I’m not a jock. Not really. I have done some gymnastics. I had a WSI, taught swimming, and did a bit of diving. I raced cars until I retired in 1980. Despite that, I don’t watch many televised sports.
I watched the Olympics.
Michael Phelps blew me away.
One one-hundredth of a second. Eight gold medals in eight attempts.
Mr. Phelps burns more calories in an hour than I burn in a day. He swam the 4 x 200-meter relay less than an hour after winning the 200-meter fly. He won his definitive event at about 11:30 p.m., Eastern Daylight Time, on Saturday.
It is the biggest sports story of the decade bar none.
I’m glad the Red Sox won the Series. I’m glad the Pats won the Super Bowl. This is bigger. This is batting 1.000 against a spitballer. This is hitting a home run in every at bat.
Oddly, The Burlington Free Press opted to cover a different event. The front page lead story on Sunday and the sports page lead story on Sunday was that Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt “shattered the men’s 100-meter record Saturday.” Sorry, Mr. Phelps. I guess the Secretary really will “disavow any knowledge of your actions.”
The Freep did have a little box of weasel words down low on the sports page. We’re sorry, they said. We know Michael Phelps was swimming yesterday but we had to go to bed early and we missed it.
I understand that the reporters’ union requires the paper to allow us to sleep once a week and that Saturday night is it. But really. The only good news here is that the Freep avoided the “Dewey Defeats Truman!” kind of headline. The bad news is that this was the biggest sports story of the decade. Somebody should have stayed up for it.