Archive for July, 2012
The Olympics is always full of controversy – whether it’s real uproar like athletes Tweeting racist remarks and losing their opportunity to compete or contrived craziness fueled by the Behind The Music-esque back stories that lead up to athletic segments – and that’s part of the reason why the world is captivated by these amazing few weeks every two years.
That being said, those of us who are real sports fans would much rather see athletes competing than the seemingly-endless footage about the hardships they had to go through to get where they are. I don’t mean to sound insensitive but come on – it’s the Olympics for crying out loud! Of course these athletes worked through adversity to get here – it’s supposed to be tough!
For this reason I think it’s amazing when the competition itself does in fact elicit so much excitement that it’s like watching a television show or movie that is so good you can’t take your eyes off the screen. That’s how I feel when I watch Misty May (Treanor) and Kerri Walsh (Jennings) play beach volleyball.
Slated as the most successful beach volleyball team of all time, the pair won Olympic gold in Athens (2004) and Beijing (2008). Since then Walsh gave birth to two children, May tore her Achilles, the two went their separate ways, Walsh paired up with another partner and then they reunited and battled their way back to this year’s Olympics. A dozen years after first teaming up, the pair is third in the world rankings behind Brazil’s top-ranked Larissa Franca and Juliana Silva and China’s No. 2-ranked Xue Chen and Zhang Xi.
There’s something to be said about watching a sport that you play (I played volleyball in high school and have continued to do so in adult leagues) but I don’t think that’s the only significance here. These two women play to win and they do it with grace, finesse and unbelievable athleticism. Usually people prefer to watch men’s sports (unless its gymnastics) but everyone seems to be enthralled with May and Walsh. Even at 34 and 33 years old respectively, they are dynamic, exciting, fun and a great story.
To date they have never lost a set in the Olympics – an incredible feat that they hope to continue in London. So far, so good. Each set I’ve watched has been close – May and Walsh are by no means blowing their competition out of the water – but they are winning. Fingers crossed that they continue to fight and get their third gold medal. America will be watching and cheering them on hoping to yell USA! USA! USA! when it’s all over.
Aurora Shooting: 12 people killed and over 50 injured in a mass shooting during a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises. So sad and tragic it’s almost too much to think about. One small but important silver lining was Christian Bale visiting – impressed and glad he was there.
Apparently Chick-fil-A Is Anti-Gay: Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy thinks he can publically denounce anti-gay marriage without any retaliation? Yeah right. Two mayors of major cities – Chicago and Boston – are doing everything in their power to keep the food chain from expanding into their respective neighborhoods. Thanks for playing Cathy.
Penn State Gets Schooled: Following the Joe Paterno/Jerry Sandusky scandal it’s no surprise that Penn State is suffering some serious repercussions but I don’t think anyone expected a $60 million fine, a four-year ban from postseason play and a cut in the number of football scholarships the university can offer. I’m sure people also didn’t expect the NCAA to erase 14 years of victories, wiping out 111 of Paterno’s wins and stripping him of his standing as the most successful coach in the history of big-time college football. Although I feel for the players and those who worked hard for those wins and had nothing to do with the scandal, it’s hard to feel bad those who were part of the scandal. As far as I’m concerned this particular punishment is what you get when young kids are getting molested and you look the other way.
Really? Justin Bieber Is Too Loud?: Although I think Bieber is one of the most overrated singers out there he doesn’t deserve to get sued for $9.2 million by a nutjob mother who is trying to collect for some bullshit hearing loss allegation. Said mother Stacey Wilson filed suit in U.S. District Court in Oregon claiming she suffered severe hearing damage at a Bieber concert two years ago when sounds exceeded safe decibel levels. Get a grip lady – if you decide to attend a teen heartthrob show with a bunch of screaming girls in attendance bring some ear plugs.
Twitter Will Get You Banned: Greek triple jumper Paraskevi “Voula” Papachristou was expelled from her country’s Olympic team for a Tweet perceived as racist. 23-year-old Papachristou was getting ready to head to London for her first Olympic Games when she posted a “joke” to her Twitter feed about the West Nile virus that appeared to mock Greece’s African immigrant population:
“With so many Africans in Greece, at least the mosquitoes of West Nile will eat homemade food!!!” she tweeted Sunday.
What the hell was she thinking? How could that not be seen as racist???
At first Papachristou tried to defend herself but then ended up apologizing – but it wasn’t enough. The Hellenic Delegations’ Administration Board decided to remove her from the team, citing “comments that go against the values and ideals of Olympism.”
What’s going to happen next? Five more months left in 2012…
Welcome back Project Runway! Although this is a big season for the show – 10 years is definitely an admirable accomplishment – after the first episode I’m already questioning if this season is going to be interesting or if it’s going to feel more like “been there, done that” rather than “making it work.”
First of all it seems like the powers that be went out of their way to find the nuttiest nutjobs out there – kind of like what MTV has done to destroy the once great Real World. Not to judge a book by its name but how is it possible that people named Buffi, Fabio, Gunnar and Kooan (no question the strangest of them all – in fact this guy looks like one of Peter Pan’s lost boys) are all in the same group of designers? I mean seriously – come on!
On another note, while this is the 10th season of the show, it’s the first that Heidi Klum is single. Not that it should matter – she has a job to do and the show, of course, must go on – but it is worth noting. Also, I find it interesting that for the first episode of the season they brought in two guest judges. Of course Patricia Field is a big deal designer who had the huge task of designing for Sex and the City for six years and charismatic actress Laurent Graham is always classy and fun, but why were they both on the same episode? Can Klum, Michael Kors and Nina Garcia not handle making choices with just four judges or was this about kicking off the season with major star power? It’s not the end of the world but again, I do find it interesting.
So how will this season set itself apart? Based on the fact that Field was the first ever guest judge in the first season of Project Runway makes me think they will be doing a few throwbacks to celebrate their 10th anniversary which will be fun. I just hope it’s not an excuse to not seek out new people and new perspectives because that’s what has made this show interesting to me – a person who knows very little about sewing, clothes and fashion.
If nothing else the show will make summer television even more exciting than usual. Show us what you’ve got Runway – we’ll be watching.