A new week is upon us and the Olympics are over. The Stack is a
little sad today, but all good things must come to an end. We've got
plenty to react to from the Olympics and the rest of the weekend in
sports so let's get right to it and see what made "the stack" for today,
Monday, August 13:
XXX Olympics close in London
The games of the XXX Olympiad, the 2012 Olympics, are in the books and we were treated to a wonderful spectacle in London. Hundreds of athletes from all parts of the globe gave it their all and most made their countries very proud. I could recap each individual event and competition, the medals won and everything, but that would take way to long and be a thorough read. Instead, let???s go over some of the moments that made us cheer and left us amazed over the past couple of weeks from not just American athletes but all of the Olympic participants:
- Both the men and women???s basketball teams come home with gold having proven their dominance in the sport. The women trounced France 86-50 while the men played Spain in a thriller, beating them 107-100.
- Michael Phelps made Olympic history by winning a total of twenty-two medals over his Olympic career. That???s eighteen gold, two silver and two bronze. He is the new record holder and it stands to reason the record will not be broken anytime soon by another swimmer. After a slow start, Phelps turned it on and leaves the sport as nothing short of a legend. He says this is it. Will there be an itch that he wants to scratch in four years? Rio 2016 anyone?
- Sticking with the sport of swimming, one of the two American darlings in these Olympics, Missy Franklin, took her sport by storm winning five medals, four of them gold. Just seventeen years old, Franklin looks like she???ll be the face of women???s swimming for the foreseeable future. She helped set two world records and an Olympic record. And she has a fantastic personality and a great smile. What a fantastic Olympic debut.
- The other darling of the Olympics has to be gymnast Gabby Douglas. The gymnast with a fantastic smile became part of a select group of U.S. women when she won the gold in women???s all around. Douglas joins Mary Lou Retton (1984), Carly Patterson (2004) and Nastia Liukin (2008) as the only U.S. women???s gymnasts to pull off the feat. She was able to get by a pair of good Russian gymnasts and even was able to outduel her teammate Jordyn Wieber to represent the US in the women???s all around. Oh yeah, she helped the U.S. win team gold as well. She and her family sacrificed so much, moving from Virginia to Des Moines so that she could get proper training. And she is young too. Just like Franklin, Douglas appears to be the face of women???s gymnastics for a while.
- On the track, Jamaica???s Usain Bolt proved once again that he is the fastest man in the world, winning gold in both the 100m and 200m events. Bolt became the first Olympian ever to sweep the events in back-to-back Olympics. And he aims to it again in Rio in 2016. He is no doubt the fastest man alive and may be the best runner the Olympic games has ever seen.
- Staying on the track, Sanya Richards-Ross, wife of Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback and two time Super Bowl champion Aaron Ross, won two golds. Guess there might be some competition as to what should be more proudly shown, the gold medals or the Super Bowl rings. And Allyson Felix won three gold medals, two of them coming in relay races. America had a great Olympics on the track.
- But Americans weren???t the only ones who excelled on the track. Great Britain saw some success with Mo Farah winning the 10,000m and 5000m races and Jessica Ennis winning the women???s heptathlon.
- There were even more great stories on the track from David Rudisha winning the 800m race in world record fashion with a time of 1:40.91. It meant so much to him to win for his tribe and his country of Kenya. Then there was Botswana winning their first ever Olympic medal getting a silver in the 800m thanks to Nijel Amos. Grenada won their first medal and it was a gold to boot thanks to Kirani James winning the 400m. And what about South Africa???s Oscar Pistorius? Not only did this double amputee compete against able bodied runners, but he also placed second in his initial heat in the 400m before losing in the semifinals. And he ran in the 4X400m relay. Very courageous athlete who was able to achieve his dreams. These stories and results are what make the Olympics special.
- The U.S. women???s soccer team sought revenge against Japan after their World Cup loss last year and they were successful beating Japan 2-1 to win gold. Hope Solo was brilliant in net against the relentless attack by Japan.
- Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings won their third gold medal in women???s volleyball. This is the last time the two will ever see the duo again. They were awesome and will be missed.
- The U.S. women won their first ever gold medal in women???s polo with their 8-5 win over Spain.
- And Great Britain was pretty darn good winning 65 medals including twenty-nine gold. Cycling, rowing and equestrian helped lead the way and Andy Murray was able to win gold in men???s tennis.
- Opening and closing ceremonies were pretty entertaining too.
All in all the Olympics were a complete success. Ratings for NBC were off the charts and the performances we saw were great. Tremendous games. London was a great host city. For all of the pessimism leading into the games of the thirtieth Olympiad, there is nothing bad to say now. No big issues to speak of. The Olympics help bring the world together and I think we certainly saw that here over the past two weeks. Congrats London. Hope everyone enjoyed watching the games. Sad to see them come to an end. The winter Olympics are in Sochi, Russia, in 2014. As for the summer Olympics, we say so long to them for now. See you in Rio in 2016.
Honey Badger dismissed from LSU
Tyrann Mathieu, aka the "Honey Badger" was dismissed from the LSU Tigers football team Friday for violating team policy. While this has upset plenty of Tigers fans, Mathieu, who finished fifth in the Heisman Trophy voting last year, simply ran out of cohices. Head coach Les Miles knew he had to make a statement and this certainly was a bold one and one that got the team's attention. Of course losing a player like Mathieu will hurt LSU, but he isn't irreplaceable. LSU will still have a dominant year and still be in contention for the national title. Mathieu meanwhile has a list of three teams that he is looking to play at this season. The list is McNeese State, Jackson State and Prairie View A&M. All three are FCS teams. Mathieu seemed destined to be a first round draft pick, but his actions have put that in serious doubt. He can still make it to the NFL, but his decision making has cost him big time.
Rory McIlroy wins PGA Championship
Young Mr. Rory McIlroy was able to conquer the Ocean Course and leave the competition way behind the rearview mirror as he won the PGA Championship by a record eight shots shooting thirteen under (-13) overall. Just like his U.S. Open victory, McIlroy destroyed the field leaving no doubt who was going to win. It is his second major championship. He also became the youngest player ever to win the PGA Championship. Expect a lot from McIrloy who hit so many good shots over the weekend. The question is whether or not he lets this weekend and the success get to his head. After his U.S. Open win last year, it seemed like McIlroy let the fame get to him a bit. He didn't seem nearly as sharp or as focused coming back. Now that he has that experience to lear from, I don't think we'll see him struggle as bad this time around.
Perhaps the bigger question is what happened to Tiger Woods? Three times this year he had the lead or had a share of the lead heading into the weekend of a major championship. All three times, Woods fizzled out on the weekend. He finished tied for eleventh after shooting two under (-2). He seems close, but can't quite put it all together. Next year, if it hasn't come already, is a make it or break it year for Tiger. He has got to win at least one major to even think about breaking Jack Nicklaus' major record of eightteen. We expect Tiger to do that. The question is, can he?
Chad Johnson released from Dolphins, other NFL notes
Well the Chad Johnson show is over in Miami almost as quickly as it began. Following a domestic battery incident Saturday night involving his wife that resulted in an arrest, the Miami Dolphins released the flamboyant Johnson. He was on a short leash to begin with and now he unemployed. And it doesn't seem like he is going to find another team that will sign him. Johnson has become more of a distraction and his play on the field has suffered so it's not worth signing him. It'll just be a circus if a team signs him. But don't worry. Johnson won't leave the public spotlight. Not with his TV network and everything. We'll still be talking about him and that's exactly the way Johnson likes it.
To on the field matters now and with fifteen of sixteen preseason games played this week (Dallas @ Oakland tonight 8 PM ET, ESPN), and perhaps nobody had a more impressive debut than the number one pick in this year's draft. Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck was outstanding in his first game against the St. Louis Rams. He went 10-16 for 188 yards and two touchdowns. Oh yeah and his first pass went for a 61-yard touchdown to Donald Brown. Not bad. Now yes it's just the first preseason game and it is just a preseason game, but this has to make Colts fans a little happier and confident. They must remember that Luck is a rookie, but more performances like the one he had against the Rams will make Colts fans forget that other quarterback they used to have. Peyton Manning? Maybe not. After all he did for the Colts, no Colts fan should forget Manning.
After all of the Olympics coverage, The Stack is going to take a short break this week, but will return either Thursday or Friday to talk some football unless some big breaking news happens. Then we'll for sure have a post so check back often. If not, see you Thursday.