Ray Rice during a pre-season game in August // photo Getty Images

Ray Rice during a pre-season game in August // photo Getty Images

NFL

On the NFL, Ray Rice and leadership

When he was running the Salt Lake City Olympic Games, so this was obviously more than a dozen years ago, Mitt Romney had a saying that bore on the astute reflections of the ladies and gentlemen of the press. It traced to his Mormon forebears, who had come across the prairies in covered wagons.

“The dogs may bark,” Romney would say when the newspapers would be filled with one story after another as the Games struggled to recover from the scandal linked to Salt Lake’s winning bid for the 2002 Games, “but the caravan moves on.”

OBS  chief executive Yiannis Exarchos

OBS chief executive Yiannis Exarchos

IOC

Olympic TV: the time is now

Based in Los Angeles, KIIS-FM — OMG, Ryan Seacrest, he hosts the talent show American Idol, too! — is a pop culture powerhouse that unabashedly plays a loop of hit songs its teenage listeners want to hear, over and again. This summer, as I know well, what with three teens in the house (disclaimer: the oldest turned 20 in April), one of those songs is Nicki Minaj’s “Anaconda.”

If you are not in the know, let us just say that “Anaconda” is salacious. My 15-year-old daughter, who is a straight-A student and gives her parents zero problems, knows all the words. These include rhymes and riffs that veer from Eiffel to Nyquil to others that are for sure not printable in a family newspaper. The video, with Minaj and a posse of backup dancers twerking and then twerking some more, makes the whole thing all too clear.

Young athletes taking a selfie with IOC president Thomas Bach at the Youth Olympic Games opening ceremony // photo Getty Images

Young athletes taking a selfie with IOC president Thomas Bach at the Youth Olympic Games opening ceremony // photo Getty Images

IOC

Selfies and the Youth Olympic Games future

In American teen parlance, the word “tryhard” is a noun. It means when someone tries hard to appear a certain way but all that effort does is make that someone all the more contrived.

Here is how to use “tryhard”: when the president of the International Olympic Committee posed with a group of young athletes for a staged selfie shot in the opening ceremony of the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China, over the weekend, the IOC was being such a tryhard.

Michael Phelps after finishing second in the men's 100 fly at the U.S. nationals // photo Getty Images

Michael Phelps after finishing second in the men's 100 fly at the U.S. nationals // photo Getty Images

Swimming

Michael Phelps as work in progress

Michael Phelps had it Friday morning, turning in a sensational prelim swim. He didn’t quite have it Friday night when it counted, losing by one-hundredth of a second in the 100 butterfly to Tom Shields at the U.S. national championships in Irvine, California.

The upshot: Phelps is back on the national team. For him, for the U.S. team, for swimming in general, that’s all good. Now, though, the real work begins. As Bob Bowman, his longtime coach, said Friday night, “I think he needs to go home and put in some more practices.”

Missy Franklin, left, and Katie Ledecky on the medals stand after the 200 freestyle // photo Getty Images

Missy Franklin, left, and Katie Ledecky on the medals stand after the 200 freestyle // photo Getty Images

Swimming

Ledecky makes beautiful music in 200 free

Katie Ledecky took down Missy Franklin in the women’s 200 freestyle Thursday evening at the U.S. nationals in Irvine, California, and though both laughed and made all sweet about it because that’s how they are, and Franklin even danced on deck when the poolside announcer talked about the Backstreet Boys, this — when, years from now, they look back — may well be one of the Katie Ledecky signature moments.

Ledecky touched in 1:55.16, a full 1.24 ahead of Franklin. It was the second-fastest time in the world this year and, for Ledecky, a personal best. Which ought to give everyone pause, because Ledecky just turned 17 in March and has so far concentrated on the 400 and above. She simply has not raced the 200 much. As she learns the race, she probably will get a lot, lot faster.