Archive for June, 2011

Years ago there were two great sports “Babes”. The most prominent was George Herman “Babe” Ruth, arguably the greatest baseball player of all time. Not a day goes by without someone somewhere, mentioning his name or extolling his legend.

But the other “Babe” these days is too often overlooked. Her name was Mildred “Babe” Didrikson-Zaharias, who without debate is the greatest female athlete the world has ever known. Do I know that for sure? No, because I’m too young to definitively make the claim, but I do believe it. I’ve seen the film clips, and I’ve read the stories, and based on this “research” I’m sold on her place in history – she is indeed number one. Still, because she competed so long ago, coupled with the fact that we seldom, if ever, give female athletes their just due, this Babe is not mentioned nearly enough.

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Sunday at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Maryland, Rory McIlroy proved convincingly that you don’t always have to suffer for long after dealing with a huge disappointment. Sometimes all one has to do is dig in and work harder. Which is just what he did, fashioning perhaps the most dominating performance ever witnessed at the U.S. Open. He won by eight strokes, finishing a record 16 under par.

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Possibly two more games remain in the NBA finals and just about everyone continues to ask: What’s wrong with LeBron James? Social media is buzzing with rumors that LeBron can’t concentrate because of trouble at home. Hoop experts say he’s playing too many minutes and doesn’t have the energy to be an effective closer as the game winds down. Only two points in the fourth quarter of game five. Issues yes, but enough already. What about Dallas?

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No athlete has been more examined, reviewed and critiqued than LeBron James has this season. But now that the Miami Heat have reached the NBA Finals as many predicted, the spotlight is shining even more intensely on him. And what it seems to be illuminating are some very serious flaws. LeBron, the NBA’s highest profile player, who is often compared to Michael Jordan in terms of all-around ability, has not been Jordanesque at all against the Dallas Mavericks.

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Shaquille O’Neal will go down as one of the great immovable forces to ever play in the NBA. Obviously it starts with his sheer size. He was 7’ 1“ and weighed somewhere over 325 pounds. He was a self-made cultural phenomenon: an athlete, entertainer and businessman. He learned early on how to market and present himself.

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