Senior men wrapping up and a drive down memory lane
We’ve come to almost the end of a rather inglorious European tour for Canadian senior men’s team with games today and tomorrow in the Czech Republic.
Seeing how they’ve gone winless so far – two dropped in France, rather disheartening losses to minnows Bulgaria and Macedonia in Italy – not sure there’s a lot for optimism n these last two games. Teams not going so well have a tendency to want things over quickly, I imagine some of them will play with visions of airplanes in their heads, which is in some ways quite understandable.
But what’s it all mean?
Less than some of you think.
Yes, losing four in row, and to teams not considered basketball giants at all in Bulgaria and Macedonia, is not a good thing in any way, shape or form.
You want teams – even teams that will change significantly before a season starts for real – to learn to win rather than suffer unexpected losses.
But now the real work starts, or at least it starts after they take a week off following the Czech games.
As we’ve pointed out, this team in Europe is not the team that will play in Argentina with the Olympics in mind. Cory Joseph and Joel Anthony, who are going to play central roles in whatever transpires, weren’t in Europe; the trickle down effect of their absence meant guys who probably couldn’t handle the game had to play. They won’t when things are truly on the line.
This is not meant in any way to excuse what went on over there, two losses to France are entirely understandable, the other two are worrisome, but I’m willing to wait and see what they’ve got when they depart for the tournament rather than a month or so before it starts.
There are still a handful of games left, the ones against Belgium in Toronto and Hamilton in a couple of weeks and a tournament in Brazil immediately before the Olympic qualifier.
I think there’s one thing a few are losing sight of: The last time this team – and a lot of it is the same – had to win something of significance, they beat Dominican Republic to earn a berth in the world championships, getting back on the global stage for the first time in a while.
We said then that it was a good step, a baby step, back to international relevance. That journey is not going to be easy and it is going to be long but they are indeed on it.
And as we’ve seen, it’s going to be bumpy. But bumpy rides are sometimes fun if they end smoothly.
Q: Hi Doug. It thrills me whenever I see a correct usage of a semi-colon, such as your sentence below from today's post:
"In the basketball, we stand around at lockers and wait for guys; in the baseball, they bring whoever we need to a central location."
You seem like a guy who appreciates good writing, so are there any particular problems in bad writing, perhaps from readers who write to ask you questions, that annoy you more than others?
Daniel M, Calgary
A: Now, I are not as smrt as the average bare, fore suur.
But when it comes to matter of English language, I do appreciate correct usage and there are moments when I fear for the future of written communication.
It’s not one thing, though. It’s spelling, it’s “there” “their” and “they’re” and “to” and “too” and don’t even get me started on “than” and “then.”
I will fully admit to having too many typographical errors here (and it truly is mainly because of wrong keys hit rather than not knowing the correct spelling) but that the basic tenets of grammar and punctuation, stuff we used to learn in grade school, are so forgotten it saddens me sometimes.
Than I right sumpin stoopid and I is feeling better about other peeples.
I Am A Dope, V. 2.0 (or, actually, about V. 2,000,000)
So after the radio gig Monday, I head to Niagara to tend to matters, rise about 6 a.m. Tuesday to entertain you, deal with Super Grandpa at breakfast and plan relaxing Starbucks post-breakfast time puttering away on work before dealing with Super Grandpa at lunch and heading back to work out Mighty Rockies ‘til they drop.
Check on the 6 a.m.
Check on breakfast.
Check on blog done while operating off battery power at table.
Putting computer back in bag and about to head for coffee and, oops, no power cord.
Frantic call home and, yep, it’s still on the desk.
Race from Niagara to Hazeville at 9, turn around at 10:15, back for lunch at noon, back to Hazelville for Rockies, back to Niagara.
Yes, I am more familiar with that stretch of the QEW than maybe anyone in history.
And how was your day?
Man, I’m pretty glad the United States is solvent since I’m going to be there tomorrow.
Hope they didn’t close the libraries to keep the country afloat.
Speaking of the QEW to Niagara (a six-lane highway to those unfamiliar) does anyone remember these?
Used to be one at Stoney Creek, one at Hwy. 10 and QEW and, if memory serves, one at the Hwy. 427 and QEW.
I’d love – LOVE – to see ‘em back just so I could go sit by them and watch the carnage.
And aren’t roundabouts something that top the list of vehicular things Europeans do better than us?
Okay, one more on traffic and, really, I’m done.
Someone has to explain to me how the first car in a regular, run-of-the-mill volume-created traffic jam come to a complete stop?
Seriously. Shouldn’t traffic flow like water? Sure, it might be trickle sometimes but to come to a dead stop?
I don’t get it.