“The Take” for Monday, August 22

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How to lose millions in one night…

Ryan Lochte goes home from the Rio Olympics with 12 career medals and a dark cloud over his head, as well as over the heads of the three teammates who were with him on their gas station adventure last week. With one embellished story about a robbery that apparently didn’t happen, involving police impersonators who weren’t there, Lochte blew any chance he had of continuing to cash in on his Olympic fame. And while he was the first one to leave Rio after the incident, he left his teammates behind to stay and face the music with Brazilian officials. Lochte now says he “over-exaggerated” his story (sort of like Roger Clemens saying he “misremembered” any performance-enhancing drug use).

Why we care…

Lochte’s tale just embellishes the “Ugly American” opinion that so many in the world have. And the fabrication was seen by some as especially insulting considering media coverage of the city’s crime rate and pollution in the run up to the Olympic games. We haven’t heard the end of this yet, including any punishment the USOC and USA Swimming may hand out to the participants. Look, Lochte is old enough to know better. But if you remember his short-lived reality series after the London games, Lochte didn’t seem to be big on social skills and common sense even then. If he was looking to make more money off his Olympic fame, that’s gone. He’s now become a joke of a footnote to these games.

Meantime, the Games had their bright spots…

Including track and field (especially women, but the men were able to bounce back from their DQ to claim gold in the 4 x 400), men’s marathon (bronze) and men’s and women’s indoor volleyball (also bronze). (remember, the Russian track and field delegation was banned for drug use) But don’t overlook Olympians like Helen Maroulis, winning Team USA’s first gold in women’s wrestling. And having gymnast Simone Biles carry the US flag for the closing ceremonies seems perfectly fitting.

Why we care…

Simone and her “Final Five” teammates will cash in on their fame with national tours and endorsements, but for Maroulis, judo champion Kayla Harrison and others in not-so-publicized sports, this is it–until 2020 in Tokyo. Congratulations to all the Olympians.

A chance to make a statement against domestic violence…

But it doesn’t seem as if the New York Giants are willing to take that stand. Kicker Josh Brown will miss the Giants’ first regular-season game, serving a suspension for his arrest more than a year ago for assault in the fourth degree/domestic violence in Washington state involving his now-ex wife. The charges were later dropped. The NFL suspended Brown for one game for violating the league’s personal conduct policy. But the Giants signed Brown to a new two-year deal, even though they knew about the arrest 11 months before the new contract.

Why we care…

The Giants’ rookie coach Ben McAdoo was asked in January what he won’t tolerate as a head coach, and he mentioned one thing: “Domestic violence is something that we’re all cracking down on in this league,” he said in a published report. “That’s something that’s important to us as an organization, important to me as a man, and important to me as a coach.” Re-signing Brown seems to be going against that statement. We’ll see if the Giants’ organization will change its stand.

The rich get richer…

The first meaningful pre-season college football poll is out and no surprise: The defending national champion Alabama Crimson Tide is number one, and Clemson is number two. It’s the first time since 1992 that the teams that ended the previous season at Nos. 1 and 2 in the AP poll began the next season in the same spots.  Rounding out the top five are Oklahoma, Florida State and LSU, with Ohio State sixth.

Why we care…

The top 10 might shift, now that #10 Notre Dame six players arrested over the weekend in two separate incidents–five after a traffic stop for, among other things, gun possession and marijuana possession, and the other after a bar fight near campus. One player has been kicked off the team, another suspended. The Notre Dame players not only will have to deal with the legal system, they’ll also have to deal with the school’s own discipline.  Notre Dame, by the way, opens against Texas in two weeks.

The NBA makes it official…

As had been widely speculated, the NBA has decided to hold the 2017 All-Star Game in New Orleans after taking the midseason event out of North Carolina because of a state law that limits anti-discrimination protections for lesbian, gay and transgender people. New Orleans, which was announced Friday as the new site of the game, replaces Charlotte, which was scheduled to be the host until the NBA decided last month to move it elsewhere.

Why we care…

Unlike several other Southern states, Louisiana doesn’t have any plans to pass laws similar to that in North Carolina. And that’s something that Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards has been quick to state while he was lobbying the NBA to bring its All-Star weekend to New Orleans. Looked as if his efforts worked.

This week’s ‘Revenge is a dish best served cold’ award goes to…

Hotshots Sports Bar and Grill, which has 10 locations in Missouri and is running a promotion during the NFL season that will lower domestic draft beer pitchers by $1 each time a team scores against the Rams, who, of course, used to be in St. Louis before they moved to Los Angeles. The bar is calling it the “Slam The Rams” special. For example, pitchers of Bud, Bud Light and Bud Select are $9. With each touchdown, that price will go down $1. So if an opponent scores five touchdowns on the Rams, you’ll be able to buy a $4 pitcher. Prices almost as good as in college.

Feature photo courtesy of NBC News.

 

 

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