Call it the Snakes and Ladders of the sports world.

An athlete or team may be riding high one moment, but the feeling of euphoria can quickly turn to depression in a flash.

The reverse is also true.

The new Queen of Canadian tennis, Bianca Andreescu is a prime example of a quick rise to the top.

A year ago in September of 2018, few North Americans had heard of Andreescu, who was ranked 201st in the world.

Even at the start of this year in 2019, her ranking was just 152nd.

Following her stunning US Open Championship, the Mississauga born Andreescu reached No. 5 in the WTA rankings.

Besides pocketing US$3.85 million after the 6-3, 7-5 victory over Serena Williams in the women’s final, Andreescu became the first Canadian to capture a Grand Slam singles title.

That part of history will stay with her for life.

At age 19, Andreescu is now financially secure with many more millions to be earned, both on and off the court.

There are other notable achievements this year, which featured a quick turn-around.

The St. Louis Blues were last in the 31-team NHL in January, but six months later, the team celebrated its first Stanley Cup title.

Blues goalie Jordan Binnington, with just 33 games of regular-season experience in the NHL, seemingly came out of nowhere to play a key role in the post-season run.

The 2011 third-round draft pick of the Blues carried the load with an impressive 2.46 GAA and .914 save percentage while playing in all of his team’s 26 playoff games.

The Prince George Spruce Kings are a prime example of a local team that struggled for many seasons just to be competitive, but this year made a dramatic rise to become provincial and regional champions while also playing in the national Jr. A final.

The Toronto Raptors, who may beat out Andreescu for Canada’s top sports story of the year, are a great example of getting over the hump, although their team is not destined to stay on top.

The Raptors, led by their MVP Kawhi Leonard, thrilled a city, a province and a country by winning an NBA championship.

Once Leonard announced he was leaving the Raptors after just one season to join the LA Clippers, the Raptors went from 10-to-1 odds for repeating as champions to 100-to-1.

In baseball, the Boston Red Sox won the World Series in 2018.

This year, Boston is destined to miss the playoffs.

In what may have seemed like a panic move, the Red Sox fired David Dombrowski, who served as the team’s President of Baseball Operations from 2015 to Sept. 9 of this year.

In the CFL, the Ottawa Redblacks have plummeted.

The RedBlacks were Grey Cup champions in 2016, and runners-up to the Calgary Stampeders last year after a first-place finish in the East Division.

This season though, Ottawa has a dismal 3-8 record which means they are likely to miss the post-season party.

The moral of the story, if an athlete or team rises quickly to the top, embrace the moment.

Often it doesn’t last long, although Andreescu has the talent to be one of those exceptions.


FROM THE QUOTE RACK:

The U.S. Tennis Association fined Daniil Medvedev $4,000 for holding his middle finger against the side of his face as he walked past the umpire during a U.S. Open match. Well, that’s certainly a different way of playing singles.

*Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times http://www.seattletimes.com/author/dwight-perry/

A Florida Marlins fan caught two foul balls during the same at-bat. Which wasn’t easy as to do it meant having to beat out the other three people in the stands to get them.

*Comedy writer Jim Barach http://jokesbyjim.blogspot.ca/

LeBron James has been denied in his attempt to trademark the term “Taco Tuesday.” Gosh, I hope he’ll still be able to feed his family.

*Comedy writer Janice Hough of Palo Alto, California www.leftcoastsportsbabe.com

The much-hyped Cleveland Browns’ 43-13 beat down at the hands of the Tennessee Titans is the first case of Super Bowl Hangover by a team that’s never been to the Super Bowl.

*Contributor Bill Littlejohn of South Lake Tahoe, California


IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

Over 300 female soccer players in Germany took part in a competition to earn one of 12 spots on a sexy promotional calendar. I’ll go out on a limb and say all the winners were strikers.

*Canadian comedy writer RJ Currie www.Sportsdeke.com

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Hartley Miller is the news and sports supervisor and morning news anchor for 94.3 the GOAT and Country 97.
He also is the 94.3 radio colour commentator for P.G. Cougars home games.
His column appears Fridays on myprincegeorgenow.com.
Send along a quote, note, or anecdote to hmiller@thegoatrocks.ca