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July 24, 2012 5:30 AM

Column Awards of the Week (7/17-7/23)

By updating RealClearSports I read hundreds of articles every week but sometimes there are particular passages that need highlighting. And to make these passages more palatable I'm doing them in award form! The awards are completely random and will change weekly.

Column Awards for slide.jpgThe Olympics are just days away and for some that is fantastic news. Although, for the life of me I don't know who these people are. What type of people follow the Olympics? It's something that happens for 2 weeks every four years and the majority of the events are completely ignored the rest of the time. Does anyone follow swimming, track or gymnastics outside of the Olympics? OK. So some people pay attention to the World Championships for those events but that's a very slim minority of the people that tune in for the Olympics.

People often assume I should love the Olympics because I ran track in high school. But that's precisely why I don't love them. I know just how boring these events are. There's not much strategy involved to running 100 meters or jumping as high or far as you can. Sure, it's impressive but that doesn't make it entertaining. I'll stick with true sports. Team sports. On that note, just about the only Olympic event I'll be paying attention to is basketball, but that's just because I love the NBA and there's only so much Summer League I can watch.

The whole event is manufactured drama. People complain about how slow the NFL is and how little actual playing there is compared to commercials and commentary but it's got nothing on the Olympics. We're talking about races that last seconds and yet, the build-up will last for days. The only reason the Olympics gets such good ratings is because it only has baseball to compete with and there's only so much Bachelor Pad people can watch before they feel horrible about themselves. On to the awards!

Linsanity Must Be Real
Gregg Doyel of CBS Sports believes the Knicks made a horrible decision letting Lin go: Three years from now, by the way, Anthony will be 31. Stoudemire and Chandler will be 32.
Jeremy Lin will be 26.
And the Knicks chose all those guys -- a core that has demonstrated it can't win -- over a young point guard who went 16-10 in his magical 26-game run last season? So stupid, I can't make sense of it.

Let me try and help you then. Carmelo, Stoudemire and Chandler are All-Stars. The only reason Jeremy Lin will be named an All-Star is because of the fan vote and China has a whole lot of people. Also, 31 and 32 aren't exactly retirement age or something. Those are still some prime career years (although, maybe not for Stoudemire with his medical issues). And that 16-10 run was magical. There's not much reason to believe that type of magic could sustain itself.

Athletes Are Horrible People
Bryan Burwell of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch decided to address a real controversial topic: drunk driving: I just don't understand why it keeps happening. ... And so it was for Quinn (Rams DE) last week, when he was arrested in Florissant after the 22-year-old former first-round draft pick crashed his vehicle while trying to exit Interstate 270 at the Washington/Elizabeth exit.

Quinn got off lucky. No one died. And maybe this will be the last time he makes such a horrible lapse in judgment. But what if it isn't?

There has been a rash of DUIs issued to NFL players recently but drunk driving is certainly not just perpetrated by athletes. In fact, the stats show that NFL players are less likely to get DUIs than the general population. And of those that get arrested for DUIs how many end with someone dying?? I don't think it's actually luck that Quinn didn't kill someone. That would be like saying someone was lucky they didn't die in a plane crash every time they fly.

Can't Training Camp Begin Already?
I'm guessing (or at least hoping) Gil LeBreton of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram is asking that question. He recently wrote about Romo commenting that he supported Dez Bryant after Bryant was charged beating his mother: Instead, unlike Witten, Romo came across as if he was condoning mother-beating.
I think I understand what he was trying to do. But if he was just trying to be the good general, Romo stumbled on that, too.

First off, I find the phrase "mother-beating" unintentionally funny. Secondly, if LeBreton knew Romo did not condone "mother-beating" and what he said just came across wrong then why even write the article? I hate drumming up fake news.

Woods Isn't Back to Way He Never Was Before
After every round of every tournament someone writes whether Tiger Woods "is back." Tim Dahlberg of the Associated Press is the latest to breach the topic: He once seemed able to figure out ways to win majors like no other player could. Now Woods figures out ways to lose them, including two within the space of the last month or so that the Tiger of old might have run away with.

The thing is, Woods has never won a major trailing after 3 rounds and he once again trailed after 3 rounds in the British Open. He also didn't lead after 3 rounds at the U.S. Open. So is it really surprising he hasn't won these majors?

Homophobic Article of the Week
Lenny Palumbo of the Niagara Falls Reporter is what you'd call "set in his ways": In spite of this, the league is determined to reduce fighting as much as possible. Meanwhile, the NHL's abominable, "You Can Play" promotion, which all but endorses homosexuality in hockey, is among its top priorities.
Thanks to Gary Bettman and his ilk, enforcers are out, but gays are in. So why don't they just hire Elton John as commissioner and be done with it?

Fortunately for Sabres fans, the team has not come out of the closet and the signing of tough guy, John Scott is an indication there might be some shred of manliness left in an otherwise emasculated organization that has much to prove in 2012-13.

Does anything really need to be said about this?

H/T: Deadspin

Best Critique of the Penn State Punishment
I read all kinds of articles about the Penn State punishment. Most thought it was the right amount of punishment. Some wanted more and some wanted less. But Mike DeCourcy of the Sporting News had the best critique of the ruling and subsequent change he would have made to it. He was unhappy that the NCAA reduced the number of scholarships Penn State could offer: If a football player can't get a free education at Penn State, he'll get one elsewhere. Let's say he'll get it from Cincinnati. But the Bearcats don't get an extra grant to take that inside linebacker who no longer can become a Nittany Lion. They still can only have 85 players. Eventually, this trickles all the way down until somebody--more to the point, 20 somebodies--who would have been on scholarship at the worst Division I program, let's say Akron, finds he is out of luck. ... At the very least, given its leverage in this case, the NCAA might have thought to order PSU to take the money it would have spent on football grants and fund 20 full scholarships annually for deserving non-athletes, something that might have served as a guide in future infractions penalties.

It does seem like the NCAA should promote education and having Penn State fund those scholarships for non-athletes would be a nice message to send.

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