Okay, can we please get the competition fully underway?
I don’t know, I’m sure I’m in a minority but I’m only going with “good” for the big TV show here Friday night.
Not ready to bestow “great” on it.
Sure, it was cool with the smokestacks, the flying rings, Bond, the whole sheep-in-the-meadow-thing and, of course, Our Gal Her Majesty Liz.
Nice touches, all. And there were others, for sure.
But if one of the enduring images many will have is of Mr. Bean goofing with the symphony, well … I don’t know.
The first part was very cool, although they kind of raced through the music a little bit and the ending was okay.
Not sure about the flame-lighting thing, though. I think that’s a one-person job, someone who epitomizes the host country and the Olympics, I get that it’s all about passing the torch and next generation and all that jazz, I think that might be better served in the closing ceremonies than the opening.
I don’t know if it should have been Roger Bannister but he would have been my choice. Shockingly, though, they didn’t ask me.
One thing they really have to do, and I have no clue what the answer is, is to find a way to shorten or speed up or something the parade of athletes.
It’s simply too big, and takes too long. I understand entirely the joy every last one of them must feel when they step in the stadium to be welcomed by the fans, the fellow competitors, the world. It is, for many, the best moment of their lives and it has to be a thrill of unimaginable proportions.
But it’s bad TV, I cannot imagine it’s all that much fun for the athletes after the initial wave of euphoria and while I wasn’t in the stadium I’m sure it must have dragged on.
Luckily for the athletes who have to compete today or tomorrow, there was a way to sneak out after walking in; they could make a turn and exit rather that stand or sit around for the rest of the night.
Bet a lot did.
Anyway, it was good, not great. Just good.
You want to come away awed or something when you watch these things open. The archer in Barcelona, Ali in Atlanta (and that was a sad sight, him there Friday), the spectacular expense of Beijing.
Today? Not awed.
Ok, I owe Irregulars who gave me Lamb’s Conduit a great big thank you.
Perseverance is a fine establishment (Wainwright’s going on the list of favourite amber liquids, I’d say), we did wander down to The Lamb to check it and, all in all, it was a fine night.
Shefali and Kemi were entertaining in the “hey, we made new friends” thing that happens around things like this and how could you not like a joint that welcomes you with this sign on the outside wall:
Hey, the Raptors did stuff.
Not at all newsy, of course. They signed John Lucas III and re-signed Aaron Gray but I have to think we’re pretty much done now until at least September.
Lucas fills a role as an emergency guard and is an upgrade on Ben Uzoh, as a fifth big Gray’s a solid returnee; neither will shift the balance of power in the league but they’re the kind of deep rotation guys you need over the course of a long season.
Figure Bryan’s pretty much out of money, roster spots and moves because there’s nothing going on with Calderon and nor should there be right now.
Time to let things sit, I think, and see what they’ve got when camp begins.
And I think, on the whole, it’s been a pretty good summer. Not great, not horrible, just good.
Lowry, Fields, Ross, Valanciunas and Acy, right?
Who’d they supplant?
Well, Uzoh, James Johnson, Jerryd Bayless, Jamaal Magloire and Solo.
I’d say the new guys, overall, are better than they departed guys and that’s what you want, the evolution of a roster.
I have no clue – no one does – on how it’ll all work once they start doing things but there is more talent on this team than there was on the one that started last season.
Hey, members of the world’s press corps, listen up:
PERSONAL SPACE IS IMPORTANT AND AN ISSUE YOU MIGHT WANT TO THINK ABOUT WHEN YOU’RE IN MY FACE ON EVERY BUS AND IN EVERY QUEUE.
Oh, one more thing.
IT’S BEEN HOT, BUY DEORDORANT.
I have the vaunted basketball-beach volleyball doubleheader today.
Women vs. Russia in the hoops, men vs. the Brits on the dirt and since Prince Harry seems to be the patron of the host beach volleyball team (that’s a pretty bright Prince, I’d say) I may get my first dose of royalty this afternoon.
Maybe he’ll stop and say hello.
And maybe he’ll bring his sister-in-law. That’d be cool.
Yeah, this works.
I’m sitting in the Main Press Centre right now, a cavernous joint that’s the media hub at Olympic Park (each venue has its own press centre but this is the one with all the amenities) and I’m glancing at the many TVs.
There’s table tennis on one, beach volleyball on another, one’s got nothing but a static shot of the swimming pool, another’s got some rowing.
Yep, the Games are on.
No, sorry, didn’t get to much of the mail so the usual fare will have to wait a bit. When I get some down time we’ll get to it, until then you’re welcome to try and say hello.