Welcome to Thursday!

I’m just happy to be here. Hope I can help the ball club.

Lochte’s robbery story called into question by Brazilian authorities

Lochte Identity
via Twitter @darth

So, who had “Ryan Lochte creates potential international incident” in their Olympic swimming pool? (See what I did there? With pool, and Lochte’s a swimmer? Okay, you’re right, it was dumb.)

Remember when he was reportedly robbed at gunpoint? Well, that’s now in question, and two of his fellow swimmers were actually pulled off their plane by Brazilian authorities for further questioning. Lochte himself was also wanted, and a judge had issued an order for his passport to be confiscated, but had already left the country.

This is obviously a weird story. Brazilian officials are reportedly looking into whether the police report was false, and are going off of a few inconsistencies in the men’s stories, as well as the fact that their phones and other objects weren’t stolen. And a video that allegedly shows them acting fairly normally, as opposed to however robbery victims were supposed to act, when the arrived back at their lodgings.

That’s…not a whole lot to go on. It seems just as likely that the authorities are trying to cast doubt on a high-profile story that makes Rio look unsafe, which it most definitely is. Of course, doubling down on your country’s image as crime-ridden by adding “incompetent policing” to the mix is perhaps not the way to go.

Granted, it’s possible that these four swimmers decided to make up an armed robbery story, though to what end, I couldn’t begin to guess. Hopefully everyone gets to return home safely.

Oh, and in case you’re wondering, yes, Twitter did light up with Lochte jokes and memes. I was actually partial to this one, from Mr. Celebrity Hot Tub:


Bolt slows up and laughs with competition during 200m prelim

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 17:  Andre de Grasse of Canada (L) and Usain Bolt of Jamaica react after competing in the Men's 200m Semifinals on Day 12 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on August 17, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – AUGUST 17: Andre de Grasse of Canada (L) and Usain Bolt of Jamaica react after competing in the Men’s 200m Semifinals on Day 12 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on August 17, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)

Usain Bolt is going to win the 200. That’s actually his best race, which is why it’s so crazy that he’s also historically dominant in the 100 as well. On Wednesday, he raced a semifinal heat of the 200m, and as usual, pulled up a bit at the end, this time to laugh with fellow competitor Andre de Grasse.

Seriously, I can’t get enough of this gif:


That’s so great.

Justin Gatlin’s night didn’t go as well, as he pulled up and was eliminated in the semifinal round by .03 seconds, citing an injury flare-up.

The 200m final is tonight at 9:30 PM ET.

Quick hits

Nick Franklin
ST. PETERSBURG, FL – AUGUST 17: Nick Franklin #2 of the Tampa Bay Rays is checked by trainer Ron Porterfield after being accidently hit by teammate Kevin Kiermaier #39 of the Tampa Bay Rays in the on-deck circle in the first inning against the San Diego Padres on August 17, 2016 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida. Franklin batted but came out of the game.(Photo by Cliff McBride/Getty Images)

-Scary moment in Tampa (well, St. Pete) as Rays infielder Nick Franklin was struck by a his teammate’s bat in the on-deck circle:

Hopefully Franklin’s okay. I’m always amazed we don’t see that happen more often, actually.

-Speaking of unfortunate sports injuries, a Dutch gymnast faceplanted during the high bar.

-Conor McGregor dropped some unbleeped profanity on SportsCenter yesterday.

-Shocking news: Charles Barkley has opinions on why Team USA has had a few close contests. He thinks we need more role players. This doesn’t surprise me. He’s not entirely wrong, I guess, but the previous two Olympic teams didn’t have role players (aside from a token Shane Battier appearance) and that seemed to work out just fine.

-Relatedly, Team USA blew out Argentina, despite a sluggish start. Kevin Durant led the way, and he, Paul George, and Jimmy Butler were on the floor together for a 20-0 run. I think tighter rotations and better defensive lineups (like playing George and Butler together, two of the best defenders in the world, who are also excellent two-way wings) are the way to go. They’ll face Spain in the semifinals.

-A BMX rider was apparently in the wrong section of a skate park, and a security guard took his bike, then showed off his own moves:

That might very well be fake, but I don’t care.

-A look at the inherent hypocrisy of Olympic NCAA athletes being allowed to keep their medal winnings (good!) while retaining NCAA eligibility. Just let them earn money, already.

-A dad ate too many pot brownies, began swearing at the cat, had to be put to bed. (Somehow not in Florida!)

-Michael Phelps wore Nike pants for his SI cover shoot. He has a deal with Under Armour. Whoops.

-A 103-year old woman says the key to longevity is beer. Related story: she’s awesome.

-Our top 25 college football countdown has reached #6, with the Oklahoma Sooners. This means Indiana must be in the top 5!

-Some Olympic boxing judges have been sent home following controversial decisions. Again, this is unsurprising. If you want a great look at this particular Olympic tradition, I wholly recommend this mini-doc on the 1988 Olympics from The Undefeated, which explores the robbery that was Roy Jones Jr. not winning gold:

Fake news headline I wish was real

Report: Ryan Lochte’s Hair Changes Color Each Time He Lies

One final glorious moment of procrastination

This is a throwback, but God I love Phil Mickelson.

About Jay Rigdon

Jay is a columnist at Awful Announcing. He is not a strong swimmer. He is probably talking to a dog in a silly voice at this very moment.