I think the Chickens are chasing me
Today, I was an expert in – ta-da! – archery!
Well, expert might be stretching it. Neophyte’s probably a better word and totally clueless might be a more apt description.
After all, I did sort of wander into the place looking for a guy with an apple on his head.
But that’s what makes the Olympics grand.
Sunday morning here, I get up and do water polo on deadline.
Monday morning here, I get up and do archery on deadline.
Lucky, lucky readers.
But it does put check marks in two more boxes of Sports I’ve Seen For The First (And Possibly Last) Time.
Gotta say, though, archery’s pretty cool
They got the requisite PA announcer who screams when a guy gets a 10 and is more muted and disappointed when it’s an eight or – gasp! – a seven.
And I saw a guy get a six, which only happens, I think, when the archer sneezes simultaneously with his release or shoots his arrow into the crowd.
|Doug Smith getting along just fine with the red one in Beijing.|
The stuffed animals were back at the archery this morning and I’m wondering if a couple of them aren’t following me around ‘cause I’m such a fan of the various Chickens in the world.
This morning, or last night I guess for most of you, the red one and the blue one showed up at the archery field, or court, or stadium, or whatever. They did a little dance, much to the delight of the fans, wandered through the crowd for a minute before heading off to spread their own little brand of cheer elsewhere.
If I see the red one at field hockey later, or tennis, depending on where I have to go next, I’m gonna start thinking she/it/he’s got a crush on me. It’s my favourite, too.
Hey, you know how we’re always having the discussion on which team sports athletes are the best athletes in the world and we talk about basketball (my pick), soccer (usually yours) and hockey (which is only in the discussion in Canada, I bet)?
Well, I’m putting water polo in the conversation.
I watched those Canadian guys go against Spain the other day (I think it was Sunday here, Saturday back there so I’m just going with ‘the other day’) and those dudes are fit.
I didn’t see one guy do a dead man’s float for one second in the pool.
No swim-up bar, either.
Seriously, it’s not a mainstream sport by any stretch of the imagination but the athletes have to be on the Mount Rushmore of toughest in team sports.
Checking the mail, I see you folks are up to your usual hijinks of sending lots of questions; I’ll get to ‘em as I can:
Q: Are there any of the international rules you'd like to see the NBA adapt? Also, do you think all this FIBA officiating bashing is deserving? After all, it's not like NBA officials are known to be much better.
Tom P, Edmonton
A: Personally? I’d love to see the wider lane, except FIBA’s taking it out in favour of the rectangular one next year, I believe. I’d also love the two timeouts per half deal (I’d make a concession and let the players call them, too) but I can’t see that happening what with TV and all.
The rule that lets defenders go up and get the ball the cylinder's pretty good, too, but I don't know if it's workable in the NBA.
As for the officiating, there are far, far, far more international refs of dubious quality that there are NBA refs who aren’t good. The cream of the FIBA crop’s here, so it might not be an entirely true indication but I’ve been at some world championships and seen more head-scratching calls in a two-week tournament than you’re likely to see in a month of NBA games.
Softball and baseball start soon (see how good I’m getting at fudging time and day and stuff like that?) and if you’re watching, be prepared for some odd bastardizations of the rules.
In softball, if it’s a tie after seven innings, the top of the eighth begins with the team at bat getting to put a runner (the last out of the seventh) on second base and the batting order resumes as usual. Same goes in the bottom of the eighth until someone wins.
They’ve screwed up baseball even more. If there’s a tie after nine, they play the 10th as they usually would, then things really get goofy.
In the 11th, each team can decide which hitter it wants up to lead off the inning and – get this! – he gets to hit with runners at first and second and nobody out.
Visiting team decides it wants to have the No. 3 hitter lead off the top of the 11th. That’s cool because the No. 2 hitter goes to second base and the No. 3 hitter goes to first.
Then the home team could decide it wants its lead off guy to bat in the bottom so the No. 9 hitter goes to second and the No. 8 guy goes to first.
They play the 11th and if nobody scores, the visiting team doesn’t get to pick its lead-off guy for the 12th but they do get to put runners at first and second. Let’s say the No. 8 hitter is scheduled to lead off the 12th. He goes to bat but the No. 7 guy goes to second and the No. 6 man heads to first.
I sure think so.
I hope the Erindale Lions Little League -- where, by the way, the MIGHTY YANKEES HAVE WON THE REGULAR SEASON TITLE EVEN, OR MAYBE BECAUSE OF, ONE OF THEIR COAHCES BEING IN CHINA -- never institutes that silly rule.
Check that, we'd never play extra innings, it always gets dark too quickly to even get in six.
Remember the ‘driving to slow’ note from the other day. So does this alert reader:
Q: Do you think they're driving slow to cut down on the smog for the Games? Or is it just a case of a different culture?
Peter L, Toronto
A: I’m told it’s a bit of both. The buses have restrictors on them that don’t allow them to go more than 90 km-h and I know that doesn’t apply to regular drivers because on the bus ride back from Tianjin, we were being passed by every manner of car, cab, jalopy and, I think, a jogger or two.