Shanoff's Wake-Up Call: Bolt As Olympic Ideal

Today's Calls: Usain Bolt vs. Bob Costas, B.J. Upton vs. Greg Maddux, Rex Grossman vs. Kyle Orton, Nastia Liukin vs. Michael Phelps, Will Leitch vs. Boston fans and More. ↵

↵The Opening Pitch: Let me defend Usain Bolt from prudes like Bob Costas, who apparently felt that someone whose week-long display of flamboyant sycophancy of Michael Phelps qualifies him as a journalistic paragon who might preach unchallenged from the anchor's ↵Pulpit. ↵

↵

↵Rather than defiling the spirit of the Olympics, Bolt embodied them. ↵He cared so little for the pedestrian concept of a world record — only for the thrill of Olympic gold — that he put that world record at risk to celebrate the only success that mattered to him and his country. ↵

↵

↵Don't blame him for being so far ahead at 85 meters that he could celebrate early; surely, if anyone in the rest of the field was closer to him, he would have dug in — again, not for any world record, but for this Olympic ideal Costas claims he disrespects. ↵

↵

↵Bolt did just enough to accomplish what he came to Beijing to do: Win gold in the 100. Any effort beyond that — punish your enemies! — would have been the very opposite of the spirit of the Games. And so everything after that was limited to a celebration of his joy. ↵

↵

↵What could be more Olympian than that? ↵

↵

↵MLB Instant History: CC for Cy rolls on! Sabathia moved his record to 8-0 with his 5th complete game in nine starts since being traded to the NL — AND he hit a two-run single! If the Brewers make the playoffs and Sabathia continues at this pace, I think the Cy for him is a given. ↵

↵

↵More: Can the Rays win the AL pennant? Well, they've now won 5 of 7 from the league's best team. ... How hard is it for B.J. Upton to understand he's got to play with some hustle? ... More evidence your “Trade Deadline” is meaningless: Greg Maddux back to the Dodgers. ... AL C-Saw: White Sox pull ahead. ... Injury Watch: ↵Rangers 2B Ian Kinsler, having his best year, may be done for the season (sports hernia). ... Milestone Watch: Gary Sheffield hit HR No. 493. ↵

↵

↵Curt Schilling Me-dia Watch: Pretty much out of nowhere, Schilling says he is “very heavily” leaning toward retirement, but he'll wait until the spring to decide. Thanks for the heads-up. We'll begin warming up your TV analyst chair for you. ↵

↵

↵NFL Preseason Wrap: The Giants look ready to defend their title, going up 30-3 on the Browns after barely a quarter, before settling in for an otherwise meaningless 37-34 final score. ... Meanwhile, will Derek Anderson's concussion open the door for Brady Quinn to slide into the starting QB role? ... Looks like the wild Rex Grossman Era is over in Chicago; maintain low expectations for the Kyle Orton Era. ... Nothing could possibly go wrong with Chris Henry returning to the Bengals. ... Who else thinks Tom Brady doesn't need to play a single minute in the preseason and he'll still have an All-Pro year? ... Um, don't expect an Anquan Boldin trade anytime soon. Who does he think he is: Brett Favre? ↵

↵

↵CFB: Looks like USC QB Mark Sanchez may not be so hurt after all. He says he could be ready for the season-opener at Virginia. ↵

↵

↵Tennis: Nadal the new No. 1, bumping Roger Federer: This was hardly unexpected — in fact, why we had to wait two months from the end of the epic Wimbledon final all the way to mid-August to confirm what we all already knew seems like a weird way to rank players. ↵

↵

↵More Olympics: Tape-delay sucks the life out of sports. ... ↵Nastia Liukin was totally screwed by the gymnastics tiebreak system. ... I'm just saying. Otherwise: Misty and Kerri continue their beach stampede to gold. ... You've got to feel good for Angelo Taylor, who doubled up in gold in the 400 hurdles, winning in '08 to go with his title in Sydney. ... Will anyone come within 30 points of the U.S. now that they're motivated by the win-or-fail knockout round? ↵

↵

↵Michael Phelps plays fantasy football: Enough said. ↵

↵

↵Sports Media Must-Read: TSB's own Chris Mottram talks with new SN contributor and former editor of Deadspin, Will Leitch. ↵(He’ll also contribute to the online extension of Boston's famous WEEI, which is making a very impressive foray into online programming.) ↵

↵

↵The Last Word: As expected, I received a bunch of e-mails yesterday disputing my argument that Michael Phelps was the Greatest Athlete Ever. ↵

↵

↵The popular sentiment was summed up by reader Rich from Vancouver, who argues Phelps isn't even the greatest Olympian ever. He pointed out that Phelps merely displayed mastery in a single sport, one with plenty of medal chances built in. ↵

↵

↵"The day someone wins a medal in, let's say, rowing, cycling, volleyball and one in swimming in the same Olympics, then I will start tossing the title around of Greatest Olympian Ever." ↵

↵

↵(Rich also wanted me to be sure to caveat his point by saying he himself was in awe of Michael Phelps — just not as hysterically as me.) ↵

↵

↵Dan Shanoff writes The Wake-Up Call every weekday morning for SportingNews.com and blogs daily at DanShanoff.com. Got any comments, questions or feedback? Email Dan at shanofftsn-[at]-gmail-[dot]-com. ↵

↵

This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.