Maybe a revision is in order
Can you imagine some dope picking Spain to win the Olympic men’s basketball gold medal?
They gotta revoke that dude’s membership in whatever club it is that picks international tournaments.
There's probably only one way Spain wins and here it is: If the Americans play as bad as they did in the second quarter against Argentina for the entire game and Spain plays absolutely flawless basketball, then it might be close.
But even under those circumstances, I can see the Americans giving the ball to Kobe or LeBron and letting them go to work.
I didn’t think the Americans could keep up the intensity or the focus or the defensive effort that they know is necessary. I thought there might be a breakdown and a return to the old “let me do it, I’m great” attitude of past teams.
So far, and perhaps it’s only because they’ve never been challenged in the second half of a game, they haven’t and I don’t see why they would start tomorrow in the gold medal game.
So, I finally got to the Bird’s Nest on Saturday night here (Saturday morning back home) to see the last night of track and field.
It makes 10 venues for these Games, which I think is a personal best.
And this is a gorgeous stadium from the outside, absolutely spellbinding in its design but inside?
It’s like all the others pretty much, very sterile, very functional but not overwhelming. I’d have to rank it behind Barcelona and probably Athens on the list of the big stadiums Games I’ve done.
It’s nice inside and everything works and it’s huge. The flame looks great burning at one end but once you get over the exceptional exterior, there’s not much to write home about.
You gotta see the subway cars here.
Very new, pretty spacious and at each end, a very, very nice flat screen, HD TV that shows nothing but Olympics these days.
I mean, these TV are sweet. Showing live broadcasts. What do we get at home? Time and temperature?
Anyway, Perk reports the other day he was going to Wukesong or biking or BMX or somewhere on the subway at the same time as the men’s table tennis semis or quarters were being shown.
Now, think Canada, think hockey, multiply it be six or eight and you’ve got the equivalent to what table tennis is in these parts. And straphangers were hanging on every point, cheering wildly as they careened along the tracks.
|It's a sign, Doug. You'll be home soon.|
Seriously, the kind folks here really taking care of me.
Remember last week when I had mentioned I hadn’t see birds and then, presto!, saw about a flock of them the next day? And I found something unique about the Red chicken and we all know how that turned out, don’t we?
Well, I’m at the basketball semifinals on Friday night, feeling a little wistful for home and, what do you know, what seems almost a replica of the CN Tower shows up in the distance. Sweet.
So what if it’s a transmission tower for CCTV, it’s the thought that counts.
I missed the big FIBA news conference before the hoops semifinals but apparently the only thing of significance was that they’re thinking of increasing the field for the world championships from 24 to 32 teams.
Finally, a way Canada can qualify.
But, seriously folks, that’d be among the stupidest things ever. There were horrible mismatches when the tournament was 16 teams, it was laughable at 24 two years ago in Japan so 32 would be plumbing the depths of bad basketball worldwide.
Hmm, so the kayaker blows up in the 1,000, the BMX rider crashes out of her race and the mountain biker dead-bolt medal lock hyperventilates herself right out of the race.
As one wag noted, “Canada’s back!”
Speaking of hyperventilating, all you Raptor fans out there need to chill about this injury to Jose Calderon.
It’s a tweaked groin with a small tear, relatively minor, he should close to 100 per cent in a couple of weeks and, seeing how we’re a couple of months away from the start of the season, it’s going to be just fine.
We now return you to your regular scheduled other Raptor angst.
A timely one here:
Q: Keep up the good work, Dougie... Have you managed to catch any of the Taekwondo? Maybe it's just my lack of knowledge of the sport, but the commentary from the games suggests that its not, but does this sport have the most suspect judging in the games? It could give ice dancing a run. I have been absolutely baffled at how they choose to reward or not reward a point. Thanks, Doug.
Enjoy the homestretch and have a safe trip home.
Dan D, Hamilton
A: Funny you should ask. Just as I was getting ready to answer this, there was a bout on the TV just down the aisle from me and a women from Great Britain got absolutely robbed in a loss to a woman from China.
The Brit landed a blatant kick to the head, which I’m told is supposed to score two points, and she ended up losing 1-0.
You should have seen the reaction of the half dozen British scribes who occupy this little part of the press centre with us.
I’ve got to admit it was only about the second fight I’ve seen but the other was Karine Sergerie’s first round bout which she won on supposed superiority. That’s sure not what it looked like to be.
So with that being said, and having heard of other questionable scoring decisions, I’d say taekwondo has a very short shelf life as an Olympic sport. Like maybe one more Games and that’s it.
You know what I have to get? Peddle-pushers or capris or whatever those calf-length pants for guys are called nowadays.
They are all the rage over here and something I’m sure will catch on, eventually, in fashion-starved Mississauga.
But the other big male fashion statement I’ve seen?
In the heat and humidity, they’ve taken to rolling up their t-shirts about breast high and, believe me, that’s not something you want to see.
Last in the mail for now:
Q: Hi Doug, is it a story at all in China about the age of the gold medal winner in gymnastics?
Steph G, Glencoe
A: Oh yeah, created quite a buzz around here yesterday when the IOC asking for more investigating first broke. Quieted down today a little bit but you can be sure there are people out there digging up stuff as I type.