SHANGHAI, CHINA - JULY 29: Michael Phelps (L) of the United States celebrates on the way to winning the gold medal with team mate Peter Vanderkaay in the Men's 4x200m Freestyle during Day Fourteen of the 14th FINA World Championships at the Oriental Sports Center on July 29, 2011 in Shanghai, China. (Photo by Adam Pretty/Getty Images)
Okay, first off, this isn't Rutgers related. I have to get that out of the way at the beginning. At the same time, I have to explain why I'm writing about this. And that is Rutgers related.
As I get older, I'm realizing, it's not just about dominating, when you watch sports. Half the fun in sports is the thrill. When all seems lost, your team gets up off the floor. Sometimes they win, sometimes they lose.
I got that from watching Rutgers basketball. Since I was a student, there were times where I sat in the stands and watching the Scarlet Knights get up off the mat. I've seen other teams do the same. You see, the pure wonder of college basketball is the run. When your team is down and they hit a few three point shots and suddenly you're back in it. It's a thrill. It's adrenaline.
And that brings me to the Olympics. To me, the Olympics almost always lacks that. You don't have team sports where they keep score. It's individual efforts. Gymnastics, figure skating... zzzzzzzzzzz.
Which is why my favorite moment... and it is just that... a moment... is Michael Phelps and the Relay. He's not even in the pool. His job is done. But his reaction... as the USA comes back from certain defeat to touch the wall first, is pure, unadulterated joy. Pure sports.
Snatched from the jaws of defeat.
I'm an Olymics cynic, but that moment... that primal scream of joy reminded me of college hoops. Of the run, the comeback.
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