Hot enough for you? And Yao's a Hall of Famer for sure
We are all over the map today, folks.
I can’t believe we keep pumping stuff out five days a week and you seem to be all right with it.
Stick with me, there’ll be basketball sometime. I hope.
Okay, this is officially ridiculous.
It’s like 7:30 a.m. and it’s already over 30 C and they are still talking about:
So what would be the very worst job you could have on a day like today?
Working as a dry cleaner?
How delightful would any of those be?
I was trying to remember the hottest I’ve ever been and while the summer I spent directing traffic in a huge, wide open parking lot at Marineland might be up there but, hands down, it was the ’92 Barcelona Olympics.
I seem to recall it was about 40 every day, unrelenting heat and sun.
And, of course, the units in the condos/apartments/hovels that housed us were not air conditioned and until you’ve spent time with a few hundred journalists from all over the world – and each with his or her own unique idea of personal hygiene – you haven’t truly experienced one of the circles of hell.
There was a mall right across from where we were staying and the anchor store was a Carrefour, as I recall, which is something akin to a European Walmart. You could get delicious Spanish ham on one aisle and tires an aisle over.
But you know what you couldn’t get?
Big, cooling, fans.
Guess they sold out to the locals, or the early arriving journalists and the idea of cooling down our rooms on our own dime went quickly by the board.
And we all spent three weeks dreaming of air conditioning.
A digression for the ages:
How very cool is this.
Today’s July 21, right?
And I see in the early light of day that the space shuttle has landed back on earth for the very last time, ending a 30-year program.
Well, it was another July 21 and …
Not sure the date symmetry was planned or not but it is neat, isn’t it?
Now, you may have to be, um, Of A Certain Age to fully appreciate that, given where things have come in the last 42 years but that was a moment some us will never forget.
I wasn’t what you’d call a true Space Geek back in those days but I do remember sitting clued to the TV to watch that, I did once do a science project detailing how the ships would “dock” in space and I still find it kind of fascinating.
Anyway, history lesson for the day is over.
Hey, there is real basketball going on as it turns it turns out.
It’s the Canadian junior women down in Chile at their world championships that begin today.
Canada’s in a group with China (who they play later this morning), Italy and Egypt and it’s the same deal as it was for the men, top three move on to the second round, three more games there and, perhaps, elimination quarter-finals.
I have to fully admit I don’t know an awful lot about this group of young women but I do know there’s a great, and perhaps greater, sense of optimism on where the women’s programs are going than there is for the men.
Yes, they swim in a somewhat shallower pool but if the end result is winning, who cares what the competition’s like. It is what it is, you play who’s in front of you and see where you stand.
We’ll try to catch up daily with this team – I can’t even figure out the time zones yet but I figure Chile has to be on Atlantic time at worse – and the tournament goes for about a week and half so there’s lots of time to get to know them.
For now, check out the Canada Basketball website if you like.
There. That make you feel any better if you’re around these parts?
Baseball for a second, since we have no NBA?
I wondered about Travis Snider the second day I saw him, which was in the Jays clubhouse at Fenway and he was sitting there reading a book.
A hard cover book. One without a lot of pictures.
And it turns out it’s part of the reason for his resurgence since coming back from the minors, or so he told us last night after the game.
The Way of Baseball, by ex-Jay Shawn Green.
“It put a lot of things in perspective. A lot of things I read there made some sense as a hitter, as a player. Understanding the mindset we go through whether it’s our ego or the thoughts that go through your head.”
Now, most clubhouses pre-game are the scene of raucous dominos games, some TV watching, a lot of typing on some kind of tablet or phone; there’s usually very little serious reading going on but if guys get wind of what Snider’s doing, maybe it’ll start a trend.
There may not be basketball, but there are basketball questions and if you’ve got one about the game or anything else (and I don’t mind the anything else stuff) drop it here ‘cause it’s time to click, write, send and get the weekend going.
Q: Simple question but probably can be much debated, does Yao Ming go to the HOF?
J W, Columbus
A: I’m sure there will be debate in some circles but there won’t be in the ones I travel in.
Five years from now, he has to be a slam dunk (pardon the atrocious pun) first-ballot selection.
Now, understand this first off: The basketball Hall of Fame is far more than just NBA, too much perhaps. It’s about the colleges, the international game, the coaches, the officials; the selection process is shrouded in too much secrecy – one committee decides who’s on the ballot, another decides who gets in and we don’t know the makeup of either of them – but I do know they take great delight in looking at big picture angles and no one over the last decade has done more for the game in the big picture than Yao.
For what he alone did to bring the game to the billions in China, for the true global icon he’s become, I say he has to go into the Hall.
Yes, his on-court career was ruined by injury but even then, the guy had sublime skills for a man of his size. He could shoot, pass, defend and run like few other 7-5 guys ever could, or will.
I’m a big Yao fan and I cannot see a reason he shouldn’t be honoured.
I was going to dump this in the IGBT last night during the seventh inning but I figure so few of you were there it would have had little impact.
This might be the coolest rendition of the song ever.