Roger Federer, comedian; Stephen A. Smith, blowhard; and goodbye (?), Donald Sterling

  Steven A. Smith in 2009

Steven A. Smith in 2009

It’s been a sports moment of the good, the bad and the huh?

First, the good news to sweeten the disposition: A court ruled that Shelly Sterling can sell the Los Angeles Clippers to former Microsoft mogul Steve Ballmer, paving the way for the team to be treated more humanely, for Mrs. Sterling to get on with her life and for her husband, Donald, whose bigotry precipitated his ostracism from the NBA and the sale, to continue to be clueless. So all’s well that ends well – for now anyway, as I fear this isn’t the last we’ve heard from Mr. Not So Sterling.

Now for the bad: ESPN blabbermouth, uh, commentator Stephen A. Smith stated on a recent edition of “First Take” that women should do their best not to provoke their menfolk into domestic violence. (This after Baltimore Ravens’ running back Ray Rice received a two-game suspension for allegedly beating his fiancée, now wife, in a Las Vegas elevator.)

Smith, too, got a slap on the wrist, a week’s suspension after he apologized for failing to express himself properly. Look, this is not about a failure to communicate. It’s about a cultural mindset in which the old lady is a nagging ball-and-chain that needs to be jerked into place every once and awhile. As a woman, I know how perfectionistic and controlling we women can be. But that’s partly because we’ve never had any real power until recently. Everything we’ve done in the past has been done obliquely, hence what men perceive as manipulation.

But I don’t care how annoying or even aggressive a woman can be. She’s fighting outside her weight class. And when you’re talking about 250-300 pound NFL players and their 110-pound former beauty queen/model wives, forget about it.

In “In This Place You Hold Me,” the second novel in my series “The Games Men Play,” my quarterback hero, Quinn Novak, is particularly protective of women and others whom he feels are more vulnerable – sometimes to the detriment of himself. Men can be victims of domestic violence, too, Quinn discovers firsthand. We all need to learn when to walk away and seek help.

Finally, on a lighter note, The New York Times’ sports columnist Karen Crouse continues her Rory McIlroy lovefest. This is the guy who dumped tennis star Caroline Wozniacki while the wedding invites were in the mail. Just saying, Karen.

Anyway, Crouse always has a zinger: “Like the tennis star Roger Federer, whom he considers a mentor, McIlroy has the gift of being able to exude confidence without being cocky.”

Really? When Sergiy Stakhovsky defeated Fed in the second round of Wimbledon last year, he said you always play two people when you play him – Fed himself and his ego.

If Fed weren’t such an egotist, would be as funny as it is? These “Confessions of a #humble GOAT” spin on actual aspects of Fed’s life and game as when he took a not-so-oblique shot at both Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic by suggesting that tennis enforce the rules that limit the time between points, for which Rafa and Nole are two of the biggest offenders. Here’s Pseudofed on the same subject:

“Mentioning no names but I will use anagrams to suggest who I am referring to. The first player is ‘A Land’ and the second is, ‘Jock Void.’ They use the most time in-between points and also it is no coincidence that nobody wants to see them play. The fact that they are ranked higher than Me is coincidental and neither, here, there or anywhere.”

And then there’s Jimmy Fallon’s take, “At the Bar with Roger Federer.”

If you read the comments, you’ll see that Federinas have no sense of humor.  But this Rafanolian laughed till she cried.