Olympics Trending: First Lady, Rule 40
Team USA defeated France in its men's basketball Olympic opener 98-71 and got kudos from 1992 Dream Teamer David Robinson (above). Kobe Bryant offered his postgame assessment on Facebook, writing: "We did commit too many fouls the first quarter which slowed the game down. Once we got use to the officiating we were able to play foul free and speed France up. We are at our best in transition." Bryant posted a photo of the American flag hanging in his room, writing the flag "reminds me of the men and woman who serve our country and all of the sacrifices they and their families make and have made to ensure the freedoms we enjoy."
After the game, each Team USA member and coach got a congratulatory hug from the first fan in attendance. And at least one player's wife was not the least bit jealous:
From lala via NBC/Facebook and Instagram
Team USA members have over 32.16 million Facebook followers combined and, according to NBC/Facebook, LeBron James has added nearly 600,000 Facebook followers in the past week, while Bryant has added more than 78,000. Deron Williams caught teammates Chris Paul and James Harden in a victorious pose after the win:
From dwill8 via and Instagram
When you hit 99 out of 100 targets, win the gold in women's skeet shooting and become the first American ever to medal in five consecutive Olympiads, picking up 1,000 or so followers on Twitter might feel like an afterthought. But Kim Rhode (@KimRhode) was still overwhelmed:
A big shout out to my new followers- over 1k in a day and I am speechless!Thanks for being a part of my Olympic adventure #GoTeamUSA— Kim Rhode (@KimRhode) July 29, 2012
Time for some controversy. What would the Olympics be without it?
The line between professionalism, amateurism and profit during the Olympics has been blurred for decades. Rule 40 -- which states that Olympic competitors cannot be featured in advertising during the Games unless authorized by the International Olympic Committee -- came under fire by many athletes Sunday and Monday, making #Rule40 a trending topic on Twitter. The rule protects Olympic sponsors that pay fees to the IOC from potential "ambush marketing" campaigns and from athletes promoting products on their own.
Many echoed the sentiments of Dawn Harper (above), who won the gold medal in the 100-meter hurdles in Beijing in 2008:
Back to fun and Games.
Swimmer Dana Vollmer (seen above via Pinterest) captured gold for the United States and set a world record in the 100-meter butterfly with her time of 55.98 seconds.
Thank you for everyone's support!! Gold medal and World Record- I am so excited and proud and everyone helped me get there! #fb— Dana Vollmer (@danavollmer) July 29, 2012
Her fellow American Olympians were watching, or were they?
@alexmorgan13 liar. you were just talking to me.— Kelley O'Hara (@kohara19) July 29, 2012
The emotions continued long after her victory:
Michael Phelps got this bit of inspiration before he and the rest of the American 4x100 relay team (including Ryan Lochte, Cullen Jones and Nathan Adrian) swam for a silver medal, losing to France on Lochte's final leg:
Note to @michaelphelps. Channel your inner Walter White. As you look at the water imagine blue crystal and say to yourself, I AM the danger!— Bryan Cranston (@BryanCranston) July 29, 2012
Americans Abby Johnston and Kelci Bryant, who is now retired from the sport, made barely a splash in capturing silver medals in synchronized diving. They also have a unique hobby:
Team USA synchronized diving silver medalists Abby Johnston and Kelci Bryant both collect rubber ducks. We like their style. #Olympics— The Peabody Memphis (@PeabodyMemphis) July 29, 2012
Tastes like chicken, or maybe (rubber) duck:
Of course, no one got to London on his or her own, as U.S. diving coach Wenbo Chen's daughter noted:
congrats to bryant/johnston & my dad for bringing home the silver for women's diving 3m synchro. #london2012— Amy Chen (@amy_chen) July 29, 2012
U.S. soccer goalie Hope Solo emerged unscathed following her tweet bombs directed at Brandi Chastain.
@GrantWahl discipline? Ha! For what! Never even a topic! We talked about our team deserving the best!— Hope Solo (@hopesolo) July 29, 2012
Monday she has something to celebrate no matter what happens on the field:
Thanks for ALL the Bday wishes so early in the AM! Let me take this opportunity to remind my fans how much they rock! #holos ;)— Hope Solo (@hopesolo) July 30, 2012
Sadly, not all Olympic dreams come true, but this American gymnast still has plenty of competition ahead:
Thank you all for your love and support. I am so proud of our team today and I can't wait for team finals!! 💗— Jordyn Wieber (@jordyn_wieber) July 29, 2012
For closers, we catch David Beckham and his son, Brooklyn, at Wembley Stadium watching Great Britain's 3-1 soccer victory over the United Arab Emirates.
If you see any offbeat and fresh newsy links from your favorite sports site or catchy tweets that might be of interest to others, pass them along to me @billsperos or firstname.lastname@example.org.