have faced each other in 7 Grand Slam finals, including the Greatest Match Ever Played at Wimbledon in 2008. Nadal holds a 5-2 advantage over Federer, and the argument here is: How can you be the greatest of all time when you are not even the greatest in your own generation? It's a valid point. Nadal has clearly dominated Federer and most detractors claim that Federer would not have won the French Open and the Career Slam had he played Rafa in the Final. Well, the reality is: Rafa lost to Robin Soderling in the 4th round, and it's not Fed's fault that he didn't make it to the Final. Pete Sampras had a winning record against his biggest rival Andre Agassi. 
  • On a side note, Andy Murray, the finalist to Federer at the Australian also holds an advantage over Federer at (6-5).
  • Detractors also like to attribute Federer's wins and consistency to weak competition. That other than Nadal, there are no other great players. They claim that Connors, Sampras, etc. faced much stiffer competition during their playing days. So they are saying that Sampras' competition (Rafter, Goran, etc) are better than Roger's (Murray, Djokovic, etc). I just don't see it. In my opinion, the current guys' games are far more well rounded than big serving stiffs like Goran. But this discussion can go back and forth
  • The equipment. It was said that using today's racquets, Pete Sampras can now serve at 140 mph consistently. But that's not a good argument because everyone on the tour benefits from equipment innovation. Horrible argument. 
Checkmarks for Federer
  • He currently has 16 Grand Slam wins, 2 more than Pete Sampras. Pete won his last Grand Slam (US Open in 2002) at the age of 31. Federer is currently 28, and is favored to win a couple more Grand Slams. Although Pete is a better player on Grass, he never came close to Federer's success at Rolland Garros. Pete made the French Open Semifinals once in 1996, his best result at this event.
  • Career Grand Slam Winner with his victory at the French Open in 2009. One of three men in the Open Era to have accomplished this feat with the others being Rod Laver and Andre Agassi. Rafa Nadal has a legitimate chance of joining them because he only needs a US Open title.
  • For 237 consecutive weeks, he was ranked as the #1 player on the ATP Tour (record)
  • He has appeared in 22 Grand Slams Finals (record)
  • Appeared in 23 Grand Slam Semifinals (record)
From what I gather, Federer detractors use comparisons rather than statistics. Although statistics don't always tell the truth, I think its far more reliable than comparing players from different eras. The Swiss star has displayed amazing consistency from his first Wimbledon win in 2003 to the present. In making the case for Federer being the Greatest of All Time, one would simply have to look at his numbers.