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Article:Sunday Smoker - August 17, 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!

Usain Bolt, Sprinter, Jamaica

A lot of times I squeal or make other indescribable noises during an exciting sporting event. Laughter is a rare occurrence that is generated by either sheer dominance or unadulterated joy. It was the former on Saturday, as Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt became the most literal recipient of Smoker status since the Smoker's inception. After my heart nearly beat out of my chest in the 4x100 medley relay, Bolt's unconscionable race in the 100 meters was a welcome respite from the edge-of-your-seat status Michael Phelps had entered. It wasn't even the fact he ran a 9.69--a world record; it was the fact he made it look like a jog, his 6'5" frame accelerating like Big Brown on the final turn at the Preakness. He smoked everyone in the field. He pulled up with 20 meters to go, meaning he could have run in the 9.5s. Instead, he pounded his chest and posed like a Greek god. Too much fun.

Michael Phelps, Swimmer, United States

You knew it was coming. I feel like everything to be said (or not to be said) about the spawn of Zeus and a dolphin has been said, so I'll keep it short. Congratulations to the greatest swimmer in the world, a great kid and a great teammate. I'm proud to be a countrywoman (???) of yours. Now come home, take your shirt off, and make a kick-ass Nike ad. Preferably with your teammates Ryan Lochte and Aaron Piersol.

Dustin Pedroia, Second Baseman, Boston Red Sox

First off, today's his 25th birthday, so Happy Birthday. Secondly, in the last four games, he's 11-for-20, with four doubles, two homers and 4 RBI. Thirdly, he's scored the most runs in the AL in August (17), and has scored 90 runs on the season. Fourthly, and most importantly, since June 14, he's hit .397 and notched 91 hits (11 more than Curtis Granderson, who has the second most hits in that span), raising his average from a pedestrian .260 to an AL-best .322. He's also hit safely in 41 of his last 45 games. In a lineup that's been either mediocre or injured, Pedroia has delivered in every way possible--being clutch, getting on base, making great plays in the field.

English Premier League Soccer

It's baaaaaaaack! Never thought I'd be so excited, but such is life when you spend the best 3 and 1/2 months of your life enveloped in a sport you never cared about before. It began when Chelsea's Frank Lampard re-upped his contract with the Blues, keeping him from Serie A and Inter Milan; the Englishman would have been a big loss for Chelsea and a bigger loss for English football, now dominated by foreign players. Yesterday, the action kicked off and continued on today. Notable results: Chelsea 4-0 victory over Portsmouth, ManU drew with Newcastle 1-1, and Arsenal's latest kid wonder Samir Nasri notched the game winner for the Gunners over West Brom in a 1-0 win. But the most glorious thing of the weekend was Liverpool's fantastic new away kits, gray with red accents. Fernando Torres never looked so good.

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

The U.S. 4x100 Freestyle Relay team: Cullen Jones and Garret Weber-Gale did not medal for the rest of the games, but Jason Lezak won a bronze in the 100 free and another gold as the ultimate wingman in the 4x100 IM relay.

French Swimmers: Alain Bernard won a gold medal and beat out Aussie sex god Eamon Sullivan and arch nemesis Lezak in the 100 free. He's still le crap.

China: What initially looked like a wonderful host nation is getting sketchier and sketchier...swapping cute little girls for the national interest, admitting your gymnasts are too young, iffy gymnastics judging, half empty stadiums...awkward.

U.S. Fencing: Took the silver in the team competition. Well done.

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