Found August 06, 2012 on Waiting For Next Year:
I cheered as Andy Murray took down his arch nemesis in front of a several thousand of his closest friends 1 . I watched, in awe, as the 6-foot-5-inch Usain Bolt started slow yet silenced all doubters in 9.63 seconds. I witnessed Jennifer Kessey and April Ross win two very hard-fought contests against the Czech Republic’s Marketa Slukova and Kristyna Kolocova, with Kessey relegated to wrapping her freezing feet in various warming elements merely to keep blood circulating in the freezing sand. I even watched as the oft-injured Sanya Richards-Ross finally turned her 400-meter endeavor into a dream-come-true, winning the ever-coveted gold medal for the United States of America. Perfection at nearly every turn, victory typically ending in exhaustion and jubilation and adulation all wrapped into a gold-laced package for an entire world to see. Celebratory vignettes, anthems of nations, sweat, and tears 2 . Meanwhile, just six hours west, for the viewing pleasure of those with only the sturdiest of stomachs, the Cleveland Indians dropped their ninth-straight contest, the last of a nine-game road trip against three different conference rivals; the worst such streak in the team’s 112-year existence. During the 1o-day swing, the Indians’ starting rotation combined for an 0-7 record with an 11.69 ERA, allowing 55 earned runs over 42 1/3 innings. Prior to Sunday’s crushing extra inning loss, the offense managed a measly .190 batting average, collecting only 20 runs, an average of two-and-a-half per game. And this is all unfolding during a crucial point in the season where contention was not only within reach, but even remotely possible, what with the whole bowl full of “contention window” narrative that we’ve all been force-fed with used platicware. Notice that this debacle known as the Cleveland Indians baseball club did not make it into the items which were viewed this past Sunday. I was not even aware that they were playing a contest on this very day. While I’m undoubtedly a Cleveland fan and I write for a Cleveland-addled web site, I’m arguably a larger fan of sport executed not only on the grand stage, but done so with high levels of execution. It’s why I’ll take in the NBA Finals and not necessarily care who comes out the victor 3 . These Olympians often sacrifice years of their existence for a mere few minutes of competition. This shear desire and determination makes the viewing all the more pleasurable, to see someone so dedicated to perfection, often spurring time with family as well as any sort of plausible income 4 in order to perfect their craft, only to face the potential disappearing act enabled by the four-year window between Games. The Indians, many of whom inherited substantial raises over their 2011 compensation, have seemingly regressed. And this regression isn’t strictly an observation of the players which litter (and up until the last week of DFAs, littered) the roster. The degeneration undoubtedly starts at the top. There is no doubt in my mind that the players who fill the Indians clubhouse yearn to win. I will, however, debate that they’re consistently put in the best position to do so 5 . Not only has the self-induced implosion made the Cleveland Indians difficult to support in any capacity, be it financially or emotionally, the comparative athletic excellence being displayed in London, England has left them without peer. One can say that these two compared parties are not “peers” to begin with as domestic, professional sport is hardly met with the same pageantry, pomp and circumstance as the spectacle that is the Olympiad. And certainly one (or even nine) baseball games are a drop in the bucket of career that is one Olympic Games. But athletes are all wired the same. Some are afforded more in their adolescence when it comes to training and support, but the competitive gene is universally shared. It’s what is done with said gene that separates the top of the medal podium from the third place of the lowly AL Central. As a 28-year-old Brent Lillibridge flails at a curve ball located near his shoes, 16-year-old Gabby Douglass is flipping and twisting mid-air, only to land effortlessly on a four-inch wide beam of leather and suede. As Casey Kotchman looks to get his third hit since July 25, Missy Franklin will take just as many gold medals back to Regis Jesuit High School where she’ll gear up for her senior prom. And as Ubaldo Jimenez gives up 29 earned runs in his last 39 innings of “work,” leading the American League in wild pitches, and all of baseball in walks allowed, Kayla Harrison triumphed over effusive history and years of sexual abuse to take home the first gold medal in the history of female judo in America. The former will all have a well-paying job come next week. The latter, well, they will someday — if they’re lucky. For now, given the option, I’ll gladly stick with the latter. Determination, desire and execution win out every time 6 . – (AP Photos via David J. Phillips, Carlos Osorio) ___________________________________
  1. Murray, after all, is so Cleveland
  2. And in Richards-Ross’ case, two Chanel earrings the size of silver dollars
  3. Though I was indeed rooting for Kevin Durant and the Thunder, I can still walk away appreciative.
  4. American weightlifter Sarah Robles, for instance, is the strongest woman in the world, yet, at one point, was living on $400 per month stipend, and isn’t sure she will be able to afford attending the 2016 Games in Rio. How about that for defect spending?
  5. Chris Seddon, with all due respect, is not exactly a show-stopping starting pitcher
  6. I will also add Lyoto Machida’s stellar knockout of Ryan Bader during Saturday night’s UFC showdown. Would be remiss otherwise
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES
IT'S ABOUT TIME

Murray beats Federer for gold

Andy Murray defied the odds and defeated Roger Federer at Wimbledon to win a gold medal in men's tennis for Great Britain.

Did Sesame Street's Big Bird celebrate Andy Murray's Olympic gold medal? (Photo)

No, but a man wearing a Big Bird mask was found in the crowd at Centre Court at Wimbledon on Sunday as Great Britian's Andy Murray celebrated his Olympic gold medal victory in the player's box with friends and family after defeating Roger Federer in the Olympic men's tennis gold medal final. No word as to why the fan was wearing the Big Bird mask, or whether...

Murray wins gold medal at Wimbledon

Andy Murray had Centre Court rocking Sunday, winning gold for the home team and beating Roger Federer 6-2, 6-1, 6-4 in the tennis final at Wimbledon. The result was a royal rout. Murray swept nine consecutive games, breaking Federer's serve four times in a row. The victory marked a breakthrough for the Scotsman, who has lost all four of his Grand Slam finals, three against...

Murray Mount erupts in joy for namesake's win

They raised their arms at once on Murray Mount, camera phones held high to capture the moment from the big screen. Andy Murray served a closing ace, and the Olympic gold medal was his. Britain had a champion to cheer, and on sacred ground for tennis - Wimbledon. What's more, the 6-2, 6-1, 6-4 victory over Roger Federer came less than a month after the Swiss great beat Murray...

Murray plays for first time after gold

Olympic champion Andy Murray won his opening match in the Rogers Cup on Wednesday, beating Italy's Flavio Cipolla 6-1, 6-3. Murray, the second-seeded Briton who beat Roger Federer on Sunday in London for the gold medal, set up a third-round match against Canada's Milos Raonic. Raonic advanced Tuesday. ''I felt OK this morning when I practiced and decided to give...

Andy Murray’s dogs wear his medals (Picture)

Andy Murray had a major breakthrough when he beat Roger Federer in the men’s singles finals at the London Olympics to win his first title in a major competition. Murray had been to four grand slam finals and lost all of them, including a defeat to Federer at Wimbledon last month, before capturing the gold medal. This was the sort of breakthrough Murray was hinting at when he compared...

Murray beats Federer for gold at Wimby

Andy Murray has watched enough Centre Court celebrations to know what Wimbledon winners typically do, and he obliged rather thoroughly Sunday despite never having done so himself. He dropped to his knees at the service line. He man-hugged Roger Federer -- the man he had just beaten, 6-2, 6-1, 6-4, for the gold medal -- at the net. He climbed into the stands to kiss his girlfriend...

Murray defeats Federer for Olympic Gold Medal

Scotland’s  Andy Murray defeated  No. 1 Roger Federer 6-2, 6-1, 6-4 to win the Olympic gold medal in men’s singles for Great Britain on Sunday on Wimbledon’s famed Centre Court,  four weeks removed from falling to the Swiss in the Wimbledon final. Murray put in a masterful performance, dominating Federer at every turn not allowing any breaks of serve. Juan Martin Del Potro...

Wimbledon repeat: Federer-Murray face off in final

Roger Federer has ''been around the block,'' as he puts it. The Swiss star has played for major titles, for the record books, for a place in tennis history. On Sunday, he plays for Olympic gold in singles. That's new even for him. The final will be a rematch of the game the top-ranked player won on the same court in the Wimbledon final a month ago. His opponent...

Olympic tennis superlatives: GOATS, children and Andy Murray

By Ashley Babich MOST LIKELY TO BE CALLED A GOAT, in a good way: Serena Williams. (Duh.) Completing her Golden Slam — winning all four Grand Slam titles and an Olympics gold medal in singles  –  Serena displayed her best tennis this side of age 30. Serena dismantled her opponents in outright domination (read: beating Maria Sharapova in the gold medal final, 6-0, 6-1, in...

Olympic Tennis Event – Sunday, August 5th Order of Play

Day 9 – August 5 2012 Centre Court Start: 12:00 Women’s Doubles – Gold Medal Match HLAVACKOVA / HRADECKA (CZE) [4]  V   WILLIAMS / WILLIAMS (USA) Men’s Singles – Gold Medal Match Not before 14:00 Roger FEDERER (SUI) [1]  V   Andy MURRAY (GBR) [3] Mixed Doubles – Gold Medal Match AZARENKA / MIRNYI (BLR) [1]  V   ROBSON / MURRAY (GBR) Court 1...

A wonderful week of shocks, surprises and dreams coming true at the Olympics

By Lisa-Marie Burrows Andy Murray's Olympic dreams came true at Wimbledon (Photo credit: Getty Images) Barely a day has gone by since the doors of SW19 closed and the 2012 Olympic dream for many was over. It was a wonderful week on the grass that brought smiles, laughter, tears, Boris Becker-inspired dives and even a little victory dance that we shall never forget. Here is...

Notes and Quotes: Murray wins singles gold over Federer

RESULTS – SUNDAY, 5 AUGUST, 2012 Singles – Gold Medal Match [3] A Murray (GBR) d [1] R Federer (SUI) 62 61 64 Singles – Bronze Medal Match [8] J Potro (ARG) d [2] N Djokovic (SRB) 75 64 Mixed Doubles – Gold Medal Match [1] M Mirnyi / V Azarenka (BLR) d A Murray / L Robson (GBR) 26 63 10-8 Mixed Doubles – Bronze Medal Match [3] M Bryan / L Raymond (USA) d C Kas / S Lisicki...

Olympics Schedule for Sunday Features Usain Bolt in 100-Meter Dash, Roger Federer and Andy Murray for Tennis Gold

Day Nine marked the halfway point of the London Games, and it's become clear at this point that it will be either the U.S. or China at the top of the medal count when all is said and done. The U.S. finds itself in first at the moment with 54 total medals and 26 golds, while China is right behind with 53 total medals, 25 of them gold. The story overshadowing all the others from...

Links of the Day 8/5/12

Happy Sunday, I hope you have some time to go outside today. Andy Murray won Olympic gold, which is a big deal for his country, whatever his country is. The NBA would like to change the Olympics a bit. Do the Wild have a goon? Do they need one? SCOREBOARD MLB Los Angeles 6, Chicago 5 – Most of the White Sox were at Lollapalooza, and did not make it back for game time. Minnesota...
MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.