Earlier this week, I mentioned a trivia item given to me by a friend that I passed along without verification because it would have been more work that I thought it was worth to do so. That item said that a student or alum of USC had won a medal at every Summer Olympics since 1912 and that only 15 countries could make that claim. Well, the reader in Houston who obviously has a PhD in sports stats and sports history did not think such an effort was too daunting and here is what his analysis came up with:
“With regard to only 15 countries having won a gold medal in every Summer Olympics since 1912, please note that the US is not one of them (1980 being the boycott of Moscow).
“With regard to USC, I confirmed that with the only possible exception being in 1980 when the US boycotted the Olympics.
“However, in 1980 Michelle Ford won a gold medal for Australia in the 800M freestyle. Three years later in 1983, Ford accepted a scholarship to attend USC for a degree in communication, while training for the 1984 Summer Olympics to be held at USC/LA the following year. Unfortunately, she did not qualify for the 1984 Olympics due to being overweight and therefore unable to match her previous times, resulting in her eventual retirement from the sport.
“At the time when she won the gold, she was not affiliated with USC, but did attend three years later. Therefore, if Usain Bolt and LeBron James are offered scholarships to USC in 2020, so that they can further their movie careers by being close to Hollywood, they can also be included as USC gold medal winners.”
So, there you have it … except there is even more info from Houston on the subject:
“FYI – USC students/alums have represented 59 countries and participated in 28 different sports, ranging from those generally associated with USC, such as track, swimming, volleyball, and hoops to lesser sports, such as team handball, canoeing, fencing, water polo, and even bobsled. While the Trojans traditionally have found their place in the sun during the Summer Olympics, USC athletes also have competed in the Winter Olympics 10 times in such sporting events as biathlon, skiing, and bobsledding.
“FYI – The Pac-12 has the nation’s top 3 universities with Olympic competitors in Rio–USC (44), California (41), Stanford (39), while UCLA (29) is fifth behind Florida (31).”
Several weeks ago, I suggested that MLB adopt a rule that any pitcher in a game must face at least 3 batters as a way to increase the pace of play. I have continued to think about that issue and I hereby propose two more new rules:
1. Teams employ the stalling tactic of having the catcher or an infielder go to the mound to have a “glove-over-the-mouth” interaction with the pitcher. Maybe teams have to limited to a certain number of such “visits”. How about no more than 2 or 3 per game?
2. In the minor leagues, they are experimenting with pitch clocks and they time relief pitchers arriving into the game. It works perfectly well; it does not intrude on the game nor does it upset the sacred ambience of the game. What MLB needs is a countdown clock on replays. I propose two such countdowns:
2a. After a controversial call – safe or out at a base/ fair or foul on a ball down the line/home run or not – the manager has 15 seconds to decide if he will challenge the call. No more standing on the top step of the dugout while some minion “upstairs” watches the tape and calls the bench coach in the dugout. Either challenge it or sit down and live with it…
2b. Once the umpires take the challenge, the mavens who are reviewing the play have 90 seconds – I would prefer 60 seconds but I doubt that would ever be acceptable – to make a decision to overturn. After 90 seconds of review, if the play is so close that they cannot decide to overturn or not, then the call stands as it was on the field.
These two rule changes – along with the one about requiring pitchers to face a minimum of 3 batters will speed up the games. The chances of them showing up in MLB next season are about the same as the chances that I will win the Nobel Peace Prize.
If anyone is thinking of heading out to Turner Field to see the Braves play their final games at that venue, there are two culinary items you might want to sample. You can avail yourself of the T.E.D. – The Everything Dog and/or the Burgerizza
Naturally, the T.E.D. is built on a foundation of a foot-long hot dog. Then it is adorned with fries, chili, nacho chips, jalapenos, melted beer cheese, a “Coca Cola infused barbecue sauce and all of that is topped with popcorn.
How can this be an “Everything Dog” without bacon? Riddle me that …
The Burgerizza is simply a gut bomb waiting to go off. You get a 20-ounce burger and stick it between two 8-inch pepperoni pizzas. It ought to come with a side of Pepto Bismol…
Finally, an observation from Dwight Perry in the Seattle Times:
“Vikings backup QB Taylor Heinicke severed a tendon in his foot when he tried to kick in a door and missed, putting it through a window instead.
“On the bright side, they didn’t need instant replay to determine if he broke the pane.”
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………