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Tiger Slips, Usain Bolts

So in the middle of August, as sports fans across the country digest the first full weekend of NFL pre-season football, and diehard pigskin fans tweak their fantasy rankings for upcoming drafts (yes, I’m in that group), Tiger played it safe – and lost, while Usain demolished his year old 100 meter dash record. 

Intellectually, you can see what Tiger’s thought process was on Sunday.  He had a two stroke lead, the wind was strong and unpredictable, and he thought employing caution and safety would be the best way to secure his 3rd straight tour win, his 5th PGA title, his 1st major of 2009, and 15th major overall…wrong.  He couldn’t sink a putt, his shots were errant, and Y.E. Yang’s bold approach and calm nerves ended one of sports’ most incredible streaks.  And don’t forget two huge consecutive missed putts inside of 10 feet that could have secured the title for him – the putt at 18 on Saturday, and the first putt of the day on Sunday at #1.  He makes those; he’s up by 4 strokes and it’s a totally different tournament.

Going into Sunday, Tiger was 14 for 14 after leading a major thru 54 holes (including being tied) – every one of his major titles.  He hadn’t lost any tournament when leading though 54 since 1996 – a 36 tournament streak dating back to his rookie year on tour.   The law of averages finally caught up to Tiger and this streak.  And I’m guessing Tiger won’t be taking the overly cautious approach anytime in the near future either.

These days, in non-Olympic years, track and field seems to be on a par with the WNBA in popularity.  But Usain Bolt, after setting a record in Bejing a year ago with a 9.69 second 100 meter dash, destroyed his record with a 9.58 second clocking in Berlin at the world championships; once again bringing track back into the limelight.  And he did it by beating the world record by .11 seconds, the largest margin since the introduction of electronic timing in 1968…the year I was born.  In that year, the record of 9.95 seconds was set and remained until 1983. As a high school track & field long distance runner in those days (it wasn’t until college that the ‘Speedburner’ speed started to shine), I never thought I’d see a 100M dash go under 9.7 in my lifetime.  9.58 is ridiculous!!  Watching Bolt during the Olympics last year, you could see he wasn’t a 4.3 40 kind of runner.  He doesn’t burst out of the gate but rather, keeps getting faster through the race until he’s hit a gear other runners just don’t have.  

Now we can go back to being bored to tears by baseball and scouting the newswires for the latest fantasy football developments – “the Jets #3 WR just caught two passes in practice today” – honestly, the coverage definitely goes overboard.  Anyway, I will have some fantasy thoughts after my 8/30 draft for those of you who have late drafts or are just curious as to who might be emerging at the skill positions in the upcoming season.    

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