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The Friday Five: Going For The Bronze

Welcome, everyone, to yet another edition of the Friday Five. The sports wrap-up article that expertly blends your need for information with your need for light-hearted whimsy! Every week I take a look at some interesting stories from the world of sports that may have been pushed aside due to the media’s tendency to put a death grip on one event that is happening in sports, whether or not it is actually newsworthy or even news at all. Frequently, non-news or non-events are reported on and crashed into the ground they are so heavily covered.

So I’ve noticed a whole lot of people talking about sports lately. A lot of people who I thought didn’t know thing one about sports, too. And in another odd thing I’ve noticed, a lot of those people have also become super patriotic, yelling about how America is number one. And then these people start talking about precious metals. It’s as if there is some sort of world sporting event where athletes are representing their respective countries that is making people all of the sudden care about sports, when they didn’t before…

OH WAIT!!!

Isn’t it funny that just by saying “Olympic Theme Song” you hear it endlessly in your head?

The Big News: The Olympics have begun! This means that for those of us who pay attention to sports all year, every year, are now subjected to talking to those who only come around every couple of years for the Olympics. These people frequently have no idea how the games are played, but still want to chat your ear off. Every newscaster becomes an expert on who is the favorite for the pole vault, and every housewife can expertly critique the form of a swimmer. ESPN runs its ticker with constant results from every qualifying event since NBC has a death grip on coverage and footage, and needs to squeeze every penny they can out of it. There is no way to not know that the Olympics are going on whenever the event rolls around. So to recap, Phelps and Lochte will do swims, some precocious gymnast will steal our hearts, USA will dominate basketball, USA will be swept out of medal contention in a ton of sports that people will claim don’t matter anyway, people will wonder where the USA Men’s Soccer Team is, and Serena will continue her winning ways at Wimbledon (how lucky is she that THAT is where the tennis matches are being held?) With that said, LET’S GO MURRKIA!

Now let’s take a look at what the rest of the sporting world is going through, shall we?

NFL: The Cleveland Browns have been sold! No, this is not a repeat from the 90’s. But this time around, new owner Jimmy Haslam III has no intentions of moving the team, and no intentions of winning a Super Bowl, either. Although I think that the Browns not moving once again has something to do with that goal line painted around the city border of Cleveland. The sale of the team is reportedly over $1 billion. Yes, that’s right. For just $1 billion you too can own an NFL franchise with no real hope to win a championship any time soon. An interesting note is that Haslam is currently a minority stock holder for the Pittsburgh Steelers as well.

NBA: The NBA 2012-13 schedule was released this week, and I have to imagine that whoever makes these games is trolling the NBA and its players. The opening night of the basketball season features a game in which NBA Champions the Miami Heat, with their new player Ray Allen play against Allen’s former team, the Boston Celtics. Now this game will be played in Miami, but for the first game of the year, you’re doing this? Allen and the Heat will make their first stop in Boston on January 27th. The Mavericks, who courted Steve Nash to return to their franchise this offseason, will be visiting Los Angeles to play the Lakers, the team that Nash ended up signing with. Nash will visit the Suns for the first time with his new team on January 30th. For a real Christmas present, on 12-25 the Miami Heat will play the Okalahoma City Thunder in a rematch of last season’s NBA Finals. The NBA schedule always provides some interesting and fun match-ups throughout the season, but these are just a few that I am looking forward to, because it’s always fun to see big players leave their old teams and see how they are received in their first game back.

He throws seven pitches a game. Then they shut him down. Phenom!

MLB: Here come the Washington Nationals. No, seriously. Look. They’re coming. I’m super serious. The Washington Nationals are in first place in the NL East. The team is 62-42 on the backs of pitching phenom Stephen Strasburg, and rookie sensation Bryce Harper. The crazy part of this is that the Nats are keeping Strasburg’s pitch count and innings pitched down so as to not wear him out, and not a single hitter on the team has a batting average over .300. The team is 8-2 in its last ten, and leads the Atlanta Braves by two and a half games. Although, the truth behind the rise of the Nationals can probably be chalked up to their abysmal performance for so long gaining them potent draft picks, the Nationals looks to maintain their pace and make the post-season for the first time as the Nationals.

“‘Is it your back?’ YES IT’S MY BACK GET OFF OF ME!”

NHL: “The kids used to call me Mr. Glass.” Trivia time, kids. Is that a quote by Samuel L. Jackson’s character in the criminally underrated film “Unbreakable” or is that a quote by oft-injured New York Islanders goaltender Rick DiPietro? Well, okay, it’s a quote from the movie but you can just as easily attribute it to DiPietro. Poor Ricky D has been touted as a franchise goaltender, but his injury plagued career has kept him off the ice far more often than he’s played. And I wish that sentence could properly convey just how much time he has missed, but since it can’t, let me tell you how many games he has missed. The NHL season lasts 82 games. Now a goalie isn’t expected to play all 82, that would be insane, but out of the possible 328 regular season games over the last 4 years, Rick has played in a staggeringly low 47. Yes, you read that correctly. A man who is in the middle of a 15-year, $67.5 million contract has only played 47 games in 4 years. But this could finally be coming to an end! The man who was injured after a fight because he is weaker than Glass Joe was taken off the IR. Happy days are here again, Islanders fans! What’s that? There’s an impending lockout? And if DiPietro was still on the IR when the lockout happens the team would still have to pay him? Oh…well…at least they still have…Tavares?

And one for the road!

Soccer: If you need any further indication that the United States is not on the level of Europe and the rest of the world in Soccer, look no further than the friendly matches that teams in the MLS have been engaging in. While the big hitters of most clubs are playing in the Olympics, those clubs have still been laying a beat down on most MLS teams. Real Madrid defeated last year’s MLS Cup winners, the L.A. Galaxy 5-1. The MLS all-stars were able to manage a 3-2 victory over Chelsea, who finished 6th in last years Premier League. The U.S. didn’t even qualify for the Olympics this year, after what looked to be a promising show in the most recent World Cup. This all goes mostly unnoticed by Americans, who don’t consider soccer to be an important sport, even though it is the most watched and played sport in the world. Until more Americans take the sport seriously, and athletes begin to look at soccer as a legitimate sport to play as a career, then we will continue to struggle against the rest of the world in the world’s sport.

That will wrap-up another edition of the weekly wrap-up (SO MUCH WRAPPING-UP!) column The Friday Five. I hope you enjoyed it as much as you possibly could have, and continue to join me every week as I continue to take shots at the ridiculous world of sports that I love.

I will leave you with the brand new closing of the Friday Five, which will feature my favorite unintentionally dirty thing uttered in sports this week.

“You’re gonna see that Tim Tebow package,” -Ron Jaworski, covering New York Jets training camp on Sportscenter.

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About lostcitysaint

I am a 25 year old manager of a chain record store. I am heavily into sports, music and all things geek. I am tattooed, chubby, bearded and awesome. Straight Edge. History major. Hopeful musician.

View all posts by lostcitysaint

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