Sunday, August 23, 2009

Sunday stuff

You slack off for a few days and lots of things happen.

First, back to the "old" news of the week: the gender verification of Caster Semenya. Nothing has changed regarding her circumstances. But a lot of objection has been voiced to the process as well as to seeming lack of tact the IAAF has exhibited in keeping this matter a more private one. Both Dave Zirin and Pat Griffin have written excellent columns on the ongoing issue.

Also in Berlin a less controversial and more uplifting story: that of Jesse Owens and his friendship with Germany athlete Luz Long, who gave Owens advice about his long jump take-off in the 1936. Advice that helped him move on the medal round of the event that he eventually won. It is notable, of course, because Owens won his medal in the Berlin Games of 1936 that Hitler intended to be a showcase for the Aryan race. But this particular friendship is also notable because well it seems rare these days that competitors would actually give one another advice about how to better their performance--legally anyway.

SKY Blue FC won the inaugural WPS championship yesterday beating league favorite and season-long powerhouse LA Sol. Sky Blue's win is the kind of Cinderella story sport peeps seem to enjoy. They began the year in last place; fired their first coach (Ian Sawyer, husband of Julie Foudy) because of some issues over chemistry within the organization; their second head coach (former asst. coach) quit after her assistant coach was let go. This was after Sky Blue had worked itself back into playoff contention. With just a few games left in the regular season, veteran and captain Christy Rampone took over coaching duties. It was a good game. Sky Blue's goalie made some good saves throughout--and especially in the second half--and the team likely benefited from the early red card (quite debatable call) on the Sol which forced them to operate a player down for the remainder of the game.

The Solheim Cup ends today with singles play. Things are tight and there is definite pressure on the European team to take this competition so as to save the cup from extinction (because of US dominance). More on the Solheim Cup later in the week.

And in my grrrr moment of the weekend: former coach Bobby Knight is going to be inducted into Indiana University's Hall of Fame. Note that this is almost a decade after Knight was fired for a "pattern of unacceptable behavior." I guess time really does heal all wounds.

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