Monday Musings - The Return

Yes...I know...I suck.  The pre-vacation version of the Musings back on May 19th were the last done...a MONTH ago.  What can I say?  Vacation, followed by some crazy work schedule compounded by now 2 weeks of strange and lingering illness, and all at the end of the scholastic sporting season.  Thankfully The Boy and RPT do a great job of covering things live and so pretty much everything was covered in the past couple of weeks.  I am going to go ahead and tie up any loose ends here, talk about a couple of things somewhat Mizzou-related...some other things not Mizzou-related and then will try to lay out my plan for the next 8 weeks until soccer gets the 2008-2009 season going in middle-August.

Wrestling:

As covered by the morning set of links, Ben Askren has achieved a long-time dream of his by making the 2008 US Olympic Wrestling team yesterday.  And while I certainly do not profess to be an expert on collegiate wrestling, I don't know much at all about Olympic Freestyle wrestling.  All I can tell you is that Askren was the #1 seed and did what he was supposed to do.  He won three matches, a match being a best two-of-three set of....oh.....I don't know...bouts.  Each bout is three periods, winning a bout is done by winning two-of-three periods.  I was able to see/hear most of his action against Lewis, and I came away even more impressed with Askren than before.

After winning the first bout 2-0 and 1-0 (you get a point in freestyle wrestling for forcing your opponent out of bounds if you are in some semblance of control I guess), they took the mat for the 2 bout.  In this first period, Askren got caught and completely rolled by Lewis, giving up a whopping 6 points, though still scoring 3 I believe himself.  He shook that off, took Lewis down in the 2nd period and forced him out in the 3rd to get the win and the berth.

How he fares in the Olympics will be very interesting.  I still see (and I think Askren certainly points this out himself in the articles linked) that he is still pretty green to the overall scene and nuances of freestyle wrestling.  His famed "funk" still serves him well, as he is still tough to get control of and always primed to reverse and gain control of you.  However, his collegiate funk still allowed him to take some chances which freestyle does not allow (like exposing your own back to the mat).  But no one is going to work harder than Askren and I think he stands a very good chance of medaling.

One other thing...haircut (a curly mullet it almost looked like) aside, he REALLY looks fantastic at 163 pounds.  The Askrens (Max as well, and I still cannot believe he moved UP in weight at these trials since I still think he looks small at 198) do not have a body-type that seems to show a lot of muscle, but Askren looks really trim at this weight.  Makes me pine even more for the match I (we) never got...which would have been him beating the crap out of Hendricks.  Though his senior season would have been interesting had he moved down to 165 to follow some of the people he had chased off after his dominant junior year, and Matt Pell might have ironically and FINALLY been at the weight he should have been all along at 174.  Too funny, but there would have certainly been some entertaining matches for Ben at 165.

Softball:

A final word on the ladies, who as probably expected, finished 16th in the final regular season poll.  More to come on them (hopefully in coming weeks), but a lovely mark on which to finish the season.

The Plan for the Coming Weeks:

Alright...I know I still owe my readers (at least Chitown) a wrestling recap and preview, as this is something I have done in previous years.  In the rest of the weeks, I will do my best to review all sports NOT football and men's basketball.  Each post will hopefully serve as a review and a preview.  I may be biting off more than I can chew...suppose we shall see.

Random Thoughts:

  • First off, I love the bullets here on the RMN 2.0
  • I am curious if the golf will be on ESPN360.com all day today, or just when ESPN has the front 9, and then switching over to NBC for the back.  I will admit, when sitting there watching his final putt, my wfie said it would go in, and I thought he would power it past the hole (something Lee Westwood seemed absolutely incapably of doing).  Will be interesting to see how they start today...can you believe Tiger gave away SIX shots at the first hole this week and still is right there?  Makes you wonder about Phil's tin cup at 13...
  • I certainly want to mention/remember Charlie Jones, who passed this weekend probably no more than a few hours after Tim Russert tragically passed.  Jones certainly pre-dates me, but one of those things forever engrained in my head is his voice calling bowl games on NBC 20-25 years ago.  In fact, to me, his voice over everyone else's represented January 1st bowl games in my youth.
  • I hate that the Mets keep winning the game that if they had lost, they likely would have canned Willie Randolph...
  • Saw something I had never seen before yesterday at the "sold-out" but staggeringly empty Cardinals/Phillies game.  The 2 errors in the 10th inning by Chase Utley on the same exact play is just insane.  Flash Gordon got to the bag in enough time each time, Utley just kept throwing it low.  Not too sure how the Cards pulled the game out, considering they gave up 8 walks and 2 HBP's in the game, allowing Philly to strand 15 runners.
  • And finally...some fantastic news for all our STL readers.  My wife and I stopped at the Domain Street Wine Bar this past weekend because we had heard a rumor....and it is true.  The place carries Shakespeare's Pizza!  Yes, it is a bit of a drive out to NewTown (just north off of 370 in St. Charles), but we both found that a nice glass of wine (and they carry a few wines from Argentina, which are tough to find but that I really enjoy) went well with the 9 inch pizza.  (They have cheese, pepperoni and sausage).  For us, certainly worth the trip there if you ever need a fix before you get back to CoMo for football season.

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