Well--who knew the US softball team could lose a championship game? It has happened. Team Japan beat them last night 3-1 behind some pretty good pitching. Made me glad I didn't make, what I thought would be, the not-so-bold prediction that the US would crush Japan just as they had once already in this tournament. But as I mentioned previously, this non-USA win might go a long way in proving to the IOC that other countries can be competitive in the Olympics.
On an "oops" note, in my previous post I confused this new World Cup of Softball tournament with the already-established World Championships. The World Cup was apparently created to give the top 5 teams from the previous year's Olympics the chance for international competition before the next World Championships, which will not be held until--oh wait I couldn't find that information despite my diligent internet research. Perhaps this is part of the problem with the game internationally--even the international governing association of softball, the ISF, has no information on the world champsionships on its webpage.
On an "are you kidding me?" note, I did find some disturbing information on the Amateur Softball Association's webpage about the national championships held in September in Oklahoma City--they are sponsored by Hooters. Yea, Hooters the restaurant known for its well-endowed (and I don't mean trust funds) waitresses. And it is not a subtle sponsorship deal. It's called the ASA Hooters Championship Series. There is Hooter's softball merchandise available on the website. What kind of legitimate sporting organization gets Hooters to be their corporate sponsor? Especially a sport whose primary participants are women. (Though the tournament is for women and men.) Talk about strange bedfellows! Maybe this whole IOC cutting is just a healthy batch of karma for the ASA. Something to think about.