News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Ramblin' Reck

August 14, 2012

RAMBLIN’ RECK: Olympic debate: Phelps greatest of all?

TERRE HAUTE — The Summer Olympic Games are history and many fans will be going to bed at their regular hour instead of staying up to watch the NBC coverage.

We didn’t watch every day but liked what we saw. NBC did a nice job.

The main issue that came out of the Games is where to rate swimmer Michael Phelps. Is he the greatest Olympian of all time and is he one of the greatest athletes?

By virtue of winning the record 22 medals in four Olympics, 18 of them gold, he has to be considered one of the greatest ever to compete in the Olympics, if not the greatest.

Swimmers, of course, have more chances to win more medals. But they first have to qualify for those events and then they must earn places to earn medals.

Phelps did both with hours and hours of practice and poise in the pool.

We consider him the greatest Olympian of all time but not one of the greatest athletes.

It was good to see the U.S. win gold in basketball again but it doesn’t seem the same as the time when only amateurs played in the Games. Those days are not likely to return.

We watched the closing ceremonies Sunday night and enjoyed most of the telecast.

It was a musical feast of sorts with Queen, The Who, George Michael, Spice Girls and others featured in the show.

Rio is the site of the next Summer Games and put on its own little program that featured the appearance of soccer legend Pele.

Pick ’em — ESPN The Magazine is the latest publication to offer picks for the college season.

Twenty in-house experts made their picks and came up with the following Top 25 headed by Southern Cal.

Top 10 — USC, LSU, Alabama, Oklahoma, Oregon, Georgia, Florida State, Michigan, West Virginia, South Carolina.

Second 15 — Arkansas, Michigan State, Stanford, Ohio State, Wisconsin, Clemson, Texas, TCU, Virginia Tech, Kansas State, Nebraska, Oklahoma State, Florida, Boise State, Notre Dame.

One of the early potentially interesting games matching ranked teams is Boise State at Michigan State. Another is Stanford vs. USC.

We’ll see.

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