Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Random Thoughts

Aquaman: The more I watch Michael Phelps, the more I'm convinced I'm watching history. Already the most decorated Olympian in history with 11 gold medals, Phelps is only three gold medals away from breaking Mark Spitz's record of seven golds won in one Olympic Games. And after Phelps was bailed out by a late charge from Jason Lezak Monday night in the 4x100 freestyle relay, it was clear he was destined to leave China with eight gold medals around his neck.

I.D., Please?: I'm not sure which is more suspicious: how young the Chinese girls gymnastics team looked, or the amazingly high scores both Chinese squads received, even after subpar perfornances. I realize the host nation put a lot into their teams winning gold (which both the boys and the girls did), but I can't shake the feeling of ick I get when seeing it. The minimum age to compete in the Olympics is 16, and if all of China's girls are 16, then I'm faxing my resume to tomorrow.

Bronze Age: Considering the situation, the American men should be proud to come away with the team bronze in gymnastics. Before Beijing, no one on that team had any Olympic experience, and the team was without the Brothers Hamm -- Paul and Morgan. To scrap for a bronze against the superior Chinese and Japanese teams is a true testament of grit, teamwork and the embodiment of the Olympic spirit.

Redemption: I'm not on board with Team USA's quest for gold on the basketball court. The women winning the gold is as much a foregone conclusion as the softball team winning gold, and I just can't get on board with the men. It's not because it's an NBA All-Star roster, and it's not because I can't spell the coach's last name without Google; when I watch the Olympics, I want to see sports I don't normally get to see. We're barely a month and a half removed from the NBA Finals; I could stand a break from basketball.

Dear NBC: Would it kill you to show everything live on the West Coast? I'm tired of hearing people in California griping about not seeing Michael Phelps make history, when those of us on the East Coast saw it as it happened. Who cares if it's only 5 p.m. out there? Show it live.

No Hype, Please: It never fails. I can't stand the hype leading up to the Olympics, and I vow to not watch a minute of it. I even pass on the opening ceremonies, no matter how spiffy they look. But once the games actually start, I'm hooked. The drama and the competition are unlike anything else seen in sports -- I just wish I didn't have to swim through months of hype and hyperbole to get to it.

Madden Curse: After watching the Brett Favre saga drag on all summer, I'm willing to bet Electronic Arts will have a hard time finding a cover athlete for Madden NFL 2010. It's one thing for a guy to be on the cover and get hurt, or even wind up in jail on dogfighting charges; it's another entirely to show up on the cover and get traded to the New York Jets. Then again, Terrell Owens showed up in an Eagles jersey on the cover of the last NFL-licensed game not named Madden, and look how that turned out.

J-E-T-S, Brett Brett Brett!: Last thing on Brett Favre, I promise -- the New York Jets will make the playoffs this year. They won't win the AFC East -- hello, the New England Patriots still live there -- but between Favre and all the Jets' other offseason acquisitions, the Jets are shaping up nicely for a wild card spot.

No. 1 on Paper: Since being named preseason No. 1, the University of Georgia football team has been attacked by injury bugs and police blotters. Which makes me wonder ... when did the team land on the cover of Madden?

Simmer Down, Washington: While I realize sixth-round pick Colt Brennan has played well in two preseason games for the Redskins, so far, let's dial down the hype a little. His numbers were nice, and he looked sharp, but remember: he's doing this in the second half of preseason games, against guys who probably won't be in the NFL in a month. If he does this Sept. 4 against a Giants defense that won the Super Bowl last year, then I'll get excited.

No comments: