Midweek musings: U.S. swimmer Michael Phelps won his 19th Olympic Games medal on Tuesday (July 31) in London. That’s a record for the most all-time. He has three more races at the Olympics. Among his 19 medals are 15 golds, two silvers and two bronze. Meaning it wouldn’t be surprising to see him pick up another endorsement after the Games are over. It seems so obvious: “Hi, I’m Michael Phelps, and when I find the need to, I stop by my neighborhood Cash for Gold store.”
* If you ask the editorial staff at elliottharris.com about the least favorite part of the Olympics, it would be the medal count. As if the number of medals won proves some sort of moral superiority. Through Tuesday, CHina and the United States each had won 23 medals overall. China: 13 gold, 6 silver, 4 bronze; U.S.: 9 gold, 8 silver, 7 bronze. Meaning jingoists in the audience may feel free to come up with a way to award point value to the various medals that will show the Chinese in second place. Hey, enjoy the competition, folks. It’s not warfare, no matter how much some people want it to be.
* Speaking of the Olympics, that television commercial featuring the Rolling Stones’ “Start Me Up” makes some of us wonder whether any Lady Gaga tunes from today will be used in Olympic ads decades from now.
* After he was traded Tuesday (July 31) by the Chicago Cubs to the Texas Rangers, right-hander Ryan Dempster was asked about how he would have fared if he pitched vs. the visiting Pittsburgh Pirates: I think I would have thrown a no-hitter.” Well, he was almost right about a no-hitter at Wrigley Field. Except it was A.J. Burnett who almost accomplished the feat. Pinch hitter Adrian Cardenas, a rookie, broke it up in the eighth inning. Meaning the Cubs kept their streak without being no-hit — a big-league record 7,411 games — intact. Hey, Cubs fans need something to take comfort in.
* The last no-hitter at Wrigley Field was in September, 1972, by Milt Pappas of the Cubs. Meaning this would be a near-perfect year to commemorate that contest (longtime Cubs fans will appreciate/wince at the near-perfect reference).
* Speaking of Dempster, wondering whether he will be taking his impersonation of broadcaster Harry Caray to Texas or saving it for his career after baseball when he winds up doing TV for somebody.
* As anticipated, Chicago White Sox left-hander John Danks will have shoulder surgery next week and miss the rest of the season. “Danks for the memories” would seem a suitable headline (hey, once a copy editor — as some of us once were — always a copy editor).
* Trivial pursuit — along with winning some money — is the goal of the newest programming for Comcast SportsNet. “Gas Money” is to debut on Sunday (Aug. 5) at 7 p.m. with Luke Stuckmeyer and Susannah Collins hosting the weekly sports trivia show. Fans will have the chance to answer three Chicago-oriented trivia questions and win $130; a wrong answer and they win nothing. Some of us aren’t sure $130 will cover a full tank of gas for some vehicles, but it’s close enough.
At last look, today is Wednesday (in part because yesterday was Tuesday, in part because tomorrow is Thursday). Meaning we are closing in on Thursday’s next edition of “Sports & Torts” with co-hosts David Spada and Elliott Harris on talkzone.com at noon Chicago time. The guests this week will be Chaya Boone, a figure competitor who recently won her pro card at the NPC Junior Nationals in suburban Chicago, and Fred Williamson (who for some of us needs no introduction). For those unfamiliar with Williamson, he is a former Northwestern University standout who played professionally, mostly in the American Football League with the Oakland Raiders and Kansas City Chiefs. He went on to a movie career as an actor (among his credits is “M *A*S*H) and director. He also played Diahann Carroll’s love interest in “Julia” (a television series that ran 1968-71).
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