A Return of Sorts

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Venus Williams will try to win her first Australian Open at age 36 when she goes up against younger sister Serena, who aims for history. An Australian Open to remember. Plus other thoughts including on the Knicks and Super Bowl. AP Photo via Getty Images courtesy Live Tennis.

I haven’t posted anything in a while. So, I am just gonna put together some random thoughts on a few things that are on my mind.

1.I have been going to the gym all week and am doing better. I had been putting it off for so long that I knew it was gonna finally happen. I gotta say I am pretty happy with the results. Increased energy. Better eating habits. Still gotta work on the sleep part. But I definitely am ready to reach my goal. Getting older, you have to be more focused and put more time in. I am ready for the challenge. 🙂

2.The key for me is just to stay in tune on one thing at a time. The same applies to work, life and friends. And of course, writing which will always be my true passion. I have started to write poems again at work when it drags. And so far, it’s nice to see my creative side coming out. I wrote this for someone special who I will always love no matter what:

“Your Rose”

by Derek Felix

Your rose is pink like neon lights

Above on a cold dark winters night

With a starry sky floating gold jewels

As a cool reminder that sunnier weather lies ahead

Just close your eyes and dream in bed

And its warmth will give you strength

I never did get around to finishing it. But I think the six lines say plenty. You can tell how much I care about her. I am in a funny place and have been for a while. One where I wish I was with this person but have become attracted to someone else at my job. And they are great too. But if push came to shove, well. I don’t think anything else needs to be said.

3.Writing has always come easy for me. Whether it’s blogging about hockey on New York Puck/Battle Of New York or other sports or life events/happenings, I am really good at expressing myself. I need to do it more consistently and build an audience again.

4.The Super Bowl is next week. It should be a good one. I am pulling hard for close Georgia buddy Colin’s Falcons. I have been on them since the Giants were Eli-minated by Aaron Rodgers and the Packers. A frustrating loss due to the lack of offensive creativity in a first half Big Blue controlled. Eventually, Rodgers picked them apart. Special teams were awful. Ben McAdoo’s play calling at times left much to be desired. They had a good year winning 11 games. Let’s just leave it at that.

5.I am strongly in favor of Matt Ryan winning MVP. I know it’s unlikely due to Rodgers and the invincible and ageless Tom Brady. I’m sure Matty Ice would take a Super Bowl championship ring over a regular season award any day. Especially if he or Julio Jones get game MVP at the expense of the Patriots. Here’s to hoping and believing.

6.Tennis is on my mind. When you have the Williams sisters playing for the first time in a grand slam final since 2009, it’s special. Especially for older sis Venus, who at age 36 showed pure joy when she beat Coco Vandeweghe in a tight three sets to make the final. Younger sister Serena, who is 35, aims for history. If she wins, it would be number 23 passing Steffi Graf for the most in the Open Era. She tied Graf by winning her seventh Wimbledon last year. I wish I could stay up and watch. But it’ll be 3:30 in the morning here and I have to be up for work.

7.I never thought we’d see the day where it would be Roger vs Rafa again for a slam. But here we are with the improbable happening with Federer and Nadal playing for a major for the first time in quite a while. With Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray falling victim to mammoth upsets, it paved the way for Federer and Nadal to go through a draw that was still challenging. Each was pushed five sets in great semifinals. First, Roger edged countryman Stan Wawrinka in five. Then, Nadal went nearly five hours with the end still on at after 8 AM here with him digging deep to beat Grigor Dimitrov in a memorable match. That came after straight setting Milos Raonic and needing four sets to defeat Gael Monfils. That tells you all you need to know about Rafa. He is 30 now and is in his first slam final in three years. He last won in 2014 with his ninth French Open giving the flamboyant Spaniard 14 majors to tie Pete Sampras.

Rafa and Roger will meet for the first time since 2011 when Nadal beat Federer in four sets to win the French Open. They’ve had some epic battles. Both have overcome injuries to come back and make it the first grand slam where both singles championships will be played by all four players who are 30-or-over. It’s never happened before. You have Federer at 35 and Nadal at 30 who seems older due to all the injuries he’s dealt with. Plus the questions about whether he had what it took to make a deep run again. They are close friends. Head to head, Rafa is 6-2 versus Roger in grand slam finals winning the last four meetings. It should be amazing.

There’s a reason I love the Australian Open. Sure. The time difference is a nightmare. But late night matches are fun and this tournament has gotten better and better since I started watching. The first tennis major has been memorable. How will the script end?

8.I am just gonna put out this thought on Carmelo Anthony. He will always be a great scorer and will one day make the NBA Hall Of Fame. Melo is one of the few stars who wanted to play in New York City. He got his wish when Denver made a blockbuster trade with the Knicks involving a lot of players going the other way including Galinari, Nene, Mozgov and Wilson Chandler. It was overpayment due to Dolan. However, there is this one thing that bothers me. It’s easy for fans and especially hypocritical media to rip on Anthony. But the guy has always taken a pounding scoring inside and out doing it with more wear and tear than most stars. It’s wrong to put this on him. It falls 100 percent on Phil Jackson. His refusal to speak to the media is pathetic. He’s left Melo hanging and is shopping him to anyone who will listen. It’s the ultimate disrespect. Even if it’s the right move for Anthony to go compete for a title and for the Knicks’ future, Phil has been horrible. Aside from Kristaps Porzingis, who they’re ruining by overplaying him with an injury, what has he done? Nada.

9.If I cared what LeBron thought on key issues, I would listen. Do us all a favor and shut up.

10.Here is a throwback song from Guns N’ Roses from the Use Your Illusion album that is still one of the best. Underappreciated song:

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Derek Felix

Derek Felix is sports blogger whose previous experience included two stints at ESPN as a stat researcher for NHL and WNBA telecasts. The Staten Island native also worked behind the scenes for MSG as a production assistant on New Jersey Devil games. An avid New York sports fan who enjoys covering events, writing, concerts, movies and the outdoors, Derek has scored Berkeley Carroll basketball games since 2006 and provided an outlet for the Park Slope school's student athletes. Hitting Back gives them the publicity they deserve. From players, coaches to administrators, it's a first class program. In his free time, he also attends Ranger games and is a loyal St. John's alum with a sports management degree.

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