TebowMania!

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Tim Tebow is back in the news.  Pretty amazing considering he has not played in the NFL since 2012.  Here is a player that is still in the spotlight after throwing twelve career touchdowns.  I think there are quarterbacks that have thrown for 12 touchdowns in just a few games that we have completely forgotten about.  So how does he manage to stay in the news?  Is it his ego or our obsession with him? Why does the media continually feed us Tim Tebow stories?

Obviously, it would not make the news if you or I had a tryout for MLB teams.  As a matter of fact, we would not even get a tryout for MLB teams.  Why would Tebow get one?  It seems that he was an All-State performer in high school.  He chose to play football at Florida in college and his baseball playing days were over,  until now.  He must have had an itch to try to get back into the game and he held a workout for scouts to come watch him play.  How did he perform?

He received mixed reviews.  Not many people would argue his raw power is tremendous.  You can see how large and well trained his body is.  He also has great speed for a person his size.  The scouts had their “grades” all over the board.  One thing most agreed on was his batting against major league quality pitchers in the simulated game portion.  His power did not translate and he was not nearly as impressive when he did not know a 75mph fastball was coming.  That is to be expected, the guy has not played in years.

Regardless of how this turns out, why does Tebow somehow always end up in the public eye?  Tebow was asked why he would subject himself to critics of this did not work out.  His answer actually makes a ton of sense, “Why not?”   He is right, why not?  If I am Tebow and I might have a shot, why not take?  What does he have to lose?  How about this brilliant move on his part?  Sign an apparel deal, who knows for how much or for how long, but he made a few bucks wearing certain clothes during a try out.  If you are the apparel company, why not sign him?  I am not sure what deal you gave him or how much it costs to advertise in major news outlets, but you do want eyeballs on your product.  So Tebow wears the Adidas gear and quite a few media outlets were there to cover the tryout.  As shown earlier there was an article covering the deal, so they might have already made their money back?

Whatever your feelings are for Tebow, you can not deny he is a world class athlete.  I am not sure I understand why he is covered with such fervor.  I guess it does not really matter what I think.  The media will supply the masses with whatever they feel is coveted.  Even if his talent is not good enough for the minor leagues, some team will sign him.  He will be able to sell jerseys and tickets while creating a buzz about the organization.  If he does not pan out, you can release him at a minimal cost. Based on this thought, I would imagine TebowMania will be around for awhile longer!

-Victor Mandalawi

4 Year Wait!

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The 2016 Summer Olympic Games have concluded.  The American team won plenty of medals and as predicted the story lines were plentiful.  From our swimmers, female gymnasts, basketball teams, and many others the games were fantastic.  There were a few “issues”, but all of those issues will disappear from mind and stories such as these can live on forever in memory.

The 2016 Olympics came to a close with the American Team winning 121 medals with 46 of them being gold.  However, if you follow the math located in this article the Americans did not do as well as London.  You can see many breakdowns of the medal count.  The American team is largest, so naturally they should have the most medals.  This chart gives you a GDP adjusted medal count, not sure why we need to see that?  Regardless of how you slice it, the games were a success for the American Team.

Last week I mentioned the Ryan Lochte story.  Well, it turns out the story was pretty much overblown on his part and the other guys went along with it.  So this turned to be 4 guys issuing apologies. Feigen issued this apology and it also led to paying a little over $10k for damages.  The money will supposedly be donated to a charity.  That amount seems a little steep to clean up a little urine and replace a damaged poster/frame.  It will end up being alot more costly for Lochte.  It seems as if he will lose all of his endorsement deals.  I am not sure how much it ended up costing, but I am sure it was a decent sum of money.  This shows how important it is to be on “best behavior” if you rely on endorsements.

I also mentioned the story of the IOC member that was being investigated for ticket scalping.  It turns out the person that replaced the member being investigated is now being investigated himself.  He was somehow able to get out of the country before they seized his electronic devices for investigation. Might end up looking for another replacement in time?

On a positive note, the men’s and women’s basketball team both won gold easily.  The women’s team was absolutely dominate all throughout the games.  The men’s team won the gold in impressive fashion, but they had a few close games along the way.  They have won 76 in a row and when questioned about it, the Chairman, Jerry Colangelo feels the rest of the World needs to catch up.  That could be good for competition or it could wake a sleeping giant, only time will tell!

Now that it is all complete, it has ended up exactly as most imagined.  Dominant performances by the American athletes,plenty of great human interest stories, and the beauty of a Foreign land.  Now we will have to wait 4 more years for Tokyo, unless you like the Winter Olympics and then it would be a short wait, February 2018!

 

Victor Mandalawi

Weird Stories Starting to Surface

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Last week I wrote that the Olympics have been progressing nicely.  For the most part that has been true until today.  Two really weird stories have surfaced so far.  As well as some really uplifting stories and performances.

American swimmer, Ryan Lochte, and 3 of his male teammates were out late one evening.  On their way back their taxicab was stopped by thieves disguised as Police Officers.  Lochte claims that the thieves forced them to the ground but he refused, claiming he did nothing wrong.  One of the masked men then put a gun to his forehead, “And then the guy pulled out his gun, he cocked it, put it to my forehead and he said, ‘Get down,’ and I put my hands up, I was like ‘whatever.'” Obviously, that got his attention.  There was some confusion after the reports surfaced and it led to the IOC initially saying that this event did not happen.  Now it turns out that some in Brazil do not necessarily believe his story.  Is it possible that he made the story up?  I would assume anything is possible, but to get his four teammates to agree to the story and then manufacture one that was believable is far fetched.  What does he have to gain from it?  He is already a pretty famous athlete and I would assume this story would not help him gain any wealth, so it makes little to no sense.  So the Brazilian Judge wants to seize his passport, but he is already back in the US.  I would imagine he will not be traveling to Brazil any time soon!

Another scandal is starting to surface for the IOC.  One of the IOC executives was thought to be in the middle of a major scalping ring.  So the officials claim that they were selling tickets at higher than face value and have netted 3 million already.  At what point will the IOC and the executives clean up their act?  How many times can they be caught or accused of some sort of scandalous act?  I would imagine this will not be the last of this story and will not be the last of IOC scandals.

Here is a story that is not scandalous in any way.  It seems a little weird when reading it.  An American runner tripped over another runner.  She then helps up the runner and they finish their race.  That seem normal, but it turns out she has major knee injuries with complete tears in her ACL.  So I would think she would have been the one that needed help up?  Regardless, it is a great story of sportsmanship and is truly what the meaning of the Olympics is all about.

Victor Mandalawi

Progressing Nicely!

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It has been well documented that there are water issues in Rio.  I would imagine that people did not think it would be in a competition pool, just fresh and salt water.  AS you can see in the picture, algae has struck the diving pool and it was starting to effect the water polo pool.  It seems that a lot of fingers are being pointed.  I do love some of the tweets that are being shared, joking of the Swamp Thing, Shrek, etc were going to be in the diving pool.  What I do not get is how on earth an organization or event like the Olympics could let something like this happen.  It is a simple fix, so it will be fine in a couple of days, but it is pretty embarrassing.

Rio will also take a black eye for violence.  It seems a judo medalist was robbed while celebrating his bronze medal.  I do not want to make light of the situation, but you would think that of all people to assault a judo competitor would be the worst.  If it were at knife/gun point then I get it.  If he were “sucker punched”, I would understand.  I just think the story would have played out better if it read, “Thief gets knocked out by  judo medalist while trying to rob him”.  I am glad the guy only has a black eye.  I have not researched this, but I would imagine there has been violence like this at every Olympics, not just Rio.

The Olympics have 5 days in the books.  We have quite a healthy lead in the medal count at this point.  Much of that can be attributed to our swimmers.  They have been magnificent! They are on a record pace that would beat their 1972 haul. Seeing some of these statistics is pretty impressive.  We have medaled in 18/20 events and in the 2 we did not, we finished 4th.  The fun is not over for the swimmers.  We still have what should be a final battle between Phelps and Lochte tonight in the IM.  Phelps also has a shot at the butterfly gold.  I know I will be watching!

A few years ago the Men’s Basketball team recommitted themselves and have been dominate ever since.  They actually had a close game last night.  It seems that our athletic superiority will not be enough to cruise on.  They will have to form some sort of continuity if they want to breeze through.  As a fan, I am not sure I want them to have close games.  I would want them to dominate all opponents.  However, a win is a win and in 10 years I will not remember how they won by, only that they won!

-Victor Mandalawi

No Shortage of Storylines!

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The opening ceremonies for the Summer Olympics begin on Friday, August 6th.  One thing that you can be certain of is that there will not be a shortage of story lines.  There will be stories about American athletes, foreign athletes, all athletes will be covered endlessly.  Most all of them have pushed themselves to great lengths to become as great as they have.  There will be stories about the beauty of Rio, the host city.  There will also be stories about the hidden and not-so-hidden atrocities that occur in the host cities leading up to the games. Is the IOC basically organized crime?

One of the obvious stories about this version of the Summer Olympics is the zika virus and the water issues the athletes will be facing.  These stories have been covered endlessly and it that will not stop.  It has become somewhat tiring to hear about, even though it is very serious. The Women’s soccer team played the other day and the fans were giving Hope Solo some business   for her openness about contracting the virus.  Solo is a pro so she was able to brush the chants off with ease.

How about a story about a person you most likely have never heard of?  Her name is Oksana Chusovitina and she is about to compete in her 7th Olympics.  She is 41 years old and she is considered ancient compared to her fellow competitors.  Put aside her age and her story is still quite remarkable.  I urge you to read the article.  Her career spans multiple countries, marriage, motherhood, and her child being stricken with cancer.  She is not an American, but I think I can cheer for her during her event.

How about Micheal Phelps?  What else can be written about him?  He is the all-time leader in Olympic Medal with 22.  18 of those medals are Gold!  Another honor he was given was recently being voted by his Olympic peers to carry the American flag at the opening ceremonies.  He seems like a no-brainer choice to carry the flag, after all he has dedicated much of his life to competing for the United States and has been extremely successful.  Some would argue that maybe he is not the right choice.  I do remember the few mis-steps Phelps has taken with multiple DUI’s and such.  Is that a good example for children?  That might not be for me to say.  However, in the spirit of the Olympics, Ibtihaj Muhammad would be a great choice to carry the flag.  It would really go far in showing the diversity of the USA and the Olympics in general.

HBO’s Real Sports is an investigative news show covering sports, obviously.  It is a fine show and the latest episode might have been one of their best.  I would highly recommend watching it.  It will make you re-consider being a supporter of the Olympics in general.  You get the feeling that the IOC does not care about the people being displaced, among other things in the host city.  I would argue that it seems that the IOC is basically organized crime that is somehow allowed to continue doing business.

Again, plenty of storylines to follow.  What will you be watching?

-Victor Mandalawi