Thursday, August 28, 2008

Mike Freeman Demands Immediate Satisfaction

Remember the Olympics? Yeah, the Olympics…the collection of athletic contests that ended Sunday. Remember Usain Bolt, that fast guy? Mike Freeman thinks it’s the biggest joke in sports that he’s not in talks with an NFL team as of Wednesday. 3 days after the Olympics ended. Biggest joke in sports. By the way, I'm going to be lazy and assume that Bolt has not played much football. If that's wrong, well Freeman should have brought it up.

Yeah, so there’s a lot of hyperbole on the way.

Why is NFL so slow to go after lightning-fast Bolt?

I know right, it’s been 3 fucking days! Why isn’t Bolt lining up in practice right NOW! Also, matching lightning with “Bolt”? Friggin’ brilliant.

The National Football League is run by smart and hyper-successful people. Well, except for the Cincinnati Bengals. Other than the team that re-signs misdemeanor generator Chris Henry, the league is brilliantly engineered -- which is why it's so puzzling no team has made a strong play for Olympic speed demon Usain Bolt.

Has he ever played a down of organized football? Has he ever run in pads? Has he ever been tackled? Do Sprinters automatically have great hands? Do Sprinters have to memorize inch-thick playbooks? Could he be great? Sure. Is he such a sure thing that NFL teams should have made a move 3 days after the Olympics ended?

Bolt would instantly be the fastest person in the sport, yet teams are signing retread jerks at wide receiver like Henry, whose buffoonery has embarrassed an entire city.

I’m dizzy trying to connect these dots. I bet Mike Freeman every penny I have that Chris Henry is a more valuable wide receiver than Usain Bolt right now. Also, I suspect that Cincinattionians or whatever are not personally embarrassed by Chris Henry.

Maybe Bolt will say he's not interested. Well, make him interested. Make him an offer he can't refuse. Throw millions of dollars and some Black Uhuru CDs at him.

Yeah! Fuck the salary cap! Give millions of dollars to a guy who we don’t know has ever actually caught a football! This is smart business.

At the very least try to get him into the NFL. That's my problem; I've spoke to NFL team officials over the past few days and there is no indication a team is even trying to convince Bolt to play football.

I know right, and the Olympics have been over for days! Don’t these teams want to win?

The fact no one has attempted is one of the biggest jokes in all of sports.

Can I nominate this for Hyperbole of the Year?

When Bolt runs, time moves backward. His 40-yard dash time is in milliseconds. Bolt is the only thing in the known universe that can escape the gravitational pull of a black hole.

"I'm not so sure I can beat him," says a speeding bullet.

He’s fast, we get it. This is intentional hyperbole, so this doesn’t count.

If someone could teach Bolt to catch the football and absorb punishment, he would instantly become one of the top three most dangerous weapons in the NFL. Put him with the right quarterback and he'd possibly be the most lethal.

Instantly top 3? Am I the only one who thinks this is nuts?

A guy who is 22 years old, 6-foot-5 and 190 pounds, and might run a sub-4.2 40-yard dash? You tell me what his potential would be.

This “guy”, he’s never played organized football right?

Please read carefully. This isn't to say Bolt is guaranteed NFL success. But why aren't some of the wealthier owners known to take chances, like Jerry Jones, throwing cash at this guy?

Salary caps? They are busy paying attention to guys who actually play football, perhaps?

History might indeed be against Bolt succeeding on the NFL level. Track stars don't have a long NFL pedigree. So what? That doesn't mean Bolt can't do it.

Yeah – so what? Throw millions at him! That’ll fix that little bit of history!

It might not work.

Then why is the non-pursuit “the biggest joke in all of sports”??????????

But these five reasons explain why and how it could:

1. Bob Hayes. Bolt and Hayes have almost identical backgrounds. Hayes set world records at the 1964 Olympics and then was signed by the Cowboys with limited football experience. (Hayes should be in the Hall of Fame, but anti-Cowboys sentiment among voters has kept him out.)

Good point. Plus, professional football has hardly changed since the 1960’s!

Actually, wait, there’s another small difference….Bob Hayes played college football. Relevant, right? Also, there’s been a bunch of sprinters who failed.

This is from the SI Vault:

Hayes differed from the sprinters who would follow him into and out of the NFL, because he was not merely a sprinter who happened to play football. He was, as he liked to put it, "a football player first, then a runner." There were lots of fast guys on Jake Gaither's Florida A&M squad, and he'd shuffle them in and out, align them in different formations. Hayes was listed as a halfback, but he'd line up all over the place—on the wing, in the slot, wherever he was needed.

People have said that his college career was only so-so, but he was a starter at wide receiver in the 1965 College All-Star Game, and the quarterback who started that game for his team, Roger Staubach, would, in the years that followed, go on to launch many deep strikes to Hayesfor the Cowboys.

So that’s a pretty shitty example.

2. The biggest reason why Bolt wouldn't work is the NFL might not be able to afford him. Bolt will make a ridiculous amount of endorsement money in the coming months. (Bolt endorses Porsche, Bolt endorses Nike, Bolt makes a commercial for a speedy pregnancy test.)

Yeah, because track stars make way more than NFL players.

No, really….here’s SI’s “Fortunate 50” – please count the track stars and football players. Something tells me they could make that the “fortunate 500” before we see a track star on there. Admittedly, it's just US athletes, and maybe track stars make a ton of money overseas. But still, I would bet that the NFL brings more riches.

What a team says to Bolt is this: How much more money do you think you'd make if you were a two-sport star?

But what they should say first is….. "have you ever caught a football?”

Then they'd educate Bolt about Deion Sanders and Bo Jackson. Sanders played a nine-year, part-time MLB career while playing football. Why can't Bolt do something similar?

Ahhh Deion and Bo…..these are two athletes who were freakishly fast, but also had the athletic ability to hit a 95 MPH baseball and agility to maneuver through huge, fast athletes, in full pads, with ease.

So far we know that Bolt can run straight, on a track. Do you think it’s safe to assume Bolt has the variety of athletic skills that Deion Sanders and Bo Jackson had? I’d say not.

Play to his ego -- and if you don't think he has a fat ego, rewind the end of that gold medal race when he taunted fellow runners after activating the second stage of his Saturn V rocket boosters.

Bolt could race around the world, make his money, and then play in NFL games. They have these things called airplanes. Some have props, some have jets. He can hop on one.

That’s true, since the NFL is soooo easy. Plus he wouldn't be at all tired from sprinting against world class athletes. He wouldn’t need to practice or anything. Those off-season workouts that Jerry Rice put himself through? Waste of time.

3. His size. Remember, Bolt is a sturdy 6-5 and 190 pounds. This doesn't mean he's ready to take a hit from Bob Sanders (who the hell is?) but a team can slowly get Bolt accustomed to physical contact the way Dallas did with Hayes.

Also, the way Hayes got accustomed to physical contact when he was playing football in college.

4. Jerry Rice. Hire Rice as a consultant to work with Bolt. Or Michael Irvin or even Deion Sanders to teach him about the chess game defensive backs play with wideouts. Just make sure Rice doesn't teach Bolt how to dance or Irvin doesn't teach him about drug paraphernalia.

Ahar har har.

So after you dump millions and millions of dollars on Bolt, go hire some high price consultants so that he can learn a playbook.


5. This quote from Scouts Inc.'s Jeremy Green to ESPN says it all: "We all go to the combine every year to look at receivers who are 5-11 and run a 4.7 40. Why not this kid? I could see it."

It's definitely a long shot and tough sell to Bolt and it's likely Bolt might state he's not interested. He grew up in Jamaica and might care less about professional football.

He might be more focused on, I don’t know…sprinting?

You won't know until you give it a chance. If he says no way, ask again. If he says no after that, ask once more. Do what it takes to get him on a football field.

Okay, fine….you want to see Bolt play football. Me too….sort of. By why all the hyperbole? Why should anyone take Mike Freeman seriously when he writes garbage like this?

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

You Can Not Fool the TMQ

I’m not a batman geek. I’ve seen The Dark Night, and I liked it, but I don’t recall the details all that well. That shouldn’t overcome the general point of this post, which is that Gregg Easterbrook is a fucking killjoy who doesn’t understand when you’re supposed to take your thinking cap off and enjoy life for 2 ½ hours….and I’m not talking about pretending to be turned on by cheerleaders. There’s a difference between picking on unrealities in a Batman movie and in a movie that intends to be realistic despite the unrealistic premise, like Point Break or Speed (or any Keanu Reeves between Bill & Ted’s and The Matrix).

The latest Batman installment is a hit, and well-made from a cinematography standpoint, but the Joker character was unrealism carried to an extreme, even by Hollywood's low standards. The Joker has hundreds of obedient, superefficient henchmen, including surgeons and high-ranking police officers, who serve him without question -- even though they know he murders his own henchmen.

He is a criminal mastermind. They have a lot of henchmen. It’s a fictional movie based on a fucking comic book character.

The Joker knows things no one could possibly know, such as what street the police van carrying Harvey Dent will turn down during a wild chase. (He has henchmen positioned on that street, one of dozens the van might have turned down).

Wasn’t there a tractor trailer rigged to block the alternative path, so that they were more likely to go down the street they went down? I may be confusing scenes here. I also thought that the whole exercise of carrying Dent in the police van was a ploy to try to draw the Joker out, so they weren’t trying to be secretive.

Also, he’s a criminal mastermind in a fictional movie.

The Joker can get poison into the police commissioner's private office without anyone suspecting anything.

Well, I think he probably broke in, or had someone on the inside break in. I don’t think he just walked in during the day and put the poison in the bottle and no one suspected anything.

He was able to break in because he’s a criminal mastermind in a fictional movie, and they do things like that.

City officials make a sudden decision to load several hundred people into ferries; in just a few hours, Joker is able to place thousands of pounds of explosives aboard the ferries without anyone noticing, plus rig devices to take over the ferries' engines.

I think a ten year old would have realized that he did this well in advance of the people getting on the ferries. Also, I thought they were put on ferries as part of an evacuation, masterminded by the criminal mastermind, the Joker? Man, my memory sucks.

Anyway, he’s a criminal mastermind, and those fuckers think ahead.

Joker is able to move thousands of pounds of explosives into Gotham General Hospital without anyone noticing.

How do you know that no one noticed? Maybe 20 people noticed and he killed them all. They do that, those criminal masterminds in fictional movies.

Positioning the explosives for the two giant-blast sequences in "The Dark Night" would have required large trucks and a front-loader carrying multiple heavy objects through places crawling with police officers without anyone noticing.

Um, what about the warehouses full of explosives used on Harvey and Rachel? Wasn’t THAT unlikely!

Answer, yes. But these are both examples of scenes orchestrated by a fictional character in a fictional movie about a billionaire playboy that dresses up like a bat.

Joker always knows exactly where everyone he wants to kill is in a huge city (how?);

Maybe he follows them? The people he wants to kill are, like, the most famous people in the city and they are frequently the target of media. I guess the Joker (criminal mastermind) finds them the same way that paparazzi find Britney Spears. I don’t think he “always” knows “exactly” where they are. He first finds Harvey Dent at a fundraiser thrown….for….Harvey Dent.

he's beaten to a pulp by Batman, yet just minutes later, easily overpowers a huge policeman;

He really wasn’t beaten up that much really, and that police officer was not huge and he looked about 50.

Joker steals from the mob, yet no mob soldier simply shoots him.

Because they are frightened of him, and also because he guarantees he can deliver things to them (the Asian dude, all their money back, Batman).

Joker has a bomb sneaked into the jail where he's being held -- somehow he knew in advance what cell he would be in! -- and it blasts open the jail wall, plus kills all the police officers standing around the Joker, but does not hurt him.


Thursday, August 21, 2008

Am I Crazy or This a Double Standard?

I don’t know much about Alan Abrahamson, who is writing for, but I’ll concede that he knows more about Track & Field and any related stories of doping than I do. But I have to object to the way he starts his column about Usain Bolt.

BEIJING -- Usain Bolt of Jamaica etched his name into history Wednesday as one of the Olympic greats, indeed one of the greatest athletes of all time.

What an asshole, right! Who does Abrahamson think he is?

Okay, that’s not the part I meant. On this point I have to agree. I was impressed when he so easily ran the fastest 100M ever, but I thought Michael Johnson’s record was relatively safe.

Assuming he's clean.

This is the second line in the column. Has anyone said this about Michael Phelps, even though swimming has historically been a doped up sport as well?

Aren’t we assuming everyone is clean? Isn’t that where we start? Does it have to be said?

And while no evidence of any sort has surfaced to suggest he's not, it's naïve not to wonder how Bolt is able to run so fast.

Just like one has to wonder how all the gold medalists in track and swimming can run and swim so fast. On the list of how he can run so fast, where is “he may be on drugs?” What about simply thinking that he’s a freak of nature/gifted, he trains really hard, and he’s in amazing physical condition….. these things take a back seat? This strikes me as a bit of a pessimistic way to start a column on the day Bolt broke the record when you've heard no evidence of any sort. Did Alan Abrahamson write about Michael Johnson with this skepticism in 1996 when Johnson ran 19.32? Usain Bolt runs 2/100ths of a second faster and you immediately default to ….hey, great race…..IF he’s clean.

If there’s no evidence of any sort, then why cast that shadow over his accomplishment?

Because no one in the history of human beings, from the first primitive soul desperately trying to outrun a saber-toothed tiger to the sophisticated races of our times, has ever run as fast as Usain Bolt has run at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

Has anyone ever swum as fast as Michael Phelps? Does that mean he’s doped up?

"I am the best," Bolt declared late Wednesday night. "I proved it at the Olympics."

Yeah, if you weren’t on drugs, druggie. You can’t fool us.

The rest of the column was a perfectly fine summary of the race, and the background on Johnson’s record falling.

In this column about Phelps, Abrahamson’s title/header is as follows:

Built to succeed ... and assume his place in history

Mental strength, intense focus drove Phelps to epic 8-for-8 in Beijing

There is no mention of steroids or the possibility of Phelps' using PEDs. This is appropriate. Why put “assuming he’s clean” as the second line in a story about Bolt’s impressive feat?

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Gregg Easterbrook Totally Calls out DC Comics

This paragraph is in this week's Tuesday Morning Quarterback on

Meanwhile, I read that Christian Bale, who plays Batman in "The Dark Knight" -- the movie bore no relation whatsoever to Frank Miller's 1986 graphic novel "The Dark Knight," which revived the Batman craze -- says his favorite of the many Batman graphic novels is "Dark Victory." I got a copy. In it, Batman battles the Joker, Harvey Dent, Poison Ivy, Mr. Freeze, Pengy and the rest in the sewers of Gotham City. The sewers are cavernous, with only trickles of water running along the bottom; so large the giant Solomon Grundy, who's 20 feet tall, strides through them easily. The sewers lead to doors that open throughout Gotham City, allowing Joker and the rest to strike, then vanish. Gotham's enormous cathedral-ceiling sewers appear to be the greatest public-works project in human history, yet no one knows they exist. Batman has to discover the sewers to determine how the super-villains are moving around the city. And the sewers have a door that leads to the Batcave, which contains -- a bottomless pit.

What the fuck DC Comics? Can’t you write a story about a billionaire playboy who moonlights as a bat while fighting crime against a grown man-penguin, a guy in a cryogenic suit who shoots ice and a guy with a half normal/half terribly deformed face that flips a coin to decide if he’s going to kill someone AND INCLUDE A BELIEVABLE PORTRAYAL OF THIS FICTIONAL CITY’S SEWER SYSTEM! You can’t fool the TMQ, bitches!

Now, who will answer to the TMQ about the insanity of the subway system in Metropolis or the Daily Bugle’s lack of any required Federal labor laws posted in the break room! Please answer the comic gods!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Jemele Hill Is Not the Michael Phelps of Columnists

Phelps' eight gold medals makes us rethink greatness

This is long enough, let’s just jump right in.

What's an athlete?

One who competes in an exercise activity or sport at some level above terrible. I’m an athlete.
Just to warn you, I’m about to waste a lot of both of our time parsing this bullshit column. I should probably just avoid it.

Who's an athlete?

Like hundreds of millions of people.

What's mental toughness?

I’ll loosely define mental toughness as the ability to sustain focus and execute at a high level in the face if adversity and/or pressure. What’s with the fucking quiz to start the column?

What are limits?

I’ll defer to your nearest fifth grader to define limits.

What is greatness?

Well I'm tired already. What is a moronic way to open a column?

Lance Armstrong's seven Tour de France victories in a row. Joe DiMaggio's 56-game hitting streak. Wilt Chamberlain's 100 points. The Tiger Slam.

Yes? Those are “great” things in the context of athletic achievement.

We thought we knew those answers before Michael Phelps. But now that we've witnessed Phelps win eight gold medals, it turns out we didn't know anything.

Fuck that, I’m wicked smart. I know lots of stuff. You don’t know anything, but I already knew that. You’re just catching up with me Jemele.

Forget your previous notions. Forget other things you've seen from the other world's best athletes. What Phelps has done is as remarkably different as God giving us the sun one day and the seas the next.

I’m getting down right giddy about how she’s going to explain why 8 Gold Medals from Michael Phelps is more impressive than Lance Armstrong winning 7 straight Tours after beating cancer.

Because it’s not. At least not in any clear way.

But his greatest achievement at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing isn't the gold medals, or breaking Mark Spitz's 1972 record for most golds at a single Games. Phelps has changed the way we think about sport.

Yeah, he’s made me say: “What the fuck, there are a ton of chances to win medals if you’re a swimmer!” If you are the very best female gymnast in the world, and you dominate every apparatus and have very good teammates, you can have a flawless Olympics and you’ll win, at best, 6 Golds. I would argue that a gymnast who has mastered all 4 apparatus to that level is more impressive than Phelps, but she would not be able to compete in terms of medal count.

What Usain Bolt did in his one 100 Meter final damn impressive by itself even though it's "only" 1 record. That one gold/record, to me, carries the weight of a few swimming gold medals. Everyone can run. Rich, poor, whatever. Not everyone grows up with the access that Michael Phelps had to swimming and coaching. Bolt ran the fastest 100 ever and was celebrating with 15 meters left. Sprinters have to come out of like 3-4 prelims just to make the medal round. There’s a definite risk of fatigue or injury.

Phelps has redefined athletics, and athleticism.


He has returned us to the ancient, Olympic ideal.

Legend says Zeus' son, Hercules, created the Olympic Games after completing 12 labors over 12 years. Some of Hercules' tasks included having to bring back a three-headed dog from hell and retrieve golden apples that promised eternal life.

This is relevant how?

For Phelps, it was completing 17 races in eight days and amassing seven world records. As the Hercules myth spells out, the Games' origins are rooted in endurance. That is why we must consider Phelps' achievements in these Olympics as the greatest athletic feat ever accomplished.

Woah woah woah. Woah.


Let’s simplify this little bit of knowledge that Jemele has dropped on us and see if it makes sense.
The Olympics are about endurance, therefore Phelps’ winning 8 gold medals is the greatest athletic feat ever accomplished.

Isn’t that thinking a tad narrowly? Why is athletic accomplishment only relevant in the Olympics? Why does some ancient myth about what the Olympics are about determine what kind of athletic accomplishment is the best ever?

Back in ancient times all the kruglidites of super happy land defined the best athletes as those who could accurately strike small objects with curved sticks. Therefore, Tiger Woods is the best athlete ever.

It's not just about what he has done. It's about what he has endured.

That’s true, Lance Armstrong does not have the endurance that Michael Phelps does. Neither do those ultra-marathoners. Neither do Ironman triathletes, who swim like 2+ miles in the Ocean, bike 112 miles and then run a full marathon in the Hawaiian heat.

Endurance should be the key element that distinguishes greatness. What did Jordan endure when he won six NBA titles? Did he push his body to the limits Phelps has? Not even close.

If your measure of athletic greatness is limited to endurance, then you can throw out virtually all team-sport athletes. I think this is retarded. How many basketball games did Jordan play at an absurdly high level on his way to 6 championships? Like 600? Ha! Trivial!

How much endurance does it take to land some crazy ass vault like a gymnast, or to do some flips on a balance beam? Clearly not Michael Phelps’ level endurance, but can’t those athletic achievements be just as impressive? Is every marathoner a better athlete than every basketball player, football player, gymnast, etc. ever? HOW DOES THIS MAKE ANY SENSE?

What if an athlete existed that could long-jump 40 feet. 10+ feet further than anyone, ever. This same athlete could also hit cleanup for the Yankees and hit 75 homeruns and kick a football 85 yards with precision under NFL pressure. But all definitions of being an endurance athlete, this superhuman would fail to be a better athlete than Michael Phelps. SEE HOW THIS MAKES NO SENSE?

Of course, no one is disputing Jordan wasn't the best basketball player in the world, but Jordan's flu game couldn't compete with Phelps, who had a week's worth of flu games at the Olympics.

That’s a double negative, dingbat. You’re saying that Jordan was undisputedly not the best basketball player in the world. Who says Jordan’s “flu game” is his best athletic achievement? Why did Phelps have a week’s worth of flu games? What?

See, here's the thing: Jordan was sick. The Jazz were not sick. Phelps was not swimming under different conditions than the other swimmers. So he didn't have a week's worth of flu games. If all the Utah Jazz were also playing "flu games", then you'd have a point.

And it must be pointed out that Jordan, who ESPN SportsCentury named the greatest athlete ever, isn't even the biggest winner in his sport. Phelps is.

Again, this is poor sentence structure. To me, you just made it sound like Phelps is the biggest winner in Jordan’s sport. You can’t compare an NBA player to an Olympic swimmer.

And what did Joe DiMaggio's body endure when he hit in 56 consecutive games? Mentally, he was strained, just as Roger Maris was when he hit more home runs than anyone else in a single season. No disrespect to baseball players, but the fact that Babe Ruth -- who many consider the best baseball player to ever live -- could knock off a fifth of vodka every night during the season shows the level of physical commitment needed in baseball is a joke compared to what's physically required of Phelps, who burned as many calories each day during his quest as a marathoner does. What DiMaggio and Ruth did was a power walk.

Skill sport versus endurance sport. Again, if you think endurance is all that matters, then skill can’t win. The best athlete ever would be some ultramarathoner or triathlete.

How can you definitively say that Michael Phelps is a better athlete than Carl Lewis? Lewis dominated in sprinting various distances as well as long-jumping. He was, at one point, the fastest human in history and he also won Gold in long-jumping at 4 consecutive Olympics. Being a great athlete is more than endurance or speed. Some of the fastest people I’ve met happened to suck at team sports that require coordination, like basketball or baseball.

This is off-the charts in terms of piss poor, unenlightened analysis.

Tiger Woods, the best golfer in the world, won a major championship with a torn ACL. Phelps couldn't even dream of doing the same.

Because...his golf?? Swimming is all the sudden the only sport that one can compete in to become the greatest athlete ever. Isn’t that pretty much what she’s saying?

Besides, is Tiger as dominant in golf as Phelps is in swimming?

Same. It’s harder for the best golfer to win every tournament than it is for the best swimmer to win every race. There is so much different here, it’s not even funny.

What if every golf tournament was played between 8 golfers? Imagine Tiger’s record then. What if every swimming race, Phelps had to beat like 40 other swimmers? What if instead of the race being a back and forth of continuous laps, Phelps had to get out of the pool after ever 2 laps, and gather his thoughts about the swim he just had, then all the swimmers lined up and he had to go through all the mental preparation for the next set of laps and do it again? What if he had to do this for 18 sets, for four straight days, against 40 or so swimmers? Do you think he’d win every tournament, as Hill seems to want Woods to do in order to be his equal? SEE HOW GOLF IS DIFFERENT FROM SWIMMING? Jemele Hill does not.

No way.

Fuck you.

Ask yourself this: Whose field is tougher? Tiger's or Phelps'?

Like you know a god damn thing about Phelp’s “field”. You, like me, watch swimming every four years and know exactly what Rowdy Gaines tells you, and little else.

Since Tiger shut down his season because of his knee injury, Phil Mickelson and Vijay Singh have spent his absence out-choking each other. But Phelps has had to beat Ian Crocker, Ryan Lochte and Laszlo Cseh in Beijing - all of whom were world-record holders.

They are world record holders because of the crazy swimsuits being used (also, something about faster pools). They are quickly breaking each other’s records. It’s sort of silly, really.

Phelps is beating his competition in their individual specialties. Imagine if Kobe Bryant sang a better national anthem than Marvin Gaye, or if Alex Rodriguez dunked better than Dwight Howard.

Folks, I say this often, but that’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever read from Jemele Hill. IMAGINE IF....Kobe Bryant could sing like Marvin Gaye!

Why is it up to Alex Rodriguez to be anything more than a baseball player to be one of the best athletes ever? We're not asking Phelps to be anything more than a swimmer. Imagine if Michael Phelps hit better than Alex Rodriguez? Why is it that team sport athletes need to be better in other sports entirely, but Phelps just has to be a great swimmer at different swimming disciplines. Carl Lewis beat the best sprinters and the best long-jumpers. Both of those are often separate specialties, moreso than swimming frontwards versus swimming backwards.

Many Baseball players are great at hitting, fielding and baserunning. Are these not more varied disciplines using different tools and skills than the breast stroke, freestyle or the butterfly? I say….who knows...but I’m more open minded than Jemele.

Wayne Gretzky, hockey's greatest scorer, collected 2,857 career points -- over 21 years. In two Olympics, the 23-year-old Phelps became the most decorated Olympian ever.

So Gretzky’s accomplishments are invalidated from this argument because they took 21 years to achieve. This makes no sense. Phelps has had more opportunity! They award a fuckload of medals in swimming, how is this not clear? The most medals Kobe Bryant can win? 1. The most Shawn Johnson can win? 6. Phelps has done a monumentally impressive thing but please, calm the fuck down.

Wilt Chamberlain's 100-point game is nice, but not more difficult than setting a world record in six consecutive, grueling events, including winning two golds in one day.

Why not? Oh, you’re done.

All I’ll say is this; World records fall every freaking race it seems, and no one is dropping 100 points in an NBA game ever again.

Lance Armstrong's seven straight Tour de France titles probably comes the closest to matching Phelps. But it's impossible to be confident in Armstrong's achievements because he dominated one of the dirtiest professional sports in the world. Even if you believe Armstrong was completely clean, he essentially is doing just one thing. Phelps is proficient in four different strokes, at different distances.

So we get to act like Phelps is some multi-sport dynamo because they are different strokes? Is he the only swimmer swimming different strokes at different distances? Nope. Also, if we get to assume Armstrong was clean, as you say, then isn’t it more impressive that he so dominated a dirty sport? Aren't the different tour stages at different distances?

Football feats also don't measure up.

Because they are different sport??????HMMMM?!!!??!?!?!?!?!?

Not Emmitt Smith's NFL-best 18,355 career rushing yards or Tom Brady's single-season record of 50 touchdown passes.

What about them?

Brett Favre is considered by some to be the greatest passer ever, but he also holds the all-time record for interceptions.

This is interesting, how?

Would Phelps even be in consideration for greatest athletic achiever if he lost nearly as many races as he'd won?

No Olympic swimmer has lost nearly as many races as they’d won. That’s why they are in the fucking Olympics. But good point. I mean, Michael Jordan missed thousands of shots! What’s up with that? I’m pretty sure Barry Bonds used to make outs. Michael Phelps never struck out while swimming!

Think about it, the crux of her argument is something like this:

The best athlete must be the athlete with the most endurance AND
The best athlete must have varied skills, such as swimming different ways AND
All skills within team sports are vaguely classified under the skill of “playing sport X well”, therefore they are not as versatile as swimmers AND
I love Michael Phelps so I’m just saying whatever crap I can to support my argument!

Television commentators are comparing Phelps to an actual fish, or an amphibian. When we think of the greatest athletes ever, fish aren't usually what comes to mind. But with Phelps, all conventional thinking goes out the window.

Television commentators are dumb. Let’s rephrase:

Dummies are comparing Phelps to an actual fish, or amphibian, because he swims awesomely and is the flavor of the month. When we think of greatest athlete ever, smart people know that you can’t compare team sport athletes to individual sport athletes across eras. But with my terrible analysis of Phelps, you’ll notice that I’m incapable of thinking rationally and doing legitimate analysis.

I Continue to Not be Impressed by Bill Plaschke

This is pretty late, but Bill Plashke’s column about the Men’s USA hoops team victory over China is good enough to read a little of if you feel like getting mad at something.

The title: Men's basketball: It was a billion to 1, and we did it

Not a good start when the title doesn’t make sense. China has over a billion people, got it, but the USA has 300 million. Also, “we” did nothing. YOU….ate a dick.

The U.S. men's team begins redeeming itself with an Olympic win led by a special K: Coach Mike Krzyzewski.

Special K. Awwww.

The first step was a stomp. The first greeting was a slap. The first words were sung with steals, stuffs and the angriest of slam dunks.

This opening is classic Bill Plaschke nonsense. The first greeting was a slap? Wha?

This wasn't a game, it was a star-spangled banger.

That wasn’t a pun; that was a god-awful pun.


The prettiest basketball country in the world returned to the Olympics and its roots Sunday with a 101-70 victory over a skilled team, a giant nation and an old stereotype.



It has been tagged as the most selfish basketball nation on Earth, but the U.S. showed teamwork intensity normally not seen at any place other than, say, Duke University.

First, the US is totally the most selfish basketball nation in the world. Have you seen the AND1 tour bullshit? We have a league of people who are devoted to playing selfish, showboat basketball. Second: what is teamwork intensity?

What a difference a K makes.

I get it – that rhymed with “day”. Pretty clever!

Kobe Bryant, Wade, James, Howard…..nawwww….it’s all the coach. I could have coached them over China.

Four years ago, the U.S. team selfishly blew a gold medal for the first time since it began sending NBA players to the Olympics in 1992, raising the question of whether our stars had forgotten how to play the game we invented.

How did they selfishly blow it? That makes no sense. The way that sentence is written it implies that they lost in the Olympics for their own gain. They were the wrong guys, coached by the wrong man, given very little time to put together a cohesive team. Kryzewski has better personnel, who have played together, and he has a team that doesn’t expect to just show up and blow teams out, like the ’04 team did. That team was the perfect storm of circumstances that left the US ripe to get beaten.

Here's guessing Coach Mike Krzyzewski won't let them.

In case you’re just figuring it out, this column is all about Plaschke wishing it was Coach K’s dick he was eating.


Then there were the assists. Seven guys had them, maybe more guys than in all of 2004, the Americans poking and prodding and passing to all those nasty slams.

Seven guys had assists? This is meaningful? Eight guys on China’s team had assists. From what I can quickly discern, between 6 and 8 guys had assists in each of the 2004 games.

But other than that, right on!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Michael Phelps is Also 1406 Stolen Bases Behind Rickey Henderson

After another Michael Phelps (that swimmer guy swimming in that tournament in that foreign place) piece on Sportscenter, Matt Weinert lead into a comparison of Phelps to other winners in other sports with this little nugget:

“He’s certainly the standard for Olympians, but he hasn’t matched any of these great champions.”

They then go into a little montage to explain that Bill Russell won 11 NBA championships, Rocket Richard won 11 Stanley Cups, Yogi Berra 10 won World Series and Charles Haley won 5 Super Bowls.

What, the fuck, does that intro mean?

I mean, he won more gold medals than any of them? The total of his gold medals is greater than any of those numbers. He has not, in fact, played another professional sport – so you got me there.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

“I Don’t Know Where Angola is But They in Trouble”

I remember Charles Barkley uttering the line above (or something real close to it) before the 1992 Olympics. The “Dream Team” (feel free to use that), went on to sneak past Angola 116-48. That’s quite a whooping. Which is why I was surprised to read the following snapshot from today’s game summary of the US’s game against Angola:

The United States improved to 4-0 against Angola, starting with the Dream Team's Olympic debut in 1992. That romp is best remembered for Charles Barkley's elbow to an unsuspecting Angolan player in a 116-48 victory.

Angola went down almost as easily this time.

There’s other wording in the summary to describe how easily the US beat Angola. The final score was 97-76, or a 21 point win. Angola outscored the US in the fourth by 7 points to keep the margin down, so I’m sure it wasn’t even that close. But c’mon, the 1992 team won by 68 points! That was way way way easier. The 1992 team’s margin of victory would have been only 23 points (close to today’s game) if Angola had avoided the FORTY SIX TO ONE run the US team went on.

Yeah, so, there’s nothing interesting on the internet these days.