Each week, The Reporters put their thumbs out to the good and the bad in the world of sports. This week, they discuss the debut of Robert Griffin III, Paula Findlay's support team, Derek Jeter turning back the clocks, and head coaches willing to try trick plays.
Dave Naylor, TSN: My thumb is up to Robert Griffin III, whose smashing debut with the Washington Redskins was the talk of Week 1 in the NFL. You don't have to look far for reminders of how tough it is to start an NFL season at quarterback just a few months after leaving college. Indeed there were four other rookie quarterbacks that didn't fare so well on Sunday. Griffin on the other hand, displayed poise, smarts, athleticism, and even style by accidentally creating “Griffining.” Andrew Luck may still wind up being the NFL's new Peyton Manning, but don't count on RGIII to be its next Ryan Leaf.
Steve Simmons, Sun Media: My thumb is down to “Team Findlay.” Coaches, administrators, physicians, therapists and the Own The Podium people who had anything to do with Paula Findlay's heartbreaking Olympic experience. It's one thing to have a hip injury, but for this apparent quality of support team to miss that their prized triathlete was suffering from the blood disease anemia, which came to light this week, is nothing short of astounding. It now makes some sense why Paula Findlay finished last in London, why her legs seemed foreign to her, why she burst into tears of frustration post-event. She wasn't well enough to compete, but how this happened, how the system betrayed this one athlete, and who in particular missed this? Those are questions that need to be answered.
Michael Farber, Sports Illustrated: My thumb is up to Derek Jeter, a down-to-earth shortstop now breathing increasingly rarified air. The Yankees captain edged into the Top 10 in hits Friday, with No. 3,284, passing Willie Mays. Jeter stands not merely with Hall of Famers, but among players whose names alone give you goose bumps. Even playing on a bum ankle, the 38-year-old is having an MVP type season, on the verge of passing 200 hits for the eighth time. The only thing remaining for Jeter is leading – or willing – a scuffling team into the postseason, a rite of fall in the Bronx. If anyone can do it, it's Jeter; he is the pride of the Yankees.
Dave Hodge, TSN: My thumb is up to Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy and to Calgary Stampeders coach John Hufnagel, who did what all football coaches should do once in a while, they tried something. The fake field goals that turned into touchdowns for the Pack and the Stamps were things of beauty. If it's possible, the Green Bay play was executed more perfectly than it was drawn up. The Calgary play could have been could have been stopped but it was Winnipeg. If you're going to draw up tricks, what is the point if you don't try them? You're liable to get seven points if you do, and there were two examples of that this week.