I hate to pile on the French since this hasn’t been one of the best weeks in their history but I have to add one more thing before we let this go. As you have probably noticed, I have a little thing about sportsmanship. This is somewhat awkward since I tend to be a terrible sport myself and have even been known to throw at opposing batters while playing softball (yeah, seriously). But, knowing this weakness in myself makes it much easier to spot it in others.
For every Armando Galarraga there’s an Alex Rodriguez. For every Nancy Kerrigan there’s a Tonya Harding. And for every Carlos Parreira there’s a Raymond Domenech. Raymond Domenech? Maybe this will refresh your memory:
Refusing to shake the hand of your opposite number on the world’s biggest stage is not exactly the best way to end a career. It’s not like Parreira had insulted Domenech’s mother and sister the way Italian defender, Marco Materazzi, is reputed to have done in the lead up to Zinedine Zidane’s infamous headbutt during the final of the 2006 World Cup.
And you know what, even if he had insulted Domenech’s mother wouldn’t the ultimate payback be shaking the man’s hand and showing that you’re the bigger person?
It has been a rough few weeks for the French. Their retirement age is about to go up to 62 and their World Cup team has become the biggest French snafu since the Maginot Line. However, intractable situations give us all the opportunity to shine and Domenech totally missed his. Me, I just make sure I’m not pitching when I play softball.
And here I thought this was supposed to be the slow point in the RSBS year. The elections are over (well, mostly) and baseball is still a couple months away from pitchers and catchers reporting. What could we possibly have to debate or comment on? Luckily, though, this is not your normal year. Thank god for shoe-throwing Iraqis, Kennedy-coiffed Illinois pols and baseball’s winter meetings.
With all of the problems facing the United States right now, it’s important that we ask the important questions. Like, is shoe chucking an attention getting scheme or a legitimate critique of American foreign policy? (Here’s a hint on that one. Anyone who actually understood the Middle East would not claim that the act was just about attention. Throwing your shoe is a mortal insult. If a shoe had been thrown at Zinedine Zidane, he would have head-butted the thrower.)
Or, with the city of New York involved in a free agency bubble that rivals the housing bubble and internet bubble combined, have the Mets become as evil as the Yankees or is their dauphin status chronic?
However, if we aren’t willing to answer these questions or concentrate on the imminent and necessary demise of the Big Three and the impending credit card crisis, there’s really only one other place we can go for solutions: the demented but brilliant mind of Andy Samberg.
Seriously, if that’s not a critique of US foreign policy, I don’t know what is.