What I Know: Olympics Baseball and Football

It was a good day for the United States yesterday in the Olympics. Gabby Douglas won the women’s all-around gymnastics title. Douglas became the first African-American to capture the event. Michael Phelps won his twentieth medal in the Olympics by winning the 200-meter individual medley. US swimmer Ryan Lochte finished second. The victory for Phelps also gave him his sixteenth career gold medal. The U.S. men’s Olympic basketball team set a scoring record in their 156-73 romp over Nigeria. In the game the US broke Olympic records for 3-pointers, field goals, and field goal percentage.

Last night the Texas Rangers blasted the Los Angeles Angels 15-9 and they split the crucial four game American League West series with Los Angeles. The Rangers lead the A’s by 4 ½ games and the Angels by 5 games. Tonight a big three game series in the National League Central begins. Division leading Cincinnati hosts Pittsburgh. The Reds have been red hot despite the loss of All-Star first baseman Joey Votto. They currently have the best record in baseball with a 64-41 record. Pittsburgh has been playing very good baseball themselves but they trail Cincinnati by 3 ½ games.

The first USA Today-Coaches Poll was released yesterday and the two teams that faced off in last season’s BCS Championship game are atop the initial poll. LSU, who lost to Alabama 21-0 in the BCS title game is ranked number one. Alabama, the defending national champions is second. USC coming off a post season ban is third and is considered the team with the best chance to break up the SEC’s stranglehold on the BCS title. Rounding out the top five is Oklahoma and Oregon.

The NFL pre-season starts on Sunday with the Hall of Fame game. The New Orleans Saints will play the Arizona Cardinals. A cloud is hanging over the Saints 2012 season. They will be without Coach Sean Payton and defensive leader linebacker Jonathan Vilma for the entire season because of the ‘Bounty Gate” situation. The Cardinals are trying to find a quarterback for the upcoming season. Kevin Kolb and John Skelton are neck and neck in the battle for the starting position.

The inductees to the NFL Hall of Fame this weekend are center Dermontti Dawson of the Pittsburgh Steelers, defensive end Chris Doleman who played for the Minnesota Vikings, San Francisco 49ers, and Atlanta Falcons. Also being inducted is defensive tackle Cortez Kennedy of the Seattle Seahawks, offensive tackle Willie Roaf of the New Orleans Saints and Kansas City Chiefs and running back Curtis Martin of the New England Patriots and New York Jets. The veterans committee selected cornerback jack Butler of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

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