Monday, August 17, 2009

Monday 08/17 Quickie: Yang, Tiger, Bolt,
Vick, Rangers, Rasmus, Sanchez, VY, More

Surprisingly, I'm not willing to say (yet) that Yang over Woods was the "Greatest. Upset. Ever.," in golf. I think it is a contender, given Woods' place as the greatest golfer ever; his fast start to the PGA; his majorless season -- and thus his motivation to win.

And, more than anything else, that Yang didn't back into it when Woods was injured or out of contention. He took him on, head-on, and beat him. Simply that.

And simply that alone is enough to put what Yang did up near the pinnacle of all golf accomplishments ever. Maybe not the Greatest Upset Ever in golf. But certainly the Greatest Upset of this generation.

Let's call it the Greatest Upset of the Woods Era.

And then there was Usain Bolt, who is so effing good that he coasted at the Olympics -- setting a new world record while winning gold, mind you -- and not only had some left in the tank, but enough left in the tank to lower his own world record by an insane .11.

There is no doubt: In Bolt, we are witnessing the greatest sprinter in history. Good god: He COASTED at the Olympics and STILL set a WR -- then came back a year later and smashed it. And he does it with ease -- with this joyfulness and playfulness that makes him all the more likable.

Why are Yang and Bolt even better than their individual accomplishments? Because either (and both) knocked Michael Vick from what should have been today's lead story, just as Vick took over sports last Thursday night and all day Friday.

Vick's 60 Minutes interview was underwhelming. I am still convinced that -- oh, yes -- he is sorry: But more sorry for screwing up his sweet life than what he did to the dogs. And I don't say that as some kind of crazy dog-lover. His quote last week was enough to convince me that he still assigns much of the blame to the crowd he was running with, not himself.

But the fact is that the "sorry face" is now out there. His performance on the Eagles is much more interesting than the protests about him or any pop-psychology about his state of mind. I hope he continues to put as much effort into working with the Humane Society as he does working on his game -- which, apparently, he has barely worked at in his career.

(I mention this in the column, but how staggeringly talented must Vick be for him to be self-professed "lazy" about football preparation yet still so dominant? How much better could he have been? It will be interesting to see if he wants to work harder in Philly, then turn into late-career Michael Jordan, who spent more time shooting carefully curated fadeaway jumpshots than dominating with his athletic ability.)

There is a ton more in the column today, including a discussion of whether NOW is the right time for Red Sox fans to sort of panic... whether Derek Jeter will go down as the greatest shortstop in history... whether Mark Sanchez is this year's Matt Ryan... whether Jay Cutler and Josh McDaniels miss each other yet... and a lot more.

Check out the complete column here. More later.

-- D.S.

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