Bolt gave Olympics some excitement

I don’t understand the criticism Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt received from president of the International Olympic Committee, Jacques Rogge. Claiming Bolt showed a lack of respect to his competitors by the way he celebrated his record-breaking runs in the 100 and 200 metre track events at the Beijing Games, Rogge held a press conference to condemn the sprinter’s actions.
C’mon.
A little flare and personality are what makes watching the Olympics exciting. Simple handshakes and emotionless robots aren’t what people tune in to see.
And how was Bolt’s display any different than the jubilant fist clenched yell that American swimmer Michael Phelps released after his U.S. team came back to win a relay?
Personal celebration does not translate into disrespect of one’s opponents, and certainly not in Bolt’s case. Far from seeking to humiliate his competitors, Bolt was caught in the moment and responded in the way that was most natural to the happy-go-lucky Jamaican.
Perhaps if he had won the world championship of shuffleboard, the moment would be right for handshakes and reserved happiness.
But while bolting away from the field in two of the sexiest and anticipated Olympic events out there, a celebration of that magnitude is certainly justified.
• • •
Well, it’s getting darker earlier and there’s a bit of a crisp feeling in the air at night nowadays … that can only mean hockey and football are fast approaching. The Sabres are back on the ice and Muskie football camp is in full swing here locally, and the big leagues are set to open their seasons as well.
The National Football League will soon be playing games for real and National Hockey League training camps are only a few weeks’ away. Major League Baseball is now in the stretch drive and playoffs are just over a month away. Needless to say, this time of year is fun for sports fans. With that said, I think some outlandish predictions are in order:
1.The studs of the Eastern Conference last season, the Pittsburgh Penguins, struggle to find chemistry due to the losses of Ryan Malone and Marian Hossa, and surprise the hockey world by finishing out of the playoffs this season. Sorry guys, but I don’t think Miroslav Satan or Ruslan Fedotenko can fill the void.
2. Brett Favre can’t adjust to the Jets offensive system and gets benched temporarily, only to come back and suffer a season-ending injury.
3. The Arizona Cardinals will finally live up to their “sleeper” billing. For the past three or four seasons they’ve been labelled as such, but have sucked every year. They’ve got the advantage of a weaker NFC West division, and if they hand Kurt Warner the reigns at QB they should compete for a playoff spot.
4. The New York Giants won’t make the playoffs. Eli Manning will go back to being Eli Manning, Michael Strahan will still be vacationing in Greece and be “undecided” on retirement, and Plexico Burress will refuse to practice until it’s too late for the team to come back.
5. Adrian Peterson’s knee will crumble under the pressure of being picked first overall by football gurus everywhere and numerous Fantasy Football-related suicides will result.

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