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Wide World of Balls - Five Golden Rings

The Olympics are underway and weird, baseball players with goatees are being traded, and football has (kind of) started.
July 30, 2012, 9:40pm

We understand, you missed the opening ceremony because you were in jail. We know you didn’t do it, but someone tell that to the highway police of the great state of North Dakota, right? Not to worry, we hunkered down with a handle of Jack and a bunch of beef jerkey and watched the games—ALL of them—so you could concentrate on sorting everything out with that bail bondsman. If it’s not in here, it’s got a PhD from the University of Chicago.

Olympics
- Well, the 2012 Summer Games opened in London on Friday, and the ceremony was less fascist than China’s 2008 spectacle, but equally bereft of the music of both Sex Pistols and GBH, which makes it equally as fascist.

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- It’s five hours ahead in London, so NBC has everything at night on tape delay, and though the sports are actually live on the web and some channels during the day, the online stream doesn’t exactly work. It’s not surprising: think about how shitty Facebook's app or Twitter can get, then multiply that by America and streaming video and sports. Anyone who thought it would not suck was tripping. Still, NBC should’ve known better and made those nerds pull some all-nighters or something.

- As far as actual Olympic sports go (results and stuff), there’s so much shit that you should probably cancel that French cooking class/bag of pills you ordered, unplug your Neo-Geo and spend the next couple of weeks watching weightlifting and dressage. Selected results: Spain got bounced in soccer, Montenegro came close in water polo, Michael Phelps lost two races, etc.

- Good slash depressing story about Olympians joining the circus after retiring from competitive sports. If that’s not depressing, I don’t know what is. That said, clowns are cool and anyone who thinks success on a pummel horse helps with a mortgage application is higher than a giraffe’s pussy.

- Good slash depressing story about everyone in the Olympic village making love to each other and/or hanging out with Vince Vaughn. It’s a pretty cool image, I guess, if you’re into the visuals of a bunch of really broad-shouldered people getting sticky with each other, but it’s also depressing for that same reason.

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NBA
- Actually, semi-NBA news, and semi-Olympic. NBA owners and FIBA, which is like FIFA but for basketball and not a video game, are determined to change the Olympics to an under-23 tournament, so as to move NBA stars into playing their own worldwide tourney, which will probably be during World Cup summers and will be an insane money grab. Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski thinks it's a bama move, and that players are out of the loop because union head Billy Hunter is facing an investigation. Maybe they should get a new union head? So yeah, this might be the last “dream team.”

Baseball
- The non-waiver Trade Deadline is Tuesday, and while none of these moves happened, it’s been a pretty busy couple of weeks. Here are some bullets:

- Zack Greinke, who is awesome at both pitching and being a weirdo, went to the Angels for a big-deal shortstop prospect. Greinke is a free agent when the season’s over and has already turned down a $100 million extension, which makes this a pretty amazing country to live in, if you ask me.

- Ichiro Suzuki went to the Yankees. He's played really badly in losses and much better in wins for the past two years. But most players seem to do that, and he’s old. Sooooooooooo, I don't know.

- Hanley Ramirez, maybe a top five player in baseball in terms of talent, but crappy for a couple years now, has bounced from Miami to LA. Pretty cool that he got to live in the two best cities in the world!

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NFL
- Well, enjoy it, you animals. Football is back, and by September this column will have “evolved” into in-depth interviews with offensive linemen about aggressive heavy metal. So yeah, training camp is underway and most importantly, Tim Tebow ran in the rain de-shirted.

NHL
- Shea Weber, probably the best defenseman in hockey right now, re-upped with Nashville after receiving an offer sheet for like $110 million from Philly. First of all, it’s hilarious that a hockey team in Nashville can pay a player $110 million and I can’t even buy a motorcycle, but they can and it’s no big thing. Second, if you were a hockey player, would you rather live in Nashville or like, a city where people actually know what a checking line is? To be fair, Philly doesn’t qualify for that either.

NASCAR
- Dale Earnhart Jr. has the points lead in NASCAR’s Sprint Cup. In case you don’t follow closed-wheel racing—and if you don’t, I pity you—he’s been both the sport’s face for a long time and real bad for a long time. Sort of like a handsomer Anna Kournikova. Now he’s into the rarefied air of “not shit.” Good for him, though it’s probably better to be the first one.

Strong People
- This strong article about this strong dude is the best story of last week.

@samreiss_