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June 23, a day to remember

POSTED June 26, 2010 1:01 a.m.

For me, June 23 commenced shortly after 6 a.m.

I was up for soccer.

I thought that was all, since I had planned to watch the U.S. men's final attempt to make soccer important with fellow Americans before heading back to sleep. But that wasn't all: June 23, 2010, became one of the most awesomely shocking days in sports history — for the most part.

There was also that marathon of a tennis match that never wanted to end.

There was also an NFL legend facing rape charges.

And there were the what-if moments. What if, on a day filled with historic significance, Washington Nationals ace Stephen Strasburg threw a no-hitter and Phil Jackson actually called it a career after realizing he didn't have enough fingers to store all his NBA Championship rings (though some would argue it was due to health reasons).

Neither happened. Strasburg got his first loss, and Jackson was still toying with retirement.

I woke up Wednesday feeling like a piñata. This was way too early for a sportswriter, one who tends to work late into the evening covering various events. But I knew it was important for me to be up this early, to watch with my fellow Americans the U.S.'s World Cup game against Algeria. We all know what happened next: Landon Donovan became one of the richest athletes in the world after booting in a miracle goal in stoppage time to give the Americans a 1-0 win, a spot in the knockout round of the world's most prestigious soccer tournament and a realization: Soccer is for real in the U.S.

A feat like that will garner plenty of endorsements for Donovan, America's hero for the moment.

The world noticed.

People texted me about it, as if I was in a cave.

But the sports world wasn't done. In England, two tennis players — John Isner of the U.S. and Nicolas Mahut of France — were locked in a let's-see-who-passes-out-first match in Wimbledon. Many athletes and critics said the two were in a duel that will never ever happen again, a match that went on for three days and spanned a total of 11 hours, 5 minutes of actual court time. Isner beat Mahut 6-4, 3-6, 6-7 (7), 7-6 (3), 70-68.

But the sports news wasn't all good. Lawrence Taylor, an NFL Hall of Famer and one-time pro wrestler, was indicted in New York on rape charges. It was a heartbreaking story, throwing a gigantic wrench into one of the biggest sports days ever.

But overall, I'm satisfied with June 23, 2010, though it started at 6 a.m.

To contact Chhun Sun, e-mail csun@turlockjournal.com or call 634-9141 ext. 2041.

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