Sunday, August 17, 2008

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Teams for gold medal

Well, we're just over halfway done with this Olympics and we've already had our share of breathtaking moments. If you haven't been blown away by the performances of Michael Phelps (with some help from Jason Lezak), Nastia Liukin, and Natalie Coughlin, I'm not sure what to tell you. Plus, did you see that 100m final from Usain Bolt? Ridiculous. There have also been some fireworks in the Fantasy Olympics. Powered by Phelps, Cubicle Farm Medalists (Kat) has racked up an astonishing 51 points over the last nine days to take the overall lead. The question will be whether all the teams with Phelps can hang on. The only remaining medal hopefuls for Kat's team are Darvis Patton, Marcie van Dusen and Diana Lopez, so this is a long way from over. Even more surprising, some divisions are being led by teams without Phelps. With the help of some great value in the middle and late rounds (Lezak, Margaret Hoelzer, and Matt Grevers), Shiffer Brains is leading the Matt Biondi Division and could pull off the huge upset if Liukin, Bernard Lagat, Muna Lee and Mikele Barber can bring him home. Another battle is brewing over in the Mark Spitz Division where Uncle Sam's Chariot of Fire (Jeremy) is tied for first with Panda-monium (Virginia & Caroline), which features Phelps. It's also tight in the Shannon Miller Division, where the Jersey Sea Turtles (Lauren) trail the Phelps-powered North of the 49th Parallel (Roel) by just two points. It looks like it should be a tight race all the way to the finish and you never know who will surprise. Two years ago, we thought it would all come down to Shani Davis vs. Chad Hendrick before Julie Mancuso surprised us all with the gold. Who will it be this year? Let's take a look at the events coming up over the final week. 1. Lots of folks who couldn't get Phelps hitched their wagon to the U.S. Track team. They have been disappointing so far, but there's lots of running to do. The biggest event may be the men's 400m final on Thursday, which should be a showdown between 2004 gold medalist Jeremy Wariner and his American rival LaShawn Merritt. 2. Wednesday will the start of four big days if you have a member of the U.S. taekwondo team on your roster (also known as the Lopez family). A Steven Lopez three-peat could mean three huge points for your team. 3. The team finals at the end of the week will be huge. The softball team and women's hoops are expect to win without difficulty, but you never know at the Olympics. The women's soccer team should face a much stiffer challenge. The date circled on my calendar is next Sunday, where we'll see if the Redeem Team can finish off its gold medal run. Plenty of fantasy points to go around. 4. The beach volleyball finals are on Thursday and Friday, which could reward important medals late in the week if the remaining U.S. teams can avoid the upset. Hope everyone is having fun!

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