photo credit: tomsflickrfotos2
The Greeks started the Olympic flame business, but the people to start running this stupid candle around the world were the Nazi’s before the 1936 Summer Olympics in Germany. That’s right, the idea to have a relay around the world with the terminus being Berlin were the Nazi’s.
A enlightening article by the BBC succinctly gives us the history:
The organiser of the 1936 Olympics, Carl Diem, wanted an event linking the modern Olympics to the ancient.
The idea chimed perfectly with the Nazi belief that classical Greece was an Aryan forerunner of the modern German Reich.
And the event blended perfectly the perversion of history with publicity for contemporary German power.
The Nazi’s ran this torch through countries it would later invade.
So, why do you think China is going to run the 2008 Olympic torch through Tibet?
photo credit: clearbrian
Update: This just came to my attention. See those guys dressed in the friendly looking powder blue track suits, sort of looking like United Nations peace keepers? Well, they’re from the Chinese secret police, which Great Brittan, France, and the United States have allowed in their countries to protect the Olympic candle. Japan said “no, thanks,” we’ll take care of it ourselves.
Watching this ad directed by Steve Nash, professional basketball player and a pretty good soccer player (he grew up playing soccer), it made me wonder whether there has been any other person who’s had a ball either in their hand or on their foot more than Steve Nash? Think about it: the guy is always playing basketball and soccer; that’s a lot of time with a ball in his grasp.
I just wrote a post about the best Red Sox blogs, so this is kind of redundant, but Yanks Fan vs. Sox Fan has this great post with a proposed record book annotation system in response to the Mitchell Report and other general baseball nonsense. Here are some of my favorites:
! = Amphetamines
$ = Gambling
|| = Cocaine
~ = Alcohol
. = Dead ball era
? = Wore glasses
â€ = Crazy religious freak
Â¢ = Lousy tipper
Æ’ = Womanizer
Â¥ = Asian fetish
Å“ = Funny accent
? = Ass kisser
X = General douchebag
Knowing what we know about Eric Gagne, his horrible pitching record, his clear inability to pitch under Fenway pressure, and now his steroid use as detailed in the Mitchell report, WTF was in Theo Epstein’s head when he acquired the reliever with weird glasses?
On November 1, 2006, Epstein emailed his scout, Mark Delpiano, “Have you done any digging on Gagne? I know the Dodgers think he was a steroid guy. Maybe so. What do you hear on his medical?”
Some digging on Gagne and steroids IS the issue. Has had a checkered medical past throughout career including minor leagues. Lacks the poise and commitment to stay healthy, maintain body and re invent self. What made him a tenacious closer was the max effort plus stuff . . . Mentality without the plus weapons and without steroid help probably creates a large risk in bounce back durability and ability to throw average while allowing the changeup to play as it once did . . . Personally, durability (or lack of) will follow Gagne . . .
Right there! Epstein’s own scout told him Gagne was soft, that he “lacks the poise and commitment to stay healthy”. Now, why would Epstein, putting the steroid issue to the side for a moment, take a chance on Gagne, giving up major league pitcher Kason Gabbard and outfield prospects David Murphy and Engle Beltre. That was the trade of a crazy person!
Unfortunately, the craziness didn’t end there. The Red Sox also signed the free agent and suspected juicer, Brendan Donnelly; that is, the Red Sox themselves suspected him of being a juicer before they signed him, but did it anyhow. From the Mitchell report:
In considering whether to trade for Donnelly in 2007, Red Sox baseball operations personnel internally discussed concerns that Donnelly was using performance enhancing substances. In an email to vice president of player personnel Ben Charington dated December 13, 2006, Zack Scott of the Red Sox baseball operations staff wrote of Donnelly: â€œHe was a juice guy but his velocity hasnâ€™t changed a lot over the years . . . If he was a juice guy, he could be a breakdown candidate.â€427 Kyle Evans of the baseball operations staff agreed with these concerns, responding in an email that â€œI havenâ€™t heard many good things about him, w[ith] significant steroid rumors.”
Theo should be made to wear his gorilla suit in the office for a week, after these revelations. It’s one thing to make decisions blindly, without information, but Epstein’s staff was giving him information that players he coveted, both of whom turned into busts, were juicers.
In honor of #7, The Rooster, here are the 7 best Red Sox related blogs. What makes them the best? I said so, that’s why! Just kidding. These are the best blogs not because they are reporting any new information, but because they offer a unique perspective, are funny, or both. The bottom line is that these Red Sox blogs are entertaining, and they’ll make you think or smile. In no particular order:
Am I missing any good Red Sox blogs? What’s flying under the radar, or maybe some new blogs?
There are too many sports in this world. Rhythmic gymnastics? Synchronized swimming? Curling? Auto racing? P.L.E.A.S.E.
First there is the issue of what activity is a sport. I have certain rules for an activity to be entered into my sports taxonomy, which I revise as needed. Here are some of the rules:
Obviously, some of these activities (you can call them hobbies, if you like) fall under more than one rule. If an activity falls under any one rule then it is not a sport.
I know that this paradigm wonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t get rid of enough sports, but I have more ideas . . .
In honor of the first day of the season of being alive (baseball season!), here are some inspiring song lyrics from Dan Bern, a folk-rock singer who often writes about baseball (and who also has the snappy song “Tiger Woods”).
They got a million cafes just dripping with class
Cars that run for days on a gallon of gas
Six willing dames for each uptight lass
They got their beck and call, itâ€™s like they got it all
But they donâ€™t got
Donâ€™t, donâ€™t got
Iâ€™d trade you Rockefeller Center any day
For one square inch of the Champs Elysees
Sophia Lauren looks OK
But they can keep her
We got Wrigley and Fenway
They got Monte Carlo and Le Mans
Greek goddesses and Swedish blondes
They got the training ground for Mafia dons
Itâ€™s like they got it all, they even got rid of the Berlin Wall
But they donâ€™t got
Donâ€™t, donâ€™t got
They got Jean Paul Sartre
We got Gary Carter
They got Umberto Eco
We got Jose Canseco
They got that guy named Zorba
We got Tommy Lasorda
They got the Ferrari
We got Harry Caray
They got the croissant we got too much starch
They got the Eiffel Tower we got the golden arch
But that first warm day at the end of March
Remember they donâ€™t
Donâ€™t, donâ€™t got
In addition to the Pesky Pole, one of my favorite things about Fenway Park is the Green Monster. I am glad that the new owners see that Fenway is an asset, and that building a new park may not be the answer to increasing revenue. I am especially happy that there is the Save Fenway Park group. This year, in just a week or two, they are going to open the “Monster seats,” which are perched atop the Green Monster! This is going to be awesome; maybe it will reverse the curse of the Bambino? Some people take that curse pretty seriously: poems, books, blogs, musicals. Some people go so far as to say, that because of the curse that they “absolutely guarantee that Boston will continue to suck”.