Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Wow, I have a blog???

Well, it's been a long time, and I have to say, after about a month of posting nothing, I'm happy that a few people are still even checking back. Sweet! I fully plan on doing a full fledged post, but to get back in the saddle I think the olympics deserve a mention. I'm actually pretty into them this year thanks to the modern miracle of DVRs. As much as I've enjoyed these games, there are some political questions to be answered. The first is a little bit more lighthearted, and comes to us via yahoo. It asks the question as to whether judges are being biased towards the home country:

http://sports.yahoo.com/olympics/beijing/blog/fourth_place_medal/post/The-REAL-Olympic-medal-count?urn=oly,101537&cp=1#comments


For those to lazy to click a link:

Every judging break seems to have gone China's way during these Olympics. I'm
not suggesting a conspiracy, I just think that judges are humans who are
influenced by big names, fans and other external factors. Oh, and they're also
terrible. Judged events will always be viewed with skepticism by those who lose
for this reason, particularly those who lose to a member of the home delegation.
(Think Roy Jones Jr. at the 1988 Seoul Olympics.)

It is because of this skewed inconsistency that Fourth-Place Medal introduces The Real 2008 Medal Count. Our medal count will tally medals won in sports decided on the field of play, not by a judge in a teal blazer. The judged Olympic events we will ignore for our tally are: boxing, diving, equestrian, gymnastics, judo, taekwondo, trampoline and wrestling. We debated whether to include boxing, wrestling and the martial arts in the list, as they can be decided by competitors. However, because the
judging is prone to error and shenaningans, we will include it.

The Real 2008 Medal Count
China: 22 gold; 11 silver; 11 bronze
United States: 21 gold;
19 silver; 21 bronze


This second article is by one of my favorite essayists, formerly of Sports Illustrated and currently employed by ESPN, Rick Reilly. He highlights some of the glaring ways that China's poor human rights record has been swept under the rug for their "coming out party". And it's funny! The format doesn't permit me to reprint the the entire article, so just do yourself a favor and click here:

http://sports.espn.go.com/espnmag/story?id=3542649


Anyways, I hope you're enjoying the olympics (MICHAEL FREAKIN' PHELPS!!!) as much as we are. Go U.S.A.!!!

1 comment:

Brett and Kasia said...

I love the Rick Reilly article. It shows China for what it is, a WONDERFUL COMMUNITY OF AFFLUENT AND HELPFUL SOCIALIST COMRADES.

Brett