Hello and welcome to another Wednesday of deep thoughts. Each week, I write these words and never know exactly what will follow. With the Olympics on at the moment, I have had limited ability to watch baseball. I really can’t complain as my wife enjoys watching sports and the two weeks of the Olympics only comes around every two years. So, I watch the Olympics and follow baseball on the computer. I thought my Astros might sneak a game from the Nationals in extra innings. With two runners on and two outs…Brett Wallace crushes a ball to left center. Watching the replay, I did not figure that there was any chance that it would be caught. Because there were two outs, both runners were running and would easily score. But, when things are going bad for a team…that is not how the game goes. Instead, Roger Bernadino rewrote the ending with a terrific diving catch. Astros lose again. Indians fans have to be feeling similarly frustrated as the Indians snatched defeat from the jaws of victory to bring their losing streak to 11 games. Three errors allowed the Twins to win a game they had no business taking. Games like this make baseball fans begin to think about next year…or football.
The London Olympics have been fairly entertaining. Although I don’t normally watch soccer, I caught the women’s match against Canada and damn it was fun. I know that Canada thinks they got jobbed, but the goalkeeper was caught trying to milk the clock. What many don’t mention is that the assistant ref gave the Canadian goalkeeper a warning to begin the second period. Of course, it did not hurt that American Abby Wambaugh counted each time the goalkeeper held the ball. "I wasn't yelling. I was just counting. Probably did it five to seven times," Wambach told Wetzel. "I got to 10 seconds right next to the referee, and at 10 seconds, she blew the whistle." For the record, the rules allow the goalkeeper 6 seconds to get rid of the ball. The heady work of Wambaugh resulted in an indirect kick, which glanced off the hand of a Canadian defender…which gave the US a chance to tie the game with a penalty kick. This was a crucial foul that is an unusual call. Was it the right call? Of course, when you lose…it is always easier to blame the referee than to acknowledge blame. FIFA is looking into comments made by Canadian players regarding the official “wearing an American uniform”. They may also take a look at Canada’s Trancredi who appeared to intentionally stomp on an American player’s head. Trancredi plays a rough brand of soccer…although called for six fouls, she was only received only one yellow card. The US women play Japan next for the gold medal.
Harvey made reference last week to the “fun” that goes on in the Olympic Village. From the bits of information I have read, it is basically a sexual free for all. My son mentioned that over 100,000 condoms have been ordered for the London Olympics. Where have I been? Here is a bit of a story from a recent article in the ESPN the Magazine about American target shooter Josh Lakatos:
Josh Lakatos faced a conundrum. Halfway through the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, he and his rifle-toting teammates were finished with their events, and the U.S. Olympic Committee and team officials had ordered them to turn in the keys to their three-story house and head back to the States. But Lakatos didn't want to leave. He knew from his experience four years earlier in Atlanta, where he'd won silver, that the Olympic Village was just about to erupt into a raucous party, and there was no way he was going to miss it. So he asked the maid at the emptied-out dwelling if she'd kindly look the other way as he jimmied the lock. "I don't care what you do," she replied.
Within hours, word of the nearly vacant property had spread. Popping up once every two years, the Olympic Village is a boisterous city within a city: chock-full of condos, midrises and houses as well as cafés, barbershops, arcades, discos and TV lounges. The only thing missing is privacy -- nearly everyone is stuck with a roommate. So while Lakatos claimed a first-floor suite for himself, the remaining rooms were there for the taking. The first to claim space that night were some Team USA track and field fellas.
"The next morning," Lakatos says, "swear to God, the entire women's 4x100 relay team of some Scandinavian-looking country walks out of the house, followed by boys from our side. And I'm just going, 'Holy crap, we'd watched these girls run the night before.'"
And on it went for eight days as scores of Olympians, male and female, trickled into the shooter's house -- and that's what everyone called it, Shooters' House -- at all hours, stopping by an Oakley duffel bag overflowing with condoms procured from the village's helpful medical clinic. After a while, it dawned on Lakatos: "I'm running a friggin' brothel in the Olympic Village! I've never witnessed so much debauchery in my entire life."
The Olympics athletes have even borrowed from Vegas…”what happens in the Village, stays in the Village”. Who knew?
“Quickly the reality sinks in that the village is "just a magical, fairy-tale place, like Alice in Wonderland, where everything is possible," says Carrie Sheinberg, an alpine skier at the '94 Winter Games and a reporter for subsequent Olympics. "You could win a gold medal and you can sleep with a really hot guy."
The athlete compound soon becomes the site of an uneasy dance between jocks on a post-competition bender and those who have yet to compete. Says Swiss swimmer Dominik Meichtry: "I'd get home from the clubs at 6 or , and I'd feel bad for the track and field guys. They're getting on a bus and we're intoxicated, wearing fedoras, looking like crap." As the curtain falls on more events, the action accelerates. Displaced roommates become commonplace, with the standard sock-on-doorknob serving as the signal for "please go away." Before long, Foudy says, "it turns into a frat party with a very nice gene pool." And heaps of stamina. "Athletes are extremists," Solo says. "When they're training, it's laser focus. When they go out for a drink, it's 20 drinks. With a once-in-a-lifetime experience, you want to build memories, whether it's sexual, partying or on the field. I've seen people having sex right out in the open. On the grass, between buildings, people are getting down and dirty."
You know who would enjoy the Olympic Village? Johnny Monkey. In fact, I think the last we heard from him he was heading to London to tend to the bad badminton players. As I continued to read about the Olympic Village, I began to laugh thinking Johnny Monkey in London. But, there was more to the story than just my suspicions...
“And at some point we decided to take the party back to the village, so we started talking to the security guards, showed off our gold medals, got their attention and snuck our group through without credentials -- which is absolutely unheard of." And, she adds, "I may have snuck a celebrity back to my room without anybody knowing, and snuck him back out. But that's my Olympic secret." But there is more…
“There was this really awesome guy named Johnny. The women could not get enough of this guy. I am not sure what the deal was as he was not that tall, but he seemed to have a strong animal magnetism to him…and he was really hairy. I never knew what his sport was, but he seemed to have great stamina.” Hmmm…could it be? Perhaps we will never know…
I have a great friend that now lives in Cincinnati. He was in town last week and Julie and I decided to go with Nic and check out a concert featuring Marcia Ball in ZilkerPark. I am ashamed how much great music I miss out on each day in Austin. Nic and I had a big band together for about 15 years. So, it was nice to slip back into music mode. Kids and work have changed my habits so that I just don’t get out like I used to. Getting out got me to thinking about musicians that used to play with our band. Here are a few guys that continue to play that are really great players.
I hope you enjoyed the music, I know it brought back some great memories for me...
That is all I have for this week, but I will leave a bit of Jack Handey for your trip out…
“If I could be a bird, I'd be a Flying Purple People Eater because then people would sing about me and I could fly down and eat them because I hate that song.”
“I love to go to the schoolyard and watch the children jump and scream, but they don't know I'm using blanks.”
Thanks for stopping by and feel free to leave a few deep thoughts of your own.