ANGERS, France (July 4, 2016) – Tour de France leader and world champion Peter Sagan has weighed in once more with his strong concerns for rider safety. But this time, he has called for the world body of cycling to introduce a law change that would allow for less congested and dangerous finales.
It was the final of the men’s 3,000-metre steeplechase competition at a big money “amateur” NCAA PAC-12 track and field meet, the Pepsi Team Invitational, held at the University of Oregon. Tanguy Pepiot, a runner from France for the Oregon Ducks – one of over 7,000 foreign college athletes imported by US universities to boost their programs – had a large lead with about 100 metres left. As he approached the finish line he looked to the crowd and raised his right arm twice hoping to increase the noise level of the home team crowd a few decibels as he coasted to the finish. University of Washington’s Meron Simon, from 10 metres behind, tracked him down, overtook the senior and won the race by .10-seconds. Tanguy’s face at the end is priceless:
As for Tanguy, he obviously wasn’t happy (see end of video) and said, “I saw the crowd, and it was very loud. I just wanted to celebrate winning in front of our crowd. I was excited about it. But the race wasn’t over. … It wasn’t very smart. But it was a learning experience.”
Along with the never-say-die attitude of Meron Simon, and the old adages of “the race is not over until it’s over” or “don’t count your chickens before they hatch,” I believe there is another moral in this story that is missing from the many American commentaries on this race: the negation of the ideals of amateur sport, sportsmanship, e.g., respect for one’s opponents, that is characteristic of too much American and Canadian professional sport. I remember seeing different competitions internationally where the winner would not leave the finish line until the last competitor would cross, and then shake his or her hand.
Quarterback Tom Brady, it seems, probably had knowledge of footballs being deflated. Maybe. | MADDIE MEYER / GETTY IMAGES
Where cheating is an organized system: “If employees of the Patriots could pull off cheating for over a year, get caught in obvious lies, leave text message evidence, impede NFL investigators, and come out of it with a report that cannot definitively say they cheated, then it raises some questions. First: Why wouldn’t you cheat, any way you could? Second: Who else is cheating, with their doofuses, trying to gain an angle in this merciless league? Third: Imagine if the NFL spent this much time and effort investigating how it handles concussions, and tried for the truth.” And, fourth, what if the criminal justice system was investigating this sports cartel, as the alleged offence in the “deflategate” is, in fact, a criminal offence under law, e.g., fraud, rather than an in-house, private investigation?
Exempt from the rule of law by U.S. federal legislation, the powerful sports cartels rule their domain by exception. Once again the US National Football League (NFL) is investigating itself for dirty tricks. The articulate Seattle player, Richard Sherman, denounced it openly, i.e., without fear of fine, declaring that “it looks like a conflict of interest.”
For the past three years, the NFL has faced one “moral crisis” after the other involving organized fraud, collusion, violence and cheating of the health and safety of its players, constituting a credibility crisis that is part and parcel of the overall crisis of the American economic and political system and its institutions, with economic crisis at the base.
The latest crisis: Did the New England Patriots intentionally deflate the footballs used in the first half in the AFC Championship game on January 18 to gain an unfair competitive advantage? Continue reading →
The “Red Devils” bedevilled the devil. The country that hosts the NATO headquarters – at a time of economic hardship, NATO is constructing a huge new $1 billion headquarters in Brussels. The eight-floor structure contains enough blast-proof glass to cover 10 football fields – ousted the military bloc’s supreme commander in a World Cup match played in Salvador, Brazil on July 1st. The significance of the match was as much off the pitch, as on.
The American Dream
The thinly disguised shock and disappointment of the TV broadcasters and sports media, which clearly wanted the United States to go through to the final rounds for commercial and political reasons, at the victory and the disparity in play was all too apparent. Continue reading →