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PREVIOUS SPORTS
• Sideline: Yes, Non–Conference Games DO Count
• NCAA Preview 2009
• Sideline: Time For The Talking To Stop
• Sideline: In Memory of Air McNair
• Sideline: Will Goodell Hand Out Hard Time?
• Sideline: Marshall's Not Joshing
• NFL Draft: No Rush To Judgment
• NFL Draft Analysis 2009 (Part 2)
• Sideline: NFL Draft Thoughts (Part 2)
• Sideline: NFL Draft Thoughts
• Sideline: Will Play For Food
• Sideline: Wonderlic Scores
• Sideline: Manning and Sanchez
• Sideline: 2010 Leagues Sci–fi, or Fantasy? / March Madness
• Sideline: Break Out The Brackets
• Sideline: LaDainian Tomlinson On The Record
• Sideline: The Incredible Sulk Continues
• Sideline: Guildford Heat Fired Up
• Sideline: Super Bowl thoughts from the Valley of the Sun
• Sideline: I know I came in here for something
• Sideline: College Football National Signing Day
• Sideline: 27 Points — 27 Super Bowl thoughts
• Sideline: An Epic QB Matchup?
• Sideline: Appreciating Arizona for What They Were
• Sideline: NFL Divisional Weekend Preview
• Sideline: Bowl Season Hangover
• Sideline: Six weeks Later
• Sideline: Wildcard Weekend Preview
• Sideline: Santa's Sackings
• Sideline: A Weis Decision ...for Now
• Sideline: Eye on the Ticker
• Sideline: Lions — An Anagram of Losin
• Sideline: Ready for the Turkey
• Sideline: Making it to the Big Dance
• Sideline: Brighter Days Ahead for Chargers?
• Sideline: Unnecessary Hits To The Pocket / Upset: BYU
• Sideline: Romo's Pause / Seattle Seahawks
• Sideline: Weekend Prep: Red River and More
• Sideline: College Football's 'Crossroads' Weekend
• Sideline: Gramatical Error
• Sideline: Turning The Page
• Sideline: So Cal 'Quizzed
• Sideline: 3rd Tuesday Panic / Forté Yard Dash
• Sideline: Two and Oh; Oh and Two
• Sideline: No More NCAAffeine
• Sideline: Week 1 College Football
• Sideline: How To Spell Heisman / Chad Ocho Cinco
• Sideline: A Second Slice
• Sideline: The Favre story STILL won't go away
• Sideline: Olympic Notes / Ricky's Still Relevant
• Sideline: Committee Meetings
• Sideline: Let the QB Battles Begin
• Sideline: Slinging The Slinger — More Favre
• Interview: Clint Dempsey
• Sideline: Welcome to the 2008 season
• Sideline: Plus One
• 2008 NFL Draft Review
• Sideline: Draft: The Morning After
• Sideline: Draft: Thinking the Unthinkable
• Sideline: Draft: Ready For The Long Haul
• Sideline: Sofa–bound Sport
• Sideline: Post–Winter Wonderland
• Sideline: Six Impossible Things
• Sideline: Brady's Misdirection Play
• Sideline: Colorful Language
• Sideline: Let the Romo–bashing begin
• Sideline: Bowl Bites: The Wrap
• Sideline: All About The Coaches
• Sideline: Bowl Bites 3
• Sideline: Bowl Bites 2
• Sideline: Bowl Bites 1
• Sideline: Coach Situations Vacant
• Sideline: For Some, The Playoffs Are Now
• Sideline: A Certain Lack Of Welcome
• Sideline: Unrelated Notes
• Sideline: Two Thanksgiving thoughts
• Sideline: Halftime: NFC
• Sideline: Halftime: AFC
• Sideline: London / A Tale of Two Chads / Intimidation
• Sideline: Damp Squib / Other London Notes
• Sideline: Rock 'Em, Sock 'Em / Dolphins – The Aftermath
• Sideline: The Dolphins Did What?
• Sideline: Notes on the Defenses
• Sideline: Habits to be Broken
• Sideline: Overtime
• Sideline: This Week's Starters
• Sideline: USF: Covering The Spread / Fantastic Football
• Sideline: Grossman: The Final Act? / McNabb, the Epilogue
• Sideline: Eagles QB in Slight Controversy
• Sideline: Leftwich's Parting Gift / Boos cruise
• Sideline: Notre Dame M.I.A.
• Sideline: Looking Beyond NFL Wk. 1
• Sideline: Best Hope For Heisman
• Sideline: Coaching Hot Seats / AP Poll Feeling ’Appy
• Sideline: The NFL’s Prime Cuts
• Sideline: Michigan Falls to Killer Apps
• Sideline: Look Out Couch / The Taint's On You, Bud
SPORTS

SIDELINE
Observations, Opinion & Occasional Silliness by Richard L Gale

Olympic Notes / Ricky's Still Relevant
August 14, 2008

Olympic Notes

The Olympics progress with this writer no wiser where in space/time to locate events. Every time I switch on there seems to be a celebrating creche of Chinese children who, we are led to believe, are Olympic gold medalists.

China are leading in the Olympics. Or not, depending whose medal table you look at. The American sports sites are largely listing countries by the number of overall medals — which favors the US at present — a surprisingly egalitarian spin considering the traditional winning–is–everything approach (which I'm all in favor of — stuff political correctness, this is meant to be competitive). But I tend to count the number of events actually won. Which does at least mean Michael Phelps currently has more gold medals than the whole of Russia.

Another Olympic gripe of mine — the number of events. Or rather sub–events. Not to take anything away from Phelps, but is being really good at swimming worth that many gold medals? Surely swimming should be an event, however you do it, the way tennis is — there's an individual event, and there's a team event (relay for swimming, doubles for tennis), but then swimming is broken down to breaststroke, backstroke, butterfly... it seems a bit like having Rafael Nadal winning multiple golds for forehand, backhand, baseline, serve–and–volley, etc. Back in the gymnastics arena, some leotard–clad munchkin is performing four diverse acrobatic feats to earn one solitary gold.

And speaking of cherubic children, did everyone read about the darling little Chinese girl who sang at the opening ceremony? Turns out she didn't, not a single note. The kid mimed along to the singing of another, apparently less photogenic child. China bending credibility? Next you'll be suggesting those gymnasts of theirs aren't really 16 years old.

Ricky's Still Relevant

Amongst my notes from week one of the non–Olympic sport's preseason: Ricky Williams is back. Again. It's easy to forget that Williams once tallied over 2,200 all–purpose yards and 17 touchdowns his first year with the Dolphins. The next season he added another 1,723 and 10 scores. Then he went to India, then he came back, then he went to Canada, then he came back, then he got injured.

Last weekend, he was back, with 5 rushes for 31 yards, which isn't much in itself, but did offer the first true and lasting look at Ricky and Ronnie Brown in the Dolphins backfield for two years. Last time they worked together, they mustered around 2,000 combined yards. Of course, Ronnie might not be all the way back yet, but he was having a Pro Bowl year before last year's injury. Just don't be surprised if fantasy owners looking to fill out their backfield start looking at Ricky in the first month of the season.

Rookies of note in week one included some defenders making a quick impact by leading their teams in tackles: cornerback Antoine Cason of the San Diego Chargers (who just couldn't put a foot wrong in their preseason defeat of the Cowboys); linebacker Keith Rivers of Cincinnati, who was one of the later first rounders to sign but looked every inch ready to contribute on a team that desperately needs a spark; and linebacker Dan Connor of the Carolina Panthers, who was only a third round pick, but is already showing people what a steal he is.

Tennessee and Oakland both established their ground games during week one. The Titans rushed for 340 yards and Oakland for 248. Of course, neither showed much passing when passing is what they needed to improve, but a solid running game sure as heck makes it hard to pick teams for divisional basements. Atlanta also showed signs of life with 228 yards through the air, 113 of those from top pick Matt Ryan, and the backfield — now featuring Michael Turner — averaged 4.8.

Dolphins, Bengals, Raiders, Falcons. I can't help but wonder how many of these performances were just preseason mirages. But this is the real beauty of preseason: letting fans dream of better times before reality sinks in.

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