Back to classes, back to syllabuses, back to having to go outside in plus 90 degree weather with an insane humidity but for some damn reason your roommates are actually fighting over the thermostat and whether or not to keep it on despite the insane humidity and 90 degree weather mentioned before. It’s been an interesting week. In fact, it’s been an interesting month of August. Here are a few things I’ve picked up on over the past 31 days.
5. Roger Goodell Doesn’t Care What You Think of Him
While NBA Commissioner Adam Silver is still getting high fives from fans for pulling the All-Star Game out of Charlotte over the HB2 Bill, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell seems to be almost universally disliked by everyone in football outside his 30 owners that cut his paycheck. Whether for the year and a half DeflateGate drama, the poor handling of serious issues like Domestic Violence and CTE/head trauma, and recent the Al Jazeera report that link players to PED use without substantial evidence, Goodell won’t be getting a “World’s Best Boss” mug anytime soon. However, at the end of the day, Goodell still stands on the mountain top of all Commissioner by welding the most power for his league. Like this recent election’s candidates, everyone may hate him but he will be running things for a long while.
4. USA Basketball Has No One to Fear
LeBron James, Stephen Curry, Russell Westbrook, Anthony Davis, Kawhi Leonard, Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, LaMarcus Aldridge, Damian Lillard, James Harden, and Dwyane Wade. These are the players that didn’t play for the gold medal winning team USA in Rio this past Olympics. This hypothetical team of players would run circles around the 2016 US team. I know there were a few scares against Spain and Serbia, but no country in the world has a team of All-Stars like us and no country definitely have a reserve team that can still win everything.
3. UNCG Soccer Program Looks Good for Another Great Year
The next few months at the Soccer Stadium will be a fun few months for fans and players alike. Last season saw the women’s team struggle early but win five out of six late while the men’s took the SoCon regular season title. With preseason rankings of first and third for the men’s and women’s soccer team, it is clear that last year made a large impression on coaches in the conference over the skills residing here in Greensboro. And with early victories for both teams, the squads look to prove all the hype correct and then some.
2. A-Rod Could Have Been Michael Jordan
The retirement of Alex Rodriguez from Major League Baseball closes the curtains of a movie that should have been great, started out great, and just got hard to watch over the final half. In 1996 at the age of 21, Alex put up the greatest season for anyone his age with the Seattle Mariners. And over the next decade, his numbers just got bigger, better, and pushed him closer to the company of Babe Ruth, Willie Mays, and Hank Aaron as the Greatest of All Time. Then he admitted to PED use. Then he got caught taking PEDs again. Then his teammates nicknamed him “A-Fraud”. Then he had some of the worst postseason performances by any great player. Then he sued the MLB. Then he sued the MLB Players Association, inexplicably. And the moment he could not hit like he used to, the Yankees were more than happy to boot him out the door. Maybe he has a self-destructive personality or maybe he could never escape the shadow of his former teammate and contemporary Derek Jeter on the likability scale, despite clearly being a better player, but A-Rod’s golden first ten years in baseball has been destroyed by his last ten years in the game.
1. Paul Chelimo Bought the Most Passionate Moment in UNCG’s recent history
After a crazy two weeks of Olympics leading to the final Saturday’s 5000 meters race, a crazier race that ended in an all out sprint from places 1-7, and an insane controversy post race about disqualification and reinstatements, Paul Chelimo became the first UNCG athlete to medal in the Olympics, winning silver for the USA. Today, I’m still recovering from that event. Not emotionally, but physically. As loud and deafening as the Cone Ballroom got in the final lap, my ears are still ringing. Which makes me happy that on a campus known for it’s arts and music, that sports took the center stage during the weekend.