"The Stack" 8-12-16

Simone Biles and Aly Raisman were phenomenal in women's gymnastics all-around Thursday. Biles won gold and Raisman won silver. Both performances were incredible. Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports
Simone Biles and Aly Raisman were phenomenal in women's gymnastics all-around Thursday. Biles won gold and Raisman won silver. Both performances were incredible.
Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports
Simone Manuel won gold last night becoming the first African American female swimmer to win gold. Quite the historic achievement.
Erich Schlegel-USA TODAY Sports
Michael Phelps did it again last night winning his 22nd gold medal, this one in the men's 200 individual medley. He crushed fellow American Ryan Lochte by over two seconds.
Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports

The Stack is back on this Friday with NFL and Olympics talk.  Before we get to that though, we need to mention that LeBron James re-signed with the Cleveland Cavaliers.  It’s a three-year, $100 million deal.  That deal still underpays James for what he has done for the organization and how great of a player he is, but good to see that he is getting good money in this deal.  Now, let’s get right to “the stack” for today, Friday, August 12th:


NFL preseason gets underway


Seven NFL preseason games last night to officially kick off the 2016-17 NFL season.  Perhaps the coolest moment was in Baltimore when everyone in the stadium including the players stopped to watch Michael Phelps swim for gold in the 200 meter individual medley.  The Ravens beat the Carolina Panthers 22-19.  Matt Ryan was an unimpressive 0 for 4 in his short stint in the Atlanta Falcons’ 23-17 win over Washington.  It’s the preseason, but Ryan is definitely under the microscope this year.  Number two overall pick Carson Wentz played some significant time last night for the Philadelphia Eagles going 12-for-24 for 89 yards and an interception against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.  The Eagles won 17-9. Jimmy Garappolo played a lot as expected in the New England Patriots’ 34-22 win over the New Orleans Saints.  Garoppolo went 11-for-18 for 168 yards and was sacked twice.  Both teams went for two point conversions a couple of times in this game.  Going to see a lot of that in the preseason.  Wonder how much we will see that in the regular season?  The New York Jets beat the Jacksonville Jaguars 17-13.  Is it possible we see both teams make the playoffs?  I think it is a stronger possibility than you may think.  Blake Bortles was 6-for-7 for 105 yards for the Jaguars.  Finally the defending Super Bowl champion Denver Broncos won 22-0 over the Chicago Bears.  Mark Sanchez looked decent going 10-for-13 for 99 yards and one touchdown and one interception.  Not sure how that will continue throughout the preseason and the regular season.  Friday’s preseason games include:


Detroit Lions @ Pittsburgh Steelers 7 PM ET


Miami Dolphins @ New York Giants 7 PM ET


Minnesota Vikings @ Cincinnati Bengals 7:30 PM ET


Cleveland Browns @ Green Bay Packers 8 PM ET


Oakland Raiders @ Arizona Cardinals 10 PM ET


The rest of the games will be Saturday and Sunday.  The NFL season is right around the corner folks.  Too bad I’m more focused on the Olympics right now.


Day 6 Rio headlines


I don’t believe there are enough superlatives or ways to describe just how good Team USA has been in the pool in these Summer Olympics.  We’ll get to that more as we look at some of the big storylines that took place Thursday in Rio:


  • The Team USA women’s field hockey team is looking really good.  They shut out India 3-0.  They’re looking strong in water polo too topping China 12-4. They won gold in London and have to think they will medal again this year.  Hopefully they’ll get gold again.

  • Golf officially started yesterday and America is not doing very good so far.  Marcus Fraser of Australia leads at eight under (-8).  Henrik Stenson is tied for second at five under (-5) continuing his strong play as of late.  Second round is today.

  • Mentioned dominance in the pool, but what about the dominance that team USA showed in women’s individual all-around gymnastics last night?  Simone Biles absolutely crushed it.  She was great in every event essentially.  Aly Raisman put on the best all-around performance she’s ever done just about and Biles still beat her by over two points.  As you no doubt know by now, Biles and Raisman took gold and silver respectively.  It was quite impressive and amazing to watch.  Congrats to both of them.

  • Team USA men’s volleyball has been up and down so for in the Olympics, but they beat Brazil 3-1.

  • Fiji won their first medal in country history with a gold medal in men’s rugby.  Essentially the whole country was watching.  They crushed Great Britan 43-7.  Very cool moment. 

  • Kayla Harrison won another gold medal in Judo in the women’s 78 kg contest.  Excellent job by her.  She is really good, but says that she isn’t planning a move to the MMA at this time.  Smart.  Hope to see her again in Tokyo in 2020.

  • Finally we go to swimming where team USA was once again great (we’ll see the Iron Lady of Hungary compete tonight and most likely will another gold so we’ll talk about her Saturday or Monday).  Ryan Murphy won gold in the men’s 200 meter backstroke with a time of 1:53.62.  He is the next great American swimmer on the men’s side.  We get to the history side of things now where Simone Manuel became the first African American female to win gold in women’s swimming (might be the first to win a medal period) as she and the young superstar from Canada Penny Oleksiak tied for first and therefor the gold in the women’s 100 meter freestyle.  It was an incredible moment.  Great job by her.  It didn’t look like she was going to win gold, but Cate Campbell of Australia really faded on the back half of the race and finished sixth.  It was something to behold.  And how can we not end with anyone other than Michael Phelps who won his 22nd gold medal in the men’s 200 meter individual medley crushing the competition by almost two seconds.  He destroyed fellow American Ryan Lochte who finished fifth.  Lochte’s Olympics are done and he competing head-to-head with Phelps, he simply just couldn’t compete with him most of the time.  Phelps is incredible.

Take a look at this article by Sally Jenkins of the Washington Post regarding Russian swimmer Yulia Efimova. Well worth the read.


Before we go, it’s Alex Rodriguez’s last game today as a New York Yankee.  Will it be his last game ever?  Possibly.  He’s going out somewhat unceremoniously.  Might be because of his antics and PED use over the years.  He still sits at 696 homeruns.


Coming up Saturday or otherwise Monday: Olympic headlines and other top stories

Take a listen to this week's "The Sports Block" podcast here: