If the Southeastern Conference was one of the countries in the world, present-day and past SEC athletes would have just finished fifth in the race for medals in the London Olympics. SEC athletes won 25 golds, 14 silvers and 19 bronzes for a total of 58, which would have placed the conference right after fourth place Great Britain (65) and just before Germany (44).
For the record, SEC athletes won 25 gold medals – one more than Russia –with University of Florida swimmer Allison Schmitt earning three golds. Allison and former Florida swimmer Ryan Lochte shared honors for the most medals won with five apiece.
Lochte has two golds, two silvers and a bronze.
All in all, 11 of the SEC’s 14 schools had medalists. Florida athletes won 18, followed by UT (10), Georgia (7), Auburn (6), LSU (5), Texas A&M (4), Arkansas (3) and South Carolina (2). Alabama, Kentucky and Ole Miss had one apiece.
The further break it down, SEC athletes won 19.5 percent of all medals awarded in track (17 for the men, 11 for the women) and 19 more in swimming (10 for the men, nine for the women). In swimming the SEC won 18.5 percent of the medals awarded.
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Earlier this year it was brought to America’s attention that huge snakes were creating havoc in the Florida Everglades, but when it was revealed this week that researchers in April had captured the largest snake ever found, it magnified the horror that the entire ecosystem has been disrupted.
A female Burmese python weighing 165 pounds and measuring 17 feet, seven inches was ample evidence why raccoons, rabbits, bobcats and other wildlife are diminishing at an alarming rate. Further, researchers found the snake was carrying 87 eggs a little larger than the size of golf balls inside her, which may account for the fact the snake measured over a foot in width. “A snake that size can eat anything it wants,” said one biologist.
Worse, the snake’s massive size proves that the huge snakes can exist for a long time in the Everglades, lending speculation there are thousands more in the swamp. Officials say that over 112,000 pythons have been brought to the United States as pets over the last 20 years, but recently Florida changed its laws so only licensed dealers and researchers can obtain them. It seems when the snakes get too large their owners dump them in the swamp.
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Get ready for one of the most explosive – and entertaining – books of the year. Next Tuesday Joe Posnanski’s long-awaited biography on Joe Paterno will hit the bookstores and the lush e-book market. Posnanski, a senior writer for Sports Illustrated, was granted permission last summer by Paterno to literally shadow the Penn State coach all season.
No one could have known the Jerry Sandusky scandal would electrify the nation and the brilliant writer already had a ringside seat when Paterno’s world exploded, JoPa died and Sandusky was sentenced to prison for the rest of his life. The book’s title is simply, “Paterno.”
The first tidbits of the heavily-anticipated book are just beginning to leak and GQ Magazine shared a brief excerpt. Posnanski, who was at Paterno’s house the day after he was fired during a brief, late-night telephone call, wrote, “On Thursday, Paterno met with his coaches at his house. He sobbed uncontrollably. This was his bad day. Later, one of his former captains, Brandon Short, stopped by the house.
“When Brandon asked, "How are you doing, Coach?" Paterno answered, "I'm okay," but the last syllable was shaky, muffled by crying, and then he broke down and said, "I don't know what I'm going to do with myself." Nobody knew how to handle such emotion. Joe had always seemed invulnerable. On Thursday, though, he cried continually.
"My name," he told the writer, "I have spent my whole life trying to make that name mean something. And now it's gone."