Tag Archive | "London"

Top 10 Baseball Distractions

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 01 July 2013 by Glenn Clark

Honorable MentionGolf-PGA Tour Greenbrier Classic (Thursday & Friday 3pm live on Golf Channel Saturday & Sunday 1pm live on Golf Channel 3pm live on CBS. All golf from Sulphur Springs, WV); WNBA: Seattle Storm @ Washington Mystics (Saturday 7pm from Verizon Center live on Monumental Network); Boxing: Friday Night Fights-Allan Green vs. Eleider Alvarez (Friday 9pm from Hartford live on ESPN2)

10. Daughtry/3 Doors Down/Halestorm (Saturday 7pm Pier Six Pavilion); Doobie Brothers (Saturday 8pm Wolf Trap); Gregg Allman (Wednesday 8pm Rams Head on Stage); The Maine (Saturday 7pm 9:30 Club); Wild Feathers (Thursday 7:30pm West Mount Vernon Park); The Verve Pipe (Thursday 3:30pm Long Bridge Park); The Polyphonic Spree (Saturday 8pm Sixth & I Historic Synagogue); African American Festival feat. Patti LaBelle (Saturday & Sunday M&T Bank Stadium); Jay-Z “Magna Carta Holy Grail” available in stores/on iTunes (Sunday)

I’m more than a bit embarrassed by how much I enjoy Chris Daughtry…

The Doobie Brothers made the most important music video of all time that wasn’t “Virtual Insanity” by Jamiroquai…

Go see Wild Feathers. Now.

I dare you to watch this whole Verve Pipe video and not cry.

9. Michael Winslow (Wednesday 7:30pm & 9:45pm Baltimore Comedy Factory); Tom Papa (Friday-Sunday DC Improv); Despicable Me 2“, “The Lone Ranger (Wednesday) and “The Way, Way Back (Friday) out in theaters; Ports America Chesapeake 4th of July Celebration (Thursday 9:30pm Inner Harbor), Annapolis 4th of July Parade (Thursday 6:30pm Downtown Annapolis), Kingsville Independence Day Parade (Thursday 10am “Downtown” Kingsville)

There is no more American way to celebrate the 4th of July than to watch “The Sandlot”…

(Continued on Page 2…)

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 25 June 2013 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: MLL-Chesapeake Bayhawks @ Hamilton Nationals (Saturday 7pm from Hamilton, ON live on YouTube); WNBA: Phoenix Mercury @ Washington Mystics (Thursday 7pm from Verizon Center live on Monumental Network), Tulsa Shock @ Washington Mystics (Sunday 4pm from Verizon Center live on Monumental Network/NBA TV); Boxing: Gennady Golovkin vs. Matthew Macklin (Saturday 9:45pm from Mashantucket, CT live on HBO)

10. Heart/Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Experience (Tuesday 8pm Jiffy Lube Live), Kid Rock (Friday 6:45pm Jiffy Lube Live), Brad Paisley (Saturday 7pm Jiffy Lube Live); Counting Crows/The Wallflowers (Tuesday 7pm Wolf Trap), The Temptations/The Four Tops (Thursday 8pm Wolf Trap), Straight No Chaser (Sunday 8pm Wolf Trap); Ballyhoo!/Authority Zero (Saturday 9pm Rams Head Live); Richard Cheese & Lounge Against The Machine (Friday 8pm 9:30 Club); Jason Isbell (Monday 7:30pm Birchmere); Taproot (Saturday 7pm House of Rock); Lunar Bay Music & Arts Festival feat. moe., Keller Williams (Saturday & Sunday Susquehanna State Park); Dundalk Heritage Fair feat. Three Dog Night/Jefferson Starship (Friday-Sunday Dundalk Heritage Park); Mavis Staples “One True Vine” and Wale “Gifted” available in stores/on iTunes (Tuesday)

I’m going on vacation next week, but apparently the music world picked this week? I mean, the Counting Crows used to be really good but their show might as well be in Eastern Europe…

I love the idea that Ballyhoo! might be Charm City’s next significant band…

Jason Isbell is a rock star, but again…how far can I go to see him?

Mavis Staples…Mavis Staples…I could sing of my love for Mavis Staples…

9. Tracy Morgan (Saturday 8pm Warner Theatre), Guy Torry (Thursday-Sunday DC Improv), Paul Mooney (Thursday-Sunday Baltimore Comedy Factory); The Incredible Burt Wonderstone” available on Blu-Ray/DVD (Tuesday); White House Down” and “The Heat” out in theaters (Friday); “The Gathering” (Friday 5pm McHenry Row/Penn Station Plaza)

I’m just going to suggest you watch this Tracy Morgan/David Letterman interview on repeat…

I think I might start my own food truck for “The Gathering.” I’ll probably call it “Historic Pigtown”…

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My best 2012 Baltimore sports story is Jessica Long…and yours will be too!

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My best 2012 Baltimore sports story is Jessica Long…and yours will be too!

Posted on 31 December 2012 by Nestor Aparicio

Perhaps you already know parts of the story of local swimming sensation Jessica Long. Maybe you’ve seen her on the evening news or you’ve seen her honored locally or even nationally on the ESPY’s or as the 2006 James Sullivan Award winner.

As a journalist here for 29 years, I’ve had the privilege of knowing some special athletes and people around sports. The Baltimore connections and heroes are among some of the greatest names in the sports universe from Johnny Unitas and Brooks Robinson to Ray Lewis and Cal Ripken not mention from Michael Phelps back to Babe Ruth. But the story of Jessica Long is better than any of them because of what she doesn’t have.

Jessica Long doesn’t have legs.

While all eyes and focus were on Baltimore’s worldwide star Michael Phelps this summer during the Olympic Games from London, another local swimmer & world-class competitor was waiting in the wings to make her third splash in the Paralympic Games, which followed the Closing Ceremonies in England.

Jessica Long first gained local and national attention as a 12-year old at the 2004 Athens games and now has been through the Beijing and London games and is emerging as a model, spokesperson and inspiration to people all over the world. Oh, and she’s turns 21 in February but her eyes have seen the world in a big way and this past year and this unfolding story I’m about to tell is incredible, heart-warming and still doesn’t have an ending – happy or otherwise.

Then again, almost everything surrounding Jessica Long always seems to turn out with an immense level of happiness and smiles all around. This blog will end with a video of her surrounded by Ray Lewis, Ray Rice, John Harbaugh draped with her Paralympic gold medals and you’ll see her mantra for the coach in regard to the Baltimore Ravens’ playoff run:

“Pressure is a privilege,” she says.

*        *       *

The Paralympics Games attract an all-too-small fraction of the attention of the sports and media spotlight so it’s up to people like me in places like Baltimore to tell you about my favorite sports story of 2012 and hope to inspire you as we enter 2013.

My favorite Baltimore sports story of 2012 is about Jessica Long and you’ll soon find out why.

This story is lengthy because it needs to be and contains various links and pictures that I personally hope you check out and read as you begin another year. Your 2013 will probably begin with two legs so think about the courage of Jessica Long and her amazing narrative

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underwater 2012

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Olympic Recap

Posted on 16 August 2012 by Tom Federline

Brooks “The Tuna” Velour….. it did not matter how many times I saw that Maryland Lottery Medal Mania commercial - I laughed. The dolphin kick as he entered the water – priceless. On a serious note, I was engaged with the Olympics from start to finish. I believe what set this Olympics apart from previous viewings was: a) channel options b) the DVR and c) choice of knowing outcome or waiting until event coverage. NBCSN is even capitalizing on post airings, with “Return to London…” all this week, featuring the highlights of the more coveted sports. The replays are buffeting any immediate Olympic withdrawal symptoms.

Yes, the primetime commercials were to many and to long. Yes, some of the background stories were to drawn out and dramatic. Yes, some of the interviews immediately following the event were to mundane and elementary. And yes, I threw my sofa cushions at the tube, after the 50th time I saw Matthew Perrys’ face and whatever new show of his they were jamming down our throats. They did such a good job, I don’t even know the name of the supposed upcoming sitcom. We had options………….. click.

What I dug the most was, Neil Peart drum roll please………….the camera angles/video coverage. I know it’s not new and I am getting old but, for some reason being with the athlete as they competed in their event blew me away. I was all about - the under water 50m pool shots, following the diver into the pool, running with the gymnast down the runway, surging across the mat, running with the track stars, the super slow motion replay, etc. etc. The under water on the floor of the pool looking up shots - extremely cool. Were we ever able to follow them during the race before from below? Maybe it’s the new HD flat screens? I don’t know, I’m old, I appreciate the little things alot more now. I will say, I am not a fan of the “in-your-face” camera shots immediately following their performance or while they wait for their scores. No reason to be a foot from their face when I believe there is a lens option called “zoom”. The video coverage enhanced my viewing time.

                                                           

Number 2 on the “what I really dug” meter………….. Boxing analyst – Teddy Atlas. His commentary pre, during and post fight was unprecedented. He had the knowledge, he had the flare, he had the honesty and freedom to call it like he saw it. Analogies I had never heard before or would have ever dreamed of interjecting into a boxing match. FAN-tastic. Even though the boxing was for the most part – “fixed” – at least Ole Teddy Atlas was on board with it. “Some of these decisions, are making Olympic boxing a joke/no credibility.” “If they give it to the blue corner – I’m on a plane out of here.” Blue corner received the win……”Where do I go get our tickets.” (They didn’t leave).  His play-by-play man, Bobby Papa, was right there with him. “Where are they getting these judges? The judging at these games is why this sport is considered a farce.” FAN-tastic coverage, with so many more examples. If they ever come out with a DVD of the boxing coverage for the London 2012 Olympics ………….buy it………it’s a classic.

Number 3 – minimal bad press. Besides the inevitable “Fixes” – (badminton you kiddin’ me)? There were only a couple positive drug tests (so far). Really only one, that being the ”she-man” shot putter from Belarus. Let me tell you, you saw it………there were plenty more of the “she-men” running around.  The other positive drug test didn’t really count. That was the American judo guy – he inadvertently ate some marijuana brownies back in the states prior to going over. Uhhhhhhh yeah right. I wonder if the IOC uses the same testing labs as MLB and the NFL? There were minimal reports of  misdemeanors. There were no terrorists attacks, no Munich of 1972 from 40 years earlier. Nice job – British and friends security teams – give them a gold medal.

Number 4 – the USA women in anything. I heard the USA women alone, would have come in fifth for total medals vs. the rest of the world. The gals swimming was the surprise. In the last race of the meet, the 4 X 100 medley relay, the USA had 4 gold medal winners at their particular specialty, won at various distances. Soccer, water polo, basketball, beach volleyball (final match -both teams- USA), tennis, rowing, track, etc. You go girls.

For most of these athletes it’s a “Once in a Lifetime” – (Talking Heads), type deal. Although, for those at the top of their game, it seems as if there are more and more repeaters. When the Olympics changedthe participation status requirements from amateur to include professional – a new era was born. Now the athletes can recognize the potential income and sponsorship they can receive for their efforts. Stay off the drugs and go for it.

I encourage you to offer your top moments. Looking forward to 2014 Winter games in Sochi, Russia and 2016 Summer games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. U-S-A, U-S-A, U-S-A.

D.I.Y.

Fedman

 

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Baltimore native Gould wins mountain bike bronze

Posted on 11 August 2012 by WNST Staff

HADLEIGH, England (AP) — Julie Bresset crested the final climb of Hadleigh Farm and glanced over her shoulder, and the only thing she saw was thousands of fans cheering her on.

The rest of the field was that far behind.

The 23-year-old mountain biker from France, competing at her first Olympics, smiled and soaked in the applause. She grabbed a French flag as she coasted toward the gold medal, crossing the finish line and then raising her bike triumphantly over her head.

Her entire season boiled down to one moment of unbridled joy.

“This season I decided to focus only on the Olympics, and it paid off,” Bresset said. “The World Cup was not important this season. The only race that mattered was today’s race, and I won it.”

In the most dominating way.

Bresset took advantage of a mistake by defending gold medalist Sabine Spitz of Germany on a rough section of the picturesque course in the English countryside, then gradually pulled away from the rest of the field, rolling through the last of six laps all alone.

Her time was 1 hour, 30 minutes, 52 seconds, more than a minute ahead of Spitz, who took the silver medal.

“I took the front of the race and I managed it well,” said Bresset, who crashed during a practice ride Thursday and needed seven stitches to close the cuts.

“When I had a gap, I told myself, ‘Now I should go,’” she said. “I led until the finish.”

Spitz rounded out her collection of medals — along with gold in Beijing, she won bronze at the 2004 Athens Games. Georgia Gould of the United States earned bronze Saturday, the first medal for an American mountain biker since Susan DeMattai’s bronze in 1996.

“I knew that a medal was possible. I knew that on my best day I was capable of winning the race,” Gould said. “Julie rode a great race today. She was at the front at the start, which was smart.”

Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjaa of Norway, who won gold in Athens, was never in contention after puncturing a tire on a remote section of the course and hiking back to her support team.

Maja Wlosczowska of Poland, the silver medalist from Beijing, didn’t start the race. She broke a bone in her foot during a training ride in Italy and was unable to compete.

Bresset’s victory could be just the start for France. Julien Absalon will go for an unprecedented third straight gold medal in the men’s race Sunday.

“I hope he will do the same. He’s capable of it,” Bresset said. “Sharing this result with him would be amazing. I hope my achievement can bring good luck to the French team.”

The women’s race went off under blue skies at Hadleigh Farm, where a 2.9-mile course was carved out of rolling hills and woodlands overlooking an estuary of the River Thames.

Britain’s Annie Last took the initiative on the opening loop, generating a massive cheer from thousands of fans who packed into the natural amphitheater near the start-finish line.

Last remained in the lead when the riders headed onto the main course, which was changed from the Olympic test event to make it more demanding. Bresset eventually attacked on a flat section, and the under-23 world champion opened a small gap on the field as it finished Lap 1.

Last started to struggle with the pace, falling away by the second lap, and Canada’s Catharine Pendrel — one of the favorites — soon joined her in trailing the leaders. Spitz and Gould began giving chase, and the three of them worked together to put nearly 30 seconds on the rest of the field.

Bresset’s big break came when Spitz crashed in a technical section of the course called “the rock garden” that also slowed Gould and left Bresset alone at the front.

“When I went over my handlebar, I hurt my knee a bit,” Spitz said. “That broke my rhythm for a short time. Thank God nothing was wrong with the bike so I could keep going.”

Bresset took advantage of the delay behind her to build on the lead, blazing over the downhill sections of the course. Even though Spitz and Gould appeared stronger on the short, punchy climbs, the two of them struggled to reel in the strongest rider in the field.

Bresset’s lead was so large on the final lap that she had plenty of time to enjoy the scenery, starting her celebration with the finishing banner — and none of her competitors — within sight.

“It was crucial to take a strong start and then to race cleverly, and not to dig deep in my limits,” Bresset said. “I hoped to win a medal, and a gold medal is unbelievable.”

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Is beach volleyball the rising star of the Olympics in America?

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Is beach volleyball the rising star of the Olympics in America?

Posted on 11 August 2012 by Nestor Aparicio

Every four years the Summer Olympic Games seem to capture the imagination of the American public and it’s the strangest thing – folks who normally wouldn’t be engaged by a 100 meter sprint on a track or a 4X100 swimming medley in a pool are suddenly glued to their TV sets awaiting the next semifinal heat and getting to know these athletes we call “world class.”

And for a few weeks, we all seemingly stand at attention of the balance beam or the high dive podium. But then, almost like clockwork and presidential elections, most of these sports go back into a four-year hibernation in the minds and hearts of the American public.

Some of these major international sports – like soccer or basketball – are well engrained in every facet of American life and already have a huge clamoring for the athletes who makes tens of millions of dollars “playing” their game as a vocation and not a hobby. And then there are the weightlifters and badminton players who wallow in relative obscurity, even during the Olympic Games themselves as an agate type or a footnote on the TV broadcast.

But after watching parts of beach volleyball games over the first week of the Olympic Games and seeing the social media stream talking about the once-again dominant performance of Misty May-Treanor & Kerri Walsh Jennings I’m starting to think twice about whether this is the one “niche” sport that could become far more mainstream in America in the coming decade.

At WNST, we took phone calls on it. Folks were tweeting us about it. And it almost made you want to buy a ticket and watch these girls – and yes, even the fellows – play sometime soon.

 

 

 

Back in May when the Preakness was in Baltimore, the tour stopped at the Inner Harbor. I even met Phil Dalhausser and Todd Rogers during the Alibi Breakfast at Old Hilltop. I felt some of the presence of players and fans as I walked through the downtown area. It was a buzz, albeit a relatively small one. There are beach volleyball courts literally three blocks from where I live and I see folks playing socially most weeknights. And let’s be honest, everyone has played some volleyball at a picnic once or twice or in Ocean City.

You don’t have to know much about the sport to realize there’s certainly something incredibly compelling about these two female phenoms, who have written the Babe Ruth-like first chapter in the history of the sport.

May-Treanor & Walsh Jennings have now struck gold over the past three Olympics but can the sport catch on beyond their Olympic appearances, which act as a P.R. machine for whatever it will grow into and become in America? And not just on the far sexier women’s side of the net.

And, yes, I did mention the sex. Beach volleyball has certainly got sex appeal – again on both sides of the nets — with tall, bronze, sculpted athletes and the not-easily won over crowds in London via Brasil were large and enthusiastic.

Really, it was amazing to see what a tough ticket the beach volleyball games were and how the sport has evolved into a theatrical production – borrowing elements of NBA dancers, loud popular music and riveting athletes who pump the crowd up

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AA County runner Centrowitz fourth in 1500 meters

Posted on 07 August 2012 by WNST Staff

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

LONDON – Algeria’s Taoufik Makhloufi won the 1,500-meter gold medal at the London Olympics on Tuesday night, only a day after being reinstated to the final.

Makhloufi was disqualified from the games after track and field officials ruled he didn’t try hard enough during a heat in the 800. He had already qualified for the 1,500 final at that stage.

But the disqualification was overturned after a medical officer reviewed the evidence, and Makhloufi made his second chance count, winning the 1,500 title in 3 minutes, 34.08 seconds.

Leonel Manzano of the United States took silver in 3:34.79 and Abdalaati Iguider of Morocco earned bronze in 3:35.13. Matt Centrowitz (Broadneck) finished 4th at 3:35.17.

 

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 07 August 2012 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: Soccer-MLS DC United @ Sporting Kansas City (Saturday 8:30pm from Kansas City live on Comcast SportsNet); Pro Lacrosse: MLL Denver Outlaws @ Chesapeake Bayhawks (Saturday 7pm from Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium live on ESPN3.com); Charm City Roller Girls (Saturday 5:30pm Du Burns Arena)

10. Evanescence/Chevelle (Tuesday 4pm Pier Six Pavilion); American Idol Live feat. Phillip Phillips (Thursday 7pm First Mariner Arena Wednesday 7pm Verizon Center); O.A.R. (Friday 5:30pm Merriweather Post Pavilion); System of a Down/Deftones (Tuesday 8pm Verizon Center); Linkin Park (Saturday 8pm Jiffy Lube Live), Aerosmith/Cheap Trick (Sunday 7:30pm Jiffy Lube Live); Steve Miller Band (Friday & Saturday 8pm Wolf Trap), Joe Walsh (Monday 8pm Wolf Trap); Little Feat (Wednesday 8pm Rams Head Live); Howie Day (Thursday 8pm Rams Head on Stage); Mighty Mighty Bosstones (Tuesday 7pm 9:30 Club); Lucinda Williams (Monday 7:30pm Birchmere); Alternate Routes (Friday 8pm Jammin’ Java); Boston/Kansas/Grand Funk Railroad (Saturday 7pm Aberdeen Proving Ground); Kenny Chesney/Tim McGraw (Sunday 4:30pm FedEx Field); The Wailers (Sunday 8pm State Theatre); Silopanna feat. Cake, Citizen Cope, Robert Randolph & The Family Band, G. Love & Special Sauce, J Roddy Walston & The Business, Jimmie’s Chicken Shack (Saturday Anne Arundel County Fairgrounds)

You may not have heard this, but I enjoy the tunes of the band Of A Revolution…

Do you think the Bosstones ultimately fell off because they just couldn’t shake the stigma that came with being the band from Clueless? They were so freaking good…

I’m looking forward to seeing Citizen Cope Sunday in Annapolis…

I’m looking forward to seeing Robert Randolph even more…

9. Chris Tucker (Saturday 7pm Modell Performing Arts Center at The Lyric); Ian Bagg (Thursday-Saturday Baltimore Comedy Factory); Mike Birbiglia (Tuesday-Thursday DC Improv); Michael McDonald (Friday-Sunday DC Improv); Baltimore County Summer Restaurant Week (Friday-Monday throughout Baltimore County); “Nitro Circus The Movie 3D” (Wednesday), “The Bourne Legacy” and “The Campaign” out in theaters (Friday)

I pray “The Campaign” doesn’t suck. There’s been far too much good thus far.

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Revisiting, Michael Phelps is ___________ as the local hero returns to Baltimore

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Revisiting, Michael Phelps is ___________ as the local hero returns to Baltimore

Posted on 06 August 2012 by Nestor Aparicio

It’s been quite the week for Michael Phelps, as the local hero has once again stolen the show in London for the 2012 Olympics and will come home to Baltimore as the most decorated athlete in the history of the planet.

Ten days ago, before the Opening Ceremonies, I tested the waters of local opinions with a simple, open-ended statement on Facebook and Twitter – “Michael Phelps is ________.” I also wrote a blog regarding Phelps for #VisaGoWorld regarding his significance and reputation around Baltimore.

Some took turns praising Phelps for his accomplishments in the pool and for purchasing Meadowbrook Swim Club and giving back to his almost cult-like sport of swimming by inviting local kids into the pool to find fitness and inspiration.

Others mentioned his indiscretions, his reckless behavior of youth and his general boorishness around Baltimore.

Everyone – love him, hate him or envy him – mentioned his mutual love of Baltimore sports teams and the local pride that comes with his roots here in Towson.

But now with 21 medals – and an almost unimaginable 18 gold medals – what will become of Michael Phelps here in Baltimore as the local hero, especially now that his career in the water and on the world stage appears to be over?

This whole swimming thing is quite different from the adulation showered on your “normal” athlete. We’ve all had a chance to watch Ray Lewis play or even have our parents tell us about Johnny Unitas. We’ve all witnessed some of the Cal Ripken magic and know about Brooks Robinson and Jim Palmer and some of us even can collect the bronze statues or bobbleheads.

But for Phelps I find it rather odd that most locals have never seen him swim a race in person. He’s been the best in the world at what he does for 12 years and I’ve never met a person who could tell you anything about his accomplishments in the four years that elapse in the blink of an eye between Sydney and Athens, from Beijing to London.

All of the glory – but all of it truly “made for television.”

Phelps will return to Baltimore sometime later this week and I’m assuming that the Towson government won’t shut down for a day to hold him a parade this time. I’m assuming that Baltimore won’t shut down Fort McHenry and the streets of the city to fete him later in the fall. Believe it or not, the cost of paying police and shutting down streets back in 2008 was quite the ticket for the local taxpayers.

All of the attention, adulation and pomp and circumstance back in 2008 seemed more than enough. The hero worship thing has to have become tiring, even for Phelps, who seemingly couldn’t care less about all of the praise and rock star treatment.

Phelps visited with Bob Costas on the NBC set last night for 30 minutes and much of the conversation was illuminating in regard to how Phelps sees his future.

His ever-present mother Debbie Phelps has clearly been publicly and privately imploring her lad to swim four years from now in Rio in an attempt to add to his collection of rare, precious metals.

Phelps held his final relay gold medal up for Costas and said, “This will be the last Olympic gold medal I’ll ever win. I’m done.”

He almost brightened up on the set when he talked about working with children and traveling the world.

But as I’ve mentioned many times over the past four Olympics that Phelps has attended – it’s swimming. People are only going to get so excited about his sport or him, and by the time football season starts five weeks from now in Baltimore anything regarding the Olympics or gold medals or even Ryan Lochte will be long-forgotten in the mind of most local people and sports fans.

Will Phelps get more involved in local sports issues?

Will he immerse in the community and be more than a face at a local bar and on the sidelines of Baltimore Ravens games?

Will he develop a hobby or interest outside of the pool that doesn’t include pictures of him at a frat party?

What will traveling the world and “seeing things” do for his status as a strangely famous and wealthy 26-year old man with many, many more years left on the planet?

What will the future of Michael Phelps bring for him and for Baltimore?

Only time will tell.

Your feedback or thoughts are welcomed below…

I am blogging on behalf of the Visa Go World Olympic Campaign and receive compensation for my time, but
the thoughts, words, and promotions on this page are mine, not Visa’s.

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Is Michael Phelps a hero or a zero? Depends on who you ask…

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Is Michael Phelps a hero or a zero? Depends on who you ask…

Posted on 31 July 2012 by Nestor Aparicio

The every-fourth-year hubbub about the Olympics and swimming and local connections is underway and once again this week Michael Phelps has entered the worldwide sports consciousness every night as the most decorated athlete in United States history.

So if you’re a provincial, “local” Baltimore sports fan you’re almost obligated to cheer for the kid from Towson wearing the red, white and blue on behalf of our country as well as our community.

After all of the tape delay fiascos from England this weekend – I wrote my two cents here — I started thinking about Michael Phelps as being the unique sports figure of our time in Baltimore. Oh, sure we have some hometown sports heroes like Johnny Unitas, Brooks Robinson, Cal Ripken and Ray Lewis, who will all have plenty of bronze likenesses and memories in our community and “time will not dim the glory of their deeds” but Phelps’ accomplishments trump all of them on his stage when you consider his competition around the planet and the scope and magnitude of the Olympics.

And unlike the Orioles, Colts or Ravens, most people have never been anywhere near a pool where Michael Phelps has swam a lap. The closest approximation to a “cheering crowd” for Phelps happened four years ago when the remnants of a Baltimore Ravens preseason game watched him swim for gold inside the stadium about 30 minutes after the football game ended.

You can see my view of it here:

So on Saturday afternoon before Phelps took his first turn in the pool vs. Ryan Lochte, I put up one simple, open-ended sentence for tens of thousands of our @WNST Twitter followers and our Facebook community. It was:

Michael Phelps is ___________________.

There were hundreds of comments across social media and by my count far more than 50% weren’t just negative they were downright personal and abusive in some cases. And this was on Facebook, where people sign their names and add their likeness to their criticism.

Perhaps it’s gold medal envy?

Maybe it was the DUI

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