Well friends, the time has come for me to start taking life seriously and find a real job. I've gone for an interview at a promotional events firm right outside of Providence in which I'd be doing public relations-type stuff. Aside from getting lost in Riverside and throwing my mapquest directions out the window, it went pretty well. I'm going to one of their events next week, so that would be sweet if I was able to stay in RI. I also have been offered a job doing sports writing for a start-up paper in northern Illinois. The editor wants a decision within the next few days. It really doesn't pay that much but I'd be doing what I love to do so I have no clue what to do at this point....Hopefully I'll have an idea what I'm doing with my life by next week.
There's a lot going on in the sports world and at the top of the list is the Olympics. I can honestly say I've never been more excited for the games than this summer. I can't wait to see the likes of Michael Phelps or Tyson Gay (injury permitting) bring home gold after gold. Another great thing about the Olympics are the sports that we don't normally watch on a regular basis. I'm telling you, badminton (not just Papi and Brian Urlacher can play) and sailing are competitive and enjoyable to watch. I know how difficult it is to sail a boat because I took a class this spring and I struggled to put it mildly. Those struggles give me even more appreciation for the athletes that compete on a world-wide level.
But in the end, this year's Olympics will resonate in my mind with success or failure of the USA Basketball's "Redeem Team". The team features the three top players in the world (sorry, Paul Pierce) in my favorite non-Celtic in Dwayne Wade, Lebron and Kobe. I'm aware that this doesn't ensure success overseas (see: Athens, 2004). I also think this team is obviously a far different team from '04 and even from the world championships in 2006. This is not the Dream Team, which was the greatest collection of talent ever assembled. This current edition of Team USA will not steamroll the competition like we all expect; it's going to be a battle. The team is flawed; there is a lack of size and I worry about its shooting percentage declining as its number of fast-break opportunities dwindle. At the same time, the thought of going toe-to-toe with such European powers as Spain or Argentina entices me because this team plays a solid team defense when it concentrates. The offense is spectacular, not only because of its talent but due to the fact that it has adapted the Coach K ball-movement philosophy.
I admit it, I'll be crushed if we don't bring home the gold. I've been waiting for this since I watched the Marbury/Iverson-led team implode four years ago.