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Blog Entry

Redeemers Better Story than Phelps

Posted on: August 24, 2008 4:22 am

The basketball gold medal game was stunning, the officials absolutely awful but in the end the Redeem Team lived up to its name.

It wasn't their best night. The Americans at times played defense with the intensity of a Sunday afternoon jogger.

This game will go down as one of the top five in Olympic basketball history and Spain deserves a great deal of credit for taking the Americans to the limit.

Still, overall in these Olympics the Americans were spectacular, particularly Kobe Bryant and LeBron James. They enabled you to root for USA basketball again, they rebuilt our image, and they mostly handled themselves with class and dignity. If you can't be proud of what they did -- and the women as well -- then you're more cynical than I am. Which is impossible.

While these Olympics will be remembered for Michael Phelps what the basketball team did was far more impressive. Yes. Far more.

The reason why is pressure. If Phelps had earned five gold medals instead of eight he wouldn't have been called a failure.

If the United States won a silver or bronze the players would've been treated like total losers. They'd be called embarrassing. Media and fans would be screaming for massive changes.

The world and many people in this country waited for the Redeemers to fail so everyone could wag their fingers and portray the Americans as street ballers incapable of playing the precision International game.

You don't think the Americans knew this? You don't think they felt this pressure and it didn't weight on their chests like Shaquille O'Neal's backside?

Phelps had only Mark Spitz to worry about. The basketball team was fighting the failures of the recent past as well as our cynicism.

It's late on the East Coast and the game just ended. My eyes are barely open but I'm nevertheless giddy. Actually, I'll say it, as corny as it sounds, I'm proud as hell.
Category: Olympic Games
Tags: Redeem Team

Since: Dec 31, 2006
Posted on: August 25, 2008 5:40 pm

Redeemers Better Story than Phelps

Absolutely hilarious post. +1 to you good sir.

Since: Mar 2, 2007
Posted on: August 25, 2008 5:39 pm

Redeemers Better Story than Phelps

Yeah, what was he doing at 4:2o am when he wrote this?

Since: Jan 17, 2008
Posted on: August 25, 2008 5:36 pm

Redeemers Better Story than Phelps

I only read this blog because I saw the Bong Show's challenge to the "author" or as he likes to refer to himself a "professional writer".

I must say that the only thing worse than the initial entry here is his childish responses to the criticism .

I see no need to rehash the reasons Freeman doesn't have a clue as the other posters have already done so. How CBS continues to employ him is a mystery. I wonder what would happen to this "professional" if everyone stopped commenting totally on his  postings.

Since: Oct 5, 2007
Posted on: August 25, 2008 5:27 pm

I'm not even a fan of swimming...

but Mike, that's the dumbest statement I've heard since the games began.  Have you ever tried to swim?  BIG UPPS to Phelps!  That was some GOLD RUN!  Congrats to all the US teams. 

Since: Dec 31, 2006
Posted on: August 25, 2008 5:20 pm

Redeemers Better Story than Phelps

It's a shame to see all the hate directed at Freeman for his blog entry.  I'm in the minority here, but I think the man is dead on.  And I'm not just saying that because I'm black, too.  I'm saying it because I think it's true.  Believe it or not, I really don't believe his comments have anything to do with race.

Think of it like this--it's been 26 years since the Miracle on Ice.  Not only is it talked about at least once a month on SportsCenter or CBS Sports or in some sports-related venue, but Disney made a movie about it.   That was a team where the only black they saw was on the puck.  But I remember watching that game on TV with a great sense of pride.  I wanted the red, white and blue to come through, I didn't care what color the players were.  And it was a great moment because I understood what it meant.  What Herb Brooks did with that team was nothing short of miraculous.

But Mark Spitz, one of the greatest Olympians of all time, usually only gets mentioned once every four years.  (He was sent home after the terrorist attacks on the Israeli athletes in Munich, because he is Jewish.)  Of course, he got a lot of play this year because Michael Phelps was gunning for his record.  Jim Thorpe, who is considered to be one of the greatest athletes of all time, gets mentioned even less than that.  Eventually, as great as he was in the pool, Michael Phelps will fall into that category.  I'm extremely proud of what he did, but over the long course his accomplishments will largely be relegated to the where-are-they-now clips that ESPN and CBS enjoy running.

The Miracle on Ice team have earned immortality because of the significance of their achievements.  Neither will the original Dream Team or the Redeem Team.  How many other great Olympians have fallen off the radar, once their 15 minutes of fame are up?  And obscurity doesn't discriminate--Jackie Joyner-Kersee and Carl Lewis are right there with Dick Button and Dorothy Hamill.   If the Redeem Team had lost, Coach K and every member of that team would've been burned in effagy, and we wouldn't hear the end of it until they 2012 at the earliest.

Since: Aug 24, 2006
Posted on: August 25, 2008 5:02 pm

Redeemers Better Story than Phelps

Hundreds of people have read this and commented, and virtually nobody sees any value in what Freeman has written.  Furthermore, Freeman is on these boards defending himself almost exclusively by calling people names and being proud of that.  This is weird.  What's really strange is that Freeman said in the write-up that the comparison of these two stories isn't even close (or something like that.)  Everyone seems to be agreeing with that but on the other side of the fence.  It is weird that he would wite this story and that it would see print, EXCEPT for trolling.  If sportsline is letting it's writers troll, then that is irksome.  I see no other explanation, so I'm a bit irked.

Since: Aug 29, 2006
Posted on: August 25, 2008 5:00 pm

Redeemers Better Story than Phelps

To those that think Bolt would have won as many medals as Phelps if given the chances.  I do not think anyone keep Bolt out of running the 400m, or doing the long jump, or high jump, or even swimming.  Obviously Bolt is fast, but he didn't show any diversity in his athletic ability.

Since: Dec 19, 2006
Posted on: August 25, 2008 4:48 pm

Redeemers Better Story than Phelps

I think with insecure, struggling writers, they tend to lean on the side of "wild statement" then "well thought out idea".  His next article should be "I invented basketball" or "Hoop should be tripled in size but raised to 30 feet high".  I know I'll read!

Since: Jan 7, 2008
Posted on: August 25, 2008 4:40 pm


Come on man... you have to be kidding here I hope.  If you truly believe this you should be fired!!

Since: Aug 19, 2008
Posted on: August 25, 2008 4:29 pm

Redeemers Better Story than Phelps

^ what he said.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or