About Last Night: Phelps Needs a Bigger Neck

Michael PhelpsIn case you were out living a life of leisure, here’s what you missed in sports on Thursday.

  • Michael Phelps out-dueled Ryan Lochte in the 200-meter individual medley to win his 16th Olympic gold and 20th medal overall. A heartbroken Lochte told reporters that he was really sad to finish second, since the other swimmers told him the gold medal is the only one with chocolate inside, and he still can’t get the foil off of his 400 IM gold.
  • On the heels of a great performance in the gymnastics team finals, American Gabby Douglas won gold in the individual all-around. An exuberant Douglas credited her triumph to hard work, perseverance, and the fact that her childhood home was a third-floor balance beam that you could only reach by vault.
  • In other American swimming action, Rebecca Soni set a world record to win gold in the 200-meter breaststroke, and Tyler Clary edged out Ryan Lochte for gold in the 200-meter backstroke. During the medal ceremony, a brief scuffle ensued when Lochte leaned over on the podium and caught Clary’s gold medal between his teeth.
  • Nigerian basketball coach Ayo Bakare’s famous “Commitment to Defense” took a huge PR hit as his team struggled mightily in a 156-73 loss to Team USA. Despite power forward Ike Diogu’s 27 points, the game was never close, and the team’s goal of holding the U.S. to double figures failed early in the third quarter. The Nigerian perimeter defense was particularly dismal, allowing their opponent to hit 63 percent of its 3-point attempts. With just two group games left, the Nigerians will have to improve their play drastically if they want to make it to the medal round and have glorious vengeance against the Americans.
  • Ross Detwiler pitched seven shutout innings, allowing just three hits, and Adam LaRoche homered as the Nationals beat the Phillies 3-0. In the postgame press conference, a deflated Charlie Manuel just kept mumbling the word “uncle” over and over again.
  • The first USA Today college football Coaches’ Poll has been released, and LSU and Alabama are ranked no. 1 and no. 2. Ralph Nader was ranked third, and some Libertarian dude who doesn’t believe in referees was fourth, but neither of them has a realistic chance to win.
  • A set of century-old baseball cards found in an Ohio attic sold at auction for $566,000, and the money will be split between 20 cousins. The three highest-grossing cards of the collection were a vintage Ty Cobb, a mint-condition Honus Wagner, and an extremely rare Jamie Moyer rookie card.
  • Ronnie Cedeno drove in five runs, a career high, as the Mets won their first series in a month with a 9-1 drubbing of the Giants. And now that they’ve stored up a few runs and used their summer energy, the Mets will begin a long hibernation that takes them through the difficult playoff months ahead.
  • Randy Lerner reached a deal to sell the Cleveland Browns to truck-stop magnate Jimmy Haslem for more than $1 billion. When asked what the Cleveland Browns and truck stops could possibly have in common, Haslem answered, “Snickers.”

Filed Under: About Last Night, Cleveland Browns, New York Mets, Olympics, Philadelphia Phillies, Ryan Lochte, San Francisco Giants, Washington Nationals

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Shane Ryan is a contributing writer for Grantland. His book about the young stars of the PGA Tour will be published by Random House in early 2015.

Archive @ ShaneRyanHere