Right about now Spain is feeling all kinds of wonderful. And my Venezuelan abuelita is probably turning over in her grave that I dared to go against Paul the Prognosticating Pulpo and voted for a giant-toppling Netherlands victory. If she were still alive she would probably slap me upside the head with a chancla. And I would deserve it too. I mean who roots against Spain when you have watered-down Spanish blood flowing through your own veins?
Well actually I didn’t root against Spain. I rooted for the Netherlands. It’s not the same thing. Besides, anyone who has been reading this blog recently knows that I have had giant-toppling on the brain. I make no apologies for that.
I had an insight recently that this obsession with giant-toppling must be because I may be unconsciously preparing myself for Federer’s decline. Not that I expect this to happen overnight but, like every human being, you get to a point where you start realizing that your best years are behind you and that whatever good happens in the future is just a sweet bonus. Why else would Federer be caught dead out in public with Mirza looking all kinds of horrible in a bikini? I am so embarrassed for her that I refuse to reprint the photo. Let me just acknowledge my anticipatory grieving.
But I digress.
I really intended in this entry to focus on why La España must be feeling on top of the world right about now. And actually, if she is honest, La España would admit that her good feelings actually started when her supposedly clay-loving compañero won Wimbledon and ascended to the top of the rankings, all while relying on his only good knee.
Although I am beginning to wonder whether Rafa may have taken a page out of Mr. DampAss’ PR book and may be guilty of spreading misleading missives about the status of his health. Remember when Sampras vomited on court only to turn around and spank the butt off the original Spanish export, Alex Corretja? But again, I digress.
What I really intended to write about was the location of Rafa’s belly-button. I was inspired by reading about a recent study led by a Duke University professor named Andre Bejan who concluded that the location of the belly-button is the key to understanding sporting success.
Bejan and his colleagues set out to understand why Black sport-persons seemed to be better at running while Whites did better in the water. They examined over 100 years of sporting records and came to the conclusion that it all came down to the location of the “ombligo” (or belly-button for those of you not lucky enough to have had a Venezuelan abuelita).
Bejan at al explain that the ombligo is the center of gravity of the body. In runners of African descent, the navel is apparently located higher because runners have longer legs. For swimmers, the belly-button is located lower because Caucasians generally have shorter legs but longer torsos than Africans. In fact, Black belly-buttons are generally located three centimeters (1.18 inches) higher than white belly-buttons.
I have no idea if this has any relevance to World Cup which came down to two white teams and an octopus. But I can’t help but wonder if it applies to Rafa. Maybe Rafa flummoxes everyone on the tour (except Söderling on a good day) because of the location of his ombligo? Is it high? Low? Does it matter?
It may not. But I personally intend to spend the next few months scoping out the shirtless pictures of as many male tennis players as possible in order to settle this issue once and for all. My intentions are purely scientific of course.
In keeping with the empirical nature of my inquiry, I would first need to measure the exact distance between the top of the pubic hair and the navel. Then I will use SPSS to determine if there is a statistically significant relationship between navel location and tennis ability. Of course, in keeping with the option of qualitative research, it would help if I could also examine some of my subjects personally. After all, it's not as if I intend to hire any research assistants.