Daily Dirt: Chen, Kim and Roberts are making America (Olympic version) great again


Daily Dirt for Sunday, Feb. 13, 2022

It’s athletes like Nathan Chen and Chloe Kim who make the Winter Olympics must-see TV … Welcome to today’s three thoughts and Vol. 211 of The Daily Dirt.

1. My own personal medal winners — so far — for their contributions to the Winter Olympics, which are beginning their final week in Beijing:

Gold medal: Nathan Chen, U.S. skater, whose gold-medal winning performance in men’s figure skating was simply spectacular. Chen’s finale featured the soundtrack of Elton John’s “Rocket Man,” which was perfect for the high-flying Chen.

Silver medal: American snowboarder Chloe Kim won the gold medal in an emotional competition, and then moments later was hooked up with her family — thanks to NBC — and struggled to hold back her tears of happiness. That smile, and those tears, were what the Olympics are all about. Or should be.

Bronze medal: Jimmy Roberts, a 13-time Emmy Award-winning sportscaster, has served as one of NBC’s in-studio hosts at the Beijing Games. Always known for his coolness under fire, dating back to his days at ESPN, Roberts found it difficult to control his emotions when telling the story of Kim’s inspiringl performance. Once again, that’s what the Olympics are all about. Or should be.

2. According to moviejewel.com, these are the most requested songs for funerals:

  • 1. “Hallelujah,” by Jeff Buckley: “Leonard Cohen once remarked that ‘Hallelujah’ was a ‘desire to affirm my faith in life, not in some formal religious way but with enthusiasm, with emotion.’ It’s perhaps why the track has become a favorite for those across all beliefs. But it’s the late Jeff Buckley’s impassioned cover version that you’re most likely to hear being played at funerals,” writes Jon O’Brien.
  • 2. “Angel,” by Sarah McLachlan: McLachlan actually wrote the track in 1998 in response to Smashing Pumpkins keyboardist Jonathan Melvoin’s fatal overdose two years earlier.
  • 3. “Nothing Compares 2 U,” by Sinead O’Connor: This classic was written by the late Prince, which I don’t think many realize.
  • 4. “Like A River,” by Carly Simon: This was Carly’s tribute to her late mother, Andrea.
  • 5. “The Living Years,” by Mike and the Mechanics: This classic sees a grieving son wishing he’d told his father how much he loved him before it was too late.
  • 6. “The Last Waltz,” by Engelbert Humperdinck: Its theme of reminiscing for a final time with the love of your life means it’s become a fixture at many funerals.
  • 7. “Fields of Gold,” by Eva Cassidy: Penned by Sting as a tribute to the woman he’d married, the heartfelt ballad was later recorded by Eva Cassidy, who sadly never got to enjoy its success. She only achieved fame posthumously after passing away in 1996.
  • 8. “The Best,” by Tina Turner: Bonnie Tyler actually recorded this first, but it was Tina who had the hit.
  • 9. “You’ll Never Walk Alone,” by Gerry and the Pacemakers: This song first appeared in the 1945 film “Carousel”.
  • 10. “Sailing,” by Rod Stewart: Well, well well … this is a surprise. Even as the world’s No. 1 Rod Stewart fan, I didn’t see this one coming.

Other notables:

  • 25. “You Raise Me Up,” by Josh Groban.
  • 28. “Always on My Mind,” by Elvis Presley.
  • 32. “I Will Always Love You,” by Dolly Parton.
  • 35. “I’ll Be Missing You,” by Puff Daddy, featuring Faith Evans
  • 36. “Unforgettable,” Nat King Cole.
  • 42. “What A Wonderful World,” by Louie Armstrong.
  • 44. “Wind Beneath My Wings,” by Bette Midler.
  • 50. “My Way,” by Frank Sinatra.

3. ESPN’s Bill Connelly has released his SP+ preseason college football rankings. Let the conversations begin:

  • 1. Ohio State: “The Buckeyes are going to be absolutely stacked in 2022,” writes Kevin Harrish of elevenarriors.com. It’s hard to argue with Harrish. The Buckeyes return 76 percent of their combined offensive and defensive starters (PUBLISHER’S NOTE: And will still get rolled #KingSEC in the CFP. JRG).
  • 2. Georgia: Bulldogs will definitely have a bull’s-eye on those red helmets this season.
  • 3. Alabama: I wonder how long it has been since the Tide was this “low” in a preseason ranking?
  • 4. Michigan: There seems to be quite a bit of chaos surrounding the Wolverines program this offseason.
  • 5. Clemson: Hey, look who’s back in the top 10.
  • 6. Texas A&M: I think the Aggies may wind up being the best team in the SEC next season.
  • 7. Oklahoma: Like Michigan, my gut feelin is that Oklahoma is ripe for a fall after a tumultuous offseason.
  • 8. Notre Dame: Don’t forget, the Irish open against the Buckeyes.
  • 9. Tennessee: Volunteers need a marquee win to be taken seriously.
  • 10. Wisconsin: Paul Chryst might be most underrated coach among the nation’s premier programs.

Steve Thought O’ the Day — Steve is confident he could do a better job as MLB commissioner than Rob Manfred. “If I were commish, the boys would be reporting to spring training this week,” Steve told Muddy River News. “This whole lockout thing is ridiculous”.

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