USA! USA! Knicks again go astray, where LeBron will play and Coco here to stay


By Mike Ashley

CAPTAIN AMERICA: On a team no one thought could lose and with that accompanying world stage pressure, Megan Rapinoe made sure the U.S. didn’t with six goals. Rapinoe has the hair of a comic book superhero so I’m just gonna go with her being a superhero.

MUST BE THE SHOES: On the plus side for runner-up Dutch World Cup Team, they just signed a shoe deal with 84 Lumber.


SUMMER LOVIN’: I love what has happened in NBA free agency. Now maybe the playoffs next year will be more exciting than the free agent period.

 BLUE & ORANGE JULIUS: Regarding the recent player movement, best I can tell the New York Knicks got some nice parting gifts and a home version of the Free Agency game.


GUARDEDLY OPTIMISTIC: The Lakers made a big deal out of announcing LeBron James would start at point guard. Less noted – that Anthony Davis and Kyle Kuzma were starting everywhere else.


WHEN, WHERE, KAWHI? Kawhi Leonard made a lot of enemies in free agency – the Lakers, the Raptors, the Spurs (are still smarting, too), and of course all the NBA media he held hostage over the Fourth of July.


REDS’ SHIRT: The Cincinnati Reds must have such money trouble they can’t afford sleeves on their jerseys any more. (Actually, I kind of like it as an homage to Reds teams of yore.) NFL take note. The uniform doesn’t have to be so, well, uniform.


TIMEOUT FOR TRIVIA: Mets first baseman Pete Alonso is just the third rookie ever with 30 home runs at the All-Star break. Can you name the others?


JUST FOR KICKS: Mexico beat the U.S. men in the Concacaf Gold Cup final. The Mexicans were apparently inspired on a direct kick when the U.S. goalkeeper shouted ‘Build a wall.’


THAT’S GONNA LEAVE A MARK: Astro Jake Marisnick’s collision with Angels’ catcher Jonathan Lucroy would have drawn a suspension and major fine in the NFL.


JUST SIGN RENDON! I take back half the things I’ve said about the Washington Nationals.


COO COO FOR COCO: Fifteen-year-old Coco Gauff’s emergence at Wimbledon bodes well for women’s tennis and hot chocolate and kids’ cereal endorsements. 


ON A PERSONAL NOTE: My hair thickening shampoo didn’t seem to be working. That is, until, I got a look at my Mikhail Gorbachev eyebrows.


TRIVIA ANSWER: Mark McGwire (33 in 1987), Aaron Judge (30 in 2017). Alonso, who hit 30 this year, set a National League record with his 68 first-half RBI. He looks like your NL Rookie of the Year unless his teammates infect him with Metness.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Mike Ashley has covered college athletics for over 30 years. He has worked in the athletic departments at Virginia Tech, Radford University and Marshall University, in addition to freelance work from his Northern Virginia home. Ashley has also worked as a stand-up comic, and has been a regular on many radio stations throughout the Mid-Atlantic Region. His work appears in Terrapin Times (covering the University of Maryland), NCAA programs, Blue Ribbon YearbooksAthlonLindy’s, and on bathroom stalls in major sporting venues. He has also co-authored a book on the golden age of Virginia Military Institute football, “Best Regrets: VMI’s John McKenna and The Lost Age of College Football.” Previously, the Salem, Va., native has helped author books on the New York Yankees, Emmitt Smith, Maryland’s 2002 NCAA basketball championship, and published a book on the history of Radford University.

William Rothpast