When Formula One racer Michael Schumacher broke his crown on a French ski slope last week, Meribel resort spokesmen went into damage control mode by declaring the speed champion was skiing “off-piste”. That’s Anglo-French for off-the-trail or out-of-bounds. Initial reports mentioned the specific slope on which Schumacher crashed, but subsequent press releases amended the account to reassure tourists that this downhill interruptus occurred outside of the permitted area. Isn’t that always the official line of resort operators and their insurers –ski accidents result when patrons stray where they’re not allowed? This theme puzzles regular skiers who know the back country is usually thoroughly demarcated and sealed. It was no surprise then when a bystander video emerged which showed Schumacher’s accident happening exactly where originally stated, on the Grand Couloir (trans: Big Corridor) between Mauduit and La Biche. Thus we discover the disingenuous definition of “off-piste”. It means the piste’s edge! Be it trees, rocks or cliff, it’s the most probable thing with which a skier can collide: the border of a groomed slope. Saying Schumacher crashed off-piste is like saying his Ferrarir didn’t crash at a racetrack, but rather against the track’s wall; or like saying a person didn’t fall from a building but rather died on the sidewalk. Now we know how so many ski accident victims got past barriers, substantial enough to deter most reckless impulses: They didn’t, they crashed into them.
TV NATION- Can Americans no longer embarrass themselves? This year’s pregame holiday extended to Super Bowl Eve with an un-ironic commemoration ceremony, an all-star gala tribute to football, acclaiming it a venerated touchstone of the American character, the public mob like drunken monks feasting the humanitarian contributions of the Spanish Inquisition. Football celebrates America’s cultural blood lust, a surrogate for our preemptive senseless war making, whose shared cartoon violence is expunged of its real antisocial inhumanity. Probably owing to this season’s pre pregame homophobia scandal, where collegiate casualty Manti Teo showed signs of early onset Mohammed Ali’s disease, fans learned about the concealed football side effect of compounded concussions, akin to IED survivors’ collateral brain damage. Next we’ll probably hear that footballers’ home lives spread PTSD. As football injuries become more difficult to hide from battle-weary audiences, fans will be calling for more Kevlar and then of course commensurate armor piercing anti-Kevlar. I already think football offensive lines look spectacularly under equipped without drones. Or would that position be pretended to play defense?
You may have had a front row seat along Colorado Avenue to witness the USA Pro Cycling Challenge time trial, but did you expect each rider to be overwhelmed by motorized vehicles, or that you’d spend the entire day, especially the pre-show, eating CSPD’s exhaust?
–And to really mix my malaprops, she sings for them that bought her. If there was one variable which got away from the underdogs of Egypt’s Jan25 Revolution, it was who would referee the endgame. While Hosni Mubarak’s stunning defiance Thursday night looked like a Hail Mary pass hoping to provoke the protesters to mayhem, as a defensive strategy he was moving the goalposts. Anticipating a capitulation, the Tahrir Square demonstrators made clear it was the entire regime which needed ousting, no Suleiman, no Emergency Law, an inviolate list of demands. Mubarak’s insulting buffoonery focused the great beast’s wrath like a rodeo clown. When the announcement came he was stepping down, who could not help but raise a cheer, drowning out the earlier precautions. Mubarak played Egypt like a fiddle, as he burned it, while the fat lady of state media called the game over.
…and I’ll show you a house that’s not clean
But let’s skip to the main issue… Non-pet animals being used as mascots. Now, I had seen on the commercials last year that the CSU football team uses a live Bison as a mascot. Admittedly it’s a younger calf, and held by two sturdy ropes attached to two sturdy cowboy-looking types. But seriously, have any thoughts been given to what kind of liability would be incurred if that small(er) TeTonka were to bust loose and, as wild beasts typically do when faced with huge numbers of screaming humans, panic? Jump into the stands maybe. Maybe turn on her suddenly Former handlers or the football team that’s chasing behind her onto the field…
I don’t spend a great deal of time studying buffalo, just that their real name is bison or in Lakota “Tonka” and maybe one of our Sioux friends can correct me and I’ll cheerfully accept, I think the “te” part refers to the male. I did learn from observing them day after endlessly BORING day that they on most occasions don’t do a damn thing but eat, shit and move on, repeat as necessary. They’re even worse than watching cattle. Watching Grass Grow. I went to Job Corps way back in the 70s. Was at a J.C. Civilian Conservation Center called Treasure Lake. The center wasn’t within a day’s walking distance of the lake. I was there 6 months and never saw the lake.
World Cup Football champions España hopped up and down like school- boys in elation about their victory. More culture shock for NFL or MLB fans: FIFA goals were celebrated with the airplane, the “can you believe that?”, the pileup, the pyramid, the group dance, and team USA’s “America Fuck Yeah!”
Team Argentina unfurled a banner before Saturday’s match against Germany, against FIFA regulations, but it wasn’t the one above which calls attention to the organization of grandmothers trying to lift the veil on Argentina’s Disappeared, some of whose murderers still occupy high office. This picture was taken during an earlier practice session. Instead, before today’s game, the Spanish-speaking Argentines were joined by their German-speaking adversaries to hold a sign in English: “SAY NO TO RACISM.” It reached American and British viewers, but could the message have been more innocuous?
Gearing up for Saturday’s World Cup match between the USA and Ghana, media talking heads are already preparing US viewers for the home field advantage that will favor the remaining African team in contention. Convenient actually, because by chance our A-Team is booed in any arena it sets its invader’s foot. The now maligned South African horns have so far masked a third world animosity that might put most Americans over the edge. The nerve of those ingrates, to boo, hiss and whistle the emperor’s freedomTM fighters?
The US pretends the International Criminal Court doesn’t have jurisdiction over its war crimes, and thinks the same immunity should shield us from FIFA referees I guess.
The USA-Algeria match today was hard fought, admittedly team USA displayed an offensive edge. Rooting for Team Weasel Empire doesn’t automatically make you a Nazi, but I’ll be curious to hear firsthand accounts of the hostility our compatriots faced in the stands. The silver lining to a US victory is that eventually our sportscasters will have to apologize to American TV viewers about the constant booing whenever USA gets the ball.
American World Cup viewers tuning in to watch their team face England on Saturday might be excused confusion about their adversary’s flag. Instead of the British Union Jack, English fans waved a red and white standard usually only glimpsed in movies where knights fight dragons, crusades, or Braveheart.
That’s the red cross of Saint George, dragon-slayer, minus the diagonal white-on-blue X of Scotland’s Saint Andrew and the red X of Ireland’s Saint Patrick. Where British dominion is concerned, natural resources and labor are commonwealth, assertion of athletic dominance is forever England.
I know a someone who’s studying Greek mythology. He isn’t very impressed and told me so, probably baiting me. He fixed me in the eye and said “Put it this way, I’m not going to care about it in college.” It was all I could muster to reply “Maybe.” I feigned not being sure myself, which was puzzling, telling him that he would find that Greek Gods had an odd habit of popping up in almost every academic discipline, especially Western literature, as if that would have mattered to him. Then I made a bet that the names of gods had come up in his favorite reads, Calvin and Hobbes and the Far Side. Nope he said. He wouldn’t have noticed, his mother chimed in, if he didn’t know them.
When 16-year-old Jessica Watson arrives in Sidney tomorrow, she will be the youngest person to sail around the globe alone. The precocious Aussie will be denied an official record however, for the same reason the Olympics enforce a minimum age for gymnasts, protecting suggestible minors from overzealous parents ostensibly. The snubbing might seem an unenforceable formality, but it turns out Jessica comes up short on another technicality, the same principle which holds that girth is measured at the waist.
Does it matter really in transnational games between warmonger countries? Nearly all Winter Olympic participants are NATO occupiers of Afghanistan. Though Norway was among several who condemned the Iraq invasion, its oil company is complicit in exploiting Iraq’s oil.
What does it say across the front of the Finnish hockey jersey “SUOMI?” Is that an acronym or an internet initialism? While it could be enthusiasm for Olympic mascot Sumi, Suomi is Finnish/Saami for what they call their country. Apparently the Finns didn’t get the memo about bringing Olympic text into uniform English-compliance.
Mark Sanford, Governor of South Carolina… Used government money to finance Argentine Tryst. A full Seven Hours every day for a month analyzing the story and berating him…. woops didn’t happen… Sorry.
Local news on TV gets a scant few minutes of coverage, where the story of the day vies with weather to edge out everything else that isn’t fluff. In national news, interviewees can seldom get an answer in edgewise before they’re rushed off for the commercial break. “That’s all the time we have” ends every news story, yet the day’s sports story is paraded before sport desk after sport center. I used to envy the attention Americans gave to sports, until I saw the scrutiny was illusory. For example, Johnny Damon’s double stolen base in game four of the World Series.
Tennis Grand Slam tournaments are for fans of Lexus, Chase, Netjets and JP Morgan, apparently. JP Morgan executive Mary Callahan Erdoes was even on hand during a commercial break to “thank the fans.”
But at today’s US Open, Roger Federer showed that Heineken drinkers aren’t above circus hijinks. Federer scored the second to last point of the men’s semifinal round with a swing between the legs. Note he is looking at neither the ball, nor the court, making not just a save, but placing a return beyond the reach his opponent. Physical intuition.
In the second game of the final match of the 2009 Roland Garros, a spectator leapt unto center court where he tried to drape Roger Federer in a flag. Television didn’t want to dignify the antic with explicatory coverage, as if the interruption was another Basque ETA outburst. It turns out the red and blue standard wielded by the nimble interloper represented Football Club Barcelona. Streaking is dead, no place for a logo.
To watch the replay of Calvin Borel’s ride at Churchill Downs is more captivating than it was live. Even anticipating the 50 to 1 upset, Mine That Bird‘s final stretch weave from last place to first looks like an athletic feat for Maradona.
Ryan dons the rest of his gear in the car. Pads, armor, helmet, even mouth guard. I adjust the rearview mirror downward until I see his small frame in the backseat. We’re only halfway to practice and he’s already biting down, breathing through his nose, focused straight ahead. It’s the same routine for football, except today he’s got a lacrosse stick across his knees. In his grip, I should say. When we pull the car to the edge of the parking lot, he jumps and literally hits the ground running. From my height he gives me the sense I’m a helicopter pilot who’s dropped soldier reinforcements to join the team on the pitch. There’s a steep hillock between Ryan and the field, but his charge never slows, he ascends like a Cavalry of One, his stick brandished like an assault rifle.
A-Rod held a press conference to explain his now admitted steroid use, a mistake he blamed on his youth, when he was 24-26. While the “Boli” which Rodriguez got through his cousin, over the counter in the Dominican Republic, remains a mystery. Rodriguez claimed he did not know it was a steroid. Asked why he kept the twice-a-month for-three-years injections a secret, he admitted he knew “We weren’t taking Tic Tacs.” The comparison might be a dismissive reference to the innocuous breath mint, but it implies a small pill taken orally, doesn’t it? For your breath. Can you inject a Tic Tac? Maybe it’s time to ask: what in professional sports circles is a “Tic Tac” injection?
I used to avert my imagination on the subject of Sumo Wrestling. Probably I still do, visualization wise. But the bigger than grotesque spectacle has suddenly fascinated me, as a historic predecessor of the wide world of sport of our future.
(We should be able to express it here without causing offense–) Thank God Kurt Warner lost the Super Bowl, or we’d not be hearing the end of Warner’s praises to his god for the victory. Odd-makers since before the statistics were kept have recorded that God has proved powerless against flood, famine, and every permutation of human misery. Now we can add the Pittsburgh Steelers to the formidable list.
COLO. SPRINGS- You won’t find Youth Football scheduled on Sundays. Are they concerned about conflicting with Sunday church service or with the NFL?