I am mainly writing this blog post as a means of catharsis, so bear with me, guys. I have something to confess: I’m that annoying person on the treadmill who sneaks a peek at your treadmill to see how fast you’re going. I know. Shame on me. But to be clear, it’s not because I’m judging you per se, I’m just trying to see if I’m going faster than you. Because, well, I reeeeeeally want to be going faster than you.
• Alright, Eagles fans, let’s be frank. The fact of the matter is, we’re staring down a 3-9 record right now, so I don’t know about you but I’m willing to throw anything—everything—at the wall and see what sticks. Which brings me to: sex. espnW reports on the connection between sex and sports this week, noting a study which found that in both men and women, testosterone levels “increased across the evening when there was intercourse and decreased when there was none.” And since athletes need testosterone to helps them be aggressive, powerful and strong, it stands to reason that a little romp between the sheets before a sporting event—like, say, the Eagles game on Sunday—certainly couldn’t hurt. Hey, I’m just putting two and two together here.
Of the four sports I played in high school, basketball was by far my favorite. (Track, softball and field hockey were the others, in case you’re wondering.) Our team was never that great (sorry, fellow former Lady Knights, it’s true), but that didn’t really matter. We had our plays, our cheers, our inside jokes, our nicknames (Lil Ems in the hoouuuuse!), and an awesome coach who also happened to be the school’s second-in-command, which meant we could weasel our way out of detentions pretty darn easily.
I didn’t play in college, so my glory days were in high school. Yes, I’m one of those—and I don’t care one bit. It was fun. Basketball was fun. And every winter around this time, I miss it dearly.
When Kimberly Shrack from Magee Rehabilitation contacted me last week about trying out wheelchair basketball with the Magee Sixers (as the name indicates, the team is sponsored by Magee and the Philadelphia 76ers), I don’t think I’ve ever been so excited—or answered an email so quickly. I was in, just name the place and time.
Of course, as soon as I agreed, I had questions—lots of questions. Like: Is it outdoors? (No.) Is it co-ed? (Technically, yes, but the team right now happens to be all men.) Would we use a men’s-size ball? (Probably, yes.) And the nets would be lowered since we’re playing sitting down, right? (Nope.)
Wait, come again? Kimberly informed me that just like regular ball, the rims would tower 10 feet over our heads. Forget having to maneuver a wheelchair, something I’ve never done in my life—would I be able to shoot anything other than air balls all night? This is when I realized things could go very, very badly. I decided to spend the week leading up to my wheelchair-basketball debut preparing my pride to take yet another blow, having learned my lesson after that time I
embarrassed myself in front of worked out with the Philadelphia Eagles Cheerleaders.
Here we go again.
• How would you celebrate winning three gold medals at the Olympics? If you were Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt, you’d pop open a bottle of bubbly. But not just any bubbly, of course—a 15-liter bottle of Nebuchadnezzar of Armand de Brignac Champagne, valued at a whopping $125,568. And why wouldn’t you, especially if said bottle—actually the equivalent of about 20 regular bottles—was delivered to your VIP table at a nightclub free of charge? The Drinks Business reports that Bolt was happy to imbibe with teammate Yohan Blake and fellow Olympians boxer Amir Khan, distance runner Mo Farah and swimmer Rebecca Adlington. Across town, swimmers Ryan Lochte and Chad le Clos reportedly clinked glasses of a $3,158 cocktail made with Hennessy Paradis Imperial Cognac and Luxor 24-carat gold leaf Champagne, and containing 18-carat gold rings. I’m only guessing here, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Lochte talked alllll about his hopes and dreams of becoming the next Bachelor star.
• In other post-Olympics news, the New York Daily News reports that Boston Marathon organizers may allow runners with prosthetic legs (a la South African “blade runner” Oscar Pistorius, who made headlines with his Olympic debut) to compete in the race’s open division.
• Disregarding the health implications, would you eat this: a chocolate-chip-cookie grilled cheese sandwich? I would not.
In case you missed it (and chances are you didn’t, since NBC is breaking viewership records left and right), at the beginning of prime time Olympic coverage on Sunday night, NBC aired a 30 minute pre-recorded interview of Bob Costas and Michael Phelps chatting about how Phelps sees himself as the Michael Jordan of swimming. It was positively
heart-warming inspiring vomit-worthy.
Is anyone else sick of seeing Phelps’s face plastered on the TV screen, in dandruff shampoo commercials, and on the front page of every major newspaper? I get it. Twenty-two gold medals are a big deal. (Well, actually, for a sport that hands out medals for six races at Phelps’s signature distance of 200 meters—there’s the 200 meter freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly, and individual and team relays—are they really a big deal? Usain Bolt, hailed as the fastest man in the world, had only one opportunity to medal in his 100-meter race.) To be perfectly frank, I’d had enough of Phelps before the closing ceremonies in Beijing four years ago.
• Oh, the Olympics. How they rocket once-nobodies to insta-fame like that. In 2008, it was Michael Phelps. This year’s suddenly-famous Olympian is another one to see in the pool: swimmer Ryan Lochte, whose dashing good looks and rock solid-abs have ladies around the world fanning themselves silly. (Confession: I have a picture of him from Women’s Health tacked to my wall, but that’s because my husband is a photographer and I wanted to show him the pleasing technical aspects of the photo—the lighting, the perspective, the angle. It has nothing to do with those abs. Geez.) But thank God we have New York Magazine to bring us all back down to earth, reminding us that while Lochte has good looks to spare, he leaves a tad to be desired in the brains department. Because, you know, we’re all human somehow. I give you: Deep Thoughts from Ryan Lochte, courtesy of The Cut. You’re so, so welcome.
• Check out the lead of this story on nbcnews.com: “A House Republican lawmaker likened the implementation of a new mandate that insurers offer coverage for contraceptive services to Pearl Harbor and the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks against the United States.” Um. What.
• Ok, ok. I’ll give you something good to end the week on. How about this: The story of Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini tweeting at a customer, who was laden with over $100,000 in medical bills his Aetna plan wouldn’t cover, and offering to pay “every last penny.”
The savvy web developers at BBC News are at it again. If you recall earlier this month, they released a global BMI comparison tool, comparing your BMI to BMI averages around the world. (I’m most like a Somalian, for the record.) Now they’ve unveiled a new database to help you find your Olympic Body Match. All you have to do is enter your height and weight (be sure to change the fields to “feet” and “pounds,” respectively) and you can find out which Olympic athlete is built most like you—or, well, vice-versa.
Me? I’m most like British triathlete Vicky Holland. I’ll take it.
>> Who’s your Olympic Body Match? Share in the comments!
Today is the first official day of the Olympics During Business Hours, and you’ve already managed to annoy me. Why, you ask? Because I’m sitting here at work, busying myself with health-and-fitness-editor-type things and imagining all of the catching up I’ll do on DVR’d Olympics programming when I get home. Swimming. Gymnastics. The works. Then suddenly, while perusing Twitter (hey, it’s technically part of my job to do so), BAM—I’m hit with an Olympic-size Olympics Spoiler. (One that I won’t repeat here, in case you’re wondering, so please keep on reading worry-free.)
Now I’m in a bad mood, Internet, and it’s all your fault. As such, I would like to take this opportunity to remind you that some of us are busy working and can’t catch every waking moment of the Olympics in real time. And some of us are looking forward to kicking back with a beer after work and taking in some serious Olympics action. Please don’t take that away from us.
If you must tweet or Facebook about the Olympics, please do so with headlines and statuses that don’t reveal anything, and with plenty of SPOILER ALERT warnings so that those of us who are saving it for later can choose not to click. K? I’d be ever so obliged.
Always, in the spirit of the Olympics,
I’m preeeeetty sick of all the “Call Me Maybe” poseurs at this point, but this video by the U.S. Olympic swim team was too good to pass up, for two reasons. 1) There are a couple underwater shots showing one of the male team members getting dooooown in the pool; and 2) The one-take shot of the female team members singing and strutting up an airplane aisle is pretty close to cinematic gold. I mean, I can imagine Spielberg calling director Kathleen Hersey for tips … maybe?
Blah, blah, blah the opening ceremonies for the London Olympics are tonight—we all know this. But beyond names like Michael Phelps and Missy Franklin, what do you really know about the Olympic Games this year?
If you’re attending (or hosting) an Olympics watch-party tonight, you’d better brush up on the best Olympics stories. You know, so you can dazzle your friends with your know-how by casually dropping some fact-bombs into your conversation, like, “Oh! There’s Malaysian rifle shooter Nur Suryani Mohamed Taibi. She’s eight months pregnant, you know.”
Just like that.
To help you bone up, here’s the CliffsNotes version of the 10 best stories coming out of the Olympics. Study hard, impress later.