Sunday, August 5, 2012

Phelps is the G.O.A.T. Greatest Olympian of All Time

Phelps is The G.O.A.T. Greatest Olympian of All Time
Baltimore August 5, 2012

Show's over Mr. Phelps, take a bow. As the Unites State's 4x100 medley team touched the wall Saturday the career of the Greatest Olympian the world has ever known came to an end. 

Michael Phelps is calling it quits. The young man who began swimming at the North Baltimore Aquatic Club and skyrocketed  to the Olympic mountain top is going out on top. Way on top! Phelps's 22 Career Olympic Medals, 18 of them Gold, place Phelps in a galaxy of success that  will more than likely never be visited by another Olympian.

In each generation there are athletes who are just head and shoulders above their peers; dominating not only their sport, but transcending into a worldwide figure of greatness. For some that figure is Joe Louis, for others its Ali and for many including Phelps greatness is "His Airness" Michael Jordan. Phelps is that transcending athlete for this generation and can rest assure that his face belongs on the American Athletes version of Mt. Rushmore. 

The Baltimore Bullet garnered our attention as a 19 year old 6 time gold medalist in Athens, amazed us in Beijing with his 8 gold medals and brought us to our feet to applaud him in London as he reached the mountain top. 

Phelps is choosing to leave the sport he rules while on top and that is not only fitting but, the only way he should leave. Eventually we say good bye to our sports greats but, very few get to go out on top of the game and the world. Phelps is doing just that, much like John Elway and Michael Jordan. 22 career Olympic medals, 18 of which are gold and three world records is a feat that will more than likely live forever as the gold standard for Olympians. 

When asked by NBC's Bob Costas if he would reconsider his retirement like his idol Michael Jordan The Baltimore Bullet quickly restated his position, "I can look back at my career, hang up my suit and say I've done everything I wanted to do." Phelps also spoke about enjoying being apart of taking the sport of swimming to another level and feeling confident that the torch is ready to be passed to the next generation of swimming greats. 

That next generation which will more than likely be led by Missy Franklin and Katie Ledecky, who both grew up idolizing Phelps as so many young aspiring swimmers have over the past few years. In fact ,his impact on the sport of swimming will be his greatest achievement as children all over the world will now dive into the pool with the hopes of being the next Michael Phelps. 

The Phelps Effect will do for swimming what the "Tiger Effect" did for golf and what "Air Jordan" did for basketball. But for now we should stand, admire and applaud The Greatest Olympian of All Time for allowing us the opportunity to watch a career that may never be equaled. Thank You Michael! Thank You!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

O' There is Something Different About These O's

O' There is Something Different About These O's
Baltimore July 31, 2012

It was the top of the 2nd inning and the hated Yankees had just touched up starter Chris Tillman for five runs in the bottom of the 1st inning. Goodnight! Ballgame! Game over right? No way the Orioles come back against the Yankees on the road; they just folded up the tent and focused on the next game right? If your talking about any other season in the "Groundhog Day" like losing season drought that has plagued this organization for more than a decade you'd be right.

Not this season! Not this team! "Dem O's" as they say in here in Baltimore rallied with a 7 run 2nd inning capped by a Chris Davis Grand Slam as they went on to pound the Yankees 11-5 guaranteeing a series win.

Throughout this season this Orioles team has shown a since of resolve and desire that a generation of O's fans have never seen before. This team never gives up and never quits as they have so many times over the past few years. Last month the team overcame a critical 9th inning error and a blown save to defeat the mighty Tigers in a fourteen inning marathon. 

No the Orioles don't have an inflated payroll or a roster full of slugging superstars. Yes their roster is filled with mid level talent, a superstar in decline in Jim Thome, a model of consistency  in Nick Markakis and rising stars in Matt Weiters and Adam Jones. So what is it? What's different about this team that has them winning past the point where they would normally fade to black?

Buck Showalter is in his second full season at the helm and it has been clear since opening day that this team plays the game the Showalter way taking on his fiery demeanor. Showalter's fingerprints are all over every facet of this team's improvement. Moreover, this orange and black attack also seems to have a unwavering chemistry that can't be broken despite constant lineup changes during to injuries. In addition, it sure helps that Center fielder and $100 million man Adam Jones is blossoming into the player the Orioles knew he could be; both on the field where he is having a career year and in the lockeroom where he has become the unquestioned team leader. 

This is all true and a factor in the O's success thus far but, is not the most integral key to that success. More than anything this team has showed the heart and will to win. This team is in it for the long haul and will be a force to be reckoned with for post season positioning. They don't quit and they never seem to think that they shouldn't win. That is something O's fans have been longing for hon! How bout Dem O's!