Thursday, August 25, 2016

Rio Post Mortem, Pirates, Hearst, and Other Topics

Cleaning out the Mental In-Box.....

  • The Rio Olympics ended this past Sunday amidst much pomp, ceremony, and overproduction.  Marilyn and I found ourselves watching much more of the games than we anticipated ahead of time, and we enjoyed them immensely.
  • Everyone will have their own "Olympic Moments" to savor in their memories.  For me, however, the most enduring memories of these Olympics will be as follows:
  • The complete domination of the sprints by Jamaica's Usain Bolt.  In particular, I will remember his anchor leg in the 4x100 event.  When he took the baton, the sprinters from Japan and the USA were almost dead even with him, and he proceeded to leave them in the dust.  Simply amazing.
  • The dominance in the swimming pool, for the FOURTH OLYMPIAD, of Michael Phelps.
  • The dominance in the swimming pool by Katie Ladecky, and at only 19 years of age, I suspect that she will still dominate in 2020, and quite possibly 2024.
Moving away from the Olympics....
  • What do you make of the Pittsburgh Pirates?  In the month of August, they went 5-4 in a stretch against bottom feeders Atlanta, Cincinnati, and San Diego.  They then go an improbable 5-1 against the Dodgers and Giants on the West Coast, only to return home to face critical series against the Marlons and the Astros and go 1-5 and look completely impotent in doing so.  You just can't figure them out, or, as Yogi Berra once put it "In baseball, you don't know nothin'."
  • The Steelers.  They are 0-2 in the practice games, have looked awful (or so I'm told; I think I've watched a total of about a half dozen plays in the two games, total).  What I think is happening is that Mike Tomlin is using these games as a coach should use them.  To look at newer and marginal players, to avoid injuries to key players (Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown, to name only two key players, have not played a down), to practice.  These are PRACTICE GAMES, people.  What a concept for a coach to follow.
  • Of course, this doesn't stop the Steelers and their 31 NFL lodge brothers from charging full boat for the tickets and making purchase of these tickets mandatory in all season ticket packages.  Shameful.
  • I have just started reading this recently released and current best seller...
  • It's hard to believe, but you pretty much have to be over fifty years old to have a first hand memory of the Patty Hearst Kidnapping and the amazing and bizarre story that followed it.  I am only about forty pages into it, but it promises to be an interesting and fascinating book.  Rest assured that The Grandstander will be providing a full review upon completion.
  • My mentioning of this book on Facebook yesterday prompted some comments along the lines of "Whatever became of Steven Weed?"  Anyone under age fifty reading this know who Steven Weed is/was?  Anyway, a Google search reveals surprisingly little about him. Google will show a successful realtor in Menlo Park, CA named Steven Weed, that is about the right age, but no indication if he is THE Steven Weed.  Perhaps Toobin's book will reveal the answer.
The Happy Couple

  • Speaking of Usain Bolt, look what has been turning up on various golf courses western Pennsylvania of late:
  • What a legacy, huh?

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