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Article:Monday Smoker - August 11, 2008

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A weekly look at the HOTTEST people in sports!

Since we already have a Friday Fryer for the biggest idiots in sports, I figured we could use a recap of some of the smokin' hottest people in sports. They can be on a hot streak, a big-game winner, being lusted after by other teams, whatever. They just gotta be SMOKIN' HOT!

Apologies for the lateness, I was too wrapped up in the sheer awesomeness of Olympic swimming and other assorted Olympic competitions. If you're one to complain about U.S.-centric coverage of the Games, you're welcome to stop reading this article now. No hard feelings. But I love cheering for the U S of A, and there's nothing that will ever change that...

The U.S. 4x100 Freestyle Relay Team

It's not very often I scream during a sporting event. Usually it's in frustration or in a championship scenario. This time around, I sat straight up on my couch, fingers clenched, screaming with my mom at the tv. GO! GO! GO! HE'S GONNA DO IT! HE GOT' EM! EEEEEEEEEEEE! Michael Phelps, Garrett Weber-Gale, Cullen Jones and Jason Lezak pulled off one of the bigger upsets in these Olympics so far, as they eeked out a gold medal against world-record holder and inferior smack-talker Alain Bernard and France. The entire race was incredibly fast--five of the relay teams went under the previous world-record time--and 32-year-old Lezak's anchor leg, when he made up a full body length on Bernard, was the fastest split ever. Some were calling it the best relay race in Olympic swimming history, I just called it one of the coolest things I ever saw. Who's smashing now, Frenchies????? Note: Phelps could have been on this list by himself, but his 400 IM victory wasn't too exciting. Plus, his reaction after the relay was absolutely pricless. Keep on keepin' on, Mike...

Speaking of the Frenchies...

French Swimmers

Not for winning their events, but for bringing some much needed spice to the pool. I'm sure you're all aware of Alain Bernard's declaration, that "The Americans? We're going to smash them. That's what we came here for", and his failure to deliver on the anchor leg for the French. Thanks for the motivation, Bernie. But in another deliciously juicy swim earlier in the evening, French swimmer Laure Manaudou faced off with Italian Federica Pellegrini. Why is this important? Because Pellegrini is dating Manaudou's ex-boyfriend, teammate Luca Marin, and they began dating shortly after nude photos of Manaudou surfaced on the Internet; it was alleged that Marin released the photos to get revenge on Manaudou after their very public breakup at a European competition in late 2007. If that's not the greatest awkward turtle moment in Olympic history, I don't know what is. In case you were wondering, Manaudou finished last in the 400m freestyle, Pellegrini finished 5th.


Say what you will about their politics, but from what I can tell, the host nation have done an excellent job. I ran out of words to describe the Opening Ceremonies. The venues are both architecturally beautiful and unique. The Chinese fans have been gracious and polite to all competitors. The athletes are leading the medal count through 11:25am EST, with 14 total medals, including nine golds. For the next two weeks, China will be cast in a positive light by the athletes it is hosting, its own athletes, and the remarkable competitions they are participating in. After those two weeks, who knows what will happen, but for now, kudos for a job well done.

U.S. Fencing

Mad props to Mariel Zagunis, Sada Jacobson and Becca Ward for winning the U.S's first gold of the games, and sweeping the medals in the individual sabre event. Not only that, Ward goes to Duke, Jacobson is on her way to law school, and Zagunis goes to Notre Dame. Way to combine athletics and education. Even if they didn't win, mad props for competing in fencing. That's pretty bad-ass to fight with swords for a living.

As for last week's smokin' ones...

Vacation: Dog days of summer now...I'm ready to get back to school.

The Housing Market (for athletes, anyway): I see Michael Phelps relocating to LA in the near future...

Wildlife: No bears in the news? For shame...

Jon Lester: Lost to the White Sox on Friday night. He'll need to stay consistent, as the rest of the rotation is in relative shambles...

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim: Swept the Yankees over the weekend. Yawn.

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