Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Big Events Coming and Completed

As mentioned last week, son Jake went to the edge of the Pacific Time Zone in Northern Idaho to compete in an "ironman" triathlon event. He finished in about exactly the time he had expected (just over twelve hours!), then told wife Ember, "Don't let me do this again." Pretty good for a guy who used to do most of his running competing in ultimate frisbee games. He's also helped inspire two sisters to take up running distances. I only play games you can win with crafty lefty-ness.

Meanwhile, big sports events are unfolding all around us. The NBA playoffs ended on schedule, which means flying dunks and long jump shots in June. This time around it was the LeBron James-led Miami Heat finishing as champs. James had some monster performances, doing whatever the opposing Oklahoma City Thunder had to let him do to try to slow down his scoring. The guy rebounded like a fiend and even led the team in assists when he had to. Still, it seems to be one of those things in which the guy is mostly disliked as long as he's dominating. But it's OK. People will appreciate him more when he suffers a disabling injury.

The Olympic Games in London roll in about a month, so it's time to put the US team together using events we know as the Olympic Trials. I like these events, because the pressure to make the team is enormous even when the universe of competitors is small enough that everyone knows the competitor in the next lane. I was amazed to see the World decathlon record broken under wet conditions in Oregon, and found myself cheering on former Iowan and 29 year-old, self-proclaimed virgin Lo Lo Jones overcome an unimpressive spring to qualify again as a hurdler.
In fact, those women sprinters make up a very impressive group. Their bodies are so perfectly trained, and their outfits, while not immodest, are kind of, ah, skimpy. Many go the whole nine yards into fingernail and hair colors, studded belly buttons, dazzling running shoes and even eye shadow. But when interviewed, they are unfailingly polite and even religious. As a group, they're easy to root for - unless you're pulling for Jamaica.
Watching soccer is fun, though I can't pretend to really be any kind of expert. The UEFA competition going on gives you a chance to see the best European national teams go at it. Sure, you're watching the taped (not live) version, but, really, how bad can it be? Especially since they appear to have banned those awful one-note horns. Vuvuzelas? I wouldn't complain if there was a law that banned importation of the deafening things. I'd only own one if they were proven to keep bears away.  
The ESPN empire has now taken over Wimbledon. Things are just starting, and we have no reason to think it will be unlike other years yet. Still, it's hard to tear yourself away from watching the world's best tennis players go at it to see who will be hoisting the big cup at the end of next week. They still require the players to dress in white, but that's OK. What causes some people to tune out, though, is the sounds made by (mostly) women players which can border on the other-worldly. If it's really offensive, you can always mute the sound altogether, but I only do that when Mona's around since I know she has little interest in anything connected with Jockdom. Too bad. Life's more interesting when you have someone to root for.  


Anonymous Jake said...

Hope you're making it to the next race dad! Plan on it for next year :)

6:08 PM  

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