Reality Television 2008 Top Ten in Entertainment

1. Celtics winning 2008 NBA Finals

The Celtics pulled it together after a disastrous 2007 by winning their 17th NBA Title!  Most key in this is that their last title was in 1986, 22 long years ago!  The disaster of the prior season also sweetened the victory after the Celtics had an 18 game losing streak and posted a horrific record of 24 wins and 58 losses in their prior season.

phelps2. Michael Phelps and the 2008 Beijing Olympics

Michael Phelps won 8 Gold Medals in the Olympics and now has to world record for most Gold Medals.  Usain Bolt destroyed all comers!  And despite obvious cheating by the Chinese women’s gymnastics team, the American Team including Shawn Johnson and Nastia Liukin took the most medals.  A disastrous pair of miscues by Alicia Sacramone led to a loss in the overall, but this team was possibly the best in US history.

3. Tina Fey!

We hope Tina sent Sarah Palin a huge Thank You card for providing her the perfect role to play on Saturday Night Live.  Tina didn’t even have to write the script, she pretty much used Sarah’s dialogue verbatim and had people in hysterics.

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4. Batman, The Dark Knight

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There have been many attempts to market the Batman story, but this latest series has the world captivated.  The difference a realistic feel to the characters and an actual fear of the villains.  Heath Ledger death accentuated his role as the Joker, which demonstrated that even in a comic book role, Heath was a blockbuster star.

5. Iron Man

While we did not want to have two movies in the top 10, we could not find any way to eliminate this gargantuan effort by Marvel.  Robert Downey Junior emerged in this movie to remind us of his diversity and wit despite a somewhat questionable past.  In fact, Robert’s bad boy antics enhanced his appeal in this leading role.

6. Barack Obama Victory Speech (Yes We Can!)

Obama won in grand style and gave an inspiring speech to America.  Almost every American heard this speech and even those that did not vote for Obama were moved.

7. David Cook Wins American Idol

Despite the judges insinuations to the contrary the week before, David Cook won American Idol easily with his unique approach to Rock.  This performance demonstrates an amazing ability to resurrect a performance of old and make it new and fresh.

8. Leona Lewis Bleeding Love Top Selling Hit of 2008

Leona was selected Billboard’s top new artist of 2008. She topped off 2008 with the number one selling single, Bleeding Love.

9. Mercy (Katee and Twitch)

We had to include this performance because it is the most striking dance performance we have seen.  The hypnotic music of Duffy, singing the classic “Mercy”  with a dance choreographed by Emmy Award Winner Mia Michaels places this solidly in the top 10 entertainment moments of 2008 and put Twitch on the map.

wii10. Wii

The Wii was available in 2007, but it took hold in 2008 to become the leading gaming system.  As people slowly forgot about the XBOX and Sony Playstation, they were getting in line to pay retail for this gaming wonder that demonstrated Nintendo is no pushover.

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Olympic Swimmers Michael Phelps Versus Mark Spitz, Who Is Greatest?

In 1972, Mark Spitz, at 22 took center stage in the Olympics. There are few sports that allow an athlete the possibility of turning multiple gold medals; swimming is the only event that would allow anyone to set the record Mark did. He won an astonishing 7 Gold Medals. Three of his medals came in relays. All were world records.

His record stood for 36 years, and it took a miraculous Olympics for the US swim team combined with one of the most amazing swimming athletes of all time to break that record.

Michael Phelps won 8 Gold Medals to pass Spitz for a new record. Michael, as was the case with Spitz, had to turn to teammates in three relay events to win!! One of them was a shocker in the 4x100M Freestyle Relay.

We have many of these shining moments highlighted on our website. And guess what? Every event, every single event was a new world record!! Every one!!! Michael had passed Spitz in total world records in a single Olympics as well.

Here is a table of the results:

It is not fair to compare the times one on one, other than to show how far athletes have come setting world records over the last 36 years. But it is phenomenal the amount of skill, preparation and luck that went into both records. Michael won the 4×100 Meter Freestyle as a team member and that team barely pulled it out against the French Braggart Bernard thanks to a leg by Michael’s hero of the Olympics Jason Lezak. Michael also won the 100 Meter Individual Butterfly by 1/100 of a second, winning by a finger nail!

Who is the best?

We can’t say. Both are great. Let’s see how long Michael holds onto his record!!

Dara Torres, at 41yo, Takes Silver in Olympics Women’s 50M Free; Ian Thorpe Stunned by Phelps Olympic Gold #8

Dara Torres, at 41 Years Old, Takes Silver Medal in Olympics Women’s 50M Freestyle

There was little doubt, Dara Torres was the fastest woman in the pool, but in the 50 Meter, one slip or one slight difference can give the winner the edge.

Britta Steffen of Germany launched off the platform a hair better than Dara and that was enough to get her the victory with an Olympic Record of 24.06.

It looked at the end of the race like Dara touched first, and we were thinking Gold, but it was not to be.  Britta gets Gold 1/100 of a second faster than Dara.  Will Dara be back again in four years?  She looks faster and stronger than many women half her age!

Ian Thorpe Saddened and Stunned By Michael Phelps Olympic Gold #8

File photo
File photo

As the camera panned to Ian Thorpe, 5-time Olympic Gold Medalist from Australia, you could see the disappointment in his eyes.  After a miraculous victory for the US and while others around him cheered and smiled, he seemed to stare at the results in total disbelief.

Thorpe was quoted in an interview prior to the Olympics, “I don’t think Michael Phelps is going to be able to win 7 Golds, much less 8.”  Michael Phelps placed that quote in the back of his locker.  Ian’s words provided incentive every day as Michael and the rest of the US team focused on Ian’s words as they made Olympic history!!

Thanks Ian.  You helped bring Michael to this historic, possibly once in history, performance.

We suggest Ian be grateful for what he has accomplished, not dejected for being outdone by a vastly superior swimmer.

Michael Phelps, Eighth Wonder of the Olympics! Team Wins 4x100m Medley Relay Final

There was little doubt as the swimmers entered the pool area that this race was to be US all the way. This relay team was just too strong to miss Gold, but Australia and Japan may have a bit to say about that. Aaron Peirsol was to start, and the weak link was Brendan Hansen, who failed to medal in his heat. How would it play out?

If the team won this race, then Phelps would get Gold #8 and pass Mark Spitz. The key word there is “team”. For any man to break the record Spitz had set 36 years ago, he would have to depend on the rest of his team. The relay is a team effort. If Jason Lezak had not chased down braggart Frenchman Bernard in the 4×100 Meter Freestyle Relay, Phelps chance at history could not have been possible.

Once again, Phelps could contribute on his leg and without him the US could not win, but it required that the entire team perform for Olympic Gold!!

Peirsol started off the race in the backstroke. Peirsol was ahead at the turn, but not by much. Peirsol had been out-touched in the 200, and his injured elbow was a concern even though the coaches said it should not impact his performance. He was on World Record Pace, and in the lead, so it looked good so far.

Hansen leaped into the pool for the breaststroke ahead of world record pace. He maintained the lead at the turn, but Kosuke Kitojima of Japan was on the hunt. Now as they neared the next leg, Australia and Japan had pulled ahead of the World Record and Kitojima once again asserted his dominance over Hansen taking the lead. Brendan Hansen was behind at the touch, and Phelps was slow to leap into the pool not wanting to take the chance of any disqualification ruining the team’s chance at Gold.

Phelps entered the pool behind, but by only a hair. Australia, the US and Japan were all kissing the world record line, and it was way way too close to call. Michael’s pursuit of #8 could all go down the drain right here.

Phelps once again demonstrated that he is the strongest swimmer in the world. On the turn, he established his lead. Michael was ahead of world record pace and the other swimmers were starting to fall behind. But it all came down to our hero of these Olympics and the swimmer that made the win in the 4×100 Meter Freestyle Relay possible, Jason Lezak.

Jason made the surface of the water a hair in the lead, but he had the lead, and it was up to him to lose it. This is where Lezak does not lose. When it is just Jason on the line, he does not seem to have the strength to take Gold, but when it is the team on the line and history on the line, this man excels. “Team” is what Jason is all about and he once again rose to the occasion expanding the lead at the turn.

Australia and the US were both ahead of the world record, and Australia was coming on fast. But Lezak was an incredible body length ahead of the World Record and just as in his prior anchor leg, he was not about to lose. He touched first and made history for America. Phelps would now have GOLD #8. And he has his team to thank!!

16 medals, 14 GOLD!! 8 in this Olympics alone, taking the historic record away from Mark Spitz.

The team embraced and they knew they were all part of history, the Olympic tattoo on Hansen’s shoulder accentuating all that Olympic competition is all about.

Michael said after the race, “It’s the help from these guys that made it all possible, you know? It’s the relays and putting four guys together that really made it possible. This shows how much teamwork and how much togetherness we have. It is amazing to be a part of, and I am..honored.”

Michael, you are a champion, because you recognize that so many factors go into your achievement and we love you for proving once again that greatness is the sum of its parts.




Pathetic Coverage of US Dalhausser/Rogers over Swiss Laciga/Schnider in Beach Volleyball by NBC in Olympics

In an incredible match between Phil Dalhausser and Todd Rogers, and Switzerland’s Martin Laciga and Jan Schnider, the Americans had, after splitting the first two sets, come back from a 6 love deficit.  The battle was incredible, with each team exchanging leads.  This was one of the most exciting matches of the Olympics!!! Suddenly, in the middle of a tied match, NBC cut to the pool.

Michael Phelps was to make his swim for history and his 7th Gold Medal.  And we do not question the fact that Michael was more important at this juncture, so going to that live was a no-brainer.

But after Michael won, NBC showed that they are a no-brainer.  They turned to meaningless track qualifications that could have been shown anytime, and left the fans of one of the best US Beach Volleyball Teams in history dangling.

As it turns out, Dalhausser and Rogers overcame a 6-0 deficit in the final set to beat Switzerland 21-16, 21-23, 15-13 advancing to the quarterfinals.

But the coverage had to come from elsewhere, as NBC demonstrated their inability to understand the importance of one of the closest matches in this tournament.

Michael Phelps Wins 7th Gold In Closest Olympic Swim In History!! Wins Men’s 100M Butterfly, Ties Spitz Record!

P helps was about to go to seven straight Golds in these Olympics.  He was trying to shake off the nerves.  He was about to swim for Mark Spitz’s record, but Spitz did not have to face Milorad Cavic of Serbia.  In the preliminaries, he passed Michael for the second fastest time in history. Michael and Milorad would race side by side in lanes 4 and 5.  Ian Crocker of the US gets a chance to medal along with Phelps.

Michael looked nervous.  The camera flashed to Phelps mother in the stands and she was trembling and shaking in her seat.  His sisters looked scared, one pursing her lips and the other staring into space.  None were smiling; all were fidgeting.  They knew, this was no cake-walk, and they all knew what was at stake.

Phelps leaped off the stand and into the pool taking the early lead.  The question was, when history was on the line, as so often happens, could Michael choke or have any number of possible slips that lead to a single loss that denies them history?  Or could another swimmer like Cavic rise to the challenge to show Michael was not perfect and take the Gold away?

At the first turn, Cavic had the lead.  Cavic is fast, and he had beaten Phelps in the preliminaries, was Phelps to be denied?  Phelps was behind; Cavic in the lead going to the finish.  No question Cavic had this race, but Michael demonstrated why he is so very superior to the rest of the world.  Not only does he have the natural ability and physical talent, he has a heart that will not let him lose.

Phelps surged in the final 20 meters and gradually gained on Cavic.  But even near the end, it looked like Cavic would win.  On the final stroke, the very final stroke, the absolute last split second, Phelps touched first for the Gold.  Cavic took Silver.

#7 for Phelps.  Cavic was shocked.  Phelps won by 1/100 of a second!!  Michael didn’t look agitated this time around; he looked relieved.  Cavic had come 1/100 of a second from halting Michael’s run, demonstrating that even the best have their nemesis.

It was a final stroke, which you have to see to believe; we will provide that video if you missed it.  Cavic is reaching for the Gold and Michael is still in a final stroke.  Phelps knew it was close and thrust forward in that final stroke to miraculously touch simultaneously with Cavic.  For all intents and purposes, this was a tie.  But 1/100 of a second can make the difference in the Olympics, and that slightest of differences, the closest race in Olympics history took Gold #7 for Phelps!!

Phelps mother collapsed to the floor in disbelief.  God had blessed them.  Phelps looked humbled for the first time in these Olympics, having won with a time of 50.58 to Cavic’s 50.59!!  Oh my.  Mother of God!  Phelps took #7 and we were in tears.

Price of Gold Soars!! Phelps Takes #6, Lochte “Peirses” World Record To Take Gold over Peirsol!!

PRICE Of GOLD SOARS!!! Michael Phelps Takes #6 in Men’s 200 Meter IM

It was time for Phelps to see if he could take medal number 14 and his 6th consecutive Gold in this Olympics. Michael had to face Lochte in this race, but Lochte had just come off a race 25 minutes earlier. No one could possibly hope to race Michael after only 25 minutes rest unless they tied cinder blocks to Phelps feet.

At the end of the Butterfly, Phelps was easily in the lead already. They broke to the backstroke and it was obvious, Lochte was tired. He wasn’t going to pull Gold this time. Phelps was at world record pace…note that I just cut and paste that from every article on Phelps because it is always TRUE!

They moved to the breaststroke, and Phelps started to pull away from his nearest competitors, who both looked to be tiring. His turn into the freestyle had him leading by a full body length, and you don’t catch Michael in the freestyle.

Gold number 6 for Phelps!! World Record #6 for Phelps at 1:54.23. 1 away from tying Spitz’s record. 2 away from taking the record for most Gold Medals in history in a single Olympics held by Spitz for 36 years!

It all sounds like we know it already. It sounds like it is just a given and that it is already old news!! History is being made and this man is so phenomenal that people are in shock. It may take years before they realize what he has accomplished!

Phelps also now has 26 individual world records, tying Mark Spitz on that front.

A tired Lochte still took the Bronze only 25 minutes after winning a Gold over Peirsol. That was impressive.

USA Lochte “Peirses” World Record To Take Gold over Peirsol in Mens 200M Backstroke, 25 Minutes to Phelps?

This was an incredible race with the only two contenders, Ryan Lochte and Aaron Peirsol side by side in an American Dual.

This was to come down to the final 50 meters!! The two were head to head at the final turn and had been the entire race.

Lochte turned it on in the end and took the GOLD with a world record time of 1:53.94. Peirsol, the defending Gold medal champ, settled for Silver. Both are American Heroes and Go 1-2 for the US GOLD and SILVER. Now that is our kind of race!

Lochte, after breaking the world record and taking the Gold gets a 25 minute rest before having to face Phelps!! Would he beat them both?

US Men’s 4x200M Freestyle Relay Team Destroys Competition and World Record, 11 GOLDS FOR PHELPS!!

Michael Phelps started for the US, and, as usual, surged to the front.  He took the first turn ½ body length in front and was extending his lead as he got to the second.  Phelps touched well ahead of the world record and no one was close.

Phelps continued to extend his lead to what appeared to be 2 full body lengths for Ryan Lochte who, at the first turn, had a 2 ½ second lead over Russia, the next nearest contender.  Lochte reached the second turn still well ahead of the world record, and again, not one other racer in the pool was beating the world record.  His lead at the end of the 2nd leg, about 2 body lengths.  He widened it on the turn.  By the third turn, Lochte was three body lengths in front and the US was destroying the World Record.  Lochte , a 3 time world champion wasn’t going to give up an inch.

Lochte handed off the baton (figuratively of course) at over 3 seconds ahead of world record pace.  Ricky Berens took over and by the end of the first lap, was so far out in front, it looked like he could have stopped for a Margarita on the side of the pool and still won.  Berens was already stroking home as other competitors were just making the turn.

Peter VanderKaay (PBK) entered the pool at 3.65 seconds ahead of the World Record.  If Jaws was not in the water hungry for Americans, this was over.  Again, at the turn, PBK was so far ahead of the pack that the rest of the swimmers could not even flip at the turn before he was clearly driving away.

As PBK turned home, no one was close, and not only did the US team beat the world record, they beat 7 minutes!! The time was 6:58.56 destroying the world record by 5 full seconds and everyone else in the pool by 5.14 seconds.  Unheard of!!  The camera had to go to super wide angle just to get everyone competing in the picture for the last lap.  This was such dominance, that no one could have believed it unless they actually saw it.

That now is 11 total Golds for Phelps!!  One more, and he will not only have the most Golds ever in history in the Olympics but the most medals period.

Photo Credits: Nick Laham / Paul Gilham / Getty Images