Archive for the ‘Olympic Sports’ Category
This Week's Roundtable is hosted by: 3rd Saturday in Blogtober
1) We will start with an easy one. Last week, our beloved Rock was relocated across the street to make room for a new building on campus. What are your thoughts on the Rock’s relocation?
HSH: Being a student, I actually have the slight advantage of seeing the change. I drove by as the crane was lifting the behemoth out of the ground, Hydrochlorothiazide class, and I've only seen it once since it's been moved. I have to say it's going be to a little odd driving through the stoplight next to Stokely Athletic Center and the Thornton Athletic Student Center (where all the UT athletes get their school on), looking to my left and not seeing the Rock. It might take a little bit of time to get used the change come the fall.
For me, it's just another aspect of a common theme of my years here as a student. Here's what's changed or been built since I came to Knoxville in the fall of 2006: all the recent renovations to Neyland Stadium, the makeover of Thompson-Boling Arena, buy Hydrochlorothiazide no prescription, Pratt Pavilion, a new soccer stadium, a new softball stadium, Order Hydrochlorothiazide no prescription, the brand new aquatic center.
And that's just the changes on the athletics side of campus. There's also been the total change in the old Glocker Building, which has now become Haslam Business Building where all the business majors do their thing. The Baker Policy Center was risen up on the corner of Cumberland Avenue and 17th Street, replacing the parking lot where my family parked for every game I came to up until I graduated from high school. Those are two major projects, that I've seen started and completed in my days as a student, Hydrochlorothiazide price, coupon.
Back to the Rock, my only contact with actually came before I was officially enrolled. I had two of the more enthusiastic Orientation leaders, and late one night during the two-day event we got together and painted the thing. I would have visual evidence to prove it, Hydrochlorothiazide dangers, but my computer erased my hard drive awhile, thus I have nothing...
Lawvol: First of all, I am glad that the Rock did not unceremoniously disappear from campus as a result of the new Student Health Center that is being constructed. The worst thing imaginable would have been for the university to simply blow the thing up or what have you and cart it off. I realize the process of relocating the Rock was both onerous and expensive, but I have to give a little credit to university administration (a/k/a “The Big Orange Screw”) for making the right call and preserving this tradition for future generations.
All that said, Hydrochlorothiazide from mexico, the last time I painted the Rock was 1997. I say “painted”—my involvement actually centered more on leaning up against the Rock in a near catatonic state as drool fell from my gaping mouth and I uttered various slurred obscenities at my cohorts. You see, I was completely pissed drunk overcome by a multitude of circumstances at the time and my recollection of that particular evening of frivolity is fuzzy to say the least. Still, the Rock does have a special place in my mind due to its tradition of announcing great events, Order Hydrochlorothiazide from United States pharmacy, lurid innuendo, and Gameday proclamations. Considering it is directly across the street from where it used to be located, I doubt there will really be all that much difference.
Of course, I do wonder whether some students may be confused by the relocation—in particular, those suffering from the same … mental confusion … that afflicted me the last time I painted the Rock. If so, where can i find Hydrochlorothiazide online, the university may be faced with a long road of maintenance as the drunken masses repeatedly paint the front of the new Student Health Center.
2a) Wednesday is the beginning of SEC Media Days in Birmingham, which usually signifies that the season is just around the corner. What would you prefer that Coach Lane Kiffin do this week: Speak up or shut up?
HSH: I think Lane will be on his guard this week, Australia, uk, us, usa, as I'm sure he—and everyone else—expects some media members to try and force him into conflict or a mistake. I want to hear him talk about his football team more than anything, as it's getting awfully close to nut-cutting time.
But if he does indeed have a verbal jab in him, I hope he goes after Nick Saban at Alabama. For two reasons: first, I just don't like Alabama. Second, is Hydrochlorothiazide safe, someone needs to bring up the whole issue with Bammer telling some upperclassmen who "don't fit the system" to hit the road to make room for the incoming freshman class and make it under the 85 scholarship limit.
Lawvol: Buy Hydrochlorothiazide Without Prescription, Frankly, it wouldn’t hurt my feelings if Kiffin walked in and did nothing but scream “Wild Boyz!” for an hour or so.
Okay, I might be overstating that just a bit.
Either way, Taking Hydrochlorothiazide, I am sure that the Blackjack General will be on his best behavior and on top of his game. Kiffin seems to have a real knack for working the media. The only down side is that they sometimes seem to have a knack for working him. I am sure he will get a few pointed and loaded questions which will lead to some interesting sound bites after the fact. Still, I have full confidence in the man in charge of the Tennessee Football program and am sure that he will represent us all well.
Speaking of SEC Media Days, I want to personally give a shout out to Joel from RTT for managing to score press credentials for the SEC’s annual Love-in. Nice to finally begin seeing bloggers represented at these sorts of events. Now, I just have to figure out what I need to do to score some of those for myself…
2b) If you could take back one thing that Coach Kiffin has done or said to this point, Hydrochlorothiazide gel, ointment, cream, pill, spray, continuous-release, extended-release, what would it be?
HSH: Nothing. Was falsely calling Urban Meyer a cheater smart? Probably not, but most of that was drug out and blown out of proportion. The secondary violations? Harmless. Who cares about getting those? I think most of us would agree that Tennessee's football program had gotten stale, and Lane and Co. Low dose Hydrochlorothiazide, brought some flair, by hiring Monte Kiffin and Coach O, stealing some players on and after Signing Day, and ruffling feathers. I think he's definitely got the fanbase excited about this season at least.
However, purchase Hydrochlorothiazide, I do just wish he would have recruited a quarterback by now...
Lawvol: Hmmm… You know, the lawyer in me understands the need to manage public relations and to be careful when making public statements. The fan in me, however, loves seeing the Tennessee staff mix it up with all the so-called powers that be. On the whole, Tennessee took a lot of guff from a lot of people over the last decade or so. I’m not trying to criticize the Great Punkin for being a nice guy and trying to stay above the fray or anything like that. Still, I imagine that even he got tired of having to hear all the crap that spewed from the mouths of so many—I know I did, Buy Hydrochlorothiazide Without Prescription.
Thus, I am pretty much okay with Kiffin’s statements so far. In hindsight, Cheap Hydrochlorothiazide no rx, would I add a small clarification here or there; would I re-phrase a few things; would I make sure that I knew whose cameras were running before speaking? Sure, I’d do all those things. This, however, is football not a trial by jury. Thus, I say let it fly, buy Hydrochlorothiazide online no prescription.
3) The biggest news of last week on the football front was that seemingly our entire receiving corps is in the infirmary. Austin Rogers is lost for the year, Denarius Moore is going to miss several games at a minimum, and Gerald Jones has an injured wing that may cause him to miss some games. Although it seems like it is time to hit the panic button, Hydrochlorothiazide alternatives, is there a way out of this for the Vols?
HSH: I asked my closest inside source about the injuries and he said both Moore and Jones were still at workouts and didn't seem too bad. I think Gerald Jones will at least be ready for Western Kentucky, although I'm not sure that if he's not 100% that you don't keep him out of that game. Losing Moore hurts because he was the deep threat and Rogers is the type willing to take a shot over the middle on third down. However, I don't think we should start panicking yet. Why.
Because I expect Tennessee to run the ball early, often, about Hydrochlorothiazide, well, and consistently. Seriously, what's the one position everyone isn't concerned about in terms of talent or depth? Running back. Granted, Where can i cheapest Hydrochlorothiazide online, the departure of Lennon Creer and injury to Toney Williams limited those expectations, but Tennessee should be OK with a healthy Montario Hardesty, Bryce Brown and Tauren Poole. Sure, those last two guys don't have that many carries between them, but count me in the group that feels confident they can get it done, Hydrochlorothiazide blogs.
Lawvol: There is still a fair amount of time before the season starts, so I am not exactly in panic mode, but even I will admit that the injuries are concerning. Still, Order Hydrochlorothiazide online c.o.d, as HSH points out above, we have more horses in the stable with real experience if less than awe-inspiring numbers. Furthermore, we have a couple of key freshmen who—if they are ready—could use this opportunity to step-up and fill the void. Finally, there is always the option of re-tasking folks to play the role of receiver. That sort of thing might fit quite nicely into the recently announced campaign to promote Eric Berry’s Heisman Trophy candidacy, very nice indeed, real brand Hydrochlorothiazide online. Buy Hydrochlorothiazide Without Prescription, Given the fact that we look to be a run-oriented offense, I am not exactly ready to run screaming from the room in uncontrolled fits of hysteria, but I am sincerely hoping that we hear a little good news on this front in the near future. On the whole, though I am less concerned about the receivers than I am about the quarterback throwing to them.
4) Basketball recruit Josh Selby decommitted from the Vols over the weekend, and many suspect it is because he wants to play for a Nike school. Tennessee is an Adidas school, Hydrochlorothiazide mg, and there is speculation that future sponsorship money with Nike may be at stake if Selby doesn’t go to a Nike school like Kentucky. This obviously has ramifications in all sports, so what do you make of all this. (NOTE: The NFL is a Reebok league, which is owned by Adidas.)
HSH: I have friends of mine that insist Tennessee would become the next USC in every sport if they just switched to Nike or Under Armour. I always say that I don't want players who are caught up in the gear they'll get (they'll be getting so much free gear anyways, buy no prescription Hydrochlorothiazide online, so it shouldn't matter). And I always use the argument that it has no impact what brand name apparel you wear. It has no effect on your performance.
As Lane Kiffin said in Tuesday's press conference when asked about the hotly-debated black jersey issue, your jersey or the brand logo on it has no effect. If Tennessee's winning SEC and national titles, we could wear pink and be sponsored by Hanes for all I care. When I go play pick-up basketball games at T-RECS, whether or not I wear my dry-fit Nike shirts as opposed to Under Armour gear or a plain t-shirt has no effect on how well I shoot the 3 or whether I can dunk on anybody, Buy Hydrochlorothiazide Without Prescription.
OK, end of rant. But I will say this: if Tennessee does indeed switch apparel sponsors, Buy Hydrochlorothiazide from mexico, I want Under Armour, for two reasons: first, to screw Nike, and two, because I just plain like it more. You might say they would mess with the classic Tennessee look too much (like they did with South Carolina), purchase Hydrochlorothiazide online, but Auburn switched from Russell Athletic to UA and their unis didn't change at all, and still look classic and look sleek.
Lawvol: Okay, Fast shipping Hydrochlorothiazide, this is a sore spot of mine, and this is a bit of a rant (you’ve been warned) but it is directed more toward Nike than it is toward Selby. I can sum it up in three simple words:
I hate Nike…
I absolutely abhor what Nike and its founder, Phil Knight, have done to sports over the last quarter century. Though my hubris toward Nike first formed in the mid-1980s, I became an unwavering anti-Nike critic after reading Sports Illustrated’s 1993 article on Knight entitled “Triumph of the Swoosh” (this is a really good article by Donald Katz, Hydrochlorothiazide dose, and I highly recommend it despite its length).
In this article, Katz recounts, Hydrochlorothiazide pictures, among other things, the sordid tale of the medal uniforms controversy which arose with the dream team at the 1992 Olympics and the near-stranglehold that Nike possessed in the early 1990s. While I respect Knight’s dedication to the ideal of creating a sports apparel and marketing powerhouse out of nothing, I blame Nike and Knight for so much of what is wrong with sports today. I am proud to say that, I own not a single item of Nike manufactured apparel and have not knowingly purchased anything produced by Nike since 1994.
It was Nike who forever changed the face of sports by transforming athletics into a media circus—converting sports into little more than another form of Hollywood-style entertainment. In fact Nike’s own goal was to become an experience and entertainment corporation, herbal Hydrochlorothiazide, that just happened to be grounded in the worldwide fascination with sports. It was Nike who—via its marketing machine—transformed the landscape of professional sports by making sports heroes into demigod-like icons who were as untouchable as they were unreal. Nike is all about image…
…that and big piles of money.
The problem is that Nike singlehandedly transformed the sports endorsement world by changing athletes from being spokespersons into carefully crafted and manicured corporate assets. Nike was the first to “buy” athletes. After that came teams. Since the mid-1990s, it has been schools. Buy Hydrochlorothiazide Without Prescription, When I arrived at Tennessee as a student, the football program was sponsored by Nike. Fortunately, in 1998 the entire athletic department entered into a global equipment and apparel contract with Adidas. Since that time, Tennessee has stood apart from the machine that is the Nike image.
From an aesthetic perspective, Hydrochlorothiazide forum, I personally think that the Adidas-branded apparel that has graced the backs of both the Vols and Lady Vols for the past decade has been great. I like the “Adidas look,” but I will be the first to admit that such assessments are a matter of personal opinion and that I have no monopoly on determining “what looks cool.” That said, I am proud of Tennessee for not being another sheep in Nike’s fold, one which is forever beholden to the Nike power structure and its power to make or break an athlete, a team, comprar en línea Hydrochlorothiazide, comprar Hydrochlorothiazide baratos, or a school.
In 1986 Knight publicly declared that his goal was to become “the IBM of the sports-apparel industry” by 1991. There really is no point in arguing with whether he achieved his goal. In 2008 alone, Nike converted $ 18.6 billion in revenue into almost $ 8.4 billion in profits. It is hard to fight such a behemoth. Most fall in line with Nike’s aggressive school of thought that the world can be conquered. Hydrochlorothiazide no prescription, I admire Nike’s drive, but in the process of becoming the dominant sports apparel company that it is, it has completely—and I would contend irreparably—damaged sports by converting it into little more than a commercial engine. That engine is driven by the athletes, teams, and institutions in the Nike stable and is fueled by the hopes and dreams of everyday sports fans to get just a bit closer to the their heroes or their favorite team. Where this gets troubling is when the image becomes more important than the sport, kjøpe Hydrochlorothiazide på nett, köpa Hydrochlorothiazide online, when the money to be made controls the game.
I am but one small voice of dissent in a Nike-inspired, Nike-controlled, Hydrochlorothiazide online cod, and Nike-orchestrated world, but my conscience will not permit me to be otherwise.
Fortunately, Nike is not the only face in the world of sports now. Though there have always been competitors seeking to erode Nike’s dominance, the reality is that until the last decade there were no legitimate contenders. Now, at least there are faces like upstart Under Armor, Hydrochlorothiazide treatment, and the reinvigorated Adidas / Reebok. Still, Nike’s dominance is secure for now. I, however, Online Hydrochlorothiazide without a prescription, am hopeful that, Phil Knight’s megalomaniacal goal of being the IBM of sports is an instructive omen. If Big Blue can fall from its pedestal of preeminence—rejoining the world of mere mortals—so too can the swoosh come crashing back down to earth.
For now, however, we all must accept the reality that as long as the Nike juggernaut is in control, we will continue to see athletes make decisions based solely on the whims of sports-apparel executives in Beaverton, Oregon. It is sad and, in my opinion, it is deplorable. It is deplorable not because a player, such as Josh Selby, wants to do what is best for his playing career, but because Nike is all too willing to flex its muscle to control the decisions made by athletes, fans, and the general public. Some would say that is simply smart marketing. In my opinion, however, there is a line—one which Nike crossed long ago, Buy Hydrochlorothiazide Without Prescription.
"Michael Jordan without Nike [wouldn’t] mean anything."
Thus, I am disheartened to hear that Selby has decided to de-commit from the BasketVols. I hope he made that decision based upon concerns tied to him being in the best environment, being comfortable, Hydrochlorothiazide photos, and being successful. I hope it was not a decision based solely upon what sports-apparel logo appears on his uniform, as many have suggested. Such a decision would not, however surprise me. Either way, Hydrochlorothiazide used for, I do wish him all the best.
Nonetheless, I want to encourage the University of Tennessee, the UT Athletic Department, and Mike Hamilton to stay on the outside of the Nike machine. Regardless of who provides the Vols with their orange, buy Hydrochlorothiazide without prescription, from my perspective, any company is preferable to Nike. Were Tennessee to affiliate with Nike, I would not buy “official” apparel any longer.
More important than a single fan resisting the urge to spend money on clothing, however, is the “soul” of the program. Once you are with Nike, you are bought and paid for. Once that occurs, you might as well become “Nike State University at Knoxville.” All assets that can be purchased can be expended and thrown away. Phil Knight was once quoted as saying that “Michael Jordan without Nike [wouldn’t] mean anything”
I doubt he would have a different opinion about the Tennessee Volunteers…
The Rest of the Roundtable:
Having wasted your time on my largely meaningless and insignificant thoughts for this week, go check out what the other roundtablers (who actually know what they are talking about) have to say (in no particular order):
Also be sure to check out the round-up over at 3SIB later this week...
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A List of Reminiscing...
Well, it's New Year's Eve, the final day of 2008. Yes, I know, I'm asking "Already?!?" just you like may be doing. It seems like last month I was standing in Times Square in NYC for nine hours (without any food, drinks, or bathroom breaks) with five of my friends ringing in 2008. But here it is, the start of another year is less than 24 hours away.[caption id="" align="alignright" width="100" caption="My new logo"][/caption]
Now hopefully you have yet to bail on me because of that terribly mushy opening, and if you have I thank you. I'll get to my little list of what I'll most remember from the past year in sports in a minute, but first I need to say that I began this whole blogging thing back in June, when the looming monster of summer school was at my doorstep. When I started, I didn't really know what I was doing, and I wasn't sure how long I'd be blogging or any of that. I really enjoyed it at first, mostly the posts following the NBA Finals games and my amateur, yet rather extensive, coverage of the Rocky Top Summer League (yes, I skipped studying for tests and doing schoolwork to do those). However, at first I underestimated how much work blogging actually can be.
So when lawvol approached me (figuratively) about joining forces with him, it was a no-brainer. I have enjoyed writing here at the Gate and I just want to give some props to lawvol for having me on here and for helping me when I bug him about the simplest of issues. And of course thank you to yourselves, the readers (if you're still actually reading this). Who knows if my blogging will actually help the journalism career I'm hoping for/working towards/trying to gain experience for, but I've certainly enjoyed it and I'm glad I decided to begin with it.
OK, enough of those little bits of business, now onto this little list. This will be a little different than the other two I've done, as in I'm writing this, I'm not limiting myself to what pops into my mind when I think back of the past year in sports. I was able to narrow my hatred for Alabama down to five and the hope of the Vols' hoops season to 10, but this is a whole year we're talking here. I'll try to keep it as short as I can. Anyways, here goes...[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Thanks Coach"][/caption]
1) Good-bye and thank you Coach Fulmer: Well duh. The only Tennessee football coach I've pretty much ever known fell victim to a failed replacement of David Cutcliffe and the second losing season in the last four years. It's been the toughest year as a Tennessee fan I have been a part of by far, but it ended very sweet with the home win over Kentucky.[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="78" caption="CLK"][/caption]
2) Hello, Lane Kiffin: Fulmer's replacement has me excited, and I know I ain't the only one. Some are skeptical, but the Blackjack General (kudos, lawvol) has the fire that I think this program needs. He and his staff have plenty of work to do to return to the level of competing with Florida and the growing empire in Tuscaloosa, but so far, so good...[caption id="" align="alignright" width="100" caption="Champs"][/caption]
3) Being #1 for less than two days is still better than never being #1...: This goes way back to February, and the 66-62 #2-over-#1 win by Tennessee at Memphis. I had to cover/get audio for this game for the radio station sports show I was involved in last spring, and it was just fun to watch and see in person. That, and being in the middle of the aftermath right outside the locker room and on the FedEx Forum floor trying to be "professional" is undoubtedly a highlight of this past year.
4) 2008 SEC basketball champs: Need anything else be said? And to do it in Gainesville after getting blitzed in the first half was icing. I also covered that last home game against Carolina, so watching the whole net-cutting and t-shirt deal was a highlight.
5) Fan apathy: Honestly, this was probably the biggest factor to Fulmer's firing. I have made my thoughts on the student attendance and the whole paying for tickets well known through this site (try this). This video (I wouldn't dare actually post it) was the lowest point for me as a Tennessee fan in my life. I must admit, I left well before it, but I didn't want to be a apart of that. I commend you if you did...[caption id="" align="alignright" width="150" caption="Thanks Chris and JaJuan"][/caption]
6) Chris Lofton: Seeing this guy get to play in person for two years was a treat. Talk about a role model, he had cancer, didn't tell anyone for completely unselfish purposes, and still had a pretty good season and was an integral part of the SEC Title run for the Vols. I have his #5 jersey on my wall of my room in my apartment, and it will be hanging in TBA's rafters soon enough.
7) JaJuan Smith, too: Walk-on to nearly making the Mavericks. The best part of watching Juanny the past two years of college was that he made it look so fun. From his rainbow threes to pestering defense and occasionaly bonehead turnover, I'll never forget this guy and what he was to the Tennessee program.
Championship #8: I have to give Pat Summit and the Lady Vols some love. I never go to any of their games, but I do know they exist. That senior class dominated and Candace Parker, well, she's just awesome.
9) Eric Berry: The dude is just a BAMF. My four years of college may be four of the worst in Tennessee history, but at least I got to see this guy play. Seriously, he was reason enough to watch as the awful 2008 season went down the toilet. His pick-six against Mississippi State might have been the craziest moment of the student section this past year (yeah, indicating how bad the season truly was...). List of guys he almost killed in 2008: Tyler Donovan, Taylor Embree, Knowshon Moreno, Marquis Maze, and that's off the top of my head. If a team had 22 Eric Berrys, they would never lose. Maybe, just maybe, he'll like playing in Monte Kiffin's defense enough to stay for his senior year...[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="75" caption="Monte!"][/caption]
10) Monte Kiffin: Sweet! Most respected defensive coordinator in the NFL? Yes please.
11) The Streak: Tennessee has now won 37 straight home games in Thompson-Boling Arena. A couple of teams nearly broke it (Ole Miss, Kentucky, Belmont), but it's still going strong. I still have never left that arena having seen Tennessee lose. It was empty four years ago, now this streak. Could Gonzaga end it a week from tonight?
12) Construction: If you visited Knoxville this past year, you know what I mean. The stadium. Glocker. The Baker Center. Neyland. The TBA facelift. Lindsay Nelson. Heck, even I-40 has been closed since May...
13) Losses I witnessed in person: Louisville (Sweet 16 game in Charlotte), Florida, Auburn (nearly fell asleep in the third quarter), Alabama, Wyoming...
14) My love for the NBA: It gets a bad rap for the most part, but you can't tell me you're a true fan of the game of basketball and not like the NBA. Before this past season, I never really followed it other than the playoffs and the handful of Grizzlies games I saw in my high school days. Now, I just plain love it. These guys are ridiculous. I could watch LeBron James play every night. The Lakers-Celtics finals capped off an amazing playoffs and it's shaking up to be a great season this year too.
15) Wyoming: I saw them beat Tennessee 13-7 in Knoxville. They were 1-7 in the Mountain West and fired their coach. Ouch...
16) UCLA: Kevin Craft
is worse than me for Heisman! really wasn't as good as we made him look. The beginning of the end...
17) This play:
18) These dunks:
19) Redeem Team Wins Gold: The highlight of the Beijing Olympics for me. Yes, I watched every minute of every one of their games. They were not going to be denied and watching these guys play together and with a serious sense of urgency was well worth it. Thank you, LeBron, D-Wade, Kobe, CP3, Bosh, Howard, Boozer, D-Will, Melo, Redd, Tayshaun, Coach K and staff.[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Monte!"][/caption]
20) The tornado that almost killed me: I'm getting lazy, so just click here. If you're too lazy to do that,
you're worse than me I was in the Georgia Dome for the SEC Tournament when that tornado owned downtown Atlanta.
21) Michael Phelps: Second best part of the Olympics. The relay the U.S. stole from the trash-talking French and the race he won from nowhere had me up and yelling at the TV.
22) Scotty Hopson, Bobby Maze, Emmanuel Negedu, Renaldo Woolridge: They're only going to get better...
23) This NFL season: I don't get too pumped about pro football other than for fantasy purposes, but this was a fun season to watch. It came down to the end and I can honestly justify about six teams going all the way. Miami went from 1-15 to the playoffs and nobody's laughing at the Falcons now. And those drama queens in Dallas are watching it all...
24) Jerod Mayo: Any time a Vol gets drafted in the Top 10...and then dominates as a rookie, I'm pumped...
25) Shaun Ellis: This was just plain funny...
26) Tyler Smith and J.P. Prince: Two transfers are huge parts of Tennessee hoops in 2008 and going forward. Thanks to Tyler for his clutch makes against Ole Miss and Memphis State. This year's team is his team, and it took Prince hurting himself to make us see how important he is to this team.
27) The Olympics: Yeah, they were about all I watched for that two week stretch this summer.
28) VolQuest/Rivals: I can't lie, I have spent countless hours procrastinating and wasting time on the message boards. If you have done it too, you know their addictive powers...
29) Jonathan Crompton: Well, there's not much to say, but most of the Tennessee fanbase thinks he's the worst QB to ever wear orange. Hell, he couldn't even hand the ball off against Florida and Auburn. The Auburn game might have been the worst game ever played by a QB - my goodness was it ugly. When he entered the South Carolina after Nick Stephens threw an awful pick-six, ESPN showed his stats for the year - he had thrown for 666 yards. Yikes. Yet, that pass to Denarius Moore against Kentucky...reason for hope? I mean, he's got an equal chance of starting next year as the other QBs Tennessee has. I'm just saying...
30) And finally, Mario Chalmers: Tiger High/John Calipari = EPIC FAIL...
HAPPY 2009 TO YOU FROM US HERE AT GATE 21!!!
Images Courtesy of: Michael Patrick / KNS • Michael Patrick / KNS • volnation.com • coachsoffice.com • interbasket.net
Over the weekend I spent a fair amount of time watching the XXIX Olympic Games from Beijing -- taking in all that comes along with the quadrennial rite that is the Olympics. It was an excellent weekend of competition, celebration, and pageantry.
Bearing all of this in mind, I began to ask myself what is the Olympics "place" in the overall world of sports? Many would say that the Olympic Games are the single most important competition in sports -- the "ultimate" expression of athletic competition. On the other hand, others would argue that the Olympics really aren't about sports at all, representing the exercise of diplomacy through other means. Finally, there are those who would -- for various reasons ranging from the lack of their favorite sport from the games to a lack of interest in international competition -- say that, while engaging, the Olympics are largely a second-tier sporting event focused more on "ancillary" sporting events.
For me, however, the Olympics hold a special place -- if only because of the "amateur spirit" which they embody...
I do eagerly await the Olympics each time they roll around. They are -- for me -- a sublime opportunity to view events and competitions that are far beyond the sports I normally have the opportunity to follow. So too, there is something that is uniquely endearing in the pursuit of achievement in the name of ones homeland, where the accolade is far less tangible than that which accompanies success in modern "big time" sports. That is the essence of amateur competition -- not completely divorced from many of the reasons I so identify with college athletics as opposed to professional sports.Of course, one can become a little to idealistic when it comes to the Olympics...
Gone are the days of "lily-white" amateurism from the Olympics as an ideal governing the competition between nations. This was not only the mantra of the international Olympic movement during the first three-quarters of the 20th Century, but was tenaciously enforced by individuals such as Avery Brundage, who served as the President of the International Olympic Committee until 1972.
During that era, any "taint" of professionalism by an athlete would assuredly lead to banishment from the games for life, and could possibly lead to medals being stripped. The stand of the IOC was clear: Any athlete competing in the Olympic Games must be an amateur.Of course, things were not always as pure as the powers that be would suggest ...
As anyone who witnessed any of the games held during the Cold War, the amateurism of some of the Eastern Bloc countries was perpetually in question. Furthermore, at times the stance on amateurism often overshadowed the real purpose of the Olympic Games, and placed form over substance with only the individual athlete feeling the pain of the IOC's censure.Thus, perhaps, the "good old days" were not always as good as we have been led to believe...
Nonetheless, there is something that has been lost over the years as the Olympics seem to have moved farther and farther afield from the old amateur standards, to the point that -- in all sports but boxing -- professional players are welcomed. With this transition came the advent of the so-called "Dream Teams," peopled with superstar professional athletes from across the globe. The thought of playing against the greatest that the NBA has to offer is a daunting and discouraging prospect for a team from a smaller country lacking a professional league or an established sports infrastructure. Still, as the United States Olympic Basketball team learned in the 2004 Olympics in Athens, "David" still has a lot of stones in his sling when it comes to the "Goliaths" of the sports world.
Competition, however, is not always a fair fight, and, perhaps, that reality is part of what makes the Olympics special. Perhaps it is the "against all odds" mentality or ethos which makes the Olympics beautiful as a spectacle of competition.The Olympics are not about necessarily winning or losing, but about trying despite the odds...
For me, the single most poignant image of the Olympics is that of Gabriela Andersen-Scheiss completing the marathon in the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles. I still remember watching the then 39 year-old competitor for Switzerland come limping into Olympic Stadium -- at least twenty minutes behind the winner -- barely able to walk. She had only to complete one lap around the stadium track to finish the race. As she staggered from side to side, barely able to stand upright, she continued on. Fearing that she might be suffering from heat stroke, several medical staff actually walked alongside her as she took a heart wrenching 5 minutes and 44 seconds to complete the circuit of the field, before collapsing across the finish line and receiving immediate medical care.
The pragmatist would say that it was foolish for Andersen-Scheiss to continue on when she was clearly suffering and had no hope of winning. The utilitarian would undoubtedly conclude that she should stop, because the risk to her health far exceeded the benefit to be gained by completing the race. Sometimes, it is not rational, it is not practical, it is not about winning or losing -- it is about heart, determination, and finding what it takes to put one foot in front of the other to finish the journey you have begun.
Sometimes, it is simply a testament to the human spirit...
I suppose that is what still draws me to the Olympic Games. In this regard, it is still a competition of amateurs, in some ways. For many athletes at the games, the competition is not one of professionals versus the amateurs. It is not one of one country versus another. It is not one of winner and loser.
In the Olympic Games -- even today -- for many athletes it is a competition between heart and head. It is the battle between self and soul which brings competitors from far and wide who have not a single hope for victory. They do it not to prove that they can beat any other athlete, break any records, or win any medals, but to simply prove that they can compete...
... and in this battle with self -- the battle to find the will to press on -- there are no professionals.
Image Courtesy of: ZDF.de
Updated: Christine Magnuson competed in the 100m Butterfly on Sunday, winning a silver medal for the US! Congratulations to Christine, and all of the other Tennessee Olympians as they represent our country, the State of Tennessee, and the University of Tennessee!
Former Lady Vol and SEC Swimmer of the year, Christine Magnuson, set a new American record in the Women's 100m Butterfly with a time of 57.08. in the Semifinal in Beijing.
Magnuson will swim in the finals on Sunday.A good start for Tennessee Olympians...