Thursday, August 30, 2012

Andy Roddick Announces Retirement

Andy Roddick has announced that the 2012 U.S. Open will be his final tournament.  While we are not surprised, the timing is a bit surprising.

We have always been a fan of Roddick's, as frustrating as that could be at times.  Andy always had the big serve and played quickly.  He possesses great goundstrokes, but the maddening thing for us about Roddick has been his reluctance to play aggressively, preferring instead to grind from the baseline.

His body has betrayed him in recent years, battling through numerous injuries.  He will go out with his final tournament being the only major he ever won.  Here's hoping he makes a Jimmy Connors-like run in his farewell fortnight (and there's a term you'll rarely find outside of tennis).

Roddick will be a Hall of Famer, the precedent for one-major-winners is there.  He had a great career.  While not a winning effort, probably his best match was the Wimbledon final in which he fell to Roger Federer 16-14 in the fifth set.

Best of luck Andy.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Time for Some Real Football

Thank you, college football.  Real games start tomorrow (8/30/12).  Games that count. Not some glorified scrimmage masquerading as a contest between opposing factions. Yeah, we see you, NFL.

Being fans of the Dallas Cowboys, who held their final overpriced, fan-screwing, pocket-lining exhibition of 2012, we almost successfully navigated our team's preseason schedule without being subjected to any of it.  While surfing channels in the first or second week, we stumbled upon a Cowboys game and stayed long enough to see a bad snap on a punt turn into to a first down.  We then quickly found a rerun of Storage Wars (or somesuch).

With the MLB pennant and wild card races heating up, the U.S. Open going on and football for real starting, no thanks NFL.  If there is no other reason to watch tomorrow night, the Pirate, Mike Leach, returns to the sideline with Washington State taking on BYU.  Should be fun.

There's also UCLA/Rice and South Carolina/Vanderbilt.  Texas A&M's first game as a member of the SEC will be pushed back a week as their game against Louisiana Tech has been pushed back to October 13 because of Isaac.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Hope Solo on ESPN's E:60

Just watched the Hope Solo segment on ESPN's E:60.  Jeremey Schaap conducted the interview. Jeremy Schaap: consummate professional.

Let it be known that the Cheap Seats are huge fans of the 1999 team that won the World Cup.  We are also  big Hope Solo fans.

The most poignant thing to come out of the interview was this statement by Solo: "jshe took her shirt off after scoring the winning penalty kick but that doesn't make her a great commentator, and certainly doesn't mean she knows the game".   Maybe Fox, CBS, ESPN, et al could take that to heart.  Too many bad announcers in all sports, getting jobs just because they were successful on the field.

The Cheap Seats has been a fan of Hope Solo before and during her benching in favor of Brianna Scurry (no offense to Scurry), which started the Solo bashing.

The Clairvoyance of Def Leppard

We are always amused by people getting lyrics wrong.  We can cite many examples.  But that is not the point of this post.  This is kind of a "retro-fit" misunderstood lyric.  Lest you chastise us later, we are fully aware of what the actual lyric is, and if you are not, well, we love you anyway.

While we would never confuse Def Leppard with Nostradamus, their "Hysteria" album came out in 1987, long before the smart phone.  Yet in the first verse of "Pour Some Sugar on Me", they mention the iPhone.

Don't believe me?  Listen to it.  Tell me the lyric is not "livin' like a lover with a red iPhone".

If nothing else, you'll never hear the song the same way again.

Here it is, for your listening enjoyment.

You're welcome.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Mike Trout for MVP? Don't Think So

While Mike Trout, rookie sensation for the Anaheim Angels of Southern California somewhere near Disneyland, is a slam dunk for Rookie of the Year award in the A.L., as a Most Valuable Player candidate he's doesn't belong in the conversation.

Why, you may ask?  It is more about semantics and the performance of his team than anything else.

Here in the cheap seats, we don't think anyone from a non-playoff team can be the MVP.  With Trout the Angels are currently in third place in the four team AL West, 9.5 games behind the division leading Texas Rangers and 5 games ahead of cellar dwelling Seattle.  The Angels are closer to the bottom than the top.  Without Trout the Angels may or may not be competing with Seattle for the worst division record.  Either way, they're on the wrong side of the playoff picture.

How valuable is that?  And yes, this is where we play semantics.  If the award were called the Most Outstanding Player, then Trout belongs in the conversation.  But most valuable?  I think not.  He is not even the most valuable player on his own team.  Of course that player has yet to be found.  The most valuable player for the Angels would be the pitcher that could stop the bleeding in that hot mess of a bullpen.

Trout is having an excellent year.  Putting up superb numbers, MVP type numbers.  If he played on a playoff bound team.  There is still time for the Angels to squeak into the expanded playoffs, but those chances are slim.  Until then, leave Trout out of any MVP talk.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Lance Armstrong: Just a Man

Want to know what really bothers me about this whole Lance Armstrong/USADA situation?  It's not that Armstrong declined to fight the allegations.  It's not that the USADA is overstepping its bounds.

What bothers me is the amount of people who are saying Armstrong let them down because he was a hero. Really?  A hero?  Did we not learn anything about putting human beings up on a pedestal from the whole Joe Paterno debacle?  The bottom line is don't put your faith in man.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Lance Armstrong: So What?

So, Lance Armstrong will be stripped of his seven Tour de France titles and banned from cycling for life.  Big yawn.

Armstrong has no intentions of challenging the doping allegations brought forth by the USADA.  Why? We think because he has no intention of competing in cycling again and those Tour de France titles being stripped have no effect on what he has accomplished in the past.

Armstrong has made his money off the Tour championships.  He is now more well known for surviving cancer and his Livestrong campaign.  What the hell does he care?

On a side note, as the most tested athlete ever, he has never failed a drug test.  So there's that.

I don't know the full story, but if there is evidence, what transpires brings to mind some Pat Benatar lyrics from the 80s:  "It's a little too little, just a little too late."

Besides, he beat cancer on PEDs? Sounds more like an endorsement opportunity.

Big headlines, non-story.

Whiskey Myers and Halestorm: I Would Pay to See That

You know what I'd like to see?  Whiskey Myers and Halestorm in concert.  On the same bill.

I'm well aware that one is a Red Dirt Country outfit from Texas and the other a hard rock band from Pennsylvania.  Not a whole lot in common on the surface.

Dig a little deeper and the similarities are there.  Both are extremely good at what they do.  Both are guitar driven for the most part.  Both feature American music at its best.

My mind wanders at times and I think about stuff like this, but an actual tour of two seemingly dissimilar bands could be beneficial to both.  Take my example.  While a full-scale national tour might not be the best undertaking, a couple of regional tours would make sense.  Whiskey Myers would headline a leg in Texas, Oklahoma, etc. while Halestorm would headline a series of shows in Pennsylvania and the rest of their stomping grounds.  Both bands get exposure to an audience that might not normally find them.  Win/win.

I just use those two as an example because they happen to be my two favorite bands at the moment.  But, really, it could work with countless pairings.  But this is my blog, so I'm sticking with what I would want to see.

Really, just a pipe dream, but can you blame a guy for trying?

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Bartolo Colon: Busted for PEDs

OK.  Really.  Bartolo Colon?  Suspended 50 games for positive PED test.  Details here.

We poked a bit of fun at Colon on this blog recently.

When you think of athletes testing positive for performance enhancing drugs, you think of some ripped, cut guy putting up extraordinary numbers.  Not some guy who looks like he might be pitching in a softball beer league.

Coming back after some injuries, I understand (though do not condone) why Colon did what he did.  He's trying to hang on to a pretty sweet gig.  Still.

Monday, August 20, 2012

NFL Preseason: Avoid at All Cost

I enjoy the NFL. I follow the NFL. The NFL is great.

The NFL also has a huge scam going on the with fans. It's called the preseason. It's the worst excuse for football that is put out for public consumption. A bunch of 6-year-olds playing flag football is better.

From what I hear, some people actually watched the first NFL preseason game, the Hall of Fame Game. I'm sad for those people. For the rest of us, here's all you need to know to get you through until the real games begin.
What to look for: An escape. A back door.Plausible deniability. A conveniently timed illness. A sudden urge to take up hot yoga. A neglected dog to walk. A "CSI" marathon. Anything.
How to interpret what you see: You cannot. Because if you were smart, you didn't see a thing. If you did happen to see anything, it means nothing to the average fan. It's all evaluations for who gets the 53rd roster spot.
What to take from the final score: Nothing. The final score means nothing. Preseason records mean nothing. You shouldn't even care.
How to avoid watching: Take an interest in MLB baseball, ATP and WTA tennis, mow the lawn, clean the house, go out for dinner, play with the kids, take in a movie, wash your hair, read a book, anything. As a sports fan, I immerse myself in the pennant races that are heating up in MLB, the tennis tournaments leading up to the US Open and the US Open itself. There's also golf, which is really good if you need a nap. 
What to do if it seems like viewing is imminent: Immediately find a sharp pointy object and stab yourself in the hand, skillfully avoiding any nerves, tendons and ligaments. Make sure it requires stitches so a trip to the ER is unavoidable.

See you in September.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Melky Cabrera

Either Melky Cabrera of the San Francisco Giants is the biggest idiot in the world, or he needs to fire some people.  Here are some details of his suspension and subsequent attempted coverup.

I mean, really.  Creating a fake website?  There's no way investigators are going to dig into that.  "Oh, Melky, I see.  You bought some tainted supplements from this website.  That's good enough for us.  Carry on."

Whoever suggested this ludicrous ruse should be fired immediately.  Unless of course it was Melky himself, in which case, well, as Ron White so eloquently put it:  "You can't fix stupid."

Saturday, August 18, 2012

August: The Sports Wasteland

I do not plagiarize.  I do not take undo credit.  Therefore, in the spirit of full disclosure, this post was totally inspired by Steve Rushin's column in  Here it is.

In any normal year, let's just face it, as far as sports go: August sucks.  Living in Texas with the oppressive heat, lack of rain and threat of hurricanes (pretty ironic): August sucks.

OK, so August has its good points.  The pennant races are heating up in MLB.  And.............I've got nothing.

Wait, college football - real games - actually starts before the month ends.   There's that.

We'll try to come up with something tomorrow.  Chances are it won't be sports related.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Nike's Gold Digging Shirt

There it is.  The controversy-causing shirt by Nike.  Only for women.  All in the Olympic spirit, right?

On the slim chance you are not aware, a gold digger is a term for a woman who searches for a man solely for the amount of money he is worth.

Some are calling the above shirt crass, classless, out of touch, clueless, degrading, sexist, etc.

I have two words for it:  marketing genius.  What?  Yep, that's right, marketing genius.  OK, maybe genius is a bit much.  Happy accident anyone?  I tend to believe that it had to be intentional.  A company as successful and savvy as Nike surely has someone, somewhere in the decision making process that knows what gold digging means in broader terms.

Whether intentional or not, this shirt has garnered more reaction than anything Nike has put out in years.  Carried by many major retailers, sales have been brisk.

This only gets attention because it's Nike.  I have these shirts made and I sell maybe two and nobody cares.

Much ado about nothing in my opinion.  If you like the shirt, buy it.  If you don't, don't.  Simple.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

When do the Cowboys and Radiers Play?

I heard rumors that the Dallas Cowboys and Oakland Raiders played football Monday night at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum (yeah, that's right, I'm not mentioning any sponsor names.  They aren't paying me.).

Apparently those rumors cannot be substantiated.  There was not really any football played in the 3-0 game.It does't really matter who "won".  The real "losers" were the fans who shelled out hard-earned money to witness this debacle.

Wake me when they start playing for keeps.

I've Got That DelPo Feeling

I'm sure all of you are confused by that title.  Understandable.  Let me explain.

Waaaaay back in 2009 at the U.S. Open, before Novak Djokovic became a prominent player, it was pretty much Roger Federer or Rafael Nadal winning major tournaments.  Early in the second week of the tournament, somewhere deep in the recesses of facebook is a status update I made predicting Juan Martin del Potro would win the U.S. Open.  He won.*

*Only player to win a major besides Fed, Nadal or Djokovic since.

To those in the know, that has become known as the DelPo feeling.  Had the same feeling about the Texas Rangers last year.  Then came Game 6.  No further discussion required.

Well, I have the DelPo feeling again............about DelPo.

Yeah, I know, the U.S. Open has not even begun, but it seems as though the stars are aligning for Del Potro to claim his second U.S. Open title.

I have really only predicted one thing correctly in my life.  See above.  But this is my official prediction.  Put here for posterity's sake.

Read more here.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Motley Crue and Kia

I'm sure you've all seen the Kia commercial featuring 80s hair metal band Motley Crue.  I'm not real sure that is marketing genius.  I mean really, when you think Kia, is 80s excess and debauchery the first thing that comes to mind?  Or how about your first thoughts after hearing the opening riffs to "Kick Start My Heart"?  Yeah, that's right, not Kia.

Now Judas Priest and Honda have gotten in on the act.  I realize these guys have got make some money.  Not really faulting them.  But somehow, it just doesn't seem to work for me.

If I hear Motorhead shilling for a Prius, I'm done.  That just might be the final straw.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Back to Normalcy - Olympics Have Concluded

Well, the 2012 London Olympic Games are in the books.  Congratulations to all the medal winners.  Condolences to all the heartbroken athletes.  We now return to your regularly scheduled programming.

Apparently there was some kind of major golf tournament going on over the weekend, something known as the PGA Championship?  I think some Irish guy won it.  Fitting, Great Britain has had a pretty good couple of weeks.

Rumor has it that the NFL has cranked back up with meaningless exhibition games at full price.  Somebody got kicked off a team for domestic violence.

The college football season will begin in less than three weeks and an All-American was dismissed from his team.  Some polls were put out before any games were played.  There is now a pirate bobblehead.

Some trades were made in MLB.  Some teams got better, some got worse.  Pennant races and wild card races are heating up.

Some tennis was played somewhere in Canada.  Not a great field because of the Olympics, although some Olympians made the quick turnaround.

The spectacle, the drama, the heartbreak, the inspiration, the elation, the dejection:  to interrupt the dog days of summer every four years, the Olympics are worth it.

Our next interruption in programming will occur in 2014 for the Winter Games in Sochi.  Until then we'll focus on the above stories and stories to come from the above sports.  And anything else that tickles our fancy.

Misty and Kerri: end of an era

Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings won their third consecutive Olympic gold.  Here is more on the defining point.

Also, the end of an era.  Good luck to Kerri and her new partner, whoever that may be, and here's to a happy retirement for Misty.

Friday, August 10, 2012

NBC's Olympic Coverage

Richard Deitsch  of Sports Illustrated had a conversation with NBC chairman Mark Lazarus about his network's coverage of the Olympics, which has been roundly criticized.  I have offered up my criticism of the coverage in this blog.  Specifically of NBC's decision not to air marquee events live on the weekends.  Which is addressed to some extent in the article.  Also, addressed are the problems with the live streams.

Today, I am not here to criticize, but offer suggestions to improve the product.
Mr. Lazarus brings up some salient points in the article.  He is also paid a huge sum of money to make his company profitable.  He is right when he says that there is no way to please everyone.  My opinion is only that, my opinion.  However, I believe showing marquee events live would alleviate more problems than it might create.

First of all, it would satisfy the fans who want to (and are able to) watch the events live.  NBC has access to enough channels to offer the viewer more live events, especially the marquee events.  Since the end of the tennis semifinals, Bravo! has been sitting idly by.

Secondly, showing more events live would help somewhat in the streaming problems.  I realize that there are probably a fair amount of streaming that is done at work where a television is not available, but there surely are many who would be watching on television were it available.

Now to the sticky part of the situation, how to protect the cash prime time cow.  With this being the most streamed and social media immersed Olympics in history, the prime time coverage is still at an all time high thus far.  Maybe, just maybe, that's because more people have heard about or seen a great performance on a small screen and want to see it or see it again on television.  While showing those live as they happen on television will surely cut into some of the prime time viewing, there are more than enough people not able to view live because they have actual jobs to be at that I don't think that number would be significant.

The prime time show would definitely have to undergo some tweaking, but put into the hands of some creative and talented people it might become even more popular than ever.  Much more savvy TV people than I may have the answers, but I do have ideas, as I am sure many others do.

NBC has done a commendable job and has made some changes to accommodate the quickly changing media world.  But unless they are able to  keep up at a more advanced pace, expect the #NBCfail hashtag to continue its presence at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Olympic Thoughts 8/9/12

First of all congratulations are in order for the American soccer squad.  Great win.  And apparently Hope Solo was in goal for the match and actually made a couple of saves (I'm looking at you, Brandi Chastain).

Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings captured their third consecutive gold medal in beach volleyball.  In the process, losing only one set.  Remarkable end to a remarkable run for those two.  There is something magical about witnessing greatness.  And that is what they have provided the past eight years and more.  Now Misty has retired, playing the last match of her career in London.  Kerri says she will continue with another partner, setting her sights on the next Olympic Games in Brazil.  Good for Kerri, but know it will never be the same.

Now, to the Lolo Jones saga.  People in the media, social media and around the water cooler ripping her.  For what?  Four years ago, she was on her way to gold before hitting the second to last hurdle.  Hurdles are an unforgiving mistress.  She has the American record in the event, world titles, etc.  She took advantage of all that and maximized her marketing potential. No sins there.  She finished fourth in the London Olympics.  After having back surgery and working her ass off to get back to elite status.  Her story should be celebrated.

If you want to get mad at someone, blame the media.  The media has been complicit in building her up, I guess just to make it easy to tear her down, so it seems. In fact, the journalistic excrement that was linked in my previous post elicited an apology of sorts from that newspaper's public editor.  Time to give it a rest.

How fast could Usain Bolt be in the 200 if he actually ran 200 meters?  Never have I seen him finish a race that he was leading;.  But really, what a talent.  And what a joy to watch.  Someone actually having fun during competition.  If he really wanted to, could he break the 19 second barrier?  We may never know.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Olympic Thoughts 8/7/2012 - Great Performances, Journalistic Vitriol

First of all, let's celebrate the outstanding performances that have come from these Olympics.  Too many times we look to tear down instead of build up.  More on that later.

If anyone missed the women's beach (sand, as I call it.  Not an actual beach in sight.) volleyball semifinals between  the United States and China, then you missed one of the most phenomenal plays I have ever seen.  Down 19-18 in the second set, the American team of Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings pulled off the point of the match.  After a spike the Chinese team, the Americans were scrambling just to get the ball up.  After Misty's second touch towards the net with her back to the net, Kerri went down to her knees and somehow dug the ball out of the sand, hit it over the net for a kill, all the while avoiding the net and ending up under it.  I wish I had a video to post, because words do not do it justice.

If the Americans do not win that point, China is now serving at game point, up two.  While no one can say what would have happened at that point, chances are the Chinese team wins the second set and the match goes to a decisive third set where anything could happen.

Congratulations to the women's 100 meter hurdlers.  The gold medalist, Australia's Sally Pearson, set a new Olympic record in the final.  She was followed by Americans Dawn Harper for silver and Kellie Wells for bronze.  American Lolo Jones finished just off the podium in fourth.  Jones, as many of you many know, was headed for gold four years ago until hitting the second to last hurdle, derailing her.  Then, fought through injury to barely qualify for these Olympics.

The only reason I bring up Lolo Jones as a fourth place finisher goes back to my opening paragraph and this vitriolic tripe written by Jere Longman in the New York Times.  I think Jennifer Floyd Engel has a much better perspective here.

For all the dudes out there, I leave you with this of Romanian gymnast Catalina Ponor.........

Olympics Tennis

The Olympics tennis competition is over.

Now what?

Five questions that will be answered over the next couple of months.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Olympic Thoughts 8/6/2012 - Gymnastics, 400 meters

The usual darlings of Team USA during summer Olympics competition, women's gymnastics, has proved a bit unlikable at the 2012 London Games.

Except for Gabby Douglas, the US women's gymnastics team has come across as dour, pouty, distant and (excuse the language) bitchy little divas. Of course I don't know any of them personally, but just what has come across the television has not been flattering.

OK, I realize that the past four years of theirs lives have been geared towards this one moment.  I cannot possibly understand what that is like.  But for the love of  God and country, you're an Olympian.  Act like one.  Yes, you're disappointed.  Yes, you screwed up.  But remember, this is the Olympics.  You are not only representing yourself, but your country.  Show some pride.

More Missy Franklin, less McKayla Maroney.

Now, really.  Not one male from the United States of America is good enough to make the finals of the 400 meters?  In this great country of ours, we don't have one guy who can beat a double amputee?*  Disgraceful.  In an event where the Americans have swept the medals in the past, not to put one person even in the finals is, to quote The Princess Bride, inconceivable.

*Oscar Pistorius, double amputee from South Africa provided the quote of the games so far:  "I grew up not thinking I had a disability.  I grew up thinking I had different shoes."

Olympic Track Cycling

Huge caveat right up front:  I do NOT understand the intricacies of track cycling.  After watching the finals of the men's "sprint", it confuses me to no end.

This is a 300 meter raced billed as a sprint.  So, the cyclists get to the starting line, propped up by their, what, coach? official propper-upper? handler? - I don't know, really immaterial.  The race starts and both riders take off at.........a snail's pace?

Yes, I understand there is strategy involved, but I don't understand why a competitor has not figured out that he/she could take off like a bat out of hell and just beat anyone to the finish just because they are faster.  I don't know, maybe it's against the rules.  It would be like the 100 meters in track starting out with everyone walking, then at some point someone takes off and dares the rest to catch him/her.

I love seeing all the under-the-radar sports that get coverage during the Olympic Games.  Some I just don't understand.  This is one.

Women's Olympic Soccer

Congratulations to the U.S. women's soccer team in making the gold medal match against Japan by defeating Christine Sinclair 4 - 3 in extra time.

OK, that's not really fair.  Canada's Sinclair scored all three goals for her team, but she was far from Team Canada in its entirety.  But she was definitely the star of the match, even in defeat.

Team USA is good.  So is Team Canada.  Too bad either had to lose, but that is the way sport plays out.  Winners and losers.  Much like the real world, not the "everyone gets a trophy" mentality that has become pervasive in society lately.  But that is another rant entirely.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Olympic and Tennis Thoughts 8/5/2012

Congratulations to Andy Murray.  He captured the gold medal on home soil in the tennis competition of the Olympics.  Then came back a couple hours later to play in the medal match in mixed doubles with Laura Robson.  They lost the match, but still received silver medals.  All in all, not a bad day for Murray.

Against Roger Federer, Murray was terrific.  Did Fed play great?  No.  But against Murray today, it probably wouldn't have mattered.  Murray was that good.

Serena Williams added to her hardware haul, winning the doubles competition with sister Venus to go with her gold in singles competition.

In singles, Serena made the best women's tennis players in the world look like club players.  Simply amazing tournament for her.  When Serena is focused, she is almost invincible.  She seems very focused right now.  Of course that is subject to change daily.  The rest of the WTA should be on notice until then.

Again, major fail for NBC.  Sunday afternoon and not showing men's 100 meter final live?  I suppose NBC lives in a vacuum in which the rest of the world (and specifically United States) is not privy.

Yes, I'm going to watch their primetime coverage.  But not because I don't know the results.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Olympics Tennis - 8/3/2012

While many of my fellow Americans are oohing and aahing (deservedly so, I might add) over the performances in the swimming and gymnastics at the 2012 London Olympics, something pretty special is going on over at that place where they hold the Wimbledon Championships every summer.

In case you missed it, Roger Federer defeated Juan Martin Del Potro in a semi-final match today.  No real news there.  Right?  Except for the fact it was the longest three set match in Olympics history with Fed coming out on top 19-17 in the third.

As stated in another post on this blog, I'm a Fed fan.  But I'm a tennis fan first.  And this was one great tennis match.  If you don't feel for Del Potro, well, you may not have feelings.  Great resolved shown by both men. After Federer broke Del Potro in the 19th game of the third set to go up 10-9, it had the feeling of being over.  The great Federer serving for the match?  But Del Potro broke back at love to even the set at 10 all.

This sets up a rematch of the Wimbledon final as Federer will meet Andy Murray who defeated Novak Djokovic in the other semi.

For the Americans, Serena Williams breezed into the final to meet Maria Sharapova.  Serena has been in the same form that saw her easily capture the Wimbledon title in July.  When she is in that kind of form, she's virtually unstoppable.

One thing is now certain:  at least one player will complete the career Golden Slam.  Maybe two.  Both Serena and Sharapova only need an Olympic gold medal to complete this feat.  One will get it.  Same with Federer.  Don't miss seeing history in the making.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Olympic Thoughts 8/2/2012

Michael Phelps.  Not done.

After a sluggish start to the 2012 London Olympics, Michael Phelps has shown the true colors of the champion he is.  Battling fellow American Ryan Lochte in the 200 IM, Phelps held off Lochte to gain his 20th overall medal, extending his Olympics record.

Gabrielle Douglas, the "Flying Squirrel" (not to be confused with the "Flying Tomato"), won the women's individual all around competition in gymnastics.  Congratulations.  Go Team USA.  Pretty much all I've got here.  Not a huge gymnastics fan.

The quest for the Golden Career Slam continues full force with Roger Federer, Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova all advancing to the semi-finals in straight sets.  And what a lineup for tomorrow - Federer/del Potro, Djokovic/Murray, Serena/Azarenka and Sharapova/Kirilenko on the undercard.  Olympic finals consisting of Fed/Djokovic and Serena/Sharapova would be a dream come true for tennis fans.  Which brings up another interesting sidebar.

With tennis being such a global sport, does rooting for your country outweigh rooting for your favorite players?  Being a fan of tennis, this contributes to a bit of a conundrum for me.  Most of my favorite players are not Americans, partially because there haven't been a lot of top American players recently.  Does it make me unpatriotic to want Federer to complete the Godlen Career Slam?  Or to root for Sharapova over Serena? Even if I'm fervently behind the Americans in all other endeavors?

On this, I remain conflicted.

Olympic thoughts 8/1/2012

First of all, congrats to Jo Wilifried Tsonga.  After winning 25-23 in the third set on Tuesday, came back the following day and won his next match.  If things were not difficult enough for Tsonga, he has now earned the right to play Novak Djokovic in the next round.

One one hundreth of a second.  0.01.  That, my friends was the margin of victory for Nathan Adrian of the United States as he edged Australia's James Magnussen in the men's 100 meter freestyle swim.

Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh-Jennings lost their first ever Olympic set in Beach (sand) Volleyball, but came back to take the match.  And now for something tangential:

Why do they insist on calling it beach volleyball?  Sand volleyball would be more appropriate.  And, yes, I get it - beach volleyball was a sport that  originated on an actual beach.  But really, when played in a stadium nowhere near an actual beach, can we not call it what it rally is?  Neither important nor life-changing, just pet peevish.