A year and a day, what's on your mind?
All right, there’s not a lot going on now – these are absolutely the dog days of the sports calendar – so …
Not sure how I didn’t do this yesterday but we’ll catch up now and I’m quite interested in any reaction you might have.
You know how every time we’re at an Olympics there’s a bit a lament that the gifted athletes we’re chronicling will be sadly anonymous pretty much as soon as they put a lit on the fire?
Well, it was a year ago yesterday that they doused the flame in London and I’m wondering what kind – if any – memories might be out there among Irregulars.
We talk all time about being so proud of the women and men who represent our country and there’s no doubt we pay rapt attention for those three weeks.
But what about the last 366 days?
Have you kept up or cared about any of them? I know it’s hard sometimes to search out what they’re doing and that’s our fault more than anything; we don’t write about them or talk about them nearly enough in the post-Olympic period.
Sure, we’ll start to ramp up coverage maybe a year out from Rio but this year, and next year, we can be sadly lacking in our reporting on Olympic athletes. We love the Games – at least I do – because they allow us to branch out a bit, to tell new stories about new people and it’s as eye-opening exercise that I look forward to every four years.
So what do you remember? Anything? And how hard was it to think back and recall those special moments – good or bad – that were so prominent when the Games were on?
Me, I’ve got these five, in no particular order:
My Favourite Trampolinist
Now, I had no real idea what I was seeing and it was over in a flash but getting to be there for Rosie MacLennan’s lone Canada gold was cool.
The bronze goal
I don’t know that I’ve ever seen such joy on a sports team than I did after the women’s soccer team won the bronze medal on Diana Matheson’s added time goal. After all they’d been through, it was special.
An emotional morning
Marnie McBean brought me to tears. And to see so many friends in one room paying tribute to our great friend Randy Starkman was an indelible memory. You only shared it through our words but I think you know what I mean.
A long, fun day
Yes, the gold medal basketball game was a classic and one I’ll never forget. The quarter-final day and the Basketball Diaries will always be one of the more fun things in my career. Can’t wait to reprise it in Rio.
There are, of course, disappointments, athletes who are unable to summon the brilliance they need on the one day they need it most and who are at times devastated.
I don’t know how many times over the years that I’ve seen someone not fulfill promise or potential and I cannot remember one not stopping to talk about it, to vent, to sometimes cry and all too often to apologize.
It’s needless and it’s not necessary at any level but the passion they have, for little more than personal glory because there are not untold riches and life-long fame attached to many of their events, is stunning.
It serves as a reminder every time that we have athletes representing our country because they want to push themselves to the limits and they want Canada proud of them.
Not sure we say this enough:
We are. Always.
And, of course …
What’s it say about me that I have never seen an episode of Breaking Bad and I still can’t get Super Son to explain Shark Week well enough that I totally understand what I missed?
On a total Olympic aside, if this is the day after the Games ended, it is also the anniversary of one of the great pub days ever.
The First Lady of the Beat, Not Grace and I nearly started an international incident (remember us insulting the Finnish dude who looked like Santa Claus) but we also had one of the more relaxing days of all time.
And it included dinner with The Mighty Quinn, a spot sighting of Berman Of The Post on a street corner and ended with a session at the Ship Tavern.
An Irregular points out that today is Alfred Hitchcock’s birthday and we all know what that means, right?
Best. Movie. Ever?
Now, I fully admit to not being the biggest of Hitchcock fans, some of his stuff was just too much. If I had to come up with a Top Three – and there are a lot to choose from – I’d probably go with:
North By Northwest
Dial M For Murder
I know, those are pretty cliché but it’s what I’ve got.
What’d I miss?
It’s vacation time over there; late August and early September are always the time NBA teams decompress and go into seclusion and, frankly, I like it a lot.
Lets them catch their breath, lets guys like me slow down a bit to sit in booths and while away an hour or two when I’d usually be at practice and it’s a welcome break.
But if you’re absolutely dying for news, am told we’ll get the exhibition schedule sometime this week – it’s eight games, four here and four in other NBA cities, I’m hearing – and it’s the last piece of summer business to be taken care of.