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Entries categorized as ‘Olympics’

Thank you Deadspin, thank you so very much

November 6, 2008 · No Comments

Take it away:

You didn’t think that China spent $500 million of our hard-earned mortgage debt on the Bird’s Nest just so some namby pamby athletes could run around inside it for two weeks and then let it sit empty, did you? There are plenty of other athletic contests that can be held there. Like the popular and entertaining Peasant Olympics. Yes, that’s right—the Olympics … of peasants.

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Categories: Olympics · Sports

Final thoughts on the Olympics

August 25, 2008 · 8 Comments

This is going to be a long one, so I’ve divided it up into different subjects.

On the events themselves:

  • Obviously, there really is nothing more that can be said about Michael Phelps. Right now, he’s one of the top 5 greatest Olympic athletes of all time. If he just wins another gold or two in London, especially if he learns to dominate his weakest stroke, the breaststroke as well as he does the other three, he is simply the greatest Olympics athlete ever - better than Lewis, Blair, Thorpe, Nurmi, you name’em. He’s simply better.
  • I was really impressed by the way the USA men’s basketball team played and behaved throughout the entire tournament. Finally, probably for the first time since 1996, the team behaved in a the way that they needed to behave as the highest-profile athletes at these games. The USA hoopsters were spotted at all kinds of other events cheering on US teammates. Kobe had to go through all kinds of hoops to watch the soldout men’s soccer matches - which he clearly is really, really into. Like everybody else, I was really taken seeing these millionaires literally bouncing with excitement and glee as the gold medal game wound down and as they received their medals.
  • The women’s soccer team deserves enormous credit for overcoming a lot of distractions both self-made (Solo’gate 07) and unprovoked (Wambach’s injury) to grit out a 1-0 win over Brazil and win the gold medal. I felt really good for both Solo and Sundhage who could finally tell their wrong-headed critics to shut up. That women’s program has had to endure a lot of heat, but this win not only showed that the US still has the players to compete with the best of the world, but that US Soccer and the coaching it provided could adapt (by going with Sundhage over another college coach) and change as the sport changes and improves.
  • The under reported story of these games is the enormous improvement Britain showed going into London 2012. The country’s stunning medal total came despite serious underachievement in a sport they’re traditionally good at - track and field. If they get good at that (I think the key is to only run races in slow motion) then they could have a very successful games on home turf.
  • I hyped up the boxing before the games and was proven entirely wrong by hideous judging and blatant, barely-concealed favoritism to the Chinese fighters. By the end, Bob Papa and Teddy Atlas were just haranguing the organizers with contempt and calling for changes in the sport including the scoring and even including removing the headgear from the fighters.
  • Despite the shocking loss to Japan in the final, the Americans’ total domination of softball did little to dispel the legitimate criticism that not enough countries play the sport at a high level. Yes, in a way, the sport as a whole is being punished for the USA’s success at the sport, but that’s why football or Aussie Rules (both great sports) aren’t Olympic sports either.
  • Sports that must go - softball (sorry), baseball, rhythmic gymnastics, trampoline, and tennis
  • Sports that must join the games - skateboarding and rugby sevens

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Categories: Basketball · International Soccer · Olympics

The new modern Olympics

August 20, 2008 · No Comments

How is this possibly a bad thing for the Olympics?
I’m telling you, this will only increase the calls for skateboarding to be included, as it rightly should. If Chicago gets the games for 2016, I promise you skateboarding will make its Olympic debut.

Categories: Olympics

Funny stuff from Slate

August 17, 2008 · No Comments

Could ESPN ever be this funny about someone like Kobe Bryant? I doubt it.

Categories: Basketball · Olympics · Sports

Thoughts on USA-Nigeria

August 13, 2008 · 6 Comments

If you are going to watch the match later and don’t want me to spoil it for you, don’t click ahead. Otherwise… (more…)

Categories: International Soccer · Olympics · Soccer

What I’ve seen so far at the Olympics

August 11, 2008 · 2 Comments

Dont jump, you morons!

Don't jump, you morons!Some thoughts on the Olympics after the first weekend:

  • That was a proper choke by the US men’s soccer team against Holland on Sunday. They wen’t up by a goal and simply shut their brains off. Between Kljestan blowing the game-clinching goal and Bradley and Freddy’s yellow cards and Holden’s dumb foul and the wall jumping - we saw a young team simply gag away three points. I cannot tell you how mad I was after that result. According to Ives, we only need to tie Nigeria to advance, but none of this talk should be necessary, only that team’s inabilty to play professionally for 20 minutes without doing something dumb made it necessary. I am fuming even right now. (more…)

Categories: International Soccer · Olympics · Soccer · Sports

USA and Japan post-match thoughts

August 7, 2008 · No Comments

I am going talk about the USA-Japan result here. If you are DVRing it, do not continue on. (more…)

Categories: International Soccer · Olympics · Soccer

USA v. Japan LIVE here on Fighting Talker

August 7, 2008 · No Comments

The big questions going into the match and my live blog:

  • Will the U.S. commit the unthinkable and score a goal?
  • Which historical nemesis will Chinese fans choose to cheer against?
  • Will NBC cameras be able to see the field through the smog?
  • How bad will my spelling be at 5 a.m.?

Find out those answers and more by clicking here.

For those who want to follow along with their TV, the match is on MSNBC and on UniversalHD.

Categories: International Soccer · Live Blogging · Olympics · Soccer

CAS issues remarkable decision; Kaka, Messi and Diego will not play in Beijing

August 6, 2008 · No Comments

I am genuinely surprised that the Court for Arbitration of Sport sided with the clubs here and not with FIFA. You have to imagine that FIFA and the IOC will now attempt to codify the “customs” into rules to prevent this from happening again.

Cas found that Fifa’s position was based on custom rather than law, meaning clubs could not be forced to release their players.

The court ruled there was “no specific decision of the Fifa executive committee establishing the obligation for the clubs to release players under 23 for this tournament”.

A statement added: “Cas calls upon the goodwill and the good sense of Fifa and the clubs to find a reasonable solution with regard to players who wish to represent their country in the Olympic Games.”

Categories: International Soccer · Olympics · Soccer

Liveblogging USA-Japan

August 6, 2008 · No Comments

I will be liveblogging the USA v. Japan men’s Olympic match starting tomorrow around 5 a.m. Considering how groggy I am likely to be, and the Americans’ apparent total inability to score goals, this one should be a humdinger.

Be sure to tune in, or check out the blog afterwards… when all the non-degenerates will have woken up.

Categories: International Soccer · Live Blogging · Olympics · Soccer