News of the Week: McEnroe’s Comments, Martha the Dog, and the Man Who Predicted Selfies

Serena Williams vs. John McEnroe

John McEnroe is known for saying things. He used to be known for yelling things, but he’s quieter now, though probably no less opinionated.

During an interview with NPR about his new memoir, But Seriously, the 7-time Grand Slam Singles winner said that if 23-time Grand Slam Singles winner Serena Williams played with male tennis players, she probably wouldn’t be in the top 700. Of course, this is the part of the interview that everyone has latched onto — which is probably good for book sales — and it got a reaction from Serena herself on Twitter (where everyone releases official statements now, apparently).

Serena gets points for using the phrase “Good day, sir.” We need to use that more.

Now, to be fair to McEnroe, it’s not like he brought this up out of the blue to insult Serena. He simply said during the interview that Serena Williams was the best female tennis player of all-time (in fact, he has said that Serena is one of the best athletes in history, period), and the interviewer asked him why he had to say “female” and not just “best” including men. What an odd thing to ask. Men and women are different (I realized this the first time I went to the beach) and that also extends to professional sports, too. Why can’t we talk about how good or bad an athlete is by separating them into different categories when the very sports themselves separate them?

Even Serena (and it’s funny how we simply call her by her first name, that’s how iconic she is) said during an interview with David Letterman that she couldn’t beat a man, someone like Andy Murray, because the women’s game is different than the men’s game. Men are stronger and faster. So I don’t think we can say that McEnroe is “wrong,” and he certainly wasn’t being misogynistic.

I do take issue with the number 700 though. She wouldn’t have a chance against someone ranked so low that nobody knows who he is? With her serve and mental strength, I bet she’d be in the match.

And the Worlds Ugliest Dog Is 

There seems to be two types of dogs that compete in the World’s Ugliest Dog contest in Petaluma, California, every year. They’re either big and slobbering or goofy or small and, well, rat-like. This year’s winner is Martha, a 3-year-old Neapolitan Mastiff that weighs 125 pounds and clearly falls into the former category.

Come on, she’s not really ugly, she’s just … droopy.

RIP Gabe Pressman, Michael Bond, and Michael Nyqvist

Gabe Pressman was a legend of New York news, starting out his six-decade career at several newspapers, including the Newark Evening Sun and New York World Telegram and Sun before moving on to a long TV career at WNBC in New York. Except for eight years in the 1970s where he worked for WNEW, he was with WNBC from 1956 until his death. The Emmy-winning journalist died last Friday at the age of 93.

Michael Bond was the author who created Paddington Bear. He also was the author of a series of novels featuring Detective Monsieuer Pamplemousse. Bond died earlier this week at the age of 91.

Michael Nyqvist was so good at playing the bad guy, in movies like Mission: Impossible  Ghost Protocol and John Wick. He also played the lead in the Swedish Girl with the Dragon Tattoo movies and appeared in a cool sci-fi ABC show a few years ago, Zero Hour, that really should have lasted longer. He died Tuesday at the age of 56.

World Asteroid Day

Asteroid falling to Earth

It’s funny how we go about our lives and hardly ever think about what’s going on in the skies above us. I don’t want to alarm anyone, but there’s a chance an asteroid could hit us.

Today is World Asteroid Day, which is a good day for scientists and world leaders to think about doing something about the problem. NASA actually has a Planetary Defense Coordination Office, which sounds like an organization from a sci-fi movie. Last December a NASA scientist warned that the world really isn’t 100 percent ready for an asteroid or comet hitting our planetthough we are getting better at it. It’s probably best not to think about it.

In related news, CBS’s Salvation, a new summer series about a group of scientists who band together to stop an asteroid from hitting the earth, premieres on July 12. Perhaps you’ve seen one of the 50,000 commercials for it that the network has been running every day for the past two months?

People Really Dig Salvador Dali

It doesn’t seem fair to have no control of your body after you die. There you are, in the ground resting, your life on Earth over and done with, and all of a sudden people are digging you up and bringing your body back to the surface so they can examine it.

That’s what’s happening to surrealist artist Salvador Dali, whose body is going to be exhumed by order of a Spanish judge to settle a paternity suit brought by a woman who claims to be his daughter. The woman says that Dali had an affair with her mother, who worked as a nanny near Dali’s home.

Dali’s estate is worth hundreds of millions of dollars, but the woman says it isn’t about the money, it’s about finding out who she is and revealing the truth for her mother.

The Best Game Shows of All-Time

Well, look at this: an internet list that isn’t terrible.

Newsday has picked the 25 best game show of all-time, and it’s really a well-balanced list. Yes, I could argue — and I will argue — that shows like Love Connection, Deal or No Deal, and The Dating Game don’t deserve to be on any kind of best game show list, I’m impressed that most of the list is taken up by truly great, classic shows like The Price Is Right, To Tell The Truth, Password, The $64,000 Question, Jeopardy, Wheel of Fortune, and What’s My Line?

To replace the shows that shouldn’t be on the list I’d probably add Remote ControlTic Tac DoughTruth or ConsequencesScrabble, maybe Blockbusters, and how about Battle of the Network Stars, which came back to ABC last night?

We need more game shows on television. Just get rid of talk shows like The View and celebrity shows like Access Hollywood and they’ll be plenty of room.

Charles Schulz Predicted Selfies

The frequent Saturday Evening Post contributor was ahead of his time in many ways, including when it comes to picture-taking.

This Week in History: Jack Dempsey Born (June 24, 1895)

The world heavyweight champion boxer actually wrote an article for the August 29, 1931, issue of The Saturday Evening Post, on what happened behind the scenes before his losing battle with Gene Tunney.

This Week in History: Korean War Begins (June 25, 1950)

North Korea is in the news now more than ever, and Post Archive Director Jeff Nilsson takes a look at how we’ve gotten to this point.

This Week in Saturday Evening Post History: Peachtree Street by John Falter (June 25, 1960)

Peachtree Street by John Falter
Peachtree Street
John Falter
June 25, 1960

If I wasn’t a writer I’d want to be an artist or cartoonist, but I don’t have the skill for it. Even my stick figures look kinda funny. I mean, I can’t even begin to understand how John Falter created the way that he created, the mix of color and shadow, the way he gets the perspective right. There’s so much going on in this picture, so many places to look and explore, that it’s rather mesmerizing.

July Is National Ice Cream Month

Peach ice cream

With that Falter cover you know that I have to link to a recipe for peach ice cream, right? It’s from Southern Living and it’s officially called Summertime Peach Ice Cream. It looks easy to make too, just evaporated milk, condensed milk, half and half, sugar, and vanilla instant pudding mix.

Oh, and peaches. Don’t forget the peaches.

Next Weeks Holidays and Events

International Joke Day (July 1)

Here’s my favorite joke:

Who’s there?
Interrupting cow.
Interrupting co …

Wimbledon Begins (July 3)

Because she’s pregnant, Serena won’t be able to play the 700th man in the world or anyone else, but McEnroe will be one of the commentators when the tennis tournament kicks off on Monday, a week later than usual. You can watch the action live on ESPN (and on tape on Tennis Channel at night).

Independence Day (July 4)

In between the eating of burgers and the watching of fireworks, take a look at this collection of classic Saturday Evening Post covers that celebrate the day.