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Little about a lot

June 25, 2012
Weirton Daily Times

The Olympics still matter.

The bottom line is that it may not matter to the NBA or NHL players, but it matters.

It matters to the divers, the fencers, the rowers and the curlers - the athletes who do not make multi-million dollar deals.

Yes, we watch those athletes every four years and root them on, but those blood, sweat and tears they put in to making the Olympic team are more important than what Kobe and Crosby have done to wear their respective countries colors.

It is not the No. 1 goal of NBA or NHL players to make the Olympic team. Making the team is a byproduct of their NBA or NHL careers.

The pinnacle of the lesser known athletes in the lesser known sports is to make the Olympic team. Topping off that pinnacle would be to win a medal and the ultimate would be to wear gold.

Their lives revolve around that one chance every four years until they decide to no longer chase that dream.

Watch the emotion of those who make the teams this week in track and field and swimming.

Watch the disappointment of those who do not make the team.

Yep, I will be watching beginning July 27.

As most people have seen, four boys decided to show their "manhood" and bully 68-year-old bus monitor Karen Klein on a school bus in upstate New York.

She said all she wanted was an apology.

The four boys have said they are sorry. Now, this is the cynic in me, but are they sorry for what they did, or are they sorry for getting caught?

So, where are the parents?

I know where they should be - the bus monitors for next year, taking turns keep their kids, and those around them, quiet and respectful while on the bus.

Just became a big fan of professional golfer Melissa Reid.

Obviously blood is thicker than cash in the Staal family.

I am thankful LeBron got a ring. He's still six behind Michael and five behind Kobe and Magic.

He is five behind Kareem, six behind Robert Horry, seven behind John Havlicek, nine behind Sam Jones and 10 behind Bill Russell.

James is three behind Bill Sharman, Kurt Rambis, Robert Parrish, Will Perdue, John Salley, Horace Grant, Tim Duncan and Shaq.

He has a long way to go.

Would love to see Steve Nash in Oklahoma City next year, running the break with Westbrook and Durant filling the lanes.

Ashton Eaton breaking the world record in the decathlon is a marvelous feat.

He broke the record of Roman Sebrle of the Czech Republic, who was the first man in decathlon history to break 9,000 points when he scored 9,026 in 2001.

The last two Americans to hold the world record were Dan O'Brien (1992) and Bruce Jenner (1976 Olympics).

Duke University athlete Curtis Beach was winning the 1500 in the decathlon and, basically, pulled over and allowed Easton to win the race.

Beach showed nothing but class with that move. Former Catholic Central standout Teddi Jo Maslowski is a teammate of Beach.

I learned how to triple jump in 1974 as a freshman at St. Augustine High School in San Diego.

Thirty-seven years later, that field event is not in every high school in the nation. I don't get it.

Speaking of things not in every state - the shot clock in basketball.

That, for the most part, is strictly financial - the cost of installing one and then finding someone to run the thing.

I am a fan of the shot clock.

I hate when teams play keep away.

The story of R.A. Dickey and his long avenue to his place on the New York Mets is a great story.

San Francisco linebacker Patrick Willis never let his background and upbringing define him. Not a lot of excuses out of him, if any at all.

I still think Jim Thome is a first-ballot hall of fame player.

The The Baseball Writers Association of America are the same people who, in my opinion, are doing two things - keeping McGwire, Palmeiro, Bonds and Clements out of the Hall of Fame and making sure no one gets into the Hall of Fame with 100 percent of the vote.

You see, I am also of the opinion that any BWAA who did not vote for guys like Tony Gwynn or Cal Ripken Jr. or Ricky Henderson should no longer be allowed to vote.

Willie Mays received 94.68 percent of the vote. Johnny Bench was at 96.42 percent, Mike Schmidt 96.52 percent, Gwynn 97.61 percent and Ripken 98.53 percent.

Not even Tom Seaver (98.84) or Nolan Ryan (98.79) could get 100 percent.

Journalistic integrity?

Just curious how many of those guys will note vote for Ken Griffey, Jr. or Trevor Hoffman in 2016.

The Pirates are 38-33 and one game out of first place. You have to like the direction they are headed.

Before Sunday's 3-2 loss to Detroit, the bullpen was 13-5 with 24 saves, a 2.73 ERA in 217 innings, good for fourth-best in baseball.

How much money is Penn State going to have to pay and how long before NCAA really looks into the "lack of institutional control" thing?

(Mathison, a Weirton resident, is the sports editor of the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times and can be contacted at and can be followed on Twitter at @MathisonMike)

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