When I began writing this blog about a year ago I only had one self-imposed rule; stay away from all things personal. No one cares who I’ll be voting for in the upcoming election. If you want to learn about politics, the economy or anything else other than sports, you wouldn’t be visiting a site called Sports Girl Blog. My passion is sports and that’s the only subject I care to cover. But dear readers, I’ve learned something about myself recently that I think deserves to be shared, thus breaking my own boundary. I have learned that I am something of a dominatrix.
Now, I don’t mean that I’m a dominatrix in the typical sense of the word. No, we won’t get that personal. But I have learned that I absolutely love dominance. It’s why I love the Yankees. Sure, they’re not in top form at the moment, nor have they been in the last few years. But I started watching the Yankees in the mid-90’s when they were at their peak. You just knew every season that they would contend. And it’s only been in the last 3 years that it’s even been a question of whether or not they’d make the post-season. Their hitting was phenomenal. Their pitching was lights out. The team chemistry was off the charts. They basically could not be stopped.
My love of dominance is why I root so hard for the New England Patriots. Granted, last season was really a failure since they couldn’t win in the one game that counted. But for the regular season they man-handled their opponents. Sure, they took a lot of flack for that since the domination sometimes resulted in an embarrassing loss for their foe. I happened to love watching them, week after week.
I had never really stopped to find the common thread in the teams that I follow. I’ve been accused of being a band-wagon fan. And on the surface I can see that argument. But it’s not that only root for the winner. Quite the opposite actually; I love a good underdog story! But I love to see one team rise above all the others in the field and those teams do usually go on to win overall.
What lead me to my self-discovery was the beginning of the 2008 Olympics. Every time the Olympics are approaching I think “eh, who really cares?” I had fully planned to watching almost nothing but football this weekend. But I tuned into the Olympics on Saturday just in time to watch Michael Phelps win his first gold medal. And by win, I mean absolutely demolish anyone else in the pool with him. You want to talk dominance? He is the definition. He is head and shoulders above his competition, and not just because he’s freakishly tall. Then, I had the immense pleasure of watching the men’s 4×100 relay last night. Phelps lead off and got the team off to a great start. The middle two swimmers did their parts, though Cullen Jones did leave some length to be made up at the end of the 3rd leg. And then Jason Lezak entered the pool. All evening, the announcers kept saying that, no matter how many times they ran the scenario on paper, they just didn’t see how France loses that relay. Cut to the video of the French team warming up with the footnote that, weeks prior, they were quoted as saying that they’d smash the Americans. All of this is in the back of my mind as Lezak makes the final turn and begins the final lap. Somehow, he managed to overtake his French rival in the last 25 meters of the lap and wound up beating him by 7/100 of a second. That, my friends, is dominance. To watch the elated expressions on the American team in direct contract to the anguish on the faces of the French swimmers was a great feeling. And hearing the National Anthem play as the four men stood on the podium, gold medals around their necks, really reminded me of how much national pride I feel.
Tonight, Phelps continued his quest to be the most decorated American swimmer of all time. He easily won the gold in the 200 freestyle. Personally, I think he’ll beat Spitz’s record for most gold medals in an Olympic game. And it doesn’t hurt his status in my eyes that he swam for Michigan. I’m not sure that he can be beaten. Certainly Ian Thorpe would beg to differ, but this year, Thorpe is watching from the stands while Phelps dominates in the pool. And that may be the most disappointing factor of all. I would love to watch Phelps out-swim him this year. To prove that he truly is the most dominant swimmer in the sport.