Olympic Sunday Brunch: Andy, Sandy & Randy

I surmise that the majority of you, real sports fans all, have learned that, unlike NBC’s saccharine prime time coverage, there are real sporting competitions to be viewed in full, during the day. (Thank you, Time Warner, for not giving the finger to NBC Networks like you have to NFL Network.)

This Sunday morn, most of you, instead of catching Australia’s shoot out W over China in women’s water polo, probably watched almost homie Andy Murray win on centre court in Wimbledon Part Deux. (More on Roger Federer’s performance in a moment.)

Good for Murray. Good for Great Britain. God Save The Queen.

Meanwhile, I couldn’t keep my eyes off the “competition” at Insight 971 (NBC Sports f/k/a Versus).

* * * * *

The quotes around the word “competition” were obviously on purpose. Is an event really sport if the outcome is decided by judges rather than abject athletic superiority at the moment? To paraphrase my nemesis Dave, “I don’t watch anything where they don’t keep score, or there isn’t a finish line.”

So much for Dave and diving. And gymnastics. And synchronized swimming. And dressage. (I wonder if he watches gun shooting or archery, where steely nerves and some talent are necessary, but athleticism is far from a requirement?)

More’s the pity for him. And you, if you are of the opinion that it is stupid to watch a couple of hot babes wearing stupid looking — but absolutely necessary — nose pinchers and Peter Max-colored unis with Jerry Lewis-vaselined hair, doing pirouettes upside down inside and above water level in a pool in unison.

I am now of the opinion that synchronized swimmers are as good athletically as any other competing in any sport in these games. What they do — as silly as it may look, despite its balletic presence — takes strength, talent, perseverance, power, stamina and lots and lots of practice. “Six hours a day in the pool,” advised the expert commentator, who seemed to know what she was talking about.

I can’t tell you who won. I’m not discerning enough to tell the slight differences between those who won medals and those who didn’t. Nor do I consider as much “competition” as I do “performance.” But I forget from one four year cycle to another what amazing jocks these gals are.

* * * * *

Roger Federer, who captured Wimbledon just a fortnight ago against today’s foe Andy Murray, lost the Gold in straight sets.

I didn’t watch from the beginning, tuning in when he was down a set and way behind in the second. But as pungent as Murray’s shot placement was, the best tennis player ever looked listless, almost disinterested. (I know he looks like that even when playing well, but today seemed different.)

So, I gotta ask, was Roger, in deference to the importance of this match to Murray on his home turf, getting in touch with his inner Chinese Table Tennis player?

I guess I’m sure Federer wasn’t throwing the match. But when it became obvious that it was going to be Murray’s day, RF seemed to slow down a beat.

* * * * *

The real contemplation of this year’s Team USA Hoops is not whether the LeBrons are as good or better than the Dream Team — which they are absolutely, positively not — but whether they are as good and dominant as Gene Auriemma’s Angel-led women’s team?

* * * * *

So, I gotta ask.

You think the sell out crowds and complete coverage of women’s beach volleyball by NBC has anything to do with the ladies’ skimpy “uniforms”?

Just wondering?


  1. mark
    Posted August 5, 2012 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

    “Angel led”? Uh, a bit of a slight to the great Diana Taurasi (and Lindsay Whalen).

  2. david
    Posted August 5, 2012 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

    your nemesis Dave appreciates the athletic ability of gymnasts, divers,synchronized swimmers, et.al. He just does not confuse these entertainment events with sports.

  3. cbcard
    Posted August 5, 2012 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

    To Mark:

    Angel was 8 for 8 from the field today for 16 (second high), had 6 rebounds (second high), 6 assists (second high), and five steals (team high). That’s the way she has been playing. What more can you ask for?

  4. mark
    Posted August 5, 2012 at 9:23 pm | Permalink

    To CD:

    What more? Years of proven leadership. Yes, McCoughtry played great—yesterday. Taurasi has been a beacon in women’s hoops for years, starting at UConn. Don’t get me wrong, A.McC likely could be the best ever, but Diana could be compared to another tremendous female US athlete in the Olympics, and beyond: Mia Hamm.

    yrs, mrb

  5. mark
    Posted August 5, 2012 at 9:24 pm | Permalink

    PS: Taurasi has 22 pts. against the PRC.

  6. cbcard
    Posted August 6, 2012 at 11:11 am | Permalink

    Seedy was talking about this year’s Olympics, not a career. So let’s compare Whalen, Taurasi, and Angel this year.

    Scoring average: Taurasi 13.25, Angel 13, Whalen 10.25 (but note Taurasi has taken 24% more shots than Angel and is outscoring her by only 1.9%)

    FG %: Whalen 66%, Taurasi 43.6, Angel 62% including an Olympic record 8 for 8).

    Rebounds: Whalen 17, Taurasi 10, Angel 28.

    Assists: Whalen 12, Taurasi 9, angle 11.

    TO’s: Whalen 8, Taurasi 6, Angel 5

    Assists to TO ratio: Whalen 1,5, Taurasi 1.5, Angel 2.2 (Wow!).

    Steals: Whalen 7, Taurasi 6, Angel 11 (another Wow!).

    Blocks: Whalen 0, Taurasi 1, Angel 3.

    And Angel stacks up just as well against all of the other team members.

    She is the all round star of THIS year’s team. Case closed.

  7. Seedy K
    Posted August 6, 2012 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    Boys, boys, we’re all Cardinal fans here. Though, MB on occasion displays a disturbing east coast bias. Soooo, let’s get together and celebrate the dawning of the Mangok Mathiang Era.

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