Here we have Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Jerome Simpson adding some christmas cheer to his team with a spectacular touchdown against Arizona Cardinals. With performances like this Simpson may find himself drafted into the mens Olympic gymnast team for next years games in London!
Well I never thought that I would have bull fighting on here but there you go - oh wait...... well it is a classic cartoon with the happy little fellow called Droopy! Merry Christmas!
Roger Bannister became famous for being the first athlete to run a sub 4 minute mile but has anybody remember Jim Hines? At the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City, American athlete Hines became the first man to officially break the 10-second barrier for the 100 metres sprint with a time of 9.95. Admittedly the race was run at altitude in Mexico but this was still a big deal and it would be a record that he would keep for 15 years.
Electronic timing was introduced in 1977 and in 1983 Calvin Smith recorded a time of 9.93 to officially break Hines record. On top of altitude conditions, wind conditions are also taken into consideration but I am only quoting the records that are deemed to be official. Taking drugs cheat Ben Johnson out of these equations there has been a gradual increase in speed since then with the likes of Carl Lewis, Leroy Burrell, Donovan Bailey, Maurice Greene and Asafa Powell amongst others taking the odd one hundredth of a second off of the record every now and again. That was until Jamaican Usain Bolt made his name in 2008 by breaking the world record in New York with a time of 9.72 (two hundredth's faster), then shaving it down to 9.69 at the Beijing Olympics and then a year later recording an incredible time of 9.58 in Berlin.
I know that there will always be the odd person here or there that will make accusations against the likes of Bolt because of their stand out performances which they believe must be enhanced with one kind or another of supplements that are surely illegal to take. But unlike Ben Johnson, Usain Bolt as far as we know is clean and therefore we should take him as such and admire his phenomenal performances.
I will say one other thing although I do want to cover drugs cheats such as Johnson in another blog - another known cheat was Marion Jones and in an interview with Oprah Winfrey she actually said that although she did not know at the time that the supplements that she was taken were illegal, she had to take them just to keep up with the other athletes. "Keep up" - what does that mean exactly? Was Jones that far behind or is she really saying that the majority of top athletes are all taken enhancing drugs of one description or another?
Putting all of the drugs stuff to one side and coming back to the mens 100 metres as our example in this case, if we go back further in time to the unofficial world records of this event, Luther Cary was the first registered record holder with a time of 10.8 back in 1891. Therefore, in just over a hundred years the world record has now gone down by just over 1.2 seconds. A time of 10.8 today would probably not be good enough to get Cary into the Olympics but for its time it was the best. We have to remember all the advances in medicines and nutritions not only make athletes fitter but make human beings live longer and more healthier and as science progresses and if we looked forward another 100 years from now where will we be then?
But my point is surely there has to be a limit at some point. Surely there has to come a day when either a World or Olympic Record just cannot be beaten because mankind has peaked and just cannot go any faster, jump any further or throw the javelin or shot put any further than any of the predecessors that have tried before them. It is one thing to add electronic timing and assessments on wind speed, altitude running and so on but another to change the rules to allow certain drugs (and I do not mean medicines) purely designed to assist athletes to go beyond their own abilities as sport then becomes a farce and these records would become much more meaningless.
So how fast can a human being run the 100 metres using the rules that we have today if they were precisely the same in another hundred years from now? Who knows but unless they start going to a thousandth of a second then I am not sure what else can be done. I just want to sit back and enjoy the astonishing moment one more time that Usain Bolt shook the world of running in the Beijing Olympics and he even eased up as he crossed the finishing line - amazing.
College basketball and nobody minds a good cross town rivalry between a couple of teams that have universities just two miles apart.
That distance is the distance between the two universities in Cincinnati making any sports event one of the geographically local rivalries in the country. The big universities there are Xavier University and the University of Cincinnati. The two teams meet annually to play in the Skyline Chili Crosstown Shootout.
The university of Cincinnati has nearly seven times the amount of students as Xavier with just under 42,000 enrolled and the Cincinnati Bearcats have a 48-31 lead in victories over Xavier Musketeers in this annual event that started back in 1928. Xavier though have won 11 of the last 15 crosstown shootouts so have dramatically closed the gap in recent years.
With their recent record, Xavier have also established themselves as on of the country's premier college basketball programs and made its sixth straight NCAA Tournament appearance in 2011 and its tenth in the last 11 years.
The latest Crosstown Shootout took place last weekend and it was Xavier Musketeers that again would go on to win. However, this match was engulfed in controversy right at the end as the fierce rivalry boiled over onto the court that saw staff and players involved in a complete free for all.
Perhaps the two universities should consider an annual wrestling or boxing event if the players are more interested in scrapping than playing the game that they are there to play. For sure sport is sometimes hotly contested and rivalries do sometimes rear their ugly head - but all sportsmen should be aware of all of the consequences.