The NFL Playoffs/Wild Card Race Still Have Some “Gray” Areas

The NFL Playoffs/Wild Card Race Still Have Some “Gray” Areas.

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Silver Comes To The New England Patriots

Since the 2012 Summer Olympics, we have seen Gabby get a new hairdo, Michael Phelps getting himself into “hot water” again, and other Olympic star “after news”.

But one that caught my eye in recent news is Jeff Demps ~ Silver medal winner in the in the 4×100 relay as part of the team that finished second to Jamaica at the London Games. A  running back at Florida, he had 2,470 career yards rushing and 23 touchdowns in four seasons with the Gators. He averaged 28.8 yards a return during his four-year career.  Even though a great college football record,  he did not attend any college football all-star games or take part in any NFL draft workouts. Along with playing football, he was also a member of Florida’s track and field team and won multiple national championships.  His focus was on the track ~ his sights were on this summer’s Olympic games and did very well.

There had been quite a few teams that had shown interest in him.  However, they backed off their pursuit in respect to his dedication to his dream ~ being in the Olympics.  Once the Olympics were over, Demps returned his attention to football.

News of late last night ~ he has signed on with the New England Patriots.  The Patriots aren’t concerned about his physical condition ~ just coming back from the Olympics ~ being in top shape is not an issue.  Now the decision will be ~ just what position will he be slotted in.  Kick returner, slot receiver ~ “Demps played in 51 games at Florida.  The 5-foot-7, 191-pound standout finished his career with 367 carries and a 6.7-yard average.”  So, I’m sure the Pat’s will definitely find a place for him.

Everyone have a great day and enjoy your team/game of choice.  Always, Elichap

Summer Olympic ~ Just a little Update….

A dear friend suggested that my blogs were a bit “long”…. so I separated my “St. Louis Cardinal” blog from my Olympic news!!  LOL….

As we have continuing coverage of the Olympics. I do believe the swimming is just about finished up ~ I was getting a bit waterlogged!! But, I do see there is still the Men’s Water Polo. In tennis ~ Serena Williams was the Gold metal winner in Women’s Tennis. I have dubbed her the ” Ms. Tina Turner” of the tennis set.

The U.S. Men’s basketball team, after three pretty easy games and scoring 156 points in their third game against Nigeria ~ had their first real challenge. Lithuania. After a 15-4 run in the final 5 1/2 minutes of the game, the U.S. came back to take the win, 99-94. “The Lithuanians, though, stayed close. They weren’t intimidated, and with the 6-foot-8 Kleiza bulling his way inside and hitting jumpers, the Baltic ballers actually outplayed their more celebrated opponents for most of the first half. The Americans had some terrible possessions, settling for long jumpers instead of working the ball around. That selfishness nearly cost them and it may still be an issue.”  Now getting down to the nitty-gritty, we are beginning to see what we, here in the States, have seen all season ~ selfishness!  What a shocker to read that certain individual players took it along with them to London?!  Monday they play Argentina.

Everyone ~ enjoy the games of many yet to be played ~ track and field has started and many more events to be viewed and read about.   We say goodbye to Michael Phelps ~ congrats and thanks for such a grand performance! Career – 18 Gold metals/22 over-all. Pretty impressive.

China still leads the total metals received at 53.  U.S.A. is holding in second with 51.  However !!! The U.S.A. has one more Gold to their credit, 26.  So a tight race all its own ~ which country will have the honor of taking home the most metals for bragging rights.   “)

Have a great day!  Always ~ Elichap

The Big “L” ~ Disqualifications at the Olympics

In the last couple of days, there has been a discussion about the hype of winning.  The pressures that are put on coaches and players for the ultimate ~ to win.  For bragging rights?  For additional revenue?  Glorification of the masses?

In reading this morning about different events yesterday at the Olympics, seems one badminton team blatantly should signs of “cheating” to lose….during competition on Tuesday.  Why? ~ Strategy! Purposely doing poorly to “secure a more favorable position in the next phase of the event.”  From what country? China!

Yu Yang and Wang Xiaoli were one of four doubles teams which appeared to play poorly on purpose. The Chinese star of badminton is apparently ‘stepping down’ from the sport after she was one of eight players disqualified from the doubles tournament at the London Olympics for trying to lose.  It was verified by Tencent Microblogging Service late Wednesday, that Yu was quitting ~  ”This is my last game. Farewell Badminton World Federation. Farewell my dear badminton.”  Other teams disqualified from competition were two from South Korea, and another from Indonesia.  Unlike, failed drug testing where the athlete is dismissed from the Olympic grounds all together, they are allowed to remain at the games.  Even though, this is the largest number to be disqualified in Olympic history.  In my view, not a good record to hold ~ to be apart of by any athlete, no matter the country.  The repercussions will be strong not only to themselves but to others, also, in their near future.

The team’s performance was so bad and obvious to what they were doing….those “who attended the matches Tuesday night at Wembley Arena – they chanted, ”Off! Off! Off!” – and to incredulous television broadcasters and viewers watching around the world.” Even the announcer, BBC’s David Mercer said in disbelief. ”They are both trying to lose, … unforgivable….”.

“The official Xinhua news agency quoted Yu apologizing ”to all the badminton fans and friends over yesterday’s game, because we did not comply with the Olympic spirit, and did not deliver a match with our true level to the audience, the fans and the friends.” The Chinese head coach, Li, made a statement taking full responsibility for their actions.

So does this prove some games are “fixed” to achieve the ultimate goal of winning a Gold?!  This is the Olympics. This is the one arena where winning is the highest honor a proven athlete can achieve. No matter what country they represent ~ the disgrace of such a calculated performance is disheartening. To purposely lose, in this case, is nothing short of dishonorable.  Years of hard work, dedication, respect of skills, honor of representing their country who has supported them in their efforts ~ ending in such a dim light. Sadly, those involved will not be remembered for their achievements to reach a grand pinnacle ~ but those who were disgraced in front of the world, putting ill light upon their country, being disqualified.  Fair? It’s human nature.

Is winning important? In the Olympics ~ decidedly yes …. simply in the pride of one’s accomplishment in a competitive sport. To reach the highest pinnacle of one’s career. To hold such an honor being the best in their chosen sport ~ this goal they worked so hard to achieve….for themselves, for their Country.  To be the “Best of the Best” in the most highly acclaimed athletic arena. This is the Olympics ~ the arena of qualified and exonerated athletes, representing respective countries around the world.  To “throw” a match by poor play to reach their ultimate status ~ is totally unacceptable.

I can only say that the return home trip for Yu Yang and Wang Xiaoli, members from South Korea and Indonesia, along with their coaches, will not be to a welcome committee of countryman.  And now, the remaining teams left in the Badminton event will be left to always wonder ~ are they truly the best in the world.  No matter which team walks away with the Gold metal … they can hold their heads high knowing they did their very best….without playing the odds.

To all ~ have a great day and may we not see such a performance by any member/team of any event in the remaining days of the Olympic games.

Always, Elichap

The Championship, aka=British, Open ~ On to Day Three

Once again, while many are sleeping, the third round of the British Open is under way.  The course at Royal Lathym-St. Annes is in beautiful shape, and as far as weather goes, for the United Kingdom, has been picture perfect ~ chilly ~ but the rains have stayed at bay.  Even though, either from a sprinkler system or Mother Nature ~ there is standing water in the bunkers and the course sand is very wet to hit out of which only adds a degree of difficulty in the infamously deep bucket “traps”.  Just not the ‘light and fluffy’ golfers are used to in the States.

Some continue play today, and others won’t be among the qualified.  Unfortunately, after yesterday’s round ~ Phil Mickelson was cut, ending his two day appearance at +11.  A great player having a very rough go in his past twelve of fourteen rounds ~ two rounds of last weekend’s Scottish Open, he did shot under par. Mickelson finished fifth in that tournament. But, he found the Royal Lathym was unyielding. Hitting into a bucket bunker at the green on the sixth hole…was just part of his downhill round yesterday. His ball landed within a 1/2″ from standing water in the bunker, did get a free drop away in very lumpy course sand.  Blasted the ball only to disappear on the lip of the bunker in very high water grass. At that point, Mickelson asked the official ~ “Isn’t there a rule about being able to see your ball to hit it?”! Unfortunately for Mickelson, the answer was “no”.  He missed his two foot putt which circled the cup but refused to drop giving him a double bogie for the hole.  Mickelson had shot a 73 the day before and confident he could improve.  Alas, his game only got worse for him yesterday with a 78.  His last cut from a major was in 2007.  From all statements made ~ I do believe Mickelson was as perplexed as anyone as to where his game went array.

A highlight of the tournament ~ “A 2-over 72 landed Tom Watson just inside the cut line at 143, enabling the 62-year-old five-time Open champion to extend his own record as the oldest man to play on the weekend since the British Open went to a 36-hole cut. Watson is 13 strokes behind.”

With Brandt Snedeker holding the lead in the British Open at -10, one stroke behind is Adam Scott. However ~ Tiger Woods is right on their heels.  Tiger is only four off the lead at -6.  He shot a round of 67, which matched his 3 under the first day.  His shot of the day!! Hole #18 ~ out of the bunker, to the hole and outta sight! The Tiger pump and roar followed …. good to see that back.  Some say arrogant ~ I say, yeeeessss!   “)    He has played steady and precise golf, without getting into too many problem areas for the past two days. He will be teeing off a bit later today ~ and I certainly will be watching. Baseball will just have to wait another day.

Along with those at the top, we have Therbjorn Oelesen at -5, Jason Dufner and Matt Kuchar -4 (5 way tie), Ernie Els -3, Steve Stricker -2 (4 way tie), Bubba Watson -1 (14 way tie), Vijay Singh +1 (after today’s round at even par), and Padriag Harrington +2…currently on the 16th and holding.

As we know in any sport ~ much can happen between present and near future. As we have seen in many golf tournaments, the lead can change hands many times.  So will be interesting to see just how “the wash comes out”!   However, with conditions at the Royal Lathym-St. Annes being so ideal ~ makes for a plus to those playing.  Therefore, so far, poor play can’t be blame on the “elements”.

To everyone ~ enjoy your games of choice today.    Always ~ Elichap