A tank job with serious consequences
So, badminton has tanking! Cool. Wonder who they want to draft?
Oh, right. Never mind.
Anyway, sure you heard about the scandal and the badmintoners (don’t think shuttlecockers works) were tossed out of the game for playing as well as you and I do with the nieces and nephews at the backyard barbecue in between burgers and sips.
It’s a tough one, isn’t it?
The reason everyone’s here is to win medals and if you have to lose to have a better shot at winning, well, isn’t that what the folks back home want?
But you know me and tanking.
I’m all about respecting the game and doing your level best every time you step on the court, field or pitch. It’s at the heart of competition, it’s why they keep score, it’s what you have to do.
Throwing games – and watching two teams try and lose was kind of like the Raptors-Nets last game of the season except for the Ben Uzoh triple-double – is just wrong.
Sorry, Not Grace Kelly. You make a good and valid point here but in the sober light of day, I think any self-respecting athlete needs to give his or her all every time they play whatever they play.
If you want to be the best you have to beat the best and whether that’s in an early playoff-round game or a first-round game or a game for a medal it doesn’t matter.
You’re here to win gold, silver or bronze, yes. It’s why countries go to some expense to send athletes, they want to be able to say we have more medals than the next country or even Quebec. But somehow the pursuit is cheapened by intentional losses or manipulating the standings table and it really does take away from the accomplishment.
I guess the answer is not to have round-robin play, or early pools, or whatever, in some sport. I know there have been basketball teams at various world championships or Olympics that have taken a loss so they could avoid someone in a crossover round and that’s wrong, too. I’m not sure having direct elimination in every sport right from the start can be done but it would indeed clean up some of the mess.
I know I’m being a bit Pollyanna-ish here but it’s part of my charm. I want true competition and best efforts every time I watch something, I want the athletes to respect the game, the opponent, themselves by trying to win every time out.
The organizers got it right when they tossed the offending athletes out of the game, they broke the spirit of the rules and the rules themselves.
Okay, that’s about all we’re going to do on badminton.
Another night, another alley (or at least a tiny street off a bigger street), and an evening that verged on epic ensued.
The Tall Expat and the Somewhat Less Tall Partner In Crime hooked us up with The Coach and Horses, an apparently well-known established hard by Leicester Square that was home to some legendary old school writers and is quite a homey joint.
Check it out here, seems like the kind of place, I’d enjoy, no?
And, no, I don’t remember the last time I sang such ditties as Delilah (a group of Tom Joneses we’re not), a few Monkeys tunes and a Beatles song or two while sipping a local nectar.
Oh, and TE and SLTPIC playing the tambourines and dancing was just a nice touch. Really.
Didn’t get the name of the duo playing the piano and doing the warbling so I’ll just call ‘em Two Guys In Funny Hats.
You know what’s not an issue here that everyone was worried about?
Been here 10 days now and have not seen one traffic jam that’d I’d even consider remotely bad. Even with dedicated Olympic lanes on many roads cutting down the available space to drive for the locals there’s been no gridlock, no discernible delays, nothing.
And I haven’t heard any locals complain, either.
Because I’m generally at them every fourth summer what television network broadcasts the Olympics really doesn’t matter to me a whole lot.
But if Brian Williams isn’t the prime time host, Canadians are getting ripped off and I hope the overlords at the CBC realize that now that they’ve got the next two shows.
I have no idea if Brian wants to go back or will go back or even wants to keep doing this gig but there is no broadcaster in North America who is as good or as knowledgeable or as willing to ask tough questions or make critical comments than our guy Brian.
He is to the Olympics on TV what Randy was to the Olympics in print.
Guess I was in the Soho district here last night and that was after walking through Chinatown and I think someone said we were near Little Italy so …
(You knew we’d get the Pogues in here one day, didn’t you?)
One thing I’d wish I’d seen?
Brent Hayden winning the medal last night.
As I mentioned the day before, he was totally emotional just about making the final and to think he got there and came away with a bronze is wonderful story.
Rosie wrote it great, as she always does, and it’s truly an outstanding story for a guy who has been through the Olympic ringer.
When I’m talking about Pubs In Alleys, this is the kind of place I’m referring to.
All right, once more into the beach today, I guess; and then some track and field (or athletics as it’s known over here) and who knows what else might pop up on what’s looking like quite an uneventful day at the moment.