Yeah, my head hurts from doing all that thinking so I’m taking a break until tomorrow or Tuesday when we get back to the ballpark. That’s where the Phillies will have a nice break by getting back to playing teams in their own division… you know, teams they can beat.
Most interestingly, though, some people are curious about the reception Jimmy Rollins will get after his comments on the syndicated cable TV show, “The Best Damn Sports Show, Period.”
It seems to me that the title would work better with an exclamation point.
Nevertheless, perhaps the whole thing has blown over. After all, people have gotten on with their lives, the Phillies have played more games, and there have been more interesting things that have gone on in the world.
Specifically more interesting is that little gathering in Beijing. Sure, some folks are a little worn down by the hype over “The Baltimore Bullet,” Michael Phelps, but come on… 8-for-8? He swam in 17 races in less than a week and set seven world records?
But is it the greatest Olympic performance ever? That’s a question that a lot of people will fret and ponder for a long time. I’d have to put it up there though I’m not ready to nail it down as the greatest ever until further review. For now I’m leaning toward Emil Zatopek winning gold in the 5,000-meters, 10,000-meters and marathon during the 1952 Olympics in Helsinki. But, as usual, it’s tough to compare eras. Zatopek ran on a cinder track with shoes and equipment that no junior high team would dream of using now.
The same, obviously, goes for comparisons between Phelps and Mark Spitz. In that regard it’s kind of like comparing Tiger Woods to Bobby Jones. The technological advances in the equipment and life have changed the games entirely.
Still, it was an incredible week for Phelps and it should be interesting to see Usain Bolt race the 200-meters final on Wednesday. His run for the gold and world record in the 100-meters on Saturday goes up there with one of the most otherworldly single sports performances I’ve ever seen. Seriously, how did he run 9.69 when he was next-to-last in reaction time coming out of the blocks and then broke it down to celebrate for the final five strides.
Think about how significant five strides is in a 100-meter race… typically, Bolt takes 41 strides over the distance so showboating over the last five is 12 percent of the race. Factor in the slow reaction time at the start and it’s reasonable to think that Bolt could have gone 9.59.
Wait until fast Bolt goes when he figures out what he’s doing. He’ll turn 22 on the day of the 200-meters finals – how about taking apart Michael Johnson’s world record he set in the 1996 Atlanta games as a birthday present?
For the record, watching Michael Johnson on the curve of the 200-meters in Atlanta is the most beautiful thing in sports. It’s a work of art – a masterpiece. Let’s see if Bolt can make it prettier.
Finally, how about the Jamaicans’ dominance in the sprinting events? And that’s just not in Beijing, but the last several Olympics. Of the top five best performances in the event, three are by Jamaican-born runners and of the last five Olympic champions in the 100, three were born in Jamaica.
The Jamaican runners are much better than the bobsled team.