The Stack is here this Wednesday morning and Olympic fever is alive and well. It hasn't gone very well for the US of A and we'll talk about yesterday's big headlines. Yes, Shawn White will definitely be mentioned. Now let's get to some other headlines in "the stack" for today, Wednesday, February 12:
Browns fire front office
The Cleveland Browns must think it's cool being the running joke of the NFL. They are at it once again, firing General Manager Michael Lombardi and ousting CEO Joe Banner in two months. Both Lombardi and Banner were hand picked by Browns owner Jimmy Haslem to get the organization headed in the right track. Apparently, the Browns are on the fast track to success according to Haslem. Given they do have a lot of draft picks in this year's NFL Draft, including two first round draft picks, but the decision to let two big front office guys go is perplexing to say the least. The Browns are putting 'fun' into dysfunctional.
Haslem named Ray Farmer as new GM. You might remember that Farmer declined the Miami Dolphins GM position a few weeks back. Little did he know this opportunity would come knocking at his door. A lot of pressure falls on his shoulders to get teh Browns back to relevancy. Easier said than done. Browns fans cannot be happy with what is going on. New coach, new general manager. Same song and dance since the Browns came back into the NFL in 1999. Maybe this time will be different. Maybe.
Tuesday's Olympic headlines
Seems like all anyone was talking about yesterday (even if they don't like the Olympics are pay that much attention to them) was Shawn White failing to win gold in snowboarding men's halfpipe. It's not that White failed to win gold in the event for a third straight Olympics. It's that he didn't even medal at all. After qualifying for the final group of twelve, in his first run, White fell, rather shocking conisdering he never falls. Whether it was the slope or just a miscue, it was stunning. His board caught the top of the pipe later in the run and he fell again. There was a second run so White had a chance to medal, but his run fell two points short of a medal. Switzerland's Iouri Podladtchikov won the gold by pulling his made up YOLO move. It's still amazing, almost numbing that White failed to even medal. He's the sport's most dominant snowboarder. When he doesn't even medal, it's making news and creating ripples throughout America even to the average person who may not care. It certainly was being talked about where I work yesterday. That's how big this was.
There was some good for team USA yesterday. History was made in the sport of luge, where American Erin Hamlin won the first ever medal for team USA in singles luge, earning a bronze thanks to her very nice last run. Germany's Natalie Geisenberger won the event, but for Hamlin to win bronze is awfully impressive. The USA has never been able to break through and win a medal in this event and now that that door has been broken, the pressure hopefully has lifted and it will be easier to win more medals in the event. Let's just hope that the success can continue in the sport and also make it's way to bobsled and skeleton too. Congrats to Ms. Hamlin on the run. Way to go!
Curling is really coming up short in these Olympics, at least for team USA. the men lost their match 8-4 to China, conceding defeat after 8 ends. China kept making some miraculous, magical shots. They consistently hit two or three stones to keep team USA from earning any points while getting a point or two of their own. When it's not your day, it's not your day. Definitely wasn't for the men.
Women's curling is also failing miserably. The women lost both of their games yesterday, losing 9-6 versus Russia and 12-3 to Great Britain. What's going on with them? Skipper Erika Brown has been playing terribly. Don't know if the pressure is getting to her or if she is just off, but her confidence is clearly shaken. Her rolls just aren't going where they need to. At this point, a win would be nice for 0-3 team. We'll see how it all plays out, but right now, it's not going so good.
And finally, history was made yesterday on the broadcast side of things when Bob Costas, host of NBC's primetime coverage missed yesterday. He has been fighting an eye infection that began the day Olymipcs began. He hasn't missed Olympic hosting duties since starting in 1992. What a run he had. Today's Matt Lauer filled in for his co-worker yesterday. Get well soon Bob Costas. Olympics aren't the same without you.
Medal count through Tuesday
Norway -11 (4 G, 3 S, 4 B)
Canada -9 (4 G, 3 S, 2 B)
Netherlands -8 (3 G, 2 S, 3 B)
USA -7 (2 G, 1 S, 4 B)
Come America. Let's pick it up. Hasn't been the best of starts to the Olympics in the medal count. Let's go! USA! USA!
Full results and schedules of Winter Olympic events can be found at nbcolympics.com or by clicking here.
The Stack is going on a mini-vcation but will continue to try and get a blog out as the Olympics proceed. You can follow me on Twitter @ndstacken for updates and Olympic thoughts.