SportsNet - June 2012
Rewind four years ago to the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, China when both the women's and the men's basketball teams brought home the gold medal proving that the United States remains the top basketball powerhouse in the world.
Now bring yourself back to the present, with a little over a month left until the Olympics start, the pressing question is will there be a repeat? Will both the women's and men's teams bring home the gold medals?
For many years now the women's national team has been dominating all across the world. There is no doubt that this years superstar lineup will have any problems continuing the tradition. With players like Sue Bird, Candace Parker, Diana Taurasi, and Maya Moore teaming up, this women's team will be a force to be reckoned with. There are seven players who have already been to the Olympics and who have won gold but all eleven players were part of the 2010 World Championships team.
Everyone knows that Brazil always produces some of the most talented players in the world. From Pele to Ronaldinho, they always produce some of the best players in the world. This era is no different. However it seems that the Brazilian talent of today, want to stay in Brazil for the near future.
This new thinking of Brazilian players appears to have started after Kleberson left Brazil for a move to Manchester United. Formally of Manchester United, he was seen as a real talent. However, it is thought that he left Brazil too early in his career and it halted his development. The likes of Neymar and Ganso have learnt from his mistakes and want to stay in their country for the foreseeable future.
However since Kleberson left Brazil in 2003, the level of wages in Brazil has grown massively and they are now on par with most of Europe. This looks to be the real reason why many young Brazilian players are staying put until fully developed.
There are some decisions in sports one simply cannot wrap his or her mind around. In the case of the Union of European Football Associations or UEFA, there have been a myriad of baffling decisions on its part.
What has been increasingly clear is that UEFA, as well as FIFA have their priorities in the wrong places. They have shown time and time again that they care more to maintain the illusion of respectibility of a referee, rather than to squash racism out of fans around Europe. Perhaps that's because these organizations have convinced themselves that racism isn't a problem. FIFA's president Sepp Blatter stirred up controversy back in November when he said that racism isn't a problem on the pitch and it can be solved with a simple handshake. It was as ignorant of a statement as it was stupid.
England's golden boy Wayne Rooney let down his country after he was kicked out against Montenegrin defender Miodrag Dzudovic in a European Championship qualifier in October. Rooney was given a red card by Wolfgang Stark and he was set to miss the first three Euro 2012 games. However the FA successfully appealed against it and the ban was ratified to two games.
Rooney seemed to change his attitude after the incident and he only received one yellow card throughout the Premier League season. What made it even more impressive was that it came in the final match of the season. The media jumped on this and started saying he's a changed man and he can win the European Championships of England.
However did Rooney make an impact for England against Ukraine?
Rooney started off a bit rusty and jaded after not playing for a considerable time. As the game went on he began to find his feet and linked up well with his Manchester United teammate Danny Welbeck. Although still misplacing paces, Rooney looked hungry and willing to work for a goal.
The consensus is that the two picks in the 2012 NFL Draft, Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III, are the best quarterbacks to come out of the draft since the Colts took Peyton Manning over Ryan Leaf in the '98 Draft. However, Luck has less pressure on him for a few reasons. After the Colts' 0-16 season, the Colts can only go upwards. In addition, Luck is taking over a team once controlled by the seemingly omnipotent Peyton Manning. It is like replacing Michael Jordan. Impossible. It's even more difficult when looking at the list of key players that the Colts have lost. Luck does not have a great supporting cast.
So, can there even be a worst case scenario for Luck? Other than suffering a major injury that takes him out for several games or has a like Ryan Leaf or JaMarcus Russell-like implosion Colts fans will be patient with Andrew Luck. Anything better than four wins is a plus for the Colts. But what will this translate in terms of production for Andrew Luck.