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I suddenly wish I was Rashard Mendenhall. I bet I’m not the only one.

I sometimes find myself sitting around when I should be working, dreaming about what life would be like if I was able to make tens of millions of dollars in a ridiculously short amount of time.

Mendenhall, now a former NFL running back after announcing in a Huffington Post article that he is retiring from football, has decided to give up his career to live that dream. My dream. Well, presumably his dream too.

I honestly find it hard to understand how multimillionaires and billionaires find the motivation to go to work every day when there is very little incentive other than adding a few more bitcoins to their Scrooge McDuck-sized vaults. 

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The Oscars went long on Sunday night, as award shows tend to do, starting around 8:30 p.m. and finishing just past the break of Monday in the east. Many of you are bleary-eyed today, grabbing an extra cup (read: pot) of coffee while you make your way through a rough work day, spending more than a few hours of your day perusing all the fancy dress and white-jacket tuxedo slideshows, wishing you were still in your pajamas.

We get it. The Oscars are like the Super Bowl for people who don’t care about football. (Note: That’s not to suggest the Oscars are not interesting to people who do like football. It’s just that, well, the actual Super Bowl is our Super Bowl.)

The Oscars are traditionally one of the most watched television events of the year. Last year, according to Lori Rackl of the Chicago Sun-Times, more than 40 million people watched the Oscars, with nearly 62 percent of that audience consisting of women. By comparison, more than 110 million people watched last year's Super Bowl, with women making up somewhere around 45 percent of those viewers.

And Ozzie Smith wants baseball’s Opening Day to be a national holiday?!?

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What if Jadeveon Clowney announced two weeks before the NFL Scouting Combine that he was gay? What if LeBron James came out in a national magazine spread during last season’s playoffs?

The buzz around either announcement would have been enough to make P.T. Barnum blush.

Now, make no mistake about the fact that Michael Sam and Jason Collins sharing headlines during the same week—the former for publicly announcing he is gay in advance of the NFL combine, the latter for signing an NBA contract nine months after his own announcement—is enormous news in the world of American sports.

Two openly gay athletes in male team sports making history at the same time is massive, in our extremely insular world of sports and our society around us.

Why Can't We Have an Olympics Every Year?

By on February 22, 2014

27,171 reads


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I am going to miss the Winter Olympics.

I am going to miss the skiing and the skating and the jumping and the luging and the curling and the hockey. Oh, am I going to miss the hockey. (And the curling. Did I mention the curling?)

I didn’t think I’d feel this way before the Olympics began. In fact, it wasn’t too long ago when I made this joke.

Only, maybe I wasn’t joking. Americans just don’t care about skiing, skating and luging (and curling) and most of these athletic disciplines at any other time in our lives outside of once every four years during a fortnight we call the Winter Olympics.

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All they could do was shake their heads, then shake Canada’s hands.

United States captain Meghan Duggan was choking back tears. Some of her teammates didn’t even bother trying.

The United States women’s hockey team lost to Canada in the gold medal game, again. Canada has won the gold medal, again, for the fourth consecutive Winter Olympics, defeating the Americans for the third time in this unparalleled run.

They are, without question, the two best women’s hockey teams on the planet. In the Olympic finals, Canada proved better in the end.

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In figure skating circles, defending Olympic champion Yuna Kim of Korea is simply known as "The Queen." During Wednesday's short program, she performed like royalty.

The 23-year-old Kim is a grizzled veteran in the world of ladies' figure skating, and while she came into the Sochi Games as one of the favorites, she has been relatively out of practice, essentially retiring after winning gold in Vancouver before coming back four years later as if she never missed a day.

Terry Gannon, calling the event for NBCSN with Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir, asked, "How do you step away, then come back like Michael Jordan did, and not lose a step?"

It was incredible. To be away from competitive skating at this level like Kim has only made her short program that much more impressive. She was essentially flawless, scoring a 74.64 to set a mark none of the skaters to follow her were able to match.

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What time do the closing ceremonies begin?

The Olympics, at least in terms of Russia's longstanding dream of winning a gold medal in men's hockey, are over. Russia lost, 3-1, to Finland in the quarterfinals on home ice, thereby ending both any chance at Olympic glory and every hope of finishing the Sochi Olympics on a high note.

In a Winter Games full of small Russian disasters, this one is huge.

Some even think the men's hockey defeat is one of the biggest Olympic disasters in Russia's history. During the second intermission of Wednesday's quarterfinal, American commentator Jeremy Roenick said that a loss to Finland at this stage of the event would be "the biggest failure in Olympic history I think for Russia."

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I got into a fight with a Canadian today. Well, not a fight so much as a Twitter spat over the Stanley Cup being held hostage in the Canada house during the Sochi Olympics.

The Stanley Cup, for you hockey-illiterate Americans, is the giant silver trophy given annually to the NHL champion, something a Canadian team has not been since 1993.

Two decades have passed since a team from north of the border last won the Stanley Cup, yet someone thought it would be an inspiration to the Canadian contingent to bring the cup all the way over to Russia to remind people that hockey belongs to them.

There was much more of that kind of back and forth, with a few other Canucks getting into the mix as well. The primary retort to the Stanley Cup comment is that more Canadians have won the trophy than Americans, even though all of the Cup-winning teams play their home games in America. American teams win all the titles, but Canadian players make up the best talent on those teams.

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We've come to bury United States curling, not to praise it.

Truth be told, there isn't much to praise about the combined effort for the American men's and women's curling teams during the 2014 Sochi Olympics. Of the 18 combined games played, the United States won just three.

The men's team, led by skip John Shuster for a second straight Olympics, won just two of their nine matches. The women's team, led by skip Erika Brown and vice skip Debbie McCormick, who led the 2010 squad in Vancouver, won just one match in Sochi, being outscored 77-40 in the tournament.

Shuster spoke with NBC's Trenni Kusnierek after the team's final game in Sochi and was asked if he is disappointed to return to the Winter Games and put up such a poor result.

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As most of the East Coast of the United States continues to dig itself out from another devastating winter storm that dumped ice, slush and, in some spots, more than a foot of snow on the ground, many of us have had little else to do* other than grab a blanket, stay warm and watch the Winter Olympics all day long.

(*Note: little else besides shoveling. There has been a lot of shoveling. If shoveling were an Olympic sport, I'm confident I could be a medalist at this point.)

The irony of watching these Winter Olympics during a snowstorm, however, is that there is no snow at the Winter Olympics. None. There is barely enough snow to even hold the events in the mountains. Seriously. From Liz Clarke of The Washington Post:

Snow guns. With all the problems in Sochi, the term "snow guns" seems to fit right in. Oh, and if Russia needs any more snow, some of us have a few thousand cubic meters we could send over. Though it will probably melt once it gets there.