So now it’s my fault again. Last July it was his foot, but this summer we’re back at the familiar frailty refrain: Rafa’s knee just can’t handle the pounding. The guy is a mere sturdy tendon away from being the greatest ever. Hey, I’m an imperfect joint. You want dependability? Buy a Honda. Or watch Federer. I like a little me time during the summer. I need some solitude on the couch to catch up on my shows (you’re one mean hombre, Walter White). Sue me. It’s not my fault Rafa plays every point like he’s got a bet on it. We’re up 40-0; let the drop shot go. It’s Murray – there will be plenty more. I blame that crazy Uncle. He convinced Rafa he’s not as talented as the other top players so he’s got to outwork everybody. The guy reads too much Gladwell.
And what’s this Regenokine? Why is everyone telling Rafa he needs to inject it into me? I’m not crazy about needles. Even less so about one full of goo that sounds like something out of a Roger Corman movie. Gasol called Rafa yesterday to relay how Kobe swears by the stuff. Made his knee feel all Lebron-like. (I think Pau’s just giddy that with D12 around he won’t get put on any more posters). But we’ve got to go to Dusseldorf to get the procedure done. I’ve got bad memories of Dusseldorf. The clay is always thick and damp, like FLo’s hair.
Can’t we just treat this the old fashioned way? Some ice baths, a foam roller, and surfing with Xisca. Maybe rub a little clay on it. Personally, I feel like I’m being made the scapegoat. Sure, I’m a bit sore and creeky, but I’m game for Flushing Meadows. I think Rafa is still licking his wounds from Wimbledon. Lukas Rosol? He’s George Bastl for the Twitterverse. Rafa didn’t lose that match because I was hobbled; he lost because tennis Buster Douglas summoned his inner Soderling. Rafa’s pride deflated more than I swelled.
Now all the experts want Rafa to reduce his schedule. They say he’s got to be smarter when it comes to his commitments. Jim Courier was on TV this past weekend posturing about how we should never play dubs again. Sorry, but I live my life by three simple rules: always say yes to Kinesio tape, barefoot running will be proven stupid, and never trust a ginger. We can still handle some hit and giggle doubles in Palm Springs.
You know what I really want? For everybody to start counting us out. To think this is the beginning of the end. Like Bolt after losing at the Olympic trials or Arnold after nailing his maid. We rehab like crazy and then come January we turn the tables in Melbourne. We rip through the draw and Rafa takes a bite out of his 12th Grand Slam title. I stand up strong during the spring hard courts and the clay season becomes our personal playground once again. Roland Garros is a mere formality. I feel positively bionic just thinking about it.
But just in case: Anyone got Kobe’s number?