Tag Archives: Tiger Woods

The joy of rooting against Tiger Woods. The reasoning of a 2-year-old. And people in bathing suits in public: Look in the mirror!

lightningpic.large

Check out this fantastic photo of lower Manhattan getting awfully close to a lightning strike. The picture was taken by Anthony Quintano of NBC News.

I am about to break one of my few rules for myself on this blog: Never write about golf.
I hate golf, loathe it, despite its very existence, and frankly don’t consider it a sport.
But that’s just me.
Anyway, one thing that has intrigued me when I do pay attention to what’s going on in golf the last few years is how desperately the media seems to be rooting for Tiger Woods to be back to his old self.

Ever since ole’ Tiger smashed up his car four years ago and was revealed to be a really, really big philanderer, everyone has been waiting for the old Tiger to come back, the guy who dominated the sport like nobody else for more than a decade.

And while he’s won some tournaments and gotten back near the top, he still hasn’t won another major, which would truly announce that he’s back.

Sunday he blew another chance, as Phil Mickelson captured the British Open.
Personally, I hope Woods never wins another major. His behavior has always been distasteful on the course; his arrogance, his bullying of caddies and fans, and his foul language (he swore up a blue streak this weekend, according to what I read) make him an odious superstar.

So I get great joy out of rooting against Tiger from afar. He’s a perfect example of a kid coddled from Day 1 to be a superstar, and when things haven’t gone right, he behaves like a spoiled brat and expects the world to be different for him.

Again, I follow golf hardly at all, so I don’t know the ins and outs of why Tiger hasn’t won another major. But when I turned on the radio Sunday afternoon and heard he finished a distant 6th, I smiled.

Sometimes, people get what they deserve.

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**Next up, a hat tip to my friend Catherine for pointing me to this video, that’s part of a web series called “Conversations with My 2-year-old.”

It’s a series of short vignettes acted out by Matthew Clark and David Milchard, wherein they take the dialogue of actual conversations between a grown-up and a 2-year-old, and act them out together.

It’s funnier than I’m making it sound. Check out the one called “Pants” above… (I think all parents can appreciate this.)

**Finally, a brief rant about summer, public swimming pools, and people who really need to take five seconds and look in a mirror at home before going out.
My wife and I visited some friends and their kids on Sunday on Long Island, and we all went to this quasi-neighborhood pool (it was only open to people who lived in that development of about 10-12 blocks, I learned).

Twice during our four-hour stay my eyes nearly had to be picked up from the cement I was walking on. First there was a 50ish woman wearing a very small bathing suit bikini top that was hanging on for dear life the whole time it was on her; her breasts were literally spilling out of this thing (and believe me fellas, this was one wardrobe malfunction you definitely did NOT want to see.)

A short time later there was an overweight guy, maybe around 60, with a tiny bathing suit that had his gut hanging over it, and again, the fabric looked like it was about to burst at any moment.

Look, people of Earth, I’m never going to criticize anyone for what their body shape is, because we all have our problem areas. All I’m saying is, we don’t all need to see everything you’ve got.

Honesty in writing. The boy who fell out of the sky. And is Tiger Woods back? Maybe.

Two great stories to get you going on a Monday…

I have written here, a few times, how much I admire Chris Jones as a writer, and now as a blogger.

One thing that I admire about the blog is his honesty. Last week Jones, who writes primarily for Esquire, wrote a post about being upset and disappointed that he didn’t get nominated for a National Magazine Award (the magazine writer’s equivalent of a Pulitzer, basically) for a brilliant story he wrote about Roger Ebert.
We writers all care about awards, and we all want to be acknowledged and recognized for our work. Any writer who says they don’t care is fibbing, I think. I’ve been very fortunate to win a bunch of writing awards in my career, and each one has meant a lot to me.
Anyway, Jones wrote this strong blog post about being disappointed, and he took some heat for it in certain corners of the Internet, which I didn’t get. Basically he was being accused of whining and only caring about the work for the award’s sake, which is 100 percent NOT what he was saying.
Anyway, Jones followed up with an even better post, which says so much about what I feel as a writer.
He’s honest in his blog, painfully so sometimes, and even though I think I’m pretty honest here, I wish I had the courage to be as totally free and open as he is.

**Speaking of great writing, Tommy Tomlinson is a legend in newspaper circles, but he’s a guy who I don’t think most of the general public is aware of. He writes for the Charlotte Observer, and this weekend he wrote this fascinating tale of Delvonte Tisdale, a seemingly-normal teenager who one night went to the airport and climbed inside the wheel well of a US Airways flight right before it took off.
And of course, died at some point during the flight when he fell from the plane. This is a story that seems to make no sense, but Tomlinson does a superb job in trying to find answers to a very strange and sad tale.

I urge you to read it today.

**Finally, a few words about Tiger. I loathe the “sport” of golf, but usually watch one day of the sport every year, the final Sunday of The Masters, just because it’s the Wimbledon of their sport. But I missed it Sunday and caught some highlights Sunday night. Tiger Woods had a hell of a day, shooting a 67 and leading the tournament for a little while.
Every time Tiger does this at a major, people start wondering if he’s “back.” And when the hell he’s going to start winning again.
Maybe it’ll be now. Or maybe, as some are saying, he will never be “Tiger Woods” again. Maybe the whole women scandal has taken something from him, and he won’t ever be able to get it back. He also continues to act like a spoiled brat on the course, so all this talk of “change” from him didn’t seem to stick.
As much as I loathe the guy, it’s fascinating to see him struggle, after being SO good for so long.

The greatest (or most disgusting) ice cream sundae ever. A Wii Fit question. And the Tiger commercial: Do you get it?

If there’s one thing we love here at this blog, it’s wacky or interesting or totally bizarre food concoctions. Every once in a while some culinary visionary comes up with something so spectacular, so impressive, or so nauseating, that I feel compelled to write about it.

Usually, these superlatives of the stomach seem to come from the sports world.

Ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce you to the Toledo Mud Hens baseball team’s newest concession stand offering.

You know how when you were a kid at Baskin-Robbins or some other ice cream place, they’d sometimes offer you a helmet sundae, with a scoop of ice cream in a mini batting helmet?

Well, this is basically the same concept behind the Fanatic Freeze, the Mud Hens’ newest dessert.

Except, it’s 15 scoops of ice cream served in an actual sized batting helmet. It’s 3,800 calories, and meant to serve at least seven or eight people.

Still … 15 scoops! That’s insane. I’d love to see two people try to eat that bad boy. They should give free tickets to anyone who can eat the whole thing themselves.

**OK, quick Wii Fit Plus question, to any of you out there as addicted to it as I am (random note: I finally got to the end in the advanced obstacle course game! I’d only been trying forever.)

Sometimes when you’re doing the Wii Fit, and you’re training with the personal trainer, you’ll start your workout and a guy will come on and say “Your regular trainer isn’t here today, so I’m going to fill in.”

Tell me: Where the hell does she go? She lives inside the CD the game is on. I mean seriously, is she off with another client in the next apartment? Is she taking a nap and can’t be bothered when I want to work out? Did she have errands to run across town?

I just find it so odd.

**Finally, I give up. I’ve been trying to figure out what the heck this new Nike Tiger Woods commercial means. I’ve watched it a few times, read Joe Posnanski’s analysis (he doesn’t have a clue, either), and asked some people I know what it’s about.

Nobody knows. Nobody can get over how weird it is to have Earl Woods’ disembodied voice talking to his son, while Tiger just stands there staring.

It’s just a stupid commercial, maybe, or maybe there’s a deeper meaning and I’m just not getting it.

See it for yourself and maybe you can tell me what it’s supposed to mean:

An amazing national title game. Tiger thoughts. And another great old song is sold out

I think I started breathing again about 45 seconds after Butler’s Gordon Hayward launched a half-court heave at the buzzer that missed going in by about, oh, two inches.

I was at a loss for words at about 11:45 p.m. Monday night. Which is good, since I could hardly breathe.

I’d just seen maybe the greatest NCAA national championship basketball game of my lifetime, and Duke had won.

What. A. Game. What a game! Truly phenomenal. I am so thrilled as a Duke fan that my team won its fourth national title, but a tiny part of me almost wishes that that last shot by Hayward went in.

Because wouldn’t that have been the perfect ending to the most perfect NCAA Tournament I’ve seen? A halfcourt, national title-winning shot by a tiny school from Indiana at the buzzer. As it was, it was an incredible game. Duke scratched and clawed and had to do everything possible to hang in.

I realize I’m not being eloquent or making much sense here, but I’m too emotionally spent to be clever or profound. My wife, who has a devilish sense of humor, decided it’d be fun to videotape me watching the last 10 minutes of the game, as I paced, screamed, and clutched a pillow to my chest while rocking back and forth (Don’t worry, I’m sure it’ll be on YouTube soon enough).

It was just a phenomenal game, capping off a phenomenal tournament. Nobody deserved to lose that game; it was basketball at its finest.

Couple more late-night thoughts on the game:

– Duke and Coach K have now won 4 national titles in 19 years, and I think it’s fair to see he’s the second-greatest college basketball coach of all time now (behind some guy named J. Wooden).

– So happy to see Brian Zoubek, who every Duke fan called “useless” or worse his first three years, get the last big rebound and score the last point. I’ve never seen a player get so much better from January to March than he did.

– If you’re scoring at home, I’ve already ordered the 2010 national title long-sleeve blue shirt, and the 2010 tall glass tumbler. Hey, those were needed purchases at 2 a.m.

– Since I’m like the biggest “One Shining Moment” fan in the world, I must weigh in on Jennifer Hudson’s version Monday night. The singing was fine. The production was awful. First, they showed clips of her singing for like 15 seconds. Why? the whole point of the thing is a montage of the Tournament; they’ve never showed the OSM singer, because the focus is on the players.

Second, there were no highlights of Duke doing anything well in the title game. And third, a minor point but an important one, on the opening “The ball is tipped” lyric, when they always show two guys jumping center, they showed Jennifer Hudson’s face!

Ugh. CBS, you dropped the ball this year, big-time. Check for yourself:

**So against my better judgment, I listened to some of Tiger Woods’ press conference from the Masters on Monday. As much as I hate to say it, I thought he was pretty honest. He still wouldn’t admit he’s a sex addict, nor did he go into details about why he did what he did, hurting the people he loved so much.

But I thought he was pretty honest and vulnerable, and tried to be as open as he could.

Now, can we all move on with the rest of our lives?

**Finally, I realize I’m getting old. I realize this because I remember when I was a kid, in the late 1980s or so, there was a huge uproar from baby boomers when Bob Dylan and The Who songs were being used in car commercials. This is a travesty! the thirtysomething fans shouted. This was iconic rock music that lifted a generation, and now it’s being used to push Hondas?

Well, I thought they were being silly then. And yet … I’m watching TV with Julie the other day, and a commercial comes on playing the classic Technotronic song “Move This.”

I look up, and what’s the song promoting? Garanimals. Yep, a hip-hop song that was an anthem at dance clubs and parties for years is now being used to sell children’s clothing!

What a disgrace. You think the Technotronic people ever thought that 21 years ago when this song came out that little Johnny and his pajamas would be bopping along to this song? Heck no.

I’m faux outraged. Oh well. Have a listen and remember how great this song really was:

Frank Deford nails it. That amazing OK Go video. And the laptop that spies on you

Frank Deford is one of my writing gods. As a kid, I was amazed that a guy who wrote about sports could be so thought-provoking, and write so beautifully. Along with Gary Smith and Jim Murray, Deford, the longtime Sports Illustrated writer, is one of three writers I’ve read who make me shake my head and mutter “I’ll never in a million years be as good as him. It’s like we’re not in the same profession.”

Deford’s genius (if you want just a small sample, check out his famous story on boxer Billy Conn here. Yeah it’s long. But it’s Friday. What else are you going to do, work?) has translated very well into radio and TV. He’s been doing NPR commentaries for as long as I can remember, and this week he made me nodding along in the car, as he often does.

He talked about how when entertainers or movie stars screw up, nobody demands or expects apologies or mea culpas from them. But when athletes do it, we demand our pound of flesh. Check out Deford’s three-minute commentary here.

**So I had no idea who OK Go was until a few days ago. But on so many of the blogs and websites I read, this video was linked and discussed. It’s pretty incredible, and all done in a continuous loop. It’s been viewed more than 3 million times already.

Prepare your jaw to be dropped:

**Finally today, a “this can’t really be true” story from my friends at Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me.

A 15-year-old student in Ardmore, PA named Blake Robbins was called into the principal’s office, and allegedly was told that his school-issued laptop contained evidence, in words and photos, that Robbins may be dealing drugs.

How? Through a remotely-activated Webcam that was turned on while Robbins used the computer in his room.

This is beyond creepy and scary to think about, if true. The school administrator denies it. The kid’s family has hired a lawyer. Read all the details here and be very, very disturbed.


Trippy fun with Photoshop. And Tiger Woods makes a man cry

So this kind of freaked me out when I first saw it the other day, but it was so creative and interesting I kept going back and looking again

You know how sometimes you don’t want to look, but you have to? That’s how I felt with this cool website, www.freakingnews.com. They took celebrity photographs, (like the one of Heidi Klum, above) and turned them upside down, but sort of left their faces right side up so it looks like it’s layered on top of each other.

I don’t know  how they did it, but we’ve come a hell of a long way from “The Print Shop,” floppy disks and my Apple IIC computer. Remember “The Print Shop?” Man, I loved that thing. It took like a half hour to print a birthday card for your friend, but you were so super cool when you gave him that card. Ah, Print Shop.

** I didn’t watch any of the Tiger Woods sham of a press conference Friday; was busy doing other things, more important things than watching a spoiled rotten philanderer who happens to hit a golf ball really well pretend to offer a sincere apology. (Hey, I read the transcript. Wasn’t impressed).

But in yet another blow to professional journalism everywhere, a guy named Charlie Rymer of the Golf Channel got choked up talking about Tiger’s courage. Makes me want to puke.

Ole’ Roy Williams acts like a king, a fave TV show slips, and a Walgreens sign that made me laugh

Well, well, looks like Ole’ Roy Williams has lot his cool yet again, and once again abused his power.

The North Carolina basketball coach, who is as thin-skinned as they come, apparently isn’t satisfied being king of the hoops world these days, and the most popular man in The Tar Heel state.

Nope, now he’s kicking opposing fans out of the Dean Dome for yelling things at his players. Seriously.

Last Saturday against mighty Presbyterian College, the Tar Heels were winning big as expected. Late in the game, with Carolina forward Deon Thompson at the foul line, a Presbyterian fan named Brian King sitting behind the Carolina bench yelled “Hey Deon, don’t miss it!”

So Ole’ Roy turns around and points at the guy, starts yelling at him, and then has security eject him from the arena.

The Carolina spokespeople later claimed that when security got to King’s seat, he seemed intoxicated and that’s why they threw him out. King denies it, and the UNC security people adamantly state that Roy didn’t ask for the guy to be thrown out, only that his tickets be checked.

Please. I believe the guy. What arrogance of Williams, to try to get rid of a guy who’s simply heckling a college basketball player. Disgraceful, but not that unusual for Roy. And sine when can a

And yeah, you all know I’m a Duke fan. But still, this was despicable for any coach.

**So I saw the following sign at Walgreen’s tonight as I drove past and it made me laugh:  “H1N1 vaccine available here.”

followed underneath by:

“Progresso Soup $.99″

Because you know, I expect a typical consumer to be driving by, turn to his wife and say, “You know honey, I think it’s about time we got that swine flu virus we’ve been hearing so dang much about. And hey, how ’bout some soup for dinner?”

**Quick midseason update on my two favorite CBS Monday night shows, the only two shows I watch on the network (I gave “The Good Wife,” a try this year, but after three episodes I just gave up. Couldn’t get into it.)

“The Big Bang Theory” continues to kick major ass; Monday night the brilliant Christine Baranski was back as Leonard’s mom. She ruled.

I’m sad to say, though, that “How I Met Your Mother” is falling faster than Tiger Woods’ reputation. I’m sorry, the show feels forced this season, and the storylines are getting dumber and dumber (the gang all starts smoking, then all tries to quit?). The old “HIMYM” would’ve laughed at this season’s lameness. The characters have grown stale.

Sigh.

The sordid Tiger saga, Duke hoops loses, and Elyse Keaton is gay? It’s a crazy world

So I haven’t blogged yet about this whole Tiger Woods car accident/wife chasing him with a golf club/possible sexual affair thing because I wanted to wait and see how the thing turned out.

Quite frankly, I’ve been completely fascinated by Mr. Woods’ Wild Ride (hey, he lives in Orlando, give me a little leeway with that Disney-esque reference, OK?)

As my man Joe Posnanski has pointed out, Tiger is probably the most famous athlete who we know nothing about. He guards his privacy like the Swiss guard bank accounts; like Bruce Bowen used to guard Kobe, like I guard the last chocolate chip cookie on the plate at a party.

Tiger has worked extremely, extremely hard to give us nothing, no insight into his personality, his motivations, his desire, his favorite Backstreet Boy, nada. Meanwhile, the golf world, and the sports world in general, kisses his tuchus more than any other athlete I’ve ever seen.

So, yeah, I’m kind of enjoying seeing Eldrick Woods squirm a bit. I wonder exactly, why, he cheated on one of the most gorgeous women in the world, Elin Nordgren. I chuckle at Tiger being featured on TMZ.com and US Weekly, like he’s a regular Britney or Paris or a Kardashian family member.

P.R. wise, he’s handling this remarkably badly. He’s hinted that he’s let his family down, presumably through affairs with other babes, but that’s about it. The ultimate image-conscious athlete has finally seen his shield punctured a bit, and I’m wildly curious to see how the rest of his fan base treats him now, perhaps differently.

For a much more eloquent take on Tiger, here’s Washington Post writer Sally Jenkins’ scathingly hilarious “first-person” account of life as Tiger Woods. (You have to register at the site to read it, but it’s free and takes 2 minutes). She is absolutely dead-on accurate with this one.

**So, I always take Duke’s first loss of the season pretty hard. Don’t know why; I think maybe it’s because it’s the first time I see how their flaws can be exposed, the first time players fail in a clutch situations.

Couple things we learned from the Blue Devils’ road loss to Wisconsin Wednesday night:

1. They still haven’t figured out how to use all their size in the paint to their advantage. Duke looked slow tonight, and that never is a problem.

2. Brian Zoubek is beyond useless; to call him a 7-foot stiff is to insult stiffs everywhere. In four years, he hasn’t learned to catch and shoot and NOT foul? He makes me long for the equally-awful Greg Newton from the 1990s.

3. I don’t know why this is, but Kyle Singler and Jon Scheyer never seem to both be on at the same time.

4. Andre Dawkins is nice. Four 3-pointers kept Duke in the game in the second half. I like this freshman a lot.

5. As bad as my Blue Devils played on defense, and as many mistakes as they made, they were down only one in the final minute. That’s got to be encouraging, right?

Well, it’s just one loss. And watching this cool video made me feel better about the boys in blue and white.

**Finally, news that temporarily rocked my world Wednesday. My beloved Elyse Keaton, mom on my favorite TV sitcom ever, “Family Ties,” revealed that she’s a lesbian.

I’m shocked. And brimming with questions. Were all those passionate scenes with Steven Keaton on the show difficult for her? Did she ever flirt with Skippy Handleman’s mom when they were both out on the driveway? And what was she really doing on all those nights when Steven was working late at WKS, his public television station job?

In all seriousness, kudos to Meredith Baxter for having the courage to come out of the closet after all this time. No one should have to live in fear of people finding out who and what they really are.

With that, a couple of great “Family Ties” clips since I was feeling nostalgic tonight. Here’s Elyse after she came and got Alex at a bar when he snuck out to celebrate his 18th birthday (truly a great scene between two wonderful actors), and below, the brilliant but sad final scene in the show’s history:

An inglorious end for the Great Gretzky, and a hilarious Ricky Gervais rant

gretzky

Sports fans have been incredibly lucky over the last 30 years.

Let’s say you’re like me, and started to become interested in sports around 1983 or so. Just since then, we have been privileged to watch the greatest basketball player of all-time (Michael Jordan), the greatest tennis player of all time (Roger Federer) and, apparently, the greatest golfer ever (Tiger Woods. I say apparently because I loathe golf and refuse to care or pay attention to it).

Maybe you could get an argument on a few of those from people. Some will argue Rod Laver or Pete Sampras is better than Federer, and there was a golfer named Nicklaus who seemed to be pretty good once.

But no one, I mean NO ONE, argues that Wayne Gretzky is the Greatest Hockey Player of All Time.

Name a record in the NHL record books, and he holds it. I don’t know if I’m so into hockey because of No. 99, but he certainly had a big part of me loving the sport as a child (And yes, there will be hockey on this blog. That and college basketball are my other winter passions. )

I loved it that my beloved New York Rangers were Gretzky’s final team; I can still see him skating around MSG one final time after his last game in 1999, as the adoring masses cheered.

Fast forward 10 years, and Gretzky is hardly being adored. Thursday he resigned as head coach of the Phoenix Coyotes, who are in the midst of a truly messy ownership squabble, even by NHL standards. Gretzky may have been fired by a new ownership group, which is battling the NHL to own the Coyotes (why anyone wants such a pathetic franchise is beyond me, but hey, it’s not my money).

So instead of being pushed out, the Great One jumped. Truthfully, his stint at coaching was a disaster. In four years he had a 143-161-24 record, and Phoenix missed the playoffs all four years. Did he have much talent to work with? No. But he certainly didn’t make the talent any better.

Gretzky joins a long list of superstar players who were bad coaches. Magic Johnson. Ted Williams. Larry Bird. Bill Russell. These guys were legends, but they just couldn’t translate their brilliance onto others. I remember Magic vividly becoming angry after one Lakers practice, saying he just couldn’t understand why Point Guard X didn’t see that coming, or why he didn’t make that play.

The answer, of course, is that the guy wasn’t Magic Johnson, and Magic never could come to terms with coaching players who just didn’t have his gifts.

I hope Gretzky is back in the NHL at some point soon; he deserves a hallowed place in the game for as long as he lives.

But no hockey fans in Phoenix are boo-hooing his departure today. As a coach, Wayne was a failure. Maybe that’s the real reason he left: He knew he wasn’t getting it done, and it was killing him.

***I know there are a legion of Ricky Gervais fans out there, but I’m not really one of them. The British comedian who starred in the original The Office”  in England just isn’t usually my pint of ale.

But I thought this was truly hilarious, a brief discussion of the terrible lessons we get from nursery rhymes:

A man called Bolt

bolt

Lots of things have happened in this sporting summer. Roger Federer won Wimbledon, which thrilled me. The Yankees pulled away in the American League East. Also good.

But I think the greatest phenomenon of the last few months is a 23-year-old Jamaican guy who right now is miles beyond everyone else in his sport.

We’ve become so immune to numbers in athletics. Some guy hits 65 home runs, and we yawn. A running back rushes for 200 yards and four touchdowns. Meh. A basketball player scores 50 points in a game? Pretty good, but … next.

What Usain Bolt is doing right now at the World Championships of track and field in Berlin is a rare and beautiful thing. Every generation, we get an athlete who takes his sport to the next level. Babe Ruth did it in the 1920s.

Muhammad Ali had the 1960s and ’70s. Jack Nicklaus was right there with him in his sport. Some kid from North Carolina named Michael Jordan brought his game into another stratosphere in the 1980s and ’90s, while Michael Phelps brought those in the water up on his shoulders into a glorious place.

What Bolt is doing, in smashing his own world records in the 100 and 200 meter dashes, is something remarkable. He’s destroying the idea that track records are broken in increments, hundredths of a second at a time.

He beat his own 100-meter record by .11, then broke his 200-meter by the same mark. Do you know how ridiculous that is? It’s like a halfback running for 350 yards in a game, or a baseball player hitting 81 home runs in a season.

It’s laughable, how much of a mockery Bolt is making the competition. Poor Tyson Gay ran the 100 this week faster than any American ever had, posting a 9.71. And he wasn’t even close to winning, as Bolt’s 9.58 blew him away.

His margin of victory – 0.62sec – in the 200 is greater than the sum total of winning margins of the five previous winners of the world 200 title.

As many have said this week, Bolt is simply redefining what the human body can do. Consider:

– His 19.19 in the 200, when broken down by 100-meter increments, were a 9.58 and a 9.61. So he equaled his own world record, and then missed it on the second 100 by .03 seconds. Nobody ever runs the second 200 that fast.

– We’ve always been told sprinters have to short and stride quickly. Bolt is 6-foot-5 and takes long strides. When he runs, he’s like a gazelle, attacking the pavement and the air around him like it owes him money.

– He can still get better. In both the Beijing Olympics and in the 200 this week, Bolt slowed a little in the last five meters. He can go faster. He can run a 19.05 200, and maybe a unbelievable 9.4 in the 100.

Listen to veteran track and field people talk about Bolt, and it’s like they used to talk about M.J. when he first started with the Bulls.

TV announcer Ato Boldon just keeps screaming “Oh my God!” when talking about Bolt. Michael Johnson, never known for humility, can’t get over how “ridiculous” Bolt is.

Is the kid a little cocky? Absolutely.  He says things like “I’m on my way to becoming a legend,” and talks about being up for knightood.

But wouldn’t you be a little in love with yourself if you broke the a world record in the last FIVE major meets you’ve competed at?

Now … the big elephant in the room here is this: Is he clean? So far, he’s tested positive for nothing more than excitement. Track and field has been plagued with so many superstars who flash on the scene, then are disgraced by drug testing results.

Ben Johnson. Marion Jones. Justin Gatlin. Just to name a few.

I don’t know if Bolt is clean or dirty. I pray that he’s doing all this legitimately, because it’s such a good story. But a fellow scribe of mine, Jerome Solomon of the Houston Chronicle, wrote a great piece saying that Bolt is providing so much joy, we shouldn’t race to assume he’s guilty.

“You can’t rob me of my joy,” Solomon writes. “He is the most amazing, entertaining athlete on the planet.”

I couldn’t agree more. If it turns out he’s cheating, well, I’ll be sad because he’s such a remarkable runner.

For now, I’m just going to enjoy this Jamaican kid lift everyone higher, higher and higher.