Defeated USA Hockey Team Could Have Been More Sportsmanlike

Yes, it was a long hard-fought hockey game on Sunday afternoon between Team USA and Team Canada at the 2010 Winter Olympics.  Yes, it went into overtime.  Yes, Team Canada prevailed.  But then the most uninspiring moment of the entire Olympics took place shortly afterwards at the awards ceremony.

Team USA, while winning the silver, put on the most dour and somber faces for the world.  They acted not as if they had made it to the Olympics and defeated a number of teams to get to the final match-up.  They acted not as it they had just played a fantastic game, but instead looked like they had been told they were going to the front line in a war zone. 

Come on!

Every other athlete who won the silver or bronze over the past two weeks has been graceful and full of pride in their achievement and honor of being at the Olympics.  But when the silver medals were placed around the necks of Team USA there was no glory.  A bunch of grumpy faces that were spent by a game.  I get the point they were tired.  But sadly the glum look was not due to fatigue, but more due to not winning.  That color does not look good on anyone. 

That was not the face the United States should have sent to the watching world.  It was clearly not the face of sportsmanship.  Thankfully the rest of the athletes over the course of the games have put on their best faces for the world to see.

Winter Olympics Average 14 Condoms Per Person

And we thought Haiti and Chile needed the worlds attention.  There is a shortage of condoms in the Olympic Village!  It only makes sense to insure the health of everyone by providing the condoms.   But why not just plan ahead and have enough on hand from the start of the games?

Apparently the slopes and the rinks aren’t the only places rockin’ during the Winter Games in Vancouver.

Canada’s National Post is reporting there’s an apparent condom shortage and thousands had to be shipped in.

The National Post reports that emergency condoms were delivered after health officials already provided 100,000 free condoms to the roughly 7,000 athletes and officials at the games.

They figure that’s about 14 condoms per person, but Wednesday officials realized supplies had begun to run low.

Free condoms first started to be distributed at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, Spain.

My Idea For New Winter Olympic Sport

Might I be the new Shaun White  for middle-aged America?

After two weeks of Olympic fever it dawned on me today the  Olympics are ready for something more daring and brawny than what we have witnessed from Vancouver.

For many years while living in Madison I have shopped at Cub Foods, my favorite grocery on the west side of Madison.   I always park far away from others so not to get a ‘door job’.  As such when returning after shopping I have a great long and perfectly sloped paved lot to sail on as I ride while standing on the back of the cart.  Over the years I have learned (the hard way) that the cart must be weighted just right in front to get the best speed and control for the long haul to the car.  Standing on the back of the cart and crouching down with just  a bit of a run can get me almost always to where I am parked.

So…….now listen……..

Riding a shopping cart down a luge type run will show the skill and dexterity of an athlete.  There can be single and double competition.  For the double event the guy inside the cart can resemble one of those 230 pound types that barrel down the hill in a bobsled.  There will be marks for one-handed driving, and the best banking and swerving.

Today, as I stood on the back of my cart and rode “for the gold”  on the way to my car carrying 24 bottles of water, James walked behind and heard the comment from a young mother who admitted doing the same.  She hastily added the run was always made with a child in the cart ‘for cover’ so no one would notice and think it strange.

Obviously she is not serious about placing for a medal.

Only thing left to decide is what color the tassel should be on my cart.

Sunday Echoes: “ABC Wide World of Sports”

Over the past two weeks much of America has been mesmerized by the 2010 Winter Olympics.  I count myself in that group.  There has not been a night these past many days when during the epic opening scenes of NBC’s nightly coverage I did not think about another opening sequence to another sports program.    As a teenager I often watched on the weekends as Jim McKay, a most remarkable and well respect broadcaster, brought amazing sports to the nation with ABC’s “Wide World Of Sports”.    I loved the array of diversity McKay featured such as cliff diving into the ocean or Evel Knievel jumping umpteen busses.  It was just pure fun.

From 1974….

From 1977…

Ariel Sharon Lingers Like Francisco Franco (Minus The SNL Laughs)

The Middle East is a region of the world that has long fascinated me.  A day does not go by without news and intrigue from this most combustible and historically compelling region.  One of the blogs I love to read concerning the Middle East, Brian’s Coffeehouse, is written by Brain Ulrich, an Assistant Professor in History at Shippensburg University.  His two major research areas are the Middle East from the 7th through 10th centuries and the Persian Gulf from ancient times to the present.  As such he is a winner of a blogger, and based on his content I am sure a most impressive lecturer.

Today he had a topic that I had not thought about for some time. 

Ariel Sharon is still alive.  From the link he provided comes this information.  One has to wonder if this is atonement for the atrocities in the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps, of which Ariel Sharon was front and center in creating.

Four years after a massive stroke that has since rendered him unconscious, former Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon now breathes unassisted.

He lies motionless in a two-bed private room at the 18-bed Sheba Medical Centre, a long-term-care facility near Tel Aviv that specialises in the rehabilitation of comatose patients.

A team of nurses keeps moving his body to prevent the onslaught of pressure sores, while an extra nurse is on duty 24 hours a day specifically tasked with monitoring him.

Fed daily through a tube, Mr Sharon, now 81, was once famous for his substantial girth but now weighs around 50 kilograms. Every day he is visited by at least one of his two sons, Omri and Gilad, and at night he is fitted with an oxygen mask, more as a precaution than from necessity.

Overall, caring for Mr Sharon costs Israeli taxpayers about $A400,000 a year.

On odd occasions his eyelids will suddenly open, and can stay open for several hours – one of the more encouraging signs that keep those close to him hopeful that he might one day recover.

But according to doctors familiar with Mr Sharon’s condition, he has zero chance of recovery.

”His brain is about the size of a grapefruit,” says a hospital manager who has had ongoing involvement with Mr Sharon’s care, and who declined to be named.

The Clarks: An American Story Of Wealth, Scandal, Mystery

History buffs dare not leave before reading.

Hat Tip to Taegan Goddard’s Political Wire.  

My readers will enjoy this true story of a U.S. Senator who fathered a child with a woman in Paris 39 years younger, but waited until the child was 2 years old before telling anyone. When he is finally forced to resign, the governor is tricked into leaving the state, so the lieutenant governor can appoint the disgraced senator to fill his own vacancy.

It’s all true, but it happened more than 100 years ago.

The story is presented in a fast paced power-point type of presentation that will delight you. 

We begin…..

…….on Fifth Avenue in New York, 1922, in the Easter Parade. Huguette Clark, 15, walks with her father, William A. Clark, senator and copper king. He was the second richest American — or first, neck and neck with Rockefeller. Huguette, now 103, has no heirs. Where is she?

2010 Winter Olympic Political Cartoons

Humor in eveything makes for a pleasant way through life.


Inner Workings Of Governor Paterson Fascinating

I recall as a teenager reading with much interest about the personal lives of Presidents, and then trying to make sense of their public personas.   How did the real man match the public one?  President Nixon is a mystery that will never be unraveled though many have fun making the attempt, and President Lincoln is just awe-inspiring.  As an adult my somewhat geeky interest has become broader as I find those public servants who wield executive power, be they President or Governor, and then make news-worthy blunders often have a strange personality quirk.  The latest such story, though by no means the first one about  New York Govenor Paterson, is a classic example of what I mean.

In 21 years in the State Senate, all during a time of Republican domination of that body, Mr. Paterson rarely was described as punctilious or a legislative craftsman. Friends offered that a life spent in the political minority perhaps gave him permission not to take himself too seriously. But he had a disarming sense of humor, and could talk about his profession with an almost out-of-body sense of clarity.

As governor, Mr. Paterson found himself sitting for the first time in the executive chair, wielding real power, but the crown did not rest easy. He proved a confounding political leader, those who worked with him said. He could be inattentive to others, yet acutely sensitive to slights; he could speak eloquently of Albany’s dysfunctions even as he dipped his hands in these same waters. And he picked fights with Democratic and labor chieftains even as he spoke plaintively of his desire to be liked. (“I’m a human being. I’m sensitive,” he told The New York Times in August 2008. “My feelings can be hurt.”)

His political friends watched, wondered and sometimes cringed. His contradictions did not cohere.

“He’s at the worst moment in his career and he’s totally alone,” said State Senator Diane J. Savino, a Staten Island Democrat who was recruited to run by Mr. Paterson. “Instead of asking for advice and counsel, he’s turned to an inner circle that’s gotten smaller and smaller.”

State Senator Eric Adams of Brooklyn said he repeatedly urged the governor to impose order on his staff and assert himself as the state’s most powerful political executive. “No one enjoys seeing him go down this road,” he said, “but his problems are almost self-mutilating.”

Mr. Paterson’s strengths and weaknesses long have been in taut balance.

His tenure as minority leader of the State Senate was notably chaotic, a fact obscured by the Democrats’ success in winning Senate seats during that time. An internal report commissioned by Mr. Paterson himself found that staff workers often had little idea where their boss was, and that he shied from imposing his authority, ruling instead by an ill-defined consensus. “He thrived when staff were fighting, as it took the spotlight off him,” said a former senior aide, who did not want to be identified to protect clients.