Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Tuesday 08/12 A.M. Quickie:
Rodgers, Phelps, Coughlin, Piersol, More

Names you'll want to know today: Aaron Rodgers, Michael Phelps, Adam Dunn, Angola.

Aaron Rodgers preseason debut as "QB1" for the Packers was a nice change-of-pace from Favre Mania. And you know what? Rodgers wasn't bad. It's hard to account for preseason performances, but he didn't embarrass himself out there, which is the first step toward acceptance. The expectations were likely so low that anything better than "sucking" would be a good start.

Rodgers' debut actually bumped the Olympics and the Phelps Watch -- which is like the Favre Watch, only enjoyable -- in the lead of today's SN column.

But Phelps is no less captivating: His WR performance in the 200 free was astonishing, given his (and USA Swimming's) recent history in the event. He just crushed it.

More interesting was Natalie Coughlin's 100 back. I'm no expert, but I could still tell she was off to an amazing start -- she JUST held on, and her face showed it. It's like a Costanzan leave-em-on-a-high-note strategy: "Thanks for the gold, folks. I'm outta here!" (She'll compete more, but this one was the biggie, going against Coventry.)

Aaron Piersol was simply awesome: He's not enormous like Grevers or the Ultimate Swimming Machine like Phelps. He seems relatively normal. He's just the world's best backstroke swimmer.

All that pushes the Adam Dunn trade down, but it is no less interesting than if it had been made a few weeks ago. (It's interesting to see a trade involving a productive player like Dunn happening after the deadline. Where were the strategic waiver blocks? Someone explain that to me.)

Last thing to mention this morning: It remains to be seen how bad this injury is to Georgia's LT, Trinton Sturdivant, but given the strength of that O-line -- for Moreno and for Stafford -- it could be a BCS-breaker. Between that and the Sanchez injury, Ohio State is looking very very strong right now.

Hmm: More on that later today. Full SN column here.

-- D.S.

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