Friday, August 22, 2008
Baton Passing 101
I don't know about you, but as much as I try not to go nationalistic and rah-rah, sis-boom-bah for the USA, I can't help rooting for our athletes when they are up against strong opposition, put in tough circumstances and and forced to do their best when the odds are tough. Running a preliminary heat in an event in which you should get silver and maybe gold does not warrant a lot of cheerleading. What rooting I do also gives me the right to boo and be critical. The dropped batons by the U.S. men's and women's 4X100 relays were a disgrace and a perfect metaphor for what's going on in American track and field. We have a bunch of individuals who are pretty good, but not as good as they think they are. They also think they are too good to practice, practice, practice with relay teammates to get it right on the practice track so they'll get it right in front of millions of people. When is the last time we didn't have a baton exchange distaster in the Olympics? It's ridiculous, and it reflects on the team leadership as well as the athletes. When I was a freshman in high school, our relays made better passes than the U.S. Olympians. Oh well. Let's hope we get something great from one of the Americans in the men's marathon. But I'll be rooting for everyone, starting with Kenya's Martin Lel. Chapter 2: The Jamaicans and Brits do the same baton drop in the final. What's going on?!