Tag Archive: Maria Sharapova


It seems to me, that ever since I learned about the news and politics, that the Russian government has been this paranoid, threatening, pain in our collective asses.

Do you remember when Nikita Khrushchev took his shoe off in the United Nations meeting and pounded it on the desk?   Do you recall when he uttered, “We will bury you!” at ambassadors from other countries? Or his actions in positioning nuclear missiles in Cuba, ninety miles from Florida, aimed at the USA in response to our adept President Kennedy’s handling of the Cuban Missile Crisis? https://www.history.com/topics/cold-war/nikita-sergeyevich-khrushchev  That is, by the way, why I am in-favor of requiring all of those who run for President of the United States to have some military experience.  I digress.

What is it with the Russian people, who cannot seem to get out of their own way when it comes to electing moderate leaders of their great land, who will play nicely with their neighbor countries here in the “future”?  I don’t recall that Yeltsin or Gorbachev made any threats against the world and it was under their watch that the U.S.S.R let those countries who wanted to be independent be free! Gorbachev must have said or done something to get the attention of President Reagan which led to the famous, “tear down that wall…” speech.

It was Mr. Yeltsin who made the now infamously asinine choice of Prime Minister in 1999.

Because of that mistake, we have this latest reincarnation of Stalin’s Holodomor https://www.britannica.com/event/Holodomor in the crooked, wicked and slimy flesh of Putin, our latest Russian despot having a Hitler-Hissy-fit at a time when the world is just recovering from the two-year Covid-19 plague. A being incapable of remorse, empathy, contrition, compromise or any kind of human feeling; a demonic beast of which my generation has not seen! I have watched him, lo since he forcefully re-inserted himself into their Presidency and forced the more moderate guy to step aside in 2008.  I never trusted this “former KGB spy” guy; Russian people, rise UP!  You must do better in choosing your leaders!  Or…are you guys still closet Commies or something like that?

Here is when I wish my World War II-experienced farther would have been more forthcoming with the kind of stories and experiences which might assuage the heartbreak feel for my kindred spirits; the friends I met over the past ten (10) years in the beautiful, independent country of Ukraine. I wish my Korean War-experienced uncle’s voice was still alive to tell me again, “Putin’s time shall come…”  OK, how about the” time” is NOW.

How did they live through the threat of Hitler’s mass-murders of the Jewish people thousands of miles away?  How do we continue when we see Putin’s ordered indiscriminate slaughter of the people, culture and heritage of Ukraine now?  Who is HE to say they cannot determine their own destiny?!

All of which is to introduce this video sent to me by a friend in Ukraine, who I met online at LinkedIN prior to me traveling to Kyiv nine years ago, where we hung out in-person.  At 00:21 you’ll briefly see a mirror-glass skyscraper on a main Boulevard (I think its called) Kikvdze, which I think I walked by a couple of times during my stay – now recently scarred by Russia’s indiscriminate bombing campaign.

My eyes well with tears because this is all sooo needless, my friends are under siege and hurting; it is heartbreaking for all of us and ultra-threatening to our general peace on Earth since World War II. Please help any way you can. Arnold Schwarzeneggar’s video was spot on, Great! Need more similar. This is when Muhammad Ali, Dennis Rodman or someone from the entertainment world, who the despot admired, would make a trip behind the iron curtain to gain an audience with him and maybe talk some sense into the senseless or gain insights. Surely there is some such person these days? I’ve read where actor Steven Segal is admired by Mr. Egomaniac; so when is the high-profile athlete/thespian/sports celebrity like может быть. Maria Sharopova, going to step forward and use their voice and influence and make this needed sojourn?

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And now for something completely different for my blog: A Book Review!

First and personally, I am so proud to have finally found and tied into the public library here in the land of Spanish Moss. It always takes a while to humble myself again and do these things – maybe deep in my soul I should own a library! Oh I do, and it is just vinyl record albums. I digress again.

In the Autumn of 2017, I had three titles on my list of books to read and one of them was a no-brainer, when I heard about it, Maria Sharapova’s autobiography. I have always been one of her fans.
Why now? I knew I had to begin to read again because I was in a writer’s limbo, and you know that, as I stated in past blogs, in order to write well you have to read much. So let’s get to it!

I just finished reading Maria Sharapova’s first autobiography,“Unstoppable – My Life So Far” with Rich Cohen in record time (for me)! Masha (her real name in “Russian) weaves a compelling and enlightening story, with candid diary clips throughout that I could only put down to sleep, eat and run my own work errands. If you’ve ever wondered what life is like for a major player on the Women’s professional tennis tour as a girl becomes a woman, this autobiography is a must read and a real page turner.

It is the first sports autobiography I remember reading since The Roy Campanella story, as a teen, and more recently, “Namath” about my main New York Jets quarterback, whose style and ability I grew up admiring, although I must have read Mickey Mantle’s and others through the years.

I learned that we share admiration for Monica Seles, whose audible power release as she hit the ball (some call it a “grunt”, but it is more sexy than that to a man’s ears, believe me, I’ve had sex with many women who make the same sound when they orgasm) first turned my attention into women’s tennis back in the 1990s. Indeed, Ms. Seles’ story of rising as a teenager achieving stardom on one of the biggest stages in sport, the Pro tennis tour is similar to Ms. Sharapova’s!
The Author also emulates Lindsay Davenport, whose classy game I too came to admire and shows respect for another of my favorites to watch, Serbian, Jelena Jankovic`. We learn about her coaches and even a favorite brand of shoes in these pages.

She used what I call the “sandwich” format for this first part of telling about her life. Using this format allowed Ms. Sharapova to recount her life, so that the reader can get to know her better and it works. She started with the present unjust failed drug test scandal drama and then retraced how she got to this point, while setting up her feelings about going forward with her career and life. The major theme was to tell her side of the suspension story to help clear her name of being associated with doping and I commend her for that. Hell, the substance they flagged her for was not even on the list of illegals throughout 99% of her career, and something smells very fishy about how it was suddenly added. It is almost like the suspicion East Germans who were competing in the Olympics were under, back in the Cold War days.

There is a nice pictorial section mid-way through and I like how neutral her cover photo is and how she describes her relationship with her main motivator, Yuri, her father and their initial trek following the ugly Chernobyl, now part of Ukraine, melt-down, eventually into Sochi, Russia and on to Florida as unknowns when she was a little girl with a huge racket.

She speaks about what I have often wondered while following women’s tennis: her main nemesis, Serena Williams. Oddly, she only mentions her older sister, Venus once. I would have like to have read her comparison of their games.

My favorite quote is from her father, Yuri, who said, “When you let your brain overrule your gut, you screw up your life.” Wow, my mentor used that philosophy and so do I programming my radio shows and identifying hit music through the years! Even though I borrowed it from the library, I will gladly purchase it for my private hardcover collection once I move into my own home.
Nice job, tall lady!! Whatta twenty-first century Fox. You are a “hit” and I’d look up to you without insecurity, rating your book with five out of a possible 5 tennis rackets.

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