Have to admit, I’m starting to dig this beach volleyball gig.
(See what I did there?)
Great venue, fast and exciting game with other, um, ancillary benefits and the four Canucks competing are pretty cool dudes and dudettes.
Guy could get used to the job.
When I was talking to the fellas for yesterday’s yarn (here in case you somehow missed it and shame on you if you did) the ears kind of perked up when they talked about scouting.
I know it looks like athletes – great athletes, mind you – just playing games in the sun and on the sand, turns out there’s a lot of video breakdown and strategy sessions long before they get on the court.
“If you don’t stay up to date with technology you’re behind the 8-ball,” was how Josh Binstock put it. “When you start a match, you have to know their tendencies. Back when Mark (Heese) and John (Child) were playing (and winning a bronze for Canada back in 1996), they could feel it out and by the second or third game they’d know their deal. Now if you don’t come out of the gate knowing what people like to do, you’re behind the 8-ball.”
Like knowing what?
“What they do under pressure, what they do early, if they pass the ball into a certain place, where do they tend to hit it?”
The thing that changed it, and made it a far better game in my humble opinion as a longstanding member in good stead of the Canada Quadrennial Beach Volleyball Writers Association, was the move to have a point scored on every serve. No sideouts, put the ball in play and see who gets a point. It moves along rapidly, there’s something on the line every second and it makes it far better.
“It was hold on, side out, hold on, side out, then you make your move,” in the worlds of Martin Reader. “Here, by the time you decide to make a move, the game’s half over.
“You can’t coast through matches here, you have to come out foot on the gas pedal right away.”
So there is a bit more to the game than some may think.
Oh and did I mention it’s a great venue with a fast and exciting game with other, um, ancillary benefits?
How come no parents name their daughters Petula any more?
Couple of firsts yesterday.
Got on a single-decker bus.
Got call “guv’nor.”
Couple of questions:
Why do judokas wear jackets?
Why is a field hockey pitch blue?
In a way I suppose this is good because you’re not eating deep fried brown things at 1 o’clock in the morning but, really, I think Our Friends The Brits need to re-think this whole pub meal situation.
At least in the joints I’ve been in – and I can attest the tastiness of a sweet nectar called Lightfoot that we sampled in the Ship Tavern last night – kitchens close at like 8 or 9.
Seeing how we don’t tend to get anywhere until 9 or 10 and could use a wing or a hunk o’ fish or a pie or something like that, it’s quite problematic.
Good for you, sure; but since when would that matter to me.
Coolest thing I saw here yesterday?
If it wasn’t Yao Ming getting his picture taken while towering over two tiny volunteers in a car park adjoining the Main Press Centre, it was these cool guards down by the Horse Guard’s Parade.
We only stumbled upon them because a volunteer games us wrong directions to the beach volleyball media entrance with was the first minor hiccup of the Games; these people are more helpful than maybe at any Olympics I’ve been to.
And because we were right by 10 Downing and Buckingham Palace, the Churchill War Rooms and other pretty big spots, there were more soldiers than anywhere I’ve been.
And I did see for the very first time, heavily-armed army dudes – I mean like guys toting very imposing machine guns as heavily-armed – which has not been the norm.
Unlike Beijing or Athens or as far back as Barcelona (machine-gun toting dudes at the entrance to the media village there), these Games don’t seem to have that kind of overt presence.
Sure, there’s a missile silo here and there (although I haven’t seen one yet) and I know some of these guys are packing heat somewhere hidden but it’s not quite as in-your-face as it’s been in the past.
Guess that’s a good thing.
Okay, Irregulars from here, I need a Pub Down An Alley in the Trafalgar Square, Horse Guard’s Parade area. Seems my days might end there for a couple of nights and since I’m in the neighbourhood, may as well check out a local or two.
Thanks in advance.