Wish I could say I did something fun in my absence. I was supposed to be on vacation, but I must have picked up a bug at the July 31 Trenton Thunder game because I’ve been sick ever since. It wasn’t until last Thursday I was even able to read, such was the lack of my powers of concentration.
My wife and daughter did go, and that was an adventure involving bats in the rented house and calls to animal control and rabies shots. Don’t know who had it worse.
Thank goodness for the Olympics because it gave me hours of mindless entertainment that didn’t even require changing channels. Just a few observations:
* How cool was it to watch Oscar Pistorius? And how horrible when the first South Africa runner on the 4x400m relay fell. The delegation was able to convince the judges that they deserved reconsideration and the team did, in fact, participate in the finals. When Pistirius eventually lost in the 400 individual semi-finals the winner of the heat exchange racing bibs with him. Very sweet.
* Also cool, Brit Mo Farah and his training partner Galen Rupp of the U.S. finished first and second in the men’s 10K.
* I go back and forth on basketball: is it fair to employ NBA players? If so, how should the U.S. lose to any country? Sure, “on any given day…” etc. There’s a certain arrogance that the U.S. should win just about every event in which it’s entered.
* Speaking about entry: it’s too bad that some of the gymnasts were not allowed to participate because of rules that dictate no more than two per country. And yes, these are elite athletes who are not used to losing and many are basically children, but you have to learn early on to be gracious in defeat. Israel didn’t win any medals? Boo-hoo. get over it.
* Also not too crazy about all the loopholes that allow athletes to compete for countries not their own. I’m guessing they can’t quite cut the muster in one locale but because others are hurting by lack of athletic talent for a sport, they find a way to play for them. (By the way, this also applies to the plan to use American Jews to play for Team Israel in the upcoming World Baseball Classic qualifier.)
* Enjoyed many sports that are not usually televised, including team handball, archery, and rhythm gymnastics. Yeah, that’s what I said. It takes an amazing amount of coordination to throw around the ribbons and hoops. Much more involved than regular gymnastics.
* Some sports I could live without: Equestrian events (the horse is doing all the work. Plus it’s very elitist); BMX and mountain biking (that’s what the X-Games are for); synchronized swimming; trampoline (anything you can do in your backyard shouldn’t be an Olympic sport). Also, I’m pretty much down on any endeavor that costs a lot of money to equip (see, equestrian, above; plus, how much does it cost for all the gear you need for smallbore rifles or those incredibly complex bows for archery?)
* Finally, I would have loved a chance to see how other countries broadcast the Games, particularly the BBC. Just sayin’. Too many commercials on NBC for my taste and a lot of self-congratulatory sentiments, almost to the extent of bullying.