Checking off the Ballparks

August 22, 2008

It’s been a long time since I collected a new ballpark (two Septembers ago in Kansas City). So it was time to add one. And why not one that is not only new to me, but new?

Friday and Saturday I made my first (and surely not last) visits to Nationals Park in D.C. Conveniently accessible to the Navy Yard Metro stop, the ballpark is plunked down in a rapidly transitioning neighborhood that is soon to be the home of Half Street, a development of retail, entertainment, office, and living space that should make the ballpark more of a destination, even if they don’t manage to make the baseball team a better draw. Read the rest of this entry »

This Won’t Solve the Age Question

August 22, 2008

If the IOC finally is willing to admit to doubt about the ages of Chinese gymnasts, asking the Chinese government or gymnastics federation is unlikely to resolve the issue in anyone’s mind. You don’t ask a liar if they are lying and expect them to say, “Oh, yeah, you caught me. I was lying.” DOH!

The only thing that might help, and even that is unlikely to bring resolution, is a hearing before The Court of Arbitration for Sport, with the doubters bringing forward the documentation and video that they offer as proof of the gymnasts’ true age. Won’t happen.

Happiest Medalists–All Three–And Other Olympic Sights

August 20, 2008

[For some reason, the images aren’t showing up the way I expected them to. To see the photos I’m referencing, right click on the bold (and no, that isn’t working right, either) phrases/names and select “view image.”]

What you missed last night, because NBC only cares about U.S. medalists and last night they cared only about LoLo Jones losing, even though an American, Dawn Harper, won the 100 meter hurdles, was this, the <b>happiest medal ceremony</b>. We did, rather belatedly, see just a tiny bit of the <b>elated celebrations</b> of both silver-medalist Sally McLellan and bronze-medalist Priscilla Lopes-Schliep. And we saw Harper’s face during the anthem. But with all three young women clearly delighted with the result, the opportunity to show that winning any medal IS winning was lost on NBC. Read the rest of this entry »

How Upset IS Federer?

August 14, 2008

Oh. My. God. Do you suppose James Blake could play in the Olympics every week? Because if this is what happens when he’s wearing red, white, and blue he might want to talk to Ralph Lauren about a clothing deal.

Enough Already!

August 13, 2008

I am, of course, an Olympics junkie. And I’ve spend countless hours already glued to NBC’s various outlets’ coverage of sports as diverse as equestrian 3-day eventing, badminton, and the ubiquitous swimming.

I love the swimming. I love tall men with arms long enough to hug the world clad in lycra, or sometimes barely clad in lycra. Do you suppose they half strip those suits off just so we can see exactly how shaved down they are?

And NBC is doing a pretty good job, whether the commentators are at the venue or in New York, they mostly seem awake on all counts and provide the kind of information you need, whether neophyte or afficionado.

I’m particularly happy with Andrea Kremer as the poolside interviewer. First of all, and probably most importantly, she’s a really really good interviewer. She asks good questions, listens to the answers (when the director is yelling in her ear, that has to be hard), and handles the task with appropriate composed excitement.

But there’s one rotten spot in my Olympic apple. Her name is Cynthia Potter. NBC decided to continue to employ as a diving commentator a woman with a dramatic command of the obvious who at the same time has a tenuous command of her facts and, worst of all, has the most annoying, loudest, unmodulated fingernails on a blackboard voice in the history of sports broadcasting. I’d take Dick Vitale over this woman in a heartbeat. And I HATE Dick Vitale. Read the rest of this entry »

The Dork Knight

August 13, 2008

Mark Kiszla of The Denver post explains why America is falling in love with Aquaman, Michael Phelps, also now to be known as The Dork Knight.

How Can It Be Memorabilia When There Are No Memories?

August 2, 2008

The FBI has apparently begun a crackdown on the sports memorabilia business.

I’ll admit that I don’t really understand the collection of autographed memorabilia. It isn’t that I don’t have autographed items, but apart from a lithograph that was produced by and for the Flyers Wives Fight for Lives carnival a number of years ago, a couple of gifts the Flyers sent to me as a season ticket holder, and the irreplaceable (don’t laugh too hard, now) Ricky Botallico autographed baseball sent to Phillies season ticketholders after his All-Star season, I don’t own, nor have I ever coveted, an autographed item that was not autographed in my sight by an athlete or former athlete. Read the rest of this entry »

Don’t Pay Not to Play

August 1, 2008

If you’re the NFL. Do you let this kind of thing happen? You don’t want teams paying people to prevent them from playing, do you?

What prevents a team with no room under the cap from paying a guy not to play just to keep him from signing with a competitor? And what keeps a player who’s had a few injuries and could really stand a year off (he’s cleared to play, but clearly could use more time) from taking the money to not play for a year, then coming back the next year to sign with someone?

It just seems to be against the best interest of the league to have teams able to pay people not to play. Anticompetitive, at the very least.

I’m Gumby Damn It!

July 23, 2008

I haven’t been impressed so far with what Rick Reilly brings to ESPN’s events. He seems uncomfortable on camera, disjointed in his presentation, and really lacking in insight. But I used to enjoy his work in Sports Illustrated back in the day, so I expected to feel the same way about his work on On the contrary. His newest column is the second one so far that had me submitting a comment form critical of his efforts.

This one is about being mistaken for other people, which can be embarrassing, I know. However, I think the issue for Rick is that he wants desperately to be recognized, and then is disappointed to realize that he isn’t really important, famous, or popular enough to be recognized. I’d suggest that if you are paid to go to the U.S. Open, a golf tournament at Lake Tahoe, and on the “Today Show,” you probably are living a pretty charmed life. If being mistaken for Mitch Albom, Rick Rhoden, or the oven guy is the cost, it doesn’t seem to me it would be too high a price to pay.

Someone Has Bret Favre Pegged

July 13, 2008

If I didn’t know she’s unlikely to become a full-time sports blogger, I’d be afraid to send you to this post on Bret Favre at “Things What Things.” Don’t miss the comments, either. The whole thing is priceless.

I think Bret reminds me a lot of a slightly less damaged Peter Forsberg. Will he or won’t he? It doesn’t even matter to him (Peter or Bret) as long as it matters enough to garner headlines and endless commentary by gasbags.