Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Observations from the Couch 7.31, Updates

With a win in the 4x200 freestyle relay American swimmer Michael Phelps became the most decorated athlete in Olympic history. His 19th medal surpassed the 18 of Russian gymnast Larisa Latynina as he broke one of those sports records that will never be broken. For the record Phelps currently has 15 gold, 2 silver, and 2 bronze medals and he still has three races to go in London. This is one Olympic moment that deserves a drink and I shall have one.

In all fairness to Hope Solo I thought I should mention that she is far from the only athlete in London who needs to think before they talk. Before the games even began Kobe Bryant announced to the world that this Olympics' edition of the U.S. men's basketball team was better than even the original "dream team." That was the 1992 Olympic team which was the first made up of NBA players and has sometimes been called the best sports team of any kind ever assembled. To answer Kobe I'll just throw out a few names from that team. Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Patrick Ewing, Karl Malone, and David Robinson. They won every game with the wins ranging from a 32 point win in the gold medal game against Croatia to a 68 point opening game win over Angola.

Hope Solo threw a shutout today, her second in three games, as the U.S. women defeated North Korea 1-0 in front of 30,000, evidently no empty seats at this game. The American women swept the opening round of the tournament and now play New Zealand on Friday. It is the first time in Olympic history the U.S. team has swept its group.

The U.S. women's field hockey team stunned the 2nd in the world ranked Argentina today by a 1-0 score. It was a repeat of the Pan American Games where the U.S. earned an Olympic spot by defeating Argentina. Before that loss Aregentina had not lost at the Pan Am Games in 25 years. The U.S. is ranked 10th in the world and will face Australia on Thursday. The win keeps alive hopes for a medal after the American team lost its opening game.

In a totally different sporting area the Penn State football team  began practice today for its first season since 1965 without Joe Paterno as head coach. The team was greeted by an early morning rally attended by thousands of fans. Also the University announced it would loan the Athletic Department $60 million to pay its NCAA fine. Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbitt continues to tell anybody that will listen that no tax dollars will be used to pay the fine. This is easy to believe when you consider that under Corbitt the state has cut education funding to almost nothing at all.

And than there are the Phillies. Can you say fire sale?