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The Sports Edge - Waning Moments

August 10, 2016
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It's too easy to take potshots at this year's incarnation of the Olympics Games. The Zika, the air and water pollution, the body parts washing up on shore - the punchlines are there to be had for even the worst late-night staff writer. And I have long held the opinion that the Olympics are the longest running and most boring reality television series in the history.

That being said, there is something fishy about the world climate these days - fishy to the point that I find myself watching the Games just to see if something's going to happen. An athlete with a heartwarming backstory wins a medal? Yawn. A couch in the water capsizes someone in a kayak? Where's my popcorn?

Before I set aside the Olympics, I wanted to weigh in on my favorite event: basketball. There's something hilarious about the pure domination shown by Team USA, but I'm going to go ahead and guess that maybe we can roll things back to the way they were before 1992's Dream Team started scorching the earth, country by country. I'm pretty sure that the United States could still field a team that would win the gold medal without having NBA All-Stars fill out the roster. In fact, it would seem that the opportunity to develop that second tier of younger, on-the-cusp stars, by giving them the chance to test their skills versus the best in the international scene.

I don't know why it surprises me though: of the four major sports, basketball is the one that seems to have the biggest problem figuring out a legit development system that carries a player from college into the league. At the rate the NBA is gaining popularity, they'll need to address it at some point in the not too distant future. The D-League is a fine idea, but I think years from now it will be viewed similarly to NFL Europe.

From Olympic excitement to gridiron glory

Brett Favre's induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame should be proof to the entire sports world that if you seem apologetic and somewhat humble, people will forgive your transgressions, even if they won't entirely forget them.

Personally, my main memories of Brett Favre, in order, are: the MNF game after his father passed away; his affinity for a particular Jets hostess; and the fact that he dragged out his exit much longer than he should have. Two of those things are negatives. But his speech was endearing enough, and very well-written by whoever wrote it for him. It was totally designed to give you a look at the man behind the painkiller addiction and scandal, emphasizing his love of being a father and the game of football.

The ovation he received made me certain that the Andy Pettitte approach to controversy management should really be the template for any modern athlete who gets caught with his hand in the cookie jar. Just own it.

(Ryan Waning is a stand-up comedian and the co-host of the "Downtown with Rich Kimball" radio show, airing from 3 - 6 p.m. Monday through Friday on The Pulse AM 620.)

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