Tag Archive | "U.S.A."

The rings

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Winter Olympics Offered Escape

Posted on 01 March 2014 by Tom Federline

Where did the games go? Where is my release from everyday pressures and this relentless winter? Where is “lazy-one-eyed” Bob? I am in Olympic withdrawal. For a little over 2 weeks the Sochi – Winter Olympics offered a welcome relief to the doldrums of an undesirable rough weather February in B-town. Coverage on the two stations was predominantly stellar. Sometimes the primetime dragged on with personal stories and “Travel Channel” type coverage of vacationing in Russia, but that’s what is on the slate at that time of evening. Besides those 3-1/2 hours of primetime it seemed as if there was coverage almost 24 hours a day. Whether it was live, taped delay or rebroadcast, the Sochi Olympics became a favorite tune-in for this guy.

I enjoyed turning on the television and viewing fairly obscure sports presented at their highest level. Precisioned athletic maneuvers reflecting natural ability, combined with years of devoted practice and time. Final standings being decided by seconds, tenths of a second and even hundreds of a second. Case in point, sum total of (4) bobsled/luge or skeleton runs being decided by those increments. “Oh, there’s a little bump there, that’s going to cost them!” 60-80 mph on a sled? Are you kidding me?

With the allowance of these athletes being compensated for their efforts, the past few Olympic games have taken on a slightly more intensive approach. Now as you know, where there is money, there is the potential for “The Fix.” But for the most part, there appeared to be stricter enforcement and fairer award of points on the sports which included judgmental scoring. FYI – USA Medal payoff (which is minute compared to endorsements, sponsorship, etc.) – Gold $25,000, Silver 15,000, Bronze – $10,000. Some of these medal payouts in other countries were much more impressive.

Yes, these athletes are dedicated to their sport. Yes, these athletes have reached a level that the other 99% of us, only dream of obtaining. And yes, there is compensation for those efforts. Kudos for the Olympic committee for opening it up. It was rewarding enough for me just to witness the passion these athletes had for their sport. How many times did you hear, “What an experience this is” – “I am so happy for my teammates, my fellow competitors, my family, my son, my daughter…”, “Finally, it all came together!”, “Gave it my best shot, just wasn’t meant to be, etc. etc.” Truthful, honest, pure heartfelt spur of the moment reaction. Just how it’s supposed to be.

Disappointments were few: USA Hockey teams, USA speed skating. Opening Ceremony with the ring malfunction. Any on your plate?
Annoyances were apparent: I still do not get what qualifications are required for representing a country. Well I do – and that would be – “show me the money”. But I just don’t buy it. What was with that South Korean Russian speed skater (Victor Li Wan Ahn Romanovski?). Come on now, that one put me over the edge. Then there’s the figure skating scams. Here’s a hypothetical, but nonetheless – “Now introducing the skating couple from Suvlakia – he was born in Germany, she was born in Canada, they train in Colorado Springs. What the …..heck? Remember, I’m old school. If you are at the Olympics representing a country you were born there, you train there, you pay taxes there and you live there.

The positives far out weighed the negatives. So many highlights, here are a few of mine: 1. How about that USA/Russia hockey game with the 8 inning shoot-out? 2. USA Ski team – all of them. 3. The first gold medal of the Olympics going to the slope “dude”, Sage Katzenburg. Did you see his runs? Did you see the footage when he had a “Go-Pro” with him and shot himself on a practice run – so cool. 4. Bobsled, luge, skeleton any time of day. 5. Curling, yes, the Curling, “Mongo Ice Shuffle-Pucks”. I should have driven down to Laurel 8 years ago and signed up when I first got fired up about it. 6. Ashley Wagner figure skating to “Shine on You Crazy Diamond” – (Pink Floyd) 7. And finally the cross-country skiing, skiathlon, biathlon, Nordic-combined events. Just great video, great setting and even better commentary. Yes, I was hooked by the combo team of Al Trautwig (deadpan) and Chad Salmela (over-zealous insight and knowledge). Those two captivated me that first Saturday. Anybody who can stop me in my tracks due and pull me in because of their delivery of a sporting event, is tops in my book. Hit me up with your “Top Moments”.

Bottom line – I needed some time to “Take it Easy” – (The Eagles) and coverage of the 2014 Winter Olympics provided that outlet. I didn’t even get into ancillary coverage on other channels or the commercials (WalMart – RUSH (Working Man). Sounds like another blog. Teaser – Did you see any of Billy Bushs’ mini-clips on Access Hollywood? I saw 2: 1. Johnny Weir surf fishing on the shores of the Black Sea in a mink and “Rick Owens” green high heeled boots. and 2. Billy and Scott Hamilton at a spa. Priceless. Thanks you NBC and Sochi Winter Olympics for the change of pace.

D.I.Y.
Fedman

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For USA Hockey, Sochi Memory will Sting

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For USA Hockey, Sochi Memory will Sting

Posted on 24 February 2014 by Nick Dorsey

 

Perception can be amazingly unstable in sports. One day you can be on top of the world and the next, rock bottom. Perception of the USA hockey team entering the Olympic semi-finals in Sochi was that the Americans could potentially bring back the gold.

Team USA went undefeated through the preliminary round match-ups, including a thrilling shootout victory over the Russian’s. That victory on top of being the highest scoring team entering the semis, had people convinced that the Americans were ready to earn the respect from the rest of the hockey world.

You had a good feeling about this US team entering the semi final game versus their border rivals. Even though the Americans had a good showing going into the semis throughout the tournament, they were a huge under dog to the reigning champions. If team USA wanted to be taken seriously across the world, they would have to defeat the team that took away their gold medal in 2010.

The first period was competitive both ways, but the tides turned quickly. Canada defeated team USA 1-0 in the semi-final round. It was a hard fought match by both teams, but the game was a bit more lopsided than the score indicated.

Jonathan Quick was remarkable throughout the sixty minutes, keeping his team alive until games end. He was the sole reason why team USA always had a chance to get back into the match. The team that entered this round as the highest scoring nation could not find the back of the net.

The Canadians defense was smothering all game long. The Americans were unable to find holes through the neutral zone to utilize their great team speed. Once in the offensive zone, USA could not get off the boards. With the bigger ice surface in Sochi, they were not a threat to score from the boards. They could not get near the slot to give themselves a better chance on Carey Price.

Carey Price posted a shutout with 31 saves, but he was not nearly as battle tested as Quick was on the opposite end. There are only a handful of golden chances that Price denied of the Americans to find the back of the net.

The defense was considered the weaker part of Team USA heading into Sochi, but they held up their end of the bargain against Canada. Canada is stacked with forwards across all lines, but they were held to just one goal. USA had seven 20+ goal scorers in the NHL on their roster, but was unable to muster one goal against Canada.

It was a tough defeat for team USA, there was so much hope for this team coming into their match up vs. Canada. Having the chance to break the hearts of those that did the heartbreaking just four years ago. It was difficult, but they had a chance to move on and play for a bronze medal the next day.

Team Finland knocked off Russia in the quarterfinals led by Tuukka Rask. Rask had an illness the day of their semi-final game against Sweden, so he was unable to go. If he had not been ill facing team Sweden, they could have won. Instead, Finland fell 2-1 to Sweden.

Finland gave everything they got to receive the Bronze medal. Finland went on to a  5-0 rout over team USA. The first period of action was competitive, but Finland scored two goals within 11 seconds in the opening minutes of the second frame. Once Patrick Kane missed two penalty shots in the game, the air was sucked out from the USA bench. This same USA team that came into the semis as the highest scoring team, failed to score one goal in their final two games.

So perception of team USA entering Friday’s semi final game was promising. They were perceived as a team that could make a gold medal run. Perception of the same team just two day’s later, a complete failure.

When everyone look’s back at the 2014 Sochi Winter games, they will remember T.J. Oshie and his amazing shootout performance. They will remember defeating Russia on their home ice in a nail biter. They will also remember losing to their archrivals in Canada while failing to score one goal in the two most important games of the tournament.

This will be a painful memory for the Americans because they had a golden chance to earn respect everywhere by making a run. Instead, they overwhelmingly underachieved when it counted the most.

NHL play resumes this Tuesday with a make up game from earlier in the season. It will be interesting to see how the majority of these players play right after the Olympics. Some players will thrive off of the excitement they had playing in Sochi for their countries. Some of them will have painful memories of what could have been at the Olympics. These athletes will need to get it all together quickly because this is the most important stretch of the season.

Playoffs are near upon us and some teams are in need of making a run just to get there. Which players will be able to get past the Olympic games and put their sole focus just on their teams chances at a post-season birth? We have the months of March and April to see just that.

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Caps John Carlson Makes a Strong Team USA Olympic Hockey Team

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Caps John Carlson Makes a Strong Team USA Olympic Hockey Team

Posted on 01 January 2014 by Ed Frankovic

Following today’s NHL Winter Classic in the “Big House” in Ann Arbor, USA Hockey announced their 25 man roster for the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi in February and as predicted in this blog back in November, the Washington Capitals John Carlson made the team on defense.

Carlson, in a conference call with the media tonight, called it a “dream come true” and said that playing on this big stage would be an even greater feat than scoring the overtime game winning goal for USA in the 2010 World Juniors Gold Medal.

Washington’s #74 received a ringing endorsement from team captain Alex Ovechkin when the Gr8 said that Carlson was the team’s best defensemen and 100% deserved to be on the team. Carlson has had an outstanding season and when Mike Green was injured earlier in the year, he stepped up as the team’s #1 d-man on the power play to go along with his role of being on the #1 pairing for killing penalties. Simply put, his ability to play in all situations combined with his excellent skating and hard shot made him a perfect fit for this year’s Team USA Olympic squad.

As for the rest of the team, GM David Poile’s club that will be coached by Penguins bench boss Dan Bylsma is as follows:

Goalies (3):

Ryan Miller (Buffalo), Jonathan Quick (Los Angeles),and Jimmy Howard (Detroit)

Defensemen (8):

Carlson, Ryan Suter (Minnesota), Ryan McDonagh (Rangers), Brooks Orpik (Pittsburgh), Paul Martin (Pittsburgh), Kevin Shattenkirk (St. Louis), Kevin Faulk (Carolina), and Cam Fowler (Anaheim)

Forwards (14):

Patrick Kane (Chicago), Zach Parise (Minnesota), Joe Pavelski (San Jose), Ryan Callahan (Rangers), Derek Stepan (Rangers), James van Riemsdyk (Toronto), Phil Kessel (Toronto), Blake Wheeler (Winnipeg), David Backes (St. Louis), T.J. Oshie (St. Louis), Ryan Kesler (Vancouver), Max Pacioretty (Montreal), Paul Stastny (Colorado), and Dustin Brown (Los Angeles)

This is a very good team but the challenge, as Poile mentioned back in August, is to be able to handle the big ice surface in Sochi. Team USA has not fared well outside of North America in the Olympics so the pressure is on this club to produce. The strength of this squad, in my opinion, is the goaltending and up front. Miller, despite playing behind a weak Sabres club, has been performing at a very high level and if Quick doesn’t get healthy and play well quickly, it will be the Michigan State alum in net once again for the Americans. Up front, Kane is as good a scorer as any in the world. The defense is the question mark but this crew of eight is filled with players who can play at both ends of the rink.

The time zone change, Sochi is nine hours ahead of the east coast, will be a factor for many of the NHL players but that impacts nearly every squad. On paper, Canada and Sweden look to be the best while Russia is hoping home ice helps their cause. I see Russia’s defense and goaltending as ultimately being their downfall. There are still six weeks to go until the games start, but my prediction right now is:

Gold – Sweden

Silver – Canada

Bronze – USA

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 31 December 2013 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: Women’s College Basketball-Maryland @ North Carolina (Sunday 3pm from Chapel Hill, NC live on ESPNU); Boxing: Argenis Mendez vs. Rances Bartholemy (Friday 9pm from Minneapolis live on ESPN2); MISL: Baltimore Blast @ Pennsylvania Roar (Tuesday 5:05pm from Reading, PA live on YouTube), Missouri Comets @ Baltimore Blast (Friday 7:35pm from Baltimore Arena live on YouTube), Pennsylvania Roar @ Baltimore Blast (Saturday 7:35pm from Baltimore Arena live on YouTube)

10. Jeezy (Tuesday 10pm Baltimore Arena); Keller Williams (Tuesday 9pm Rams Head Live), Badfish: A Tribute to Sublime (Friday 8pm Rams Head Live); Slightly Stoopid (Tuesday 9pm Fillmore Silver Spring), Wale (Wednesday 8pm Fillmore Silver Spring); Musiq Soulchild (Tuesday 11pm Howard Theatre); Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue (Tuesday 9pm 9:30 Club); Rusted Root (Sunday 8pm State Theatre)

People I know enjoy Keller Williams. That’s the extent of the discussion I have to offer here.

Wale is a Washington Football Club fan, yet somehow I don’t hate him. It’s really odd.

Remember when I posted a video of Trombone Shorty last week? This one is decidedly different.

Rusted Root is that band that never thought they’d be best known for a rental car commercial.

9. Baltimore New Year’s Eve Spectacular (Tuesday 9pm Inner Harbor); Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones” out in theaters (Friday); New season of “Community” debuts (Thursday 8pm NBC); Don Jon” available on Blu-Ray/DVD (Tuesday)

I mean…I’m so more than ready.

Also, what’s the age when you can stop pretending like you hate the sauerkraut your family serves with pork on New Year’s Day and admit you actually REALLY like it? 30 okay?

(Continued on Page 2…)

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Handling Bigger Ice Key for Team USA in 2014 Olympics

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Handling Bigger Ice Key for Team USA in 2014 Olympics

Posted on 27 August 2013 by Ed Frankovic

On day two of Team USA orientation camp at Kettler IcePlex this afternoon General Manager David Poile didn’t beat around the bush when discussing the biggest challenge his squad faces heading into the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. It’s all about how his squad performs on the bigger ice surface.

“We know what the challenges are here, we haven’t had any success in Europe on the big ice. The United States hasn’t won any medals in the last two Olympics played on the big ice,” stated the long time NHL GM.

Yes, Team USA won silver in Vancouver in 2010 and also in Salt Lake City back in 2002, but both of those tournaments were played on NHL sized rinks. The Olympic surface is wider, which changes several aspects on how the game is played.

“Angles and spacing really [is the difference]. More so the angles are quicker to adjust, it’s more of a read. At the NHL level you are approximated to the boards so you can use it as a gauge. Here, if you rely on that you are out of position pretty quickly. The one good thing is the zones are all a little different sizes but the paint is always in the same spot. I think that’s a key thing for everyone to understand and realize that from a spacing issue to try to use the faceoff circles and dots because they are actually in the same position as an NHL rink, almost,” said Kings winger Dustin Brown.

In 2010, Team USA used its ability to be physical to its advantage but with more room, taking the body is not as easy and is not as much of a factor.

“There’s more to being physical than the big hits. It’s rubbing guys out, grinding guys out. There’s still opportunities for the big hit, you just have to be patient and let it come to you. You can’t be running out of position because it’s just that much further you have to go to get back,” added Brown.

Most of the players seemed comfortable with going to the bigger rink size and some, like Carolina defensemen Justin Faulk, didn’t think the change was going to be real difficult.

“It’s probably easier going from big ice for smaller ice. You get more room. I don’t think it’s a big deal, I’ve done it many times personally. Everyone in here has played on big ice at some point. Obviously it’s a little bit different game and style,” stated Faulk.

Several other players acknowledged the ice surface challenge but it was clear that Poile, who has been in hockey long before every one of Team USA’s players was born, believes that addressing the rink size issue is paramount to his clubs success.

“The challenge for us is we’ve never had any success on European soil. We owe it to ourselves to to go over every facet of what we’ve done in the past on it. We’ve talked to former players and coaches and the thing that comes up constantly is you have to have speed. I don’t think we’ll need that truculence element as much. It’s just an adjustment and making the players aware of the differences in the ice size and making sure. You don’t want it to be the excuse. The fact that we’ve won two silver medals in North America and got nothing in Europe – I can’t accept that. These are good players, they’re smart players, they’re skilled players. It’s different – yes. Ok, so let’s go figure it out…it could be coaching, it could be systems, it could be the players that we take over there,” concluded Poile.

As for the roster make up itself, there were 48 players invited to the orientation camp and this is the deepest pool of talent Team USA has ever had. The team appears strongest in net where the club has the likes of Jonathan Quick, Jimmy Howard, Craig Anderson, Ryan Miller, Cory Schneider, and John Gibson. Up front they are led by Patrick Kane, Zach Parise, Ryan Kesler, Joe Pavelski, and Bobby Ryan while on defense Ryan Suter and Erik Johnson are the logical leaders. Poile indicated that this would be the toughest team these players would ever have to make and he stated that about half of the spots are likely already locked up based on the performances of some in the 2010 Olympics.

“As we’ve told the players, the body of work they’ve had in their career to this point is important but what they do in October, November, and December will be the deciding factor. I favor the guys from 2010, not only because of the success they had but how they’ve matured as hockey players. The age group we have right now is excellent. At times we thought we were too young in 2010 but now, four years later, we are bang on at the right age.”

It is apparent that the roster decisions are going to be extremely tough and many players will suffer the disappointment of missing out on representing their country, but Poile relishes that process.

“This is going to be the toughest decisions that I have to make, but I want it to be tough…We want the hard decisions, we’ve never really had in USA hockey to make that many hard decisions because we’ve never really had the depth and quality we presently have, so bring it on.”

Notes: The Caps were represented at the orientation camp by defensemen John Carlson, who scored the Gold Medal winning goal for Team USA in the 2010 World Junior Championships…Poile called Kettler “as good as any facility I’ve ever seen”…Erik Johnson was very critical of his game with Colorado last year and made it clear he needs to be more consistent…the Team USA jerseys were unveiled by the players to a sold out Kettler IcePlex. NHL Network televised the event.

 

 

 

 

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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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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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Olympic Bombardment

Posted on 01 August 2012 by Tom Federline

From a sports standpoint – there is absolutely no excuse to be experiencing the “Summertime Blues” – Eddie Cochran (1958), (rock version – The Who 1967, Blue Cheer 1968). Unless you are in seclusion or deprived with no access to computer or television, you should be in seventh heaven with the Olympics sports coverage. You can nit pick NBC’s coverage saying it’s to dramatic, to many commercials, Bob “Cosmetics” Costas is wearing to much make-up or has to much hair color, etc. etc. Bottom line – you have options. Due to the 5 hour time difference, you have the choice of whether to know the outcome of an event, wait for tape, run through the DVR.  The television and written media is almost at a point of being over whelming. The availability of  numerous sporting events and background insight is 24/7. My DVR is full and I have to tape over or delete. Bring on the Olympics.

The Good – All of it. Depending on your TV/computer package,  there is potential of up to 6 TV channels covering the events. And if you miss something, anything, you can find a replay of it somewhere, via the information highway. It’s fast, it’s furious, it’s entertaining and it’s only been 4 days. My highlights – Womens gymnastics - team gold, Phelps – medal #19, womens swimming – all of it, USA in anything. Extended coverage of the less popular sports: archery, table tennis (ping-pong at a serious advanced level), synchronized diving, badminton, rowing, etc. How about those Fab 5 Golden Girls

The Bad – Ryan Lochte over-load. Looks like NBC jumped on that bandwagon a little to early of that self-indulged individual. Way to blow the lead in the 4 x 100 freestyle swimming relay, Ryan. Take your arrogance and silver grills and go tryout for a numbnut on some bogus TV reality(?) show. I do not agree with the top 2 gymnasts from each country in qualifications advancing to determine the title of Best All-Around. The attempt of a “Fix” and the throwing of badminton matches – Chinese, South Koreans and Indonesia taking tournament into their own hands – http://www.nbcolympics.com/video/badminton/highlights-badminton-players-try-to-throw-match.html.

The Ugly – The Fix. Subjective judging – gymnastics, diving, boxing. I saw clear evidence of “The Fix” in each of these events and it is shameful. Gymnastics – did you see McKayla Maroneys vault last night? It was perfect, even in super slow motion. It stopped me dead in my tracks. I do not believe I have ever seen a more perfect execution of a gymnastics event. And neither had the commentators - Tim Dagget – “I would like the judges to explain where were the deductions?” Synchronized diving - identical dives, same degree of difficulty, Chinese NOT synchronized (85 points) - Mexicans nail it (72 points). It’s just wrong man. Columbia soccer player cold cocking USA player during match and the referees missing it -  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/30/lady-andrade-suspended-abby-wambach-punch-ban_n_1720132.html?ref=topbar.

The Olympics positives and negatives are running the gambit. Highs – USA womens skeet shooter Kimberly Rhode winning a gold medal (99 out of 100 clays) and medaling in her 5th olympics. Disappointments – Michael Phelps not winning his 3rd gold medal in his signature event - the 200m butterfly. Drugs (accusations) - 16 year old Chinese swimmer knocking 5 seconds off her best time and taking home the gold. Highly questionable. Unfortunately, there will be more on PED’s. The Thrill of Victory – Missy Franklin and Allison Schmitt and their swimming accomplishments. USA womens synchronized diving gold. What are your impressions of the games so far?

I am still waiting to catch Brooks ”The Tuna” Velour in the 50m freestyle swimming sprint final – http://mdlottery.com/mdlottery-tv/medal-madness-featuring-brooks-velour/  – best darn commercial I have seen in quite some time. Good, Bad or Ugly  – The London Summer Olympics 2012 – what a nice break.

D.I.Y.

Fedman

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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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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 24 July 2012 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: Pro Lacrosse-Chesapeake Bayhawks @ Boston Cannons (Saturday 2pm from Boston live on ESPN3.com); Boxing: Robert Guerrero vs. Selcuk Aydin (Saturday 10pm from San Jose live on Showtime), Friday Night Fights: Hank Lundy vs. Raymundo Beltran (Friday 10 from Atlantic City live on ESPN2)

10. BSO presents “The Music of Michael Jackson” (Thursday 6:30pm Pier Six Pavilion), BSO presents “The Music of Led Zeppelin” (Friday 6:30pm Pier Six Pavilion); Vans Warped Tour feat. Taking Back Sunday, All Time Low, Yellowcard (Tuesday 11am Merriweather Post Pavilion), Santana & The Allman Brothers (Monday 5pm Merriweather Post Pavilion); Flo Rida/Cee Lo Green (Wednesday 7pm Verizon Center), Rod Stewart & Stevie Nicks (Friday 7:30pm Verizon Center); 311/Slightly Stoopid (Saturday 6:30pm Jiffy Lube Live), Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival feat. Motorhead, Slipknot, Slayer (Sunday 1:30pm Jiffy Lube Live); Summerland feat. Everclear, Gin Blossoms, Sugar Ray, Lit (Wednesday 7pm Wolf Trap); Fuel/Filter (Tuesday 7pm Rams Head Live), Aaron Lewis (Wednesday 7pm Rams Head Live), SOJA (Thursday 8pm Rams Head Live), The Dan Band (Friday 8pm Rams Head Live); Dick Dale (Thursday 8pm Rams Head on Stage), Toad The Wet Sprocket (Monday 6pm & 9pm Rams Head on Stage); Kenny Loggins (Thursday 7:30pm Birchmere); Passion Pit “Gossamer” available in stores/on iTunes (Tuesday)

Let’s just go All 90′s here. I once jumped live on stage with Art Alexakis at an Everclear show at 1st Mariner Arena (it might have been Baltimore Arena then).

And yet I’d be equally excited to see the Gin Blossoms…

You’ve definitely found yourself humming a FUEL song at some point in your life…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p0QMfK9hzgA

I have no shtick tonight. I enjoy Filter music. That’s what I’ve got.

9. “The Watch” out in theaters (Friday); Baltimore Summer Restaurant Week (Friday-Monday throughout Charm City); Otakon (Friday-Sunday Baltimore Convention Center); Brian Regan & Dennis Regan (Thursday DC Improv), Rob Schneider (Friday-Sunday DC Improv)

I could post some pictures of food porn in honor of Baltimore Summer Restaurant Week, but I had a feeling you wanted to see some pictures of scantily clad Otakon-goers…

I’ll require a thank you card.

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