Can you believe it? The International Olympic Committee made a decision that makes sense. Moreover, it reverses one of its previous decisions meaning that the IOC implicitly recognized that its previous decision was something just north of boneheadedness. The IOC has reinstated wrestling as an Olympic sport.
Even though I care nothing at all about wrestling – the amateur or professional versions – wrestling belongs in the Olympic Games for the same reason that track and field belong in the Olympic Games. I do not hold the IOC in high regard as an institution; but in this matter, I applaud their decision to reverse field.
Diana Nyad – at age 64 – completed a swim from Cuba to Florida last week. This was her fifth try to make this swim and she accomplished the task in a little over 50 hours in the water. She did this without a shark cage. For those of you who thought the idea of even trying to swim from Cuba to Florida was lunacy, doing it without protection from sharks would seem to be lunacy-squared. Nonetheless, it would seem as if this is a swimming barrier that has been conquered and the marathon swimming community – I assume there is such a thing – will need to define another challenge to be overcome. Allow me to suggest that Iceland to Greenland would not be a good choice for the next challenge…
In case you did not notice, the Legends Football League – formerly known as the Lingerie Football League – held its championship game in Las Vegas. In that game, the Chicago Bliss prevailed over the Philadelphia Passion by a score of 34-18. The Bliss became the first team to win the Legends Cup, which is now the symbol of the LFL championship.
Greg Cote had this item in the Miami Herald recently:
“Failing to come up with an even more unpopular stance, the NFLPA filed a grievance to help accused murderer Aaron Hernandez receive an $82,000 workout bonus.”
The America’s Cup races have begun. The US is represented by a boat sponsored by Oracle and New Zealand is represented by a boat sponsored by Emirates Airlines. If you are not a yacht-racing enthusiast – as I am not – you might be surprised to learn that the boats in this competition bear no resemblance to any kind of sailboat that you might find familiar. Here are a few distinctions:
There is no sail. The sails have been replaced by an airplane wing structure made of composite plastic.
There is no actual boat as one might recognize a sailboat. The vessel is a twin-hulled catamaran with plastic netting and struts between the two hulls.
The vessels have small structures in the water that allow the boats to hydroplane such that both hulls can be completely out of the water.
The vessels can achieve speeds of 40 knots – even when the wind is far less than 40 knots.
There were two races over the weekend and the Kiwis won both of them.
Greg Cote took note of the impending America’s Cup regatta and offered his assessment of that situation:
“The United States faces New Zealand in America’s Cup sailing next week, and my interest would fit in a thimble with room left over for the thumb.”
According to a report by the AP, the NCAA announced that they will “tweak” the bracketing process for seeding teams in the men’s college basketball tournament starting this year. The new procedures will not affect in any way which teams get into the tournament; the new procedures will only affect the ways in which the Selection Committee places the teams in the brackets. Unbeknownst to me, there has been a rule in place that two teams from the same conference could not meet in the tournament before the round of the regional finals. To accommodate that restriction, the Selection Committee might have had to move one team up or down in the seeding levels in order to keep it away from another conference member in the same regional draw. That restriction has been lifted.
I suspect that conference realignments have a lot to do with this kind of thinking given that large conferences can send a lot of teams into any future tournament and having to spot them in places where they cannot see their fellow-conference members until a certain round of the tournament can become a juggling act. I think the Big East had 10 teams in the tournament last year. Given the implosion of the Big East, the Selection Committee will not have that problem to deal with next Spring. However, there are going to be 16-team conferences made up of good basketball programs that can make this an issue in upcoming years.
Having said all of the above, leave it to the NCAA to take a rule or a rule-change and make it more complicated than it needs to be. Here are the rules that apply to when two teams from the same conference might be allowed to play one another in the NCAA Tournament:
If the two teams in question have only played each other one time – including in the conference tournament – during the past season, they can play each other in the NCAA Tournament as early as the third round.
If the two teams in question have played each other twice during the past season cannot play each other until the regional semi-finals.
If the two teams in question have played each other three times during the past season, they cannot play each other until the regional finals.
I honestly think that if the folks who run the NCAA were tasked to come up with a new design for a roofing nail, they would invent something that had 9 moving parts….
Finally, since I cited Greg Cote’s work twice already today, let me close with another of his observations from the Miami Herald:
“Miami’s Booker T. Washington High is ranked No. 1 nationally in some high school football polls. That’s the highest ranking for Booker T. since Booker T. & the M.G.’s reached No. 3 with Green Onions in 1962.”
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………