Sunday, August 12

Nike LeBron X

LeBron wore his new shoe as the USA beat Spain for the gold medal in basketball. Check em out.

By Aaron Brandt, third place finisher in the mile at the 2004 track regional.

Wednesday, August 8

My 9th grade gymnastics routine

My freshman year in high school, we had a P.E. unit on gymnastics. We learned various techniques and tricks each day, and the unit culminated in a floor routine. Our hard-nosed teacher allowed us to set the routines to music, which meant the inevitable Linkin Park/G-Unit soundtracks that perpetuated the mid-2000s. Except mine.

Let me walk you through the greatest routine in Lutheran North P.E. history.

Note: please click this link to begin soundtrack for dramatic effect.

Picture a 14 year old, 111 lb. version of myself dressed in grey cotton shorts and a yellow t-shirt which is frayed and torn from Joel Booth's excessive roughness in our disc golf unit. The floor is covered in blue mats and the air smells of competition. The music is cued. "Olympic Fanfare and Theme" by John Williams surges through the axillary gym. A young boy steps to the mats. He would leave them as a man.

Turn and face the floor.
Hands in the air.
Another somersault.
Yet another somersault.
Reverse eggroll to somersault.
Valiantly attempted cartwheel.
Backwards somersault to standing position.
Arms in the air.
Turn and face the judges.
Crowd goes wild.
Roll credits.

Actually, I got a D on my routine for failing to properly execute or even attempt about half of the techniques. None the less, I made up for it in the mile run, as I somehow managed to jog a sub-8 minute mile for an A+. What did I learn? Not much. Maybe that two weeks of pretending to do gymnastics cannot prepare you for a cartwheel? Or that the gym mats probably haven't been washed since the brown and gold LHN era? Yes and yes. Eggroll.

By Aaron Brandt, writer of three GVSU rowing articles for the school paper. Instant Olympic writing cred. Eggrolls for days.

Tuesday, August 7

The 2012 Olympics (so far)

Well we are right in the thick of the 2012 London Olympics, and boy oh boy have they been terrific. Here is my spin on the games.

1. Tape-delay controversy. Some people are angry at Britain for being five hours ahead, therefore ruining Twitter. NBC isn't broadcasting live, which is a good thing, as I would not be inclined to watch velodrome-ing at 7AM (It actually held my interest). Twitter is a live social media tool. If you don't want results, well, then don't look at Twitter.

2. Phelps-Lochte. This whole rivalry was so overblown that the Philadelphia Eagles dream team sued for copyright infringement. This was the biggest non-story of the games. There appears to be no feud, and Phelps is still the best swimmer on earth and Lochte couldn't back up all of his talk. However, Lochte did swim to London, and he's probably the owner of lots of razors, so that's something.

3. Ridiculous events. So baseball and softball were taken away from the games, but I have to sit through equestrian and table tennis? These are the Olympic games, not the Olympic hobbies. Why not make croquet a sport? Bocce ball? Basket weaving? Any of those would be more exciting than watching horses slowly plod around a little obstacle course. Yes, I'm sure it takes skills, but so does knitting. Case closed.

4. Olympic color scheme. Lots of pink. Too much pink. Was there a sale on pink paint?

5. Missy Franklin. The 17-year old USA swimmer won a bunch of gold medals. When I was 17, I held my breath and swam from one end of my 25 foot pool to the other. It feels good to be in such a great company of winners.

6. USA Basketball. Who cares if they could beat the Dream Team or not. The rules and entire game of basketball is different, the rest of the world is better at basketball, and the current team has way cooler shoes. Lets just focus on the fact that LeBron isn't the ultimate villain any more. That goes to the man below.

7. Alexander Alexandrov. The Russian gymnastics coach has literally the most bad-guy communist name of all time. You can't make this stuff up, even for a 1980s Bond movie, because it would be too unrealistic. My firstborn son might be named Alexander Alexandrov Brandt. Or Jason Bourne Brandt. America.

8. Where do the Olympics take place? Britain, England, or the U.K.? My 2009 copy of the AP Stylebook probably addresses this, but I lost it while using Twitter to get my news. #journalism

9. Divers and their towels. What's up with the tiny towels that divers always have? So they throw these things on the floor covered in stagnant water, then wipe their faces with them? Hmm. I'm no ringworm expert, but...

10. Usain Blot. Are people really complaining about Usain Bolt's cockiness? I don't think he is cocky enough. Literally no human being has ever run as fast as this man. Ever. In the ultimate test of athleticism, he is the ultimate champion. He can extinguish the Olympic torch for all I care, the guy has earned it.

By Aaron Brandt, gold medalist in the Entertainment Promotions Nerf target shooting competition.

Monday, August 6

Uniforms, shoes, movies and happiness.

I haven't blogged very much lately, you can blame my preparations for The Bourne Legacy movie coming out soon. My bad. So in order to get back into top blogging shape, here's some cool stuff that I find mildly interesting.

Zero Dark Thirty is a movie from the guy who directed The Hurt Locker about the hunt for Bin Laden. Probably 96% fiction, but who cares? America.

Maryland's new uniforms by Under Armour. A little toned down from last year's monstrosities. Good look. Go turtles!

The new Jordan commercial, where two kids in America and China are inspired by the 2012 Olympics and then become rivals in a future where the Bobcats win an NBA title...Good one, MJ. Just about as funny as your fashion sense.

Nike Lunar Bandon all-weather golf shoes. These are the most persuasive argument I have seen for myself to take up golf. But I feel like golf is too stodgy to allow something like these shoes. Maybe I'll just play Tiger Woods 13 and pretend I am a golf expert because I can read a digitized green. That's how video games work, right?

Adidas' new uniform for Wisconsin. Looks exactly like the new one they made for Nebraska...for the same game. If you want to beat Nike, at least get more creative than this...Even Penn State uniform junkies find this design boring. Maybe they are looking to lull their opponents to sleep. Then again, Wisconsin has a literal cakewalk to the Big Ten championship, so the rational is anyone's guess.

So there you have it. Some stuff that I found cool. I'll write some more here, maybe about the Olympics. Like what's the deal with equestrian? Why is that American gymnast so grumpy? Should Twitter be tape delayed? Stay tuned.

By Aaron Brandt, outspoken televised equestrian critic.