Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!

One of my former swimmers is a freshman at Drury.  He sent me this link and said it was okay to post.  It looks like they are having a great time.  Merry Christmas!  I hope your training over the break is productive and fun.  Enjoy the video and the Viking Santa pics.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Good News, Bad News and Good News for College Swimming...

Good news!  The rumors have been confirmed! William Jewell is bringing college swimming back to the KC area in their move from the NAIA to Division II.  Yay! And even better, they hired Mark Gole, who already has experience leading Truman State University one of the top teams in Division II!  Hooray!

Waitaminnit... Bad News!  Mark Gole starts there January 1st!  Ummm... Isn't Truman supposed to be packing up for their Christmas training trip right about now?  Does anybody know what in the heck is going on around here?  It sounds like the administration is pretty hacked about Gole's departure and they might still be searching for someone to get their athletes through the season.  The best place to get caught up in all the speculation and accusations is, of course, the message board.     

Now back to some better news:  college swimming is finally returning to Oklahoma.  That's right, the state that raised Samantha Woodward and David Plummer hasn't had a college swim team in a long time, and Oklahoma Baptist University, just a short drive East from OKC in Shawnee is bringing it back.  The OBU Bison are an NAIA program, and in their press release on they are saying all the right things.  They want to bring students into their institution with activities that serve a positive relationship with academics and character building, while having a positive impact on student life.  They are adding football, women's lacrosse and men's & women's swimming because they hope to make their university a better place.  They are starting swimming in the fall of 2011.  Yay!


Monday, December 20, 2010

Why bother with doing it right? Just do it FAST!

This weekend, when one of our club swimmers made his junior cut in the 100 fly at the pro-am, I got a text from one of our former coaches who was there to see it.  She said it was a great swim "for him, in that tasmanian devil sort of way."  My reply was "yeah, did he even bother to touch all four walls this time?"

This kid has the hand speed of Mercury.  He is a super talent, a sprinter to the core, and fun to have in practice, but he is so athletic that he doesn't feel he needs to mess with learning things like proper turns and streamlines.  Why bother making them look pretty, right?  To see what I mean about this kid, watch him bring home the freestyle for the Jasper County relay in lane 4 on the 200 MR at the Pro-Am last year (I think he dislocated his elbow at the finish): 

Haven't you ever had a swim where you were flying so fast that you just didn't want to bother with the turns?  Or maybe where you got frustrated at the first turn and swam angry through the rest of the race?  We've all been there, right?  That is what I thought of when I saw this video. I hope this kid's coach can do some Sith training with him and channel his anger into some dark-side-of-the-force kind of power.  Know what I'm sayin'?  Ha!


What a Great Weekend to be a Swim Nerd!

This weekend was kind of a thrill.  I played fantasy swimming for the first time through Podium Pursuit and I absolutely loved it.  I got fourth overall, so I was one spot out of the prizes, but I did win one event, and I scored pretty high overall considering I didn't suit up my team until after two days of the meet.  That means that even events like the 50 free on day 3 didn't have the advantage of being suited up because I didn't pitch in my $10 until after the prelim had already been swum.  In a couple of events I am pretty sure I would have won if we were suited.  I guessed Gold and Bronze for the mens' 100  breast and still lost to guys who only had one place right.  Oh well.  Live and learn.

If all of that confuses you, learn more about it here.

I also didn't get to go to either of the meets that my swimmers were in this weekend.  My high school girls were at a SCM meet while I was at my wife's graduation, so I got text messages all night about their swims (and their behavior, of course.)  My club swimmers, including a few of my high school girls, also swam at the Chesapeake Elite Pro-Am in Oklahoma City.  I not only got text messages about that one, but I got to pull up splits on the Live Results app and I also got to watch a little through the Knocking Live Video app.  It actually works from Android to iPhone!  The club had one boy make his first NCSA Junior National cuts in the 50 free and 100 fly, I had one of my high school girls hit 53 for the first time in the 100 free, and we had a 14 year old boy turn in a 59 in the 100 breast on a relay!  I no longer coach the club, but I still serve as the Chief Operating Officer and I still have an emotional investment into how the club I started is developing.  Our new club coach Eduardo Pajares is doing a great job.  I really think that we do a very good job of cooperating between high school and club swimming, without sacrificing quality training and long term goals.  We are helping our swimmers to get the best of both worlds, and I have to thank the MSHSAA for allowing the exception for swimming that allows us to pursue excellence in both leagues simultaneously. 

And speaking of doing a great job, I think the one guy who probably nerded it up better than I did this weekend was David "King of the Swim Geeks" Rieder who not only took second in the Podium Pursuit picking for Short Course Worlds, but also helped Garrett McCaffrey with the coverage of the TYR Capital Classic for Swimming World TV.  I am jealous. 

How did you nerd it up this weekend?

Friday, December 17, 2010

While the world is watching Dubai...

John Leonard, on behalf of the American Swimming Coaches Association, has laid out a proposal that calls for the end the current structure of FINA to make it a more "athlete centered" organization.  It is old news by now for many of those involved in high level swimming.  In it, Leonard makes some pretty inflammatory accusations about greed, favoritism and the fear of repurcussions for anyone who doesn't just "go along to get along."  I don't blame him for pleading his case so fervently.  We are all furious about the tragedy of Fran Crippen's passing, we all feel there has been severe mismanagement in various instances, and no matter which side of the suit argument you fell on, you can't help but feel that the problem was a lot bigger than just fabric and length due to the flip-flops, rule changes and deadline wacky-ness.  In many ways Coach Leonard is right.  The structure of the organization needs to change.  He has declared war.  Go get 'em John.  I hope enough of the right people are not afraid to jump on board. 

Casey Barrett at has taken a step back and is looking at it from another angle, stating that perhaps we all can tend to contribute to the problem when we get caught up in the spectacle of the kind expensive international competition that comes from the money flowing in the current system; the kind of money that is allowing our world team to be treated like royalty in a state-of-the-art facility.  From his article :
"Which makes things just a bit uneasy... For all of FINA's apparent faults, you can't deny that everyone - every swimmer, every coach, every official - would prefer to attend top competitions that are staged with no expense spared. That's not just FINA being greedy (even if that's the case), it's all of us being greedy. After all, don't the best deserve the best? Would you rather compete for world titles in a shallow pool with chemical air under a low ceiling lined with asbestos? Overstating the point, I know, but hearing the descriptions and seeing the pictures of that Dubai pool makes me jealous more than anything. I wish I'd had a chance to compete in a place like that."

Give both articles a read.  Sound off below.  Do you think that John Leonard is going to be able to rally enough international support?  Do you think that Leonard's accusations are valid?  Do you think that there is value in the current system?  If structure change is forced, would the money really stop flowing?   


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

All Aboard the Viking Ship!

I started a group called The Viking Ship at Podium Pursuit.  When you go there to make your prediction picks, please log in and join.  I sent out an email invitation to a few people.  I couldn't resist sending one to Craig Lord.  
Also, if you need help with your predictions, check out Chris DeSantis' latest post at Swimming World.  

Monday, December 13, 2010

Shameless Self-Promotion


Yeah, that really is Misty Hyman in her big acting debut!  Ha!  I have to thank her for playing along and pretending she reads my blog.  Also, thanks to Eduardo Pajares, my go-to camera guy. This was fun.  Every swim blog should make one.  If y'all do, you've got ad space here for free.

Please leave a comment to let me know what you think.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

My SC World Champs picks

Man, what a tough meet to pick.  Maybe I feel out of touch with short course meters simply because I am American.  I don't have much rationale for any of my picks...  I am just trying to go on gut feeling.  I hope more people get involved with David Rieder's prediction contest.  I am also gonna try to figure out how to enter these into Podium Pursuit

Men’s 200 Free
1. Lochte, USA
2. Biedermann, Germany
3. Agnel, France

Women’s 50 Breast
1. Rebecca Soni, USA
2. Matsushima, JPN
3. Trepp, EST

Men’s 100 Back
1. Camille Lacourt, France
2. Plummer, USA
3. Donets, RUS

Women’s 200 Fly
1. Liu Zige, China
2. Hosszu, Hungary
3. Galvez, China

Men’s 100 Breast
1. Van der Burgh, RSA
2. Alexandrov, USA
3. Silva, Brazil

Women’s 100 Back
1. Natalie Coughlin, USA
2. Chang, China
3.  Moskvina, RUS

Men’s 100 Fly
1. Korotyshkin, Russia
2. Huegill, AUS
3. McGill, USA

Women’s 400 IM
1. Miley, Great Britain
2. Kukors, USA
3. Shiwen, China

Men’s 400 Free Relay
1. United States
2. France
3. Brazil

Women’s 800 Free Relay
1. United States
2. NED
3. SWE

Women’s 100 Free
1. Kromowidjojo, Netherlands
2. Heemskerk, Netherlands
3. Vollmer, USA

Men’s 400 IM
1. Lochte, USA
2. Clary, USA
3. Cseh, Hungary

Women’s 50 Fly
1. Inge Dekker, Netherlands
2.  Galvez, AUS
3. Therese Alshammar, Sweden

Men’s 50 Free
1. Bousquet, France
2. Cielo, Brazil
3. Schneider, USA

Women’s 100 IM
1. Schreuder, Netherlands
2. Jing, China
3. Sjoestrom, SWE

Men’s 800 Free Relay
1. United States
2. Russia
3. Sweden

Women’s 800 Free
1. Lotte Friis, Denmark
2. Ziegler, USA
3. Sutton, USA

Men’s 50 Back
1. Thoman, USA
2. Donets, Russia
3. Lacourt, France

Women’s 200 Back
1. Franklin, USA
2. Moskvina, Russia
3. Castel, France

Men’s 50 Fly
1. Munoz, Spain
2. Huegill, Australia
3. Schoemann, RSA

Women’s 100 Breast
1. Soni, USA
2. Jones, Australia
3. Pierse, CAN

Men’s 400 Free
1. Mellouli, Tunisia
2. Vanderkaay, USA
3. Rouault, FRA

Men’s 200 IM
1. Lochte, USA
2. Tyler Clary, USA
3. Jukic, AUT

Women’s 400 Free
1. Pellegrini, Italy
2. Coralie Balmy, France
3. Katie Hoff, USA

Men’s 200 Breast
1. Shanteau, USA
2. Gyurta, Hungary
3. Falko, RUS

Women’s 400 Medley Relay
1. United States
2. Sweden
3. Australia

Women’s 50 Back
1. Chang, China
2. Jing, China
3. Schreuder, NED

Men’s 100 Free
1. Adrian, USA
2. Cielo, Brazil
3. Izotov, Russia

Women’s 100 Fly
1. Magnuson, USA
2. Alshammar, Sweden
3.  Vollmer, USA

Men’s 100 IM
1. Lochte, USA
2. Fesikov, RUS
3. Mankoc, Slovenia

Women’s 50 Free
1. Hardy, USA
2. Schreuder, NED
3. Kromowidjojo, NED

Women’s 200 IM
1. Kukors, USA
2. Hosszu, Hungary
3. Segat, ITA

Men’s 50 Breast
1. Roland Schoeman, RSA
2. Cameron Van der Burgh, RSA
3. Gangloff, USA

Women’s 400 Free Relay
1. Netherlands
2. United States
3. Sweden

Men’s 200 Back
1. Lochte, USA
2. Clary, USA
3. Vyatchanin, Russia

Women’s 200 Breast
1. Soni, USA
2. Jones, Australia
3. Pierse, Canada

Men’s 200 Fly
1. Bollier, USA
2. Cseh, Hungary
3. Le Clos, South Africa

Women’s 200 Free
1. Pellegrini, Italy
2. Vollmer, USA
3. Heemskerk, Netherlands

Men’s 400 Medley Relay
1. USA
2. RUS
3. FRA

Men’s 1,500 Free
1. Mellouli, Tunisia
2. Vanderkaay, USA
3. Joensen, Faroe Islands

Friday, December 10, 2010

Go Lance!

I was always kinda impressed with him winning all those Tour De France titles, and the whole overcoming cancer thing, but this... this impresses me way more.

(forward to 2:34 on the vid)

Could you imagine lining up behind the blocks for the mile in the 35-39 age group at Masters Nats and realizing that the Lance Armstrong you saw in the heat sheet was actually THIS Lance Armstrong?

Yeah, I would probably pee in my speedo too, which would make getting lapped that much more embarrassing.

This might be the guiltiest I have ever felt for not finding time to work out. Ugh.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

I am totally applying for the National Team Director position!

Dear Mr. Wielgus, I am writing this letter to apply for the position of USA Swimming National Team Director. While I may seem like an unlikely candidate, I ask you to consider the following:
  • I have coached at all levels, from beginner swim lessons up to some really fast guys who are out of high school.
  • I am a stern but fair disciplinarian. You will discover that wearing a Viking helmet really helps with that, especially when I carry around tools to sharpen them as I make subtle threats. Problems rarely escalate.
  • I am currently coaching a team of 40 high school girls. If I can manage that and keep everyone happy, I can pretty much handle any group. I should be the frickin‘ president. Seriously.
  • My wingspan is 6’9” and my shoes are size 14EEE. Just sayin’. My hands are freaky big too. Good genetics should count for something.
  • I get in the water to demonstrate skills sometimes. I’m pretty sure Mark Schubert never did that.
  • I am very organized. I have handled t-shirt and swimsuit orders for my high school team for years. Trust me, that is a big deal.
  • I host meets all the time. Some of them have up to thirty or forty spectators.
  • I am resourceful too. Once at a home meet I stopped a urinal from overflowing with the coffee bean grinder out of the lifeguard office. I’m not kidding. I didn’t even miss any of my swimmers races. Call me MacGyver.
  • TYR totally wants to sponsor me, but they haven’t come to terms with it yet. I could get them on board as a sponsor.
  • Even though I have no international coaching experience, I have hired a guy from Sweden and another guy from Spain to work for me in the past. I also swam in college with some guys from Canada, Guatemala, Venezuela, and Mexico… and one of my old roommates from Texas was actually born in Indonesia. That guy was all messed up, let me tell ya.
  • I have a lot of national pride. I have Captain America’s shield tattooed on my back. It’s kick ass.
  • I like money. A lot. I am willing to bend over and be a “yes man” if that’s what it takes to make $300K. I am way more than just a team player. I would go above and beyond for that kind of cash.
>Resume’ and references attached.

Thank you for your time. I hope to hear from you soon and I can make myself available anytime outside of school hours for an interview.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Leslie Nielsen. You will be missed.

What is the best baseball movie of all time?
Bull Durham? The Natural? Field of Dreams...?

Hell, no. It is The Naked Gun, without a doubt. I can't hear the national anthem without thinking of Frank Drebin filling in for Enrique Pallazo, and I can't watch an umpire calling a strike without hoping he does a dance.

Best prison movie ever?

Shawshank? Midnight Express? Cool Hand Luke?

Wrong. It is The Naked Gun 33 1/3. Forward this to about four minutes in. I dare you to watch Frank Drebin yell "There ain't no prison yet that can hold me! Attica! Attica! Power to the brothers! Kill Whitey!" without laughing. It can't be done.

Leslie Nielsen passed away this week. Please take the time to read David Zucker's exclusive tribute at, and enjoy the video clips. They are some of my favorite scenes ever. He will be missed.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Recent Heated Discussions We Should All Be Following...

*This was supposed to be a bloody picture of two tigers fighting, but Jason Marsteller asked us to tone it down a bit.

Are you missing the days back when floswimming was the place to be and every blog or video seemed to turn into a 100+ comment argument? I have to say that I have missed the haters and anonymous cowards a little and wondered where they all went. You might be able to get your fix though, as Swimming World has had some real hot discussions lately in the comments sections of the following posts:

Mark Schubert Out At USA Swimming; USA Swimming Confirms Separation With Release -- November 17, 2010

Mark Schubert Speaks Publicly About Termination as USA Swimming National Team Head Coach, Says Executive Director Wanted Him on the Job "Until 2020" -- Updated with Press Conference Video -- November 17, 2010

Open Letter to U.S. Coaches From Coach Bob Gillett -- November 20, 2010

USA Swimming Board of Directors Votes Down FINA Bureau Shakeup Proposal -- November 22, 2010

Of course, these posts are reporting some pretty hot topics in the world of swimming, so they deserve heavy discussion and input from those of us out in the world who care. Even with Jason Marsteller on the job keeping it clean, the string of opinions here is pretty darn good reading.

Please note that in the Mark Schubert press conference posting, the blog fight was so intense that for the first time I know of, lawyers got involved. Also, in the article about the FINA shake-up proposal, it was nice to hear John Leonard refer to the coaches commission as "fake." I am pretty sure several of us bloggers and commenters called them on that one when they got together to help FINA botch the suit list the first couple of times. In case you don't remember how that went down, check out this interview from way back that got 136 comments and the response I threw out there that brought on another 97.

Circle up, enjoy the battle, and be sure to throw in a couple of zingers when you get the chance. Yay internet!

*Jason, I am just giving you a hard time. You know I am glad you are there moderating. I don't miss the anonymous haters that much. :)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Craig Lord: The J. Jonah Jameson of Swimming

Craig Lord's campaign to eradicate the costumed menace that is the shiny suits has not slowed, even after they were banned so long ago. When I read an article like the one released today, which highlights that no world records have been broken this year since non-permeable fabrics were banned, I chuckle and think of how similar Craig Lord's campaign is to that of J. Jonah Jameson, the editor of the Daily Bugle who has made it his life's mission to crush the costumed menace who plagues him: Spiderman. If Craig had his way, it would be Fred Bousquet being hauled to jail in a Jaked in this picture.

Spiderman was often blasted for interfering with police operations and for destruction of property when he helped put away the bad guys, and was conversely criticized when he wasn't there to get the job done, kind of like the way world record breakers should have been celebrated in 2008 but were instead often scorned because of the suits they wore. Jonah didn't quit pestering poor Peter Parker even when he quit the hero gig (multiple times) and even during the few times that everyone thought Spidey was dead. Superheroes always seem to come back. Maybe Craig still has legitimate fear that the suits will too. Who knows?

There have been a lot of writers who have handled the character of Jolly Jonah since he first appeared in 1963. The reasons for his hatred of the costumed characters has been speculated on for decades and it seems to always boil down to this: How can a normal guy compare in a world of superhumans who don't have to face the consequences that come with owning up to their actions? It is partly a matter of jealousy, and the fear that these men and women have more power than they have moral sense or responsibility, especially considering that many are hiding behind masks. Jonah is really a terrifically complex character who strangely represents our own subconscious resentment of humanity's innate need for leaders, heroes and even celebrities above us in society. While we build them up we feel we need to also tear them down.

The fact is, the Daily Bugle sells papers, partly because Jameson is outspoken and puts a dramatic spin on every editorial. He has become a media personality in the Marvel Universe who could be considered the Glenn Beck of a world where superheroes are a part of daily life, and is similar to Craig Lord in the world of swimming where world rankings, records, swimsuits and sponsorships are the topics we care about and want to read up on daily. Craig's mission against tech, as it has been in the fight against doping in the past and present, are important and still relevant, but I can't help getting a chuckle when I think about the nights that Mr. Lord must stay late at the office to pore over the final draft of his latest rant. I like to picture him typing the final phrases with frenzied adoration for his most inspired works, peeking out into the hallway to make sure no one else is around, putting on a red Jaked01, and doing this:

Of course, Jameson's son was an astronaut who flew to the moon and turned into a werewolf, which is part of a long list of other personal incidents he blames Spidey for... so I guess he has a pretty good excuse.

We love ya Craig. You keep writing it, we'll keep reading it

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Help my self-esteem. Like me on facebook...

Help a brother out by spreading the word and getting me some likes on facebook. Click the pic below to go there and click the thumbs up button. And don't forget to click on the pic above to be able to enlarge it and read the word balloons. I put a lot of thought into it (not.)
Apparently, all the bigwigs in swimming are excited to finally be my friend.
As a challenge, I'll buy you a brew if you an get any of the four people in that picture to actually admit they are Viking fans by liking my page. (I don't know how you will prove it to take credit, but it is worth putting that out there.) Thanks, dudes!

Looks like we might get some answers straight from Schubert himself!

From, Nov. 17, 2010:

The break-up between USA Swimming and former national team coach Mark Schubert is about to get ugly: Schubert has called a news conference this morning at the International Swimming Hall of Fame in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to discuss his dismissal...

Read more here in the
AP article run in the Washington Post.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

We coaches hear this every day...

Whoever made this is pretty darn brilliant. Please pardon the language, it adds to the hilarity.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

High School Highlights

Those of us who have high school season in the fall are now in championship season and I want to draw a little attention to the meets I have been paying attention to:

Last weekend was the Alaska boys and girls state meet. My old high school had a pretty phenomenal year. Remember, our school has less than 200 students and is on an island. Keep that in mind when you look at the results. This is a school that has sent a disproportionate amount of students on to college programs, including a
guy who split an 18.6 50 free on a medley relay for Auburn pre-tech. This year they took fourth overall at state and junior Preston Marsh won the 200 IM. Read the article here. Check out the results here. Preston destroyed my old 200 IM team record. No hard feelings. He is actually the nephew of a couple of my good friends in high school. I lasted 19 years on the board. That's long enough. Congrats to the Vikings on a great year!

The Missouri HS boys meet prelims were pretty stellar last night. I am about to head over to watch my diver in a few minutes. My swimmer who is at his first state meet ever actually earned a spot in the B final. As far as the prelims go, in my opinion the schools from SW MO seemed to steal the show. Nik Brink and Matt Margritier are going into the final with a tie (45.69) in the 100 free. It is gonna be a fun day. There should be live video here in case anyone wants to watch the finals. Diving starts at 9:30 and swimming finals start at 3:00 CST. Good luck to all who are heading into the fray today!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Schubert is Out...?!

Just in case you don't have ESPN on your RSS feed:

I am sure that many people out there on deck at the big meets know a lot of things that us guys out of the loop never hear, but I never really thought the leave of absence would go beyond the sixty days. Now more than ever, I want to hear the whole story. Anyone out there got any insight they can share?

Thursday, November 11, 2010

What part of "Permeable" do you not understand?

I did not have any worries about swimsuits this year; at least, not until one of my swimmers asked if I had seen his LZR Pro. This was at our last practice before we hit the road for the Missouri High School boys meet. Watch what he wanted to show me.

Please note-- this suit has the FINA barcode. This suit is approved without question. I looked for the wording of the actual FINA rule and couldn't find it, but on the Missouri HS Activities site it says "As was discussed in the online rules reviews this year, officials can be assured that suits with the FINA barcode are legal under NFHS suit rules. The similarities between the rule sets, including a mandate for ‘textile material’ in both make this an easy way to confirm legality."

It also says "material shall be woven/knit textile, permeable (100% to air and water.)"

So, I guess I don't know what the testing process is to earn FINA approval... but I am pretty sure that it can't be a real rigorous process. It doesn't pass my test, and mine is pretty darn unscientific. "Does water pass through the fabric? NO? FAIL."

Doesn't it seem like a suit wouldn't be able to be used as a canteen if the fabric was even a little bit permeable? If I wore that suit as underwear, I wouldn't need to take bathroom breaks. I could just empty the leg at the end of the day. Know what I'm saying?

Luckily, Austin only wasted $190 and one race on this piece of junk. It was certainly not a performance enhancer. It served as a ridiculously expensive set of brakes.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Mark Schubert's Leave of Absence

My favorite part of the McCaffreyCap on SwimmingWorld.TV is the awesome photoshop pictures Garrett has made of USA National Team Head Coach Mark Schubert. The mysterious leave of absence really hasn't gotten enough of that kind of attention. So, of course, on the bus the other day I decided I was gonna play around with a couple of iphone apps to see what I could come up with in my speculation of how Mark might be spending his down time:

Maybe he has been working out to finally get his modeling career off the ground:

He could totally fit in with the cast of Glee as a substitute teacher. I think they are doing Grease 2 that week. I think he is playing Eugene. Can't you see him being a love interest for Sue Sylvester?

I heard his Motley Crue cover band finally got a gig

Come on, you know you wanna party with that guy!

Not as good as Garrett's hot tub time machine pic, but still not too bad for getting all this done on my phone while I was waiting to get 3G service back so I could finish watching Dead Snow on my Netflix app. If you have any pics or ideas, send them to me and I will post. Enjoy.

Dead Snow Trailer
Uploaded by dreadcentral. - Check out other Film & TV videos.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

2nd Annual Pink Speedo Night

I haven't had time to report on this year's pink speedo night at our home meet on October 26th. Last year was a surprise for our diving coach, but this year all fall sports at our school made a BCA effort and raised over $4400 for the cause!

This year we had pink caps donated for the team to wear and had a successful raffle. Our team mom's made posters to honor the family members who have fought the fight against breast cancer personally. There were several survivors in the crowd, and the crowd was much larger than it would have been for a normal quad. It was a heck of an event and we are very proud.

Don't forget, it is not too late to vote for our pink pic from last year to go on the Jones Soda label. Let me know if your team or school did something pink this fall. It means a lot to those who need the support!

Monday, November 1, 2010

A Moment of Silence for Fran Crippen

Did you participate in the worldwide tribute on Saturday? If so, how?

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Thor Movie Teaser!


Friday, October 29, 2010

Death Race 2010

I was recently sent a link to an awesome article in Outside Magazine about Peak Racing's Death Race.

No, not that Death Race, silly!

This one. The real deal.

...and here is the link to another good article from '09 in the New York Times.
I love the whole concept. I wrote about it last year when one of the founders, former Missouri State distance record holder Andy Weimberg tried to get me to sign up. Andy is the kind of guy who considers the triple Ironman to be a warm-up.

Go ahead. Read about it. It's the closest you'll ever get to finishing it.

The Captain America Movie!

Hey, I know all y'all are as e
xcited as I am about the fact that the Captain America movie is going to be released on my birthday next summer. I am really just posting this here so that I have an excuse to brag. Rather than post pictures of the authentic Captain America shield hanging at my house, or my four Captain America t-shirts, or the boxer shorts, or even the tattoo on my back...

I am just gonna post a few pics I pulled from the web, and an awesome preview of the video game that is gonna accompany the release of the movie.
I once had a man come up to me and start a conversation about my Captain America t-shirt at a local Relay for Life event. He told me that when he was in WWII he loved the comics and he even mentioned the cover above where Cap is punching Hitler in the face. I wanted to hug the guy.

I get pretty worried every time a comic movie is released. They have screwed up so many over the years... but this time, I think that Marvel taking control of the movies based on their characters has at least given the best brains in the industry a chance to give their input. I am pumped for this, especially since we all know it is going to lead up to tie-ins galore and the formation of the original Avengers for the big screen. Most people don't realize that the modern day Cap is actually the same guy from the comics in the 40's, so this movie being set in World War II is going to help the non-comic geeks to understand him from an important perspective. He was a hero from our greatest generation trying to get along in modern America. It provides a great contrast to showcase just how different our world is from the world of our grandparents.

This is a fanboy's dream come true.

Worldwide Tribute to Fran Crippen

I think we might put flowers in the water just before we play the national anthem at the meet our club is hosting this weekend. The meet starts at 9:30am, which fits the timeline for the event perfectly. The picture is a link to the facebook event page where you can get more details.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Viking might be taking this alumni meet a little too seriously...

We were playing around in morning practice the other day and came up with this vid. I am pretty proud of it. I am not even a hundred percent sure I will be able to make it to the alumni meet, but I am totally jazzed to race with the handicap if I do. We are racing a 50 of each stroke and I get to subtract .3 from my 50 times for every year since my college career ended. That means that I get to subtract 4.5 seconds from every 50 and 18 seconds total! Heck yeah! I hope some more guys from my generation show up.

Please leave me a comment to confirm that this is the best swimming youtube video of all time.

Also, please note the subtle plug for Tyr products at the end. Come on Tyr, with me on your marketing team you can't lose! I made this during morning practice on a $0 budget! Hire me already! I could be the Don Draper of Viking related swim merchandise and I would make a hell of a mascot to break you into the "chubby guys who want to swim faster in the triathlon and have the confidence to still wear a brief" market! Come on, you know you want me on board!

The Destruction of Professional Basketball!

According to Yahoo! Sports, the NBA has determined that this shoe, developed by Athletics Propulsion Labs, gives an "unfair advantage" with it's "Load N' Launch" technology. It increases vertical leap significantly.


I was just about to light the "Craig Lord Signal" over the city to stamp out this menace before it could destroy professional basketball, until I read that the NBA just decided to ban it.

It's simple really. They just said "no."

You mean, that's it? Wow.

...and the best part is, the article opens by saying that nobody in the NBA really wanted to wear them anyway. Oh well. Disaster averted, I guess.

How much you wanna bet that getting on the NBA banned list actually increases sales of this shoe? Maybe Lochte oughtta add the Load N' Launch tech to his shoes just for fun.

Friday, October 15, 2010

TYR's new ad!

I am a little disappointed that TYR hasn't sponsored me yet. I have been campaigning for a couple of years now. They are gonna wish they had after I tear up the alumni meet at Missouri State next weekend. With my 4.2 second handicap on each 50 on account of my old age, I am gonna be eating all the young bucks alive.

Oh, well. I still have to give TYR props for a great ad and for acknowledging the origin of the brand name. Tyr has a great story. He sacrificed his hand to the wolf Fenrir as part of a plot to trick him and keep him bound with a magic rope after he broke free from every chain the Gods could make. Now that's a team player!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Hats off to Jarrett Perry

At a meet once in Oklahoma City, summer Sectionals I think, a few of my senior club boys were laughing about being startled by "the guy with one leg." Apparently Jarrett Perry was talking to one of them behind the blocks at warm-up and my swimmer hadn't noticed yet that he had a prosthetic leg until he "popped it off" and jumped in to warm up. It was pretty hilarious, really. One of the kids who had been around a while was trying to describe to them how Jarrett jumps up onto the block and takes his marks for his races. There was no disrespect. They were marveling over how athletic he is and what a great guy he seemed to be.

One of my new fish was really curious about it and wanted to see him swim. Well, of course, in the 100 back that day, they ended up swimming next to each other in the prelim. My guy got schooled. Mind you, this kid was a 53-mid scy backstroker. He was hailed as a hero in our high
school swimming conference, and he just got beat by the guy with one leg. I can't put my finger on why, but as a coach, there was something really satisfying about the whole scene.

Jarrett Perry is retiring. This guy has had a heck of a career at WSC and at Colorado Springs, and has been a tremendous inspiration throughout his career. Most people don't know this bit of trivia, but in 2004, his coach at WSC, Eric Nelson, was the first coach ever to put a swimmer on both the USA Olympic and Paralympic teams in the same cycle when Jarrett and Caroline Bruce both earned spots while still in high school. Here is the post from the Missouri Valley LSC website:

Jarrett, an accomplished swimmer and two-time USA Paralympian, has hung up his suit and retired from the sport of swimming. During Jarrett’s years of swimming he has compiled a long list of accomplishments, including: Olympic Gold and Bronze Medalist, World Record Holder (100 and 200 Backstroke), 100 Backstroke World Champion, American Record Holder, and two-time US team
captain. If you are not familiar with Jarrett’s story, he was diagnosed at birth with Twin-to-Twin Transfusion Syndrome and at two days old had one of his legs amputated. Jarrett joined the Wichita Swim Club at age four and competed in his first national-level meet at age ten. From there, Jarrett’s swimming success really took off. Jarrett has been part of the Missouri Valley family since 1991, and has impacted swimmers, parents, coaches and officials with his warm heart and fierce competitive spirit. Missouri Valley is proud of all Jarrett has accomplished and the positive way he has represented the sport of swimming, the Wichita Swim Club, and Missouri Valley!

Congrats on a great career, Jarrett.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Please vote for our PINK pic!

Jones Soda is having a contest to see if anyone can submit a picture that they like enough to turn into a soda label for their regular distribution. One of my team mom's took this picture last October on our first annual pink speedo night and submitted it to the Jones Soda website. Please visit the site and give our pic a 10 point vote. It would be pretty cool if this little thing we did to support our beloved diving coach through her chemotherapy and surgery could be celebrated by winning this contest.

After we made such an impression on our school last year, our student council organized pink events for every fall sport and has already raised a couple grand to support local breast cancer awareness through t-shirt sales and raffles. Our second annual pink night will be October 26th and this year a good friend and local breast cancer survivor donated pink caps to go with our suits. I am anticipating our best dual meet crowd ever.

To vote, go to, click "photos and labels," then "photo gallery" and type "pink speedo" in the search bar. You can't miss our picture. Please pass it on!