Musings and Amusings

Posts tagged ‘Sports’

Sochi and All Things Russian

The excitement of Opening Ceremonies is just hours away.

Check out and type “opening ceremony bingo” into the search box. You’ll see a list of All Things Russian – 25 iconic images. You can even play Bingo with the images.

Every four years, I tell myself to ignore the media hype, the done-too-often Up Close and Personal sagas of athletes’ struggles to reach their dreams, the almost frantic attempts to heighten the drama. I much prefer to let the competitions reign – pure and simple athlete vs. athlete.

There has been a lot of talk about the lack of readiness at this late date – hotels with inadequate facilities, difficulties with transporting spectators, Sochi not being quite up to “the standards” of other host cities.

Mitt Romney, who presided over the Salt Lake City Winter Games, said it best in an interview last night. To paraphrase: “the games – and the focus of the preparations –  should be about the athletes, their safety, their comfort and their competition. Spectators and tourists must remember they are visiting another country; one which might not be able to accommodate them with the same quality found in their own country. In addition, Sochi is in a remote part of Russia and was not a hub that was modernized even before it became an Olympic site.”

Of course that begs the question why Sochi was selected; that’s for others to answer. Nevertheless, Mr. Romney is right. As long as Sochi takes good care of the athletes and their competitions, they have prepared well.

Let the Games begin!

Class Acts at the Super Bowl, Part 2

Second:  Joe Namath

When the camera panned on Joe with his trademark grin and gorgeous fur coat, my heart fluttered. Never mind that Joe threw an interception (aka coin toss jitters), he’s still my football hero.

Joe Namath was my serious teenage crush. I don’t remember when he first came across my radar screen, but he captured my heart (ok, lust). He was brash, athletic, mischievous, studly, and had a mega-watt smile. He could even make those god-awful New York Jets’ white football boots look almost manly.

I made a Joe Namath collage for my bedroom. You can only appreciate the depth of my devotion to Joe by understanding the magnitude of that sentence.

I shared a bedroom with my sister; a room decorated by my mother who chose yellow-flowered wall paper and green carpet, two of my least favorite colors. There was no “me” in that room. We didn’t “self-express” in the 60’s, at least not in our household. Moreover, we were also without today’s technology whereby I could quickly access multiple pictures of Joe. No, I had to patiently and painstakingly thumb through the daily sports section or Dad’s monthly Sports Illustrated, hoping I’d find another elusive picture for my collage.

I have no recollection of the day I hung the collage or the reaction from my parents or sister, but I sure remember that over-shellacked, warped cardboard collage with Joe smiling down on me.

And I will never forget Super Bowl III on January 12, 1969. For weeks Joe had been predicting, nay GUARANTEEING, the Jets would trounce the Baltimore Colts. The sportscasters were aghast and dismissive of this reckless, cocky upstart of a quarterback. There was even some grumbling from Dad before the game.

But I knew ….without a shadow of a doubt…I KNEW Joe was right. He was going to win.

I’ve never been certain of an outcome in a sports contest since. But that day Joe believed in himself, and I believed in Joe.

Together we made magic.


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