Today, Serena Williams — our goddess, our savior, our body and mind inspiration — unexpectedly succumbed to Roberta Vinci of Italy in the U.S. Open semi-finals. To say we were shocked would be an understatement. To say we were pained would barely cover it. To say we haven’t found an outlet for our hurt would be wrong: Aubrey Graham, you motherfucker, we’re coming for you.
At first, we delighted in Drake’s courtside presence. The sensitive Canadian arm candy only enhanced the blinding aura that surrounded Serena. When two megafamous superstars in different fields pair up, the possibilities seem endless: Maybe they’d put out an album together; maybe Drake would start to excel at table tennis (a thing he actually did!); maybe, I dunno, the two would launch a music-streaming app called Wave. The world is their oyster, and not the dollar kind one gets at happy hour.
But Drake’s positive influence was never destined to last long. Was Instagramming smoldering photos of his new swoll body an inspiration, or a distraction? Making daffy smiley eyes at Serena in Cincinnati may have seemed like a love that one can’t fake, but what about winning? Athletes at the top of their game don’t need distractions; they need focus. One can only speculate the kinds of gestures Drake was pampering Serena with: bubble baths, spaghetti dinners, hand-sewn tea cozies. Now is not the time, Drake! Give her your curated mixtape CD-R after her big win.
Let’s take a moment to remember the Drake Curse, a phenomenon that saw its most powerful year in 2014 — the Heat, the Raptors, the Wildcats. His dastardly influence can even cross oceans: After Drake endorsed English soccer player Daniel Sturridge, England’s national team was booted from the World Cup during the group stage. (And it’s not just because they already have bad luck.) Drake’s curse has a passport, and it’s got work visas in every country. No coy smile or unanimously endorsed album will guarantee the forgiveness that Drake must seek now.
All the best athletes have been there, and we know our Serena will recover, perhaps going on to perform even better next year. But let’s take a moment to remember the male athletes whose ladyfriends allegedly tripped them up: Pour some out for Matt Kemp, who was siren-song-ed by Rihanna. Give it up for Tony Romo, who couldn’t get Jessica Simpson out of his head. Justin Verlander, Mark Sanchez, Blake Griffin: Were Kate Upton’s wiles worth the slumps?
But hey, there’s a silver lining. When Serena dumps Drake’s distracting ass, we’ll get a really good Drake album out of it.