I had a long discussion with an Asian American friend today whose religious view are similar to mine–i.e. they’re not existent. She asked me what I though of Jeremy Lin, and I said that his accomplishments are great for Asian Americans. I asked her what she thought, and she said she couldn’t get over the Christian thing. Normally I’d have to agree, but man, I may have to convert after the video above. As my old pastor said, “Can I hear an amen?”
I don’t even watch hockey, but I saw this long, 36 minute (in total) NY Times feature on the life of Derek Boogard, an “enforcer” in professional hockey who died at the age of 28 after overdosing on pain meds from his numerous injuries. He was 6’7, 245 lbs., and he wasn’t such a great hockey player, but he was able to fight, and so he had a contract worth $1.6 million just to throw punches and rev his team up. If you have kids, if you watch contact sports, check it out. They say MMA is brutal, but these guys fight 40 or 50 times a year, wearing no head protection or gloves. This is much more dangerous, much worse.
I was almost going to write and say that I beat David Brooks to the punch. He published an article entitled The Sporting Mind a few days ago, and I was going to write to say that I said that sports and morality were related, and that I said it before David Brooks did. As it turns out though, we said quite different things. I said that maybe athletes could develop morals because of the emphasis on fair play (this came out of the “Talent” post), while Brooks said, or agreed with the statement, that sports organizes the moral thinking of young Americans.
There is a good article in the Times today about table tennis making strides in Silicon Valley where all the Chinese and Indians live. The article has a cool video feature. Ariel Hsing is fast. She’s 14 years old and is currently the top-ranked player under 22 in the country. Her parents pay $40k a year to nurture and support her talent.
The article of course mentions the fact that table tennis isn’t as popular as the big sports like football and baseball. Only three colleges offer table tennis scholarships. Two thoughts:
Hideki Matsui became the league’s first Japanese American World Series MVP, as the Yankees won the World Series against the defending champion Phillies. He hit .615 in the series, with three homers and eight RBI’s. I didn’t watch much of the series, but I’m surprised nonetheless because I hadn’t heard his name mentioned much up until now. People kept talking about Jeter, Martinez, and A-Rod, but there wasn’t much being said about Matsui, other than that he would become a free agent when this was all over.
Anyway, congratulations to Hideki Matsui. He certainly did well.
[As I mentioned in a previous post, life is busy with the activist summer. Thank you to bigWOWO reader Dizzle, who sent the following post. I agree with him on the stereotypes. I remember having a conversation with a Taiwanese woman who kept insisting that Apolo Ohno was a great athlete only because he was half white and had the "white genes." I kept asking, "Well, what about the #2 short track skater, who is full Korean and who managed to still win gold in some events?"
Brock Lesnar destroyed Frank Mir at UFC 100 tonight. It wasn’t unexpected; the guy weighed in at 265 and was probably around 280 at fight time, and his neck is thicker than most peoples’ waists. What was unexpected however was the post fight trash talk. After sitting on and pummeling Mir in the face until ref Herb Dean stepped in, Lesnar strode up to a still groggy Mir and shouted, “Talk all the shit you want now.” The fans booed.
The odd thing is that Mir hadn’t really been talking any shit. Sure, he did the regular pre-fight buildup, but nothing he said was all that bad. There was very little trash talking coming from Mir before the fight.
Brian Clay, as the winner of the Olympic decathlon, is considered the greatest athlete in the world. Yet fame and fortune have not come his way. The NY Times has an article about Clay and his relative anonymity today. Clay is half African American and half Japanese American, and as the article says, people sometimes mistake him for Tiger Woods.
Such is the way capitalism works. Even being the best in the world doesn’t guarantee fame and fortune. The Times says it well:
How is it that backup quarterbacks, utility infielders and winless golf professionals live more extravagantly than someone deemed the world’s greatest athlete?
Lyoto Machida’s second round knockout of Rashad Evans was the best fight I’ve seen. Not only did he take out an accomplished fighter at the top of his game, he also took him out using some highly technical karate. Well before the fight, I called it correctly by saying that “Rashad [wouldn't] know what hit him,” but even I was shocked by the quickness and excitement of what I saw. When Rashad went down, the entire crowd in the sports bar erupted. No one saw it coming.