Tag Archive | "Ryan Lochte"

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Michael Phelps’ return makes swimming relevant again

Posted on 25 April 2014 by johngallo

Sports needed this.

Swimming needed this.

And of course, Baltimore needed this.

Michael Phelps is back, which means swimming is back and even more importantly, it means one of the most underappreciated sports rivalries is back: Phelps vs. Ryan Lochte.

You can’t have a sport without a rivalry, which makes fans gravitate to the competition, whether it’s on land or water.

The Ravens have the Steelers, and the Orioles have the Red Sox. But those are teams and Phelps is a 28-year-old man, well, more like a demigod considering what he does in the pool isn’t human.

Expect the national media, including Sports illustrated, to follow Michael Phelps' every move after coming out of retirement. (Courtesy of Michael Phelps' Facebook page)

How many great athlete vs. athlete rivalries are there right now? LeBron James vs. Kevin Durant? Nope. Talk to me when Durant beats James in the Finals. Baseball? Who?

What about boxing? The Baby Boomer generation grew up with Muhammad Ali, who never stopped throwing jabs – verbally or physically – at opponents. Now, we have Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao talking about fighting each other instead of actually, well, you know, getting in the ring and proving who’s the man.

I miss the days when Magic Johnson and Larry Bird went at each other. I long for the time when Michael Jordan had to learn to fail against the Pistons before conquering them. And how about the Knicks and Heat? I still crack a smile when I see footage of Knicks Coach Jeff Van Gundy clinching to Alonzo Mourning’s leg like a toddler during the 1998 playoffs.

Every decade can be defined by its rivalries. The 70s had the Steelers and Cowboys and even NASCAR was in the mix, with Bobby Allison and Cale Yarborough trading punches next to the track at the 1979 Daytona 500. Awesome.

The 80s had had Martina Navratilova against Chris Evert and the Edmonton Oilers against everyone else. The 90s had Pate Sampras and Andre Agassi.

Sports forces us pick sides. You can’t like the Terps and Duke, just as you can’t cheer for the Yankees and Red Sox. You either cheer for Tiger Woods or the rest of the field, with the same applying to NASCAR drivers.

That’s why swimming needs Phelps back in the pool. Lochte, a native New Yorker, simply isn’t polarizing enough, or good enough, to carry swimming the way Mark Spitz did decades ago. How many professional swimming races did you watch after Phelps called it quits? That’s what I thought.

But Phelps says he’s coming back and immediately, swimming’s relevant again.

How else can you explain that all sessions of the three-day Arena Grand Prix at the Skyline Aquatic Center in Arizona were sold out. A pair of $40 all-session tickets was being sold for more than six times that on the Internet. Phelps should get a cut.

All of the sudden, swimming was in a news cycle dominated by the NHL and NBA playoffs and the release of the NFL schedule. On SportsCenter, Phelps received more coverage than the Orioles.

And for good reason. The only way Phelps, an avid Ravens and Orioles fan, could be any more “Baltimore” is if you covered him in Old Bay. When Phelps is at the starting block, our city is there with him. By having Phelps, we could go to anywhere and say our guy is better than your guy. Phelps isn’t one of those athletes who lives here during the season and spends the offseason in Miami.

Phelps lives in Canton.

Even Lochte, an 11-time Olympic medalist, acknowledges swimming is much better with Phelps in the pool than on the golf course.

“With what he’s done for the sport of swimming and him leaving kind of broke my heart a little because I love getting on those blocks and racing him,” Lochte told reporters after his winning time of 51.93 seconds was two-tenths of a second faster than Phelps (52.13) in the 100-meter butterly on Thursday night in Arizona. “Now that he’s back, I’ve got a big ol’ smile on my face.”

And so does everyone else. We get another chapter in the Phelps-Lochte saga, with the two biggest bullies on the block, lining up at that the starting block, wanting nothing more than to touch the wall before the other guy.

Phelps, a Rodgers Forge native, has won a world record 22 Olympic medals, including 18 gold medals that probably are worth more than Dundalk.

The guy’s super human. Who else can go from retiring after the 2012 London Games and, with minimal training, jump and beat Lochte – and everyone else – by swimming the fastest qualifying time in the 100-meter butterfly in 52.84 seconds?

“Him and I can’t stand losing to one another,” Phelps told reporters. “We both want to beat each other as many times as we can. That’s the competitiveness we both have. When we do get in the water, we’re going to do everything we can to get our hand on the wall before [the other] in every single race. And it’s the same for him. We’ll fight to the end, in any stroke, in any event we swim.”

Consider: Phelps is a three-time Olympic champion and current world record-holder in the 100-meter butterfly and his time on Thursday night tied for the fourth fastest in the world this year.

“It’s one meet; it’s one race,” Phelps told reporters after the final. “It’s a long way whether I decide to continue or not. This was awesome. I’m really excited about how things went. I do know what I need to do if I want to continue and swim faster.”

How much faster would his time have been he wasn’t overweight or hadn’t spent the past 18 months on the golf course, where he claimed to have struck 20,000 balls in the past six months?

“I’m doing this for me,” Phelps said at a press conference before the competition. “I’m doing this because I enjoy being in the pool and I enjoy the sport of swimming. I am looking forward to wherever this road takes me.”

Michael, we all know where this road is leading: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, for the 2016 Olympics.

Follow me on Twitter @JonGallo1

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Lochte caught by French in relay, USA & Phelps take silver

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Lochte caught by French in relay, USA & Phelps take silver

Posted on 29 July 2012 by WNST Staff

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Phelps favored to win more golds than Lochte in London

Posted on 26 July 2012 by WNST Staff

Courtesy of Bovada, (www.Bovada.lv,  Twitter: @BovadaLV).  Included below are the Gold Medal counts for the US, who will win the most Gold Medals, a plethora of Men’s Hoops odds, swimming, track and field, and much more

Total Gold Medals for Team USA at the 2012 Olympics

Over/Under                    38.5

Most Gold Medals at the 2012 Olympics

USA                             4/7

China                            7/5

Russia                          25/1

Great Britain                  33/1

Total Medals for Team USA at the 2012 Olympics

Over/Under                    103.5


Men’s Basketball Props

Basketball – Men’s – Odds to win the Gold Medal

USA                                         1/8

Spain                                        13/2

France                                      28/1

Argentina                                  28/1

Lithuania                                   33/1

Russia                                      33/1

Brazil                                        40/1

Australia                                   100/1

Great Britain                              250/1

China                                        400/1

Nigeria                                      500/1

Tunisia                                      1000/1

 

Basketball Men’s – Odds to win Silver

Spain                            4/9

France                          7/1

Argentina                      7/1

 

Basketball Men’s – Will USA and Spain meet in the finals?

Yes                              4/5

 

What will be the average margin of victory for the USA Men’s Basketball Team at the 2012 Olympics?

Over/Under                    25.5

 

What will be the largest margin of victory for the USA Men’s Basketball Team?

Over/Under                    45.5

 

What will be the smallest margin of victory for the USA Men’s Basketball Team?

Over/Under                    12.5

 

Lebron James – PPG for the tournament?

Over/Under                    17

 

Lebron James – APG for the tournament?

Over/Under                    4.5

 

Lebron James – RPG for the tournament?

Over/Under                    6.5

 

Kobe Bryant – PPG for the tournament?

Over/Under                    13.5

 

Kevin Durant – PPG for the tournament?

Over/Under                    17

 

Carmelo Anthony – PPG for the tournament?

Over/Under                    13.5

           

Historical Matchups – Who will Average More Points Per Game

(Whole Tournament) 

Lebron James                            -2

Michael Jordan (1992)                +2

(Note: Jordan averaged 14.9 pts per game)

 

Kevin Durant                              +1

Charles Barkley (1992)               -1

(Note: Barkley averaged 18 pts per game)

 

Kobe Bryant                              -.5      

Karl Malone (1992)                     +.5

(Note: Malone averaged 13 pts per game)

 

Historical Matchups – Who will Average More Assists Per Game

(Whole Tournament)

Chris Paul                                 Pick

Magic Johnson (1992)                Pick

(Note: Magic averaged 5.5 assists  per game)


Game 1 Lines

USA                 -24.5                -8000               167.5

France              +24.5                +1400

 

Total Points – Team USA

96

 

Total Points – Team France

71.5

 

Margin Of Victory

USA by 1-5                               18/1

USA by 6-10                              10/1

USA by 11-15                            6/1

USA by 16-20                            9/2

USA by 21-25                            4/1

USA by 26 or more                    1/1

France by 1-5                            50/1

France by 6-10                          200/1

France by 11-15                         250/1

France by 16-20                         300/1

France by 21-25                         350/1

France by 26 or more                 400/1


Odds to win Gold Medal

Swimming – Men’s 400m Individual Medley

Ryan Lochte (USA)                    2/3

Michael Phelps (USA)                1/1

 

Swimming – Men’s 200m Individual Medley    

Ryan Lochte (USA)                    4/5

Michael Phelps (USA)                6/5

 

Athletics – Track – Men’s 100m

Usain Bolt (JAM)                        7/10

Yohan Blake (JAM)                    3/2

Tyson Gay (USA)                       10/1

Justin Gatlin (USA)                    20/1

Ryan Bailey (USA)                     20/1

Asafa Powell (JAM)                    25/1

Christophe Lemaitre (FRA)          50/1

 

Athletics – Track – Men’s 400m

LaShawn Merritt (USA)               1/1

 

Athletics – Track – Men’s 110m Hurdles

Aries Merritt (USA)                     5/4

 

Athletics – Track – Women’s 100m Hurdles

Lolo Jones (USA)                       33/1

 

Athletics – Track – Women’s 100m

Allyson Felix (USA)                   7/1

 

Athletics – Track – Women’s 200m

Allyson Felix (USA)                    1/2

 

Soccer – Women’s

USA                             7/4

 

Soccer – Men’s

Brazil                            3/2

Spain                            12/5

 

Tennis – Men’s Singles

Novak Djokovic                          3/2

Roger Federer                            2/1

Andy Murray                              9/2

 

Tennis – Women’s Singles

Serena Williams                       3/2

Maria Sharapova                        4/1

Victoria Azarenka                      5/1

Venus Williams                         40/1

 

Tennis – Women’s Doubles

Williams/Williams (USA)            4/5

 

Miscellaneous Props

Who will win more Gold Medals at the 2012 Olympics?

Michael Phelps (USA)                -175   (4/7)

Ryan Lochte (USA)                    +140   (7/5)

 

Who will finish higher in the Men’s 400m Individual Medley?

Michael Phelps (USA)                +130   (13/10)

Ryan Lochte (USA)                    -160   (5/8)

 

Who will finish higher in the Men’s 200m Individual Medley?

Michael Phelps (USA)                -130

Ryan Lochte (USA)                    EVEN

 

Will Usain Bolt (JAM) win both the Men’s 100m and 200m Gold Medals?

Yes                  +125   (5/4)

No                    -175   (4/7)

 

Will the USA win both the Men’s and Women’s 4x 400m relays Gold Medals?

Yes                  EVEN

No                    -130

 

Will the USA win both the Men’s and Women’s Basketball Gold Medals?

Yes                  -600   (1/6)

No                    +400   (4/1)

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