Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Robert Weintraub, This Is For You.

I don't how many of you are familiar with Robert Weintraub's writings on Deadspin, but if you are, I pity you. He may be a great writer but whatever he is trying to do on Deadspin just isn't funny and above all Deadspin is about bringing the funny.

The Ultimate In Sportsmanship

Sport is a competition, a battle if you will (but no disrespect to our soldiers intended), between opposing sides attempting to prevail. Not much different than many things in life...relationships, marriage, politics, war...but there is an ethos of respect generally involved for those participating and watching sport. For as much bravado, machismo and chest thumping athletes do on the field, the general course of conduct is that when a play is over, a game is over, or you are no longer involved in the play that your personal battle is over until the next. Football players help each other up after a tackle, hockey players shake hands after a game and so on. It is one of the most admirable aspects of the sport.

Well, I may have just seen the greatest display of sports(wo)manship ever on the news this morning. In a softball game between Western Oregon University and Central Washington University, Sarah Tucholsky of Western Oregon hit what would eventually be a game-winning three run home run in the top of the second inning. As Tucholsky rounded first she missed the bag and when she returned to touch it her knee gave way.

Unable to circle the bases, the rules stated she could not be helped around the bases by any of her teammates. So Central Washington Mallory Holtman and Liz Wallace carried Tucholsky around the bases, letting one foot touch each of the bags until she made it home.

This is an amazing act of selflessness on the Central Washington players' part because not only would this actually affect the score of the game but it was still during the play of the game. Amazing. Acts like these reinvigorate the belief that we are still a respectful society. A big round of applause is necessary for the Central Washington team who managed to show us all what sports(wo)manship is truly about.

Ed. Note: For those of you wondering why I have been posting far less in the recent months on this blog, I just wanted to let you know that I am also now contributing at Unprofessional Foul. All of my soccer posting is done over there now and that is a big portion of what I post about. I am still posting here, but I just need to get things smoothed out so I can do both. So, check me out at Unprofessional Foul and all of the other great contributors over there.

[Photo Credit: New York Times]

Monday, April 07, 2008

French Fail To Foil Flame

Although valiant in their efforts, the French have failed to extinguish the Olympic flame on its journey around the globe towards the 2008 Beijing Olympics. While gallivanting through Paris, the Olympic torch faced never before seen French obstacles to an advancing juggernaut. Usually, they lay down and take it. Not this time.

Protesting China's human rights record and recent treatment of Tibet, the French managed to slow the long, slow march to Beijing of the flame. Protesters impeded the flame and even managed to get close enough to douse the flame in water. In typical French fashion they failed to extinguish it. But, what the French failed to do, the organizers did--four times--to avoid the protesters.

Thankfully, there is a backup flame so that the even when the torch is extinguished the Olympic flame lives an enclosed lantern. In classic political speak, the Chinese government played down the French (and British) antics.

Wang Hui, the media head for the Beijing Olympics organising committee, today condemned what she called a "few separatists" involved in the protests, insisting the relay would continue as planned.

"The smooth progress of the torch relay cannot be stopped and will definitely be a big success," she added.

Yes, this has been smooth progress. Just a few bumps in the road for the Chinese tank...I mean flame. Protests are expected elsewhere along the relay in San Francisco.

UPDATE: Kiss My Ass

Prior to the 2007-08 NBA season, Portland Trailblazer center, Joel Pryzbilla, wagered with the team trainer, Jay Jensen, that he would play in all 82 games this season and if he did Jensen would kiss his lily white ass (or maybe it would still be clothed, I don't know) at half-time of the 82nd game at center court. Pryz has had a tough time with injuries during his career and was determined to play the whole season. Unfortunately, Pryzbilla broke a bone in his hand last night and won't get to cash in on the bet because he will miss the remainder of the season....five whole games.

Tough break for the man. Now he won't get to know the thrill of having another man's lips planted on his ass in front of 20,000 people.