Archive for August, 2008

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Random Thoughts

August 10, 2008

Things have slowed down in the hockey world to the point that most people don’t care where Mats Sundin is going to play, or even if he bothers to play at all.  It would be nice if he signs with a Western Conference team so that we Blue Jacket fans can see him, but we may lose out on that.  Either Sundin doesn’t have the drive anymore or he is listening to his accountants instead of his heart.

How did Casey Jones get out of town without a mention from the local media?  Casey has been John Markel’s top assistant on the OSU Men’s hockey team and a great recruiter.  He was the favorite of every kid who attended the summer OSU hockey school with his corny jokes, his breaking a puck in half with his slap shot, and other antics that appealed to ten year-olds everywhere.  By the way, Casey would saw a puck almost in half, put it in his pocket, and then when teaching how to shoot, would pull it out and shoot it against the boards, where it would completely break.  You should have seen the looks on the faces of all those young kids.  Anyway, Casey is back at his alma mater, Cornell, as associate coach.  He will be missed.

It’s great to see the Jackets working hard to get ready for the upcoming season.  I can’t wait for it to start, but the fans in Chicago are just as anxious as we are.  I usually attend a game or two at the United Center every season, but it looks like tickets are going to be difficult to obtain this year.  Great to see them back from the dead and I look forward to playing them.

Thank goodness it’s August, because that means the season is almost here.

-Truth Serum

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Who are you competing for?

August 8, 2008

A friend of mine sent me an email about the situation of the US basketball players who will be competing in Beijing under the Russian flag.  It’s a situation that I have some feelings about, so I wrote him back a nice long ranty email.  I’m pulling the old “copy’n’paste” maneuver and putting it here.

Enjoy…

It’s an interesting phenomenon. There are plenty of non-American born athletes competing under the Star Spangled Banner. But those doing so are required to have taken citizenship in the US (dual or replacement) to be able to compete for us. The real interesting things about the folks competing for the Russian basketball teams is that they aren’t Russian citizens (they simply play pro basketball there), they just want to play in the Olympics.

 

I read this article this morning
, and while I think on the whole the author is more than a little off-base (he gets off in his columns playing the a-hole), I think at least one good point was made.

 

“J.R. Holden (Bucknell) is the Russian point guard. How they can live with themselves, I’ll never know. Holden has been quoted along the lines of, “The United States has never invited me to try out for the Olympic team, so what am I supposed to do?”

Here’s what you’re supposed to do, J.R. You’re supposed to make like 275 million other American citizens and watch the Olympics on television[…]”

He says some other stuff I don’t agree with, at all.  Such as you should never, under any circumstances, compete for another country in the Olympics.  Take a look at the story of Lopez Lomong, the Sudanese-born American athlete who left his home country to settle with a foster family in the US. His country’s government stole him from his parents, and he subsequently escaped to Kenya and was eventually brought to the US.  He came to America, where people dream of a better life (and we all know Americans love the idea that people come here to be the best they can be). And a better life he made, becoming a track star. He’s now a citizen of the United States, and carried the flag for our country this morning in the opening ceremonies (this is another very interesting tidbit, google Chinese + Darfur to get an idea of how pissed this probably made the Chinese government.  Or ask Joey Cheeks).

If people come to America, and become American citizens, I say they have to right to represent me in international competition. The Olympics inspires nationalism in many, and I know I’ll be cheering for the Red, White, and Blue in every sport for the next two weeks. The folks wearing our colors are our fellow citizens, and abide by the same sets of laws as we do. They deserve the same respect and admiration as someone who was born next door.

As for the folks from here but competing for other countries simply because they couldn’t make the US teams: some might brand them traitors, but I just call them pathetic. Want to compete for Russia? Go live there and be a Russian.  Don’t whine about how you weren’t asked to play for the US.

I wasn’t either.

Thanks for stopping by the End of the Bench.  Come back soon.

– Drew