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Jason Lezak Has A New Fan

August 12, 2008 - John Whittaker

I almost feel sorry for Jason Lezak - the swimmer who put together an amazing final 50 meters to win the 4x100 meter relay for the United States on Sunday night.

It took all of about 60 seconds for the conversation to swing from the guy who won the race -- and the Americans trailed the entire race -- to what it meant for Michael Phelps. What Phelps is attempting to do is a great story, but the Olympics is all about individual stories, and Lezak's is a story that's likely to be the next Disney sports movie. It's too bad perhaps the best run of his career is lost in the media's obsession with Michael Phelps.

Some background on Lezak: He set the American record in the 100-meter freestyle at the U.S. Olympic trials and swam the fastest split in history Sunday night to win the relay race. He's the oldest swimmer on the 2008 U.S. Olympic Swim Team, has won seven world championships in two events and was on the 2004 Olympic team, winning a gold and a bronze while finishing eighth in the 50-meter freestyle.

Since I can't properly do Lezak's run justice, here's what some of the principals had to say after Sunday's race, courtesy of Michael Farber at SI.com.

"I just happened to have the swim of my life at the right time," Lezak said.

"The whole thing was remarkable," said Orjan Madsen, the German head coach. "It was one of those moments where you just sit back and say, 'Jesus Christ.' If I wouldn't have seen [Lezak overtaking Bernard] with my own eyes, I wouldn't have believed it."

"There's never been [an anchor swim like that] in my memory," American head coach Eddie Reese said. "Not running down somebody who holds the world record, who's on their game. That was incredible. ... It has to be in the unbelievable category. That's the biggest word I know."

Way to be, Jason Lezak. Hope they find someone good to play you in your movie!

For years, halftime of the Super Bowl has been an opportunity to grab another three slices of pizza, wolf down some wings and make sure I didn't have to go to the bathroom during the second half of the game. I won't be able to do that this year since Bruce Springsteen will be performing at halftime. All I can say is it's about time. It's almost too bad that they waited until Bruce is in the twilight of his career, because they might have had to extend halftime by an hour - given Bruce's youthful penchant for 3.5 hour long concerts. And, why is it the Super Bowl waits until artists are getting old to have them perform at the most-watched event of the year. Paul McCartney played a few years ago, followed by Aerosmith and Tom Petty (without the weed). Imagine how good those shows would have been if the bands were playing in their prime.

The News Gal - don't ask me how she does this, since I play real golf more often than she does - beat me by two strokes at putt-putt Sunday at Midway Park. Two of the holes were under water, but I still up a really ugly 7 on one hole (I putted just to the left of the hole on five straight strokes) which pretty much wrecked the hole-in-one I had earlier on the course. Don't ask the News Gal who won at Skee-ball, though (it might have been a balding, pudgy guy who looks remarkably like the Whitless Wonder!).

I like Joe Girardi, I really do. But, he played Monday's game a bit too much by the book, especially playing Richie Sexson over Jason Giambi. Giambi only has two at-bats against Perkins in his career (he's 1-for-2, by the way) and there are some lefties he kills. Sexson, meanwhile, was 0-for-4 against Perkins with two walks. I know it's not much, but I think you have to go with Giambi here. And, if any outfielder should have been sitting last night, it was probably Melky Cabrera, who hasn't had a key hit since April. Say what you want about the starting pitching without Joba Chamberlain, but Andy Pettitte and Sidney Ponson kept the Yankees in the game Sunday and Monday, and the offense let them down. I can't wait for football/hockey season.

 

 
 

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