The Winter Olympics in the Frying Pan

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In general, I am not an Olympic guy. I usually don’t watch the Winter Olympics because I get cold looking at all that snow even on TV. The only thing that is white and should be on the ground is nice warm sand.

Given the severity of the winter in Ohio this year, I WANT MY GLOBAL WARMING AND I WANT IT NOW!

I am also a believer that the Olympics should be all amateurs and not professionals across the board. In the 1980 games, the gaggle of US college hockey players beat the best professional team in the world–the USSR Army team. The fact that the USSR team was allowed in the games was a joke. Would the Olympic committee have allowed World Heavy Weight Champion Mike Tyson to enter the boxing tournament? I don’t think so. Then why did they allow the USSR to bring in a professional team?

Now we have the NHL and NBA players involved along with the professionals in some sports but not others. I would prefer all amateurs. The problem is that in basketball and some other team sports, most nations do not have amateur organizations.


The hockey has been outstanding. US vs. Canada was a great game. Some wonder why the Peacock put it on MSNBC. The answer is simple. They wanted the American public to have at least 1 reason to try to find it on the cable menu. From the prospective of the NHL, it should have been on the broadcast channel. The NHL needs all the exposure it can get and should have put pressure on NBC to get it a better channel.


With apologies to Harry Potter, I am sorry but anything that involves the use of a broom is not a sport. It is a cleaning activity.

X games sports

I will be first to admit I am an old fart when it comes to the X games stuff. The only advantage I have found to being over 60 is that I get discounts at the buffet restaurants. If I had any idea how painful old age would be I never would have signed up for it. But the X games should be on ESPN 7 and not in the Olympics. How do you include those things and eliminate baseball from the summer games?

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

Your fantasy football doesn’t have to be over. Run a pro football franchise all year long for free at . Tell them Coach Smith sent you.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits He is a regular contributor on Cleveland Sports Radio Monday mornings at 11 EST. He has also published several novels on

and edits .

Technorati Tags: Olympiics,Winter Olympics,NBC,MSNBC,NHL,NBA,Curling,X games,ESPN,Canada,Hocky,Global Warming

What did we learn in the College football last weekend?

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Both Weis and Bowden are fired.

Weis used the players recruited by Tyrone Willingham for his early success. The experience at ND proved that as head coach, Weis was one step beyond his level of competence. ND will likely never again be a regular contender for a national title. It may wander close from time to time but no matter who is the next coach, the team will not regain the status that both the administration and the fan base assume is their natural right.

Bowden is an entirely different story. Florida State was a joke prior to him becoming head coach. The “what have you done for me lately” group of FSU fans don’t seem to remember that. He had 14 straight top 5 finishes, 2 national championships, 12 conference championships, a bowl record of 21-10-1 and the second most wins in division 1 college football history. He is still loved by both his current and former players and the parents of those players. Now he has decided to retire the way that former USSR heads of state did—by threat of force. That is not the way that a great coach should end his career. FSU will have some problems getting a better coach. That is a hard act to follow.

The BcS is busted.

This season there are 6 undefeated teams going into the last week of the regular season. Either Florida or Alabama will drop from that list next week. Even so, it is clear to anyone that has watched TCU and Cincy are capable of playing with anyone. But until the pinhead college presidents get a kick in the butt from major donors that will suspend their gifts until Mr. Pinhead votes for a playoff, nothing will change. The fans are being cheated by a system that takes all meaning out of the regular season.

The big boys struggle with lessor competitors

#2 Alabama struggles to beat rival Auburn 26-21.

The Tide didn’t roll in the annual Iron Bowl. They looked sluggish and incapable of taking advantage of an Auburn D that was depleted by injury. They did show good fortitude coming back to win with less than 2 minutes left. But some cracks were obvious. The Tide managed only 73 yards rushing. RB Ingram who was considered a top Heisman prospect looked very average with 16 carries for 30 yards. They will have to play better than that to beat Florida.

#3 Texas D allows 39 by Texas A&M.

The strength of the Texas team was supposed to be the D beside QB McCoy. But TAM QB Johnson threw for 342 yards against the Texas D while McCoy could manage only 175. TAM WR Fuller ran through the Texas D so wide open it was like he was contagious with the H1N1. Something that should concern all Horn fans is that TAM lost to Oklahoma 65-10 and Colorado 35-34 in the last couple of weeks. Texas did not look good on either side of the ball.

#6 Boise State almost gets Kaepernicked.

Boise went into the game against Nevada with one thought—stop QB Kaepernick. They jumped out to a 20 point lead in the first quarter. Even so, they were forced to score in the 4th quarter to win over a team with one threat—Big K. Kaepernick is a great runner and a better passer than most think. As always, he put the team on his back and almost pulled off the upset of decade for his school. The Boise D was so focused on K that they allowed a much less talented team to get back in the game.

#7 Georgia Tech gets lost in the hedges.

As I have said for several weeks, the way to beat GTk is to get in front quickly and then hold on for dear life. Georgia found its running game and used it to keep the GTk O off the field. Tech scored 17 points in the 2nd half but fell short 30-24.

#9 Pitt gets upset by West Virginia.

Pitt had to score 10 points in the last 8 minutes just to get the game into overtime. They were in a position to challenge for a BcS bowl but not now. WV took revenge for Pitt knocking them out of a potential BcS Championship game a couple of years ago.

#12 Oklahoma State looked inept against an angry Sooner team.

Perhaps the biggest turkey of the weekend was OkS that looked totally outclassed by a wounded and angry Oklahoma team. OkS was shown to be a pretender not a contender.

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits He has also published several novels on and edits .

Technorati Tags: NCAA Football,BCS,BCS Championship,Flroida State,Notre Dame,Weis,Bowden,Alabama,Auburn,Texas,Texas A&M,Boise State,Nevada,Georgia Tech,Georgia,Pitt,West Virginia,Oklahoma State,Oklahoma

Sports and Politics are a bad combination.

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I offer my readers my apology for missing some days in the last week. My mother in law passed away last week. Because my wife and I have known each other since 1963, I have had a long term relationship with her mom. She was as fine a lady and as good a person as has ever lived and she will be missed by all of us that loved her.

I mention this because she grew up in pre-war Germany. She was an athlete in Nazi Germany and was part of Hitler’s youth sports program. She told me about the combination of sports and political indoctrination that were equal parts of the program.

The 1932 Olympics were one of the most political games in that event’s history. She was a swimmer but was too young to be part of the Olympic team but saw her older friends pushed to the physical and mental brink and beyond to prove a political point. We all know how that story ended, but the point here is that the athletes paid the price to attempt to prove the validity of a mad man’s theory.

She also talked about the inept management of the program because it was run by political hacks rather than sports management experts. The athletes were the ones that paid the price for the waste and stupidity of politicians running the program.

Politics raised its ugly head again during the cold war. The US refused to send a team to the games in the USSR as a political statement against the actions of that government. The following games were boycotted by the USSR and its satellite countries because the games were in the US. The governments didn’t win or lose anything by their childish actions. The people that did lose the most were those men and women that had worked so hard for many years to be ready to participate in the games. Those athletes gave up their lives to prepare to participate in the Olympics and were then forbidden to go by a politician with a 4 year old mentality.

Those athletes that did participate lost as well. Because many of the world’s best athletes were from the countries that refused to participate, the metals that were won in those games were tainted. The winners realized that they had won against less than the best the world could have offered.

With the breakup of the Soviet block, we were able to see the price that individuals paid for the political aims of their governments. Steroids were a major part of the attempt by the Communists to win metals. The men and women that were forced to take them have suffered the consequences for the rest of their lives.

The most recent summer games in China showed another aspect of politics interfering with sports. Thousands of people were forced out of their homes to make room for the sports venues required by the games. Hundreds of others were jailed to eliminate the chance of demonstrations against the government. Given the political ineptness of the Olympic committee, I would not be surprised if the next site chosen will be either North Korea or Iran.

If the Olympics are going to survive, the site selections must consider politics. The games must be held in countries that can avoid political and social consequences. Until that happens, you can count me out of those that have interest in the games.

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits He has also published several novels on and edits .

Technorati Tags: Olympics,China,US,USSR

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