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Simone Biles, of the United States, watches gymnasts perform after she exited the team final with apparent injury, at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Tuesday, July 27, 2021, in Tokyo. The 24-year-old reigning Olympic gymnastics champion Biles huddled with a trainer after landing her vault. She then exited the competition floor with the team doctor. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

Olympic decision

I don't understand. Truly.

As someone with all sorts of mental health issues in my family, I am sensitive to those issues.

But, and maybe I am a caveman or some non-politically-correct crusty crab, I don't understand why it feels like we're having a parade for Simone Biles for her "bravery" in facing her mental health issues.

Maybe I am unaware because I am not the world's biggest gymnastics fan, but this is the first I have heard of her suffering from mental health issues.

Is she a longtime sufferer of these awful conditions? If so, why not discuss them before now when they could be used as examples of overcoming real-life traumas and hurdles?

Second, and again maybe I get in trouble for not falling to the floor and praising Biles for her "courage" in confronting her demons, is fear of failure or losing a mental health issue, because that's what this comes across as to me.

And if that's the case, then we all have mental health issues, no?

Third, the double standard here is hard to ignore. Sure, mental health issues are demons that can really wreck lives — of those who have the issues and those who love those with issues — but if Tom Brady pulled out of the Super Bowl during warm-ups because he wasn't feeling it and needed to take care of himself, well, what would that narrative be?

And that's not an overstatement since Simone Biles is the greatest gymnast ever and this is that sport's Super Bowl. Is that narrative: "C'mon guys, tough it out. It's OK girls, think of your feelings?"

I feel for Simone Biles. Truly I do. She worked her backside off to get here at an age that is certainly uncommon in that sport. She's an all-time champion and arguably the greatest ever.

And it's human to feel pressure and even succumb to it at times in the biggest moments.

Failure is part of life, as are mental health issues.

But unless there are some things of which I am unaware, taking some "me" time when your team needs you is not courage in my book.

 

Braves' big bats

Now that was much needed. The Braves batters battered Mets pitching in a 12-5 win that featured two Austin Riley homers.

It moved the Braves to 50-51 on the season and within four games of the division-leading Mets.

The work is far from done, with two more in New York and a chance to get even closer.

And the work in the front office continues to offer intrigue.

Do GM Alex Anthopoulos and the organization make a move so this bunch can make a bigger move in the standings? Do the Braves become sellers, moving a pitcher or a bat to another team that believes it is a contender?

I can make arguments for both because the division is certainly winnable — especially with the uncertain and unreliable health of Mets ace Jacob deGrom — and once you get to the playoffs anything can happen.

On the flip side, without Acuña or Soroka for this stretch run, dealing a Will Smith or a Luke Jackson to a contender makes 2022 look even better.

In truth, the only mistake the Braves can make this week would be standing pat and saying, "My team is on the field" and expect the fan base to believe the organization cares about making the commitment to winning it all.

 

Draft time

I love the draft. You know this.

The NBA Draft was my original love. You may not know that.

I can remember watching it with great anticipation in the 1980s.

The NBA Draft is Thursday, and my affection has certainly waned. I think a big part of it is the downgrade and deterioration of college basketball as a whole.

With that, the Pistons had better not pass on Cade Cunningham, who is a bonafide dude.

And, when you watch the highlights of the top prospects in the draft, Jalen Green will be prominent. He's arguably the second-best player in this draft behind Cunningham. He also was headed to Auburn before going to the NBA G-League last year.

Sigh.

 

This and that

— Speaking of the Olympics, Biles' exit is the latest stone in a rock-covered grave for NBC's production of these games. The TV numbers are dreadful — down close to 50% in a lot of categories — and the normally rah-rah coverage has been so over-the-top it's hard to watch for even the most diehard Olympics fans. The opening ceremony was historically bad in terms of viewership — down 57% in ratings and 55% in viewers from 2016 — and Monday night averaged fewer than 17 million viewers across all NBC platforms. By comparison, in the Rio Games in 2016, the first Monday averaged almost 32 million viewers.

— You know the rules. Here's Paschall on the Gators' new QB.

— Thought this was an interesting AP look at how and why employers have the right to make workers get vaccinated. 

 

Today's questions

Which way Wednesday starts this way:

Which Olympic sport do you watch way more than you expected? For me, it's table tennis. Wow, those folks can really play.

Which position would you like the Braves to address?

Which NBA draft prospect will be the best future pro?

As for today, July 28, let's review.

On this day in 1951, Disney released its version of "Alice in Wonderland."

Rushmore of Alice. Go, and remember the mailbag.

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