The cheers for the World Cup champions instantly conjured up crystal-clear memories from one of the Olympic volleyball matches in Beijing where the thunderous roars from proud Spanish fans drowned out the other European, Asian, and American crowds rooting for their national teams. Certainly the same chants were heard on the Wimbledon courts this month as Spain's Rafael Nadal defeated Tomas Berdych. Barcelona's running with the bulls just became a whole lot more celebratory this month.
In the sports world, July 2010 may be remembered as the Summer of Spain - that is, if the rest of America can forget about the Le-Decision and the NBA's Le-Fine for disparaging (but somewhat deserving) remarks by Cavs owner Dan Gilbert. Here is a random thought: could Jim Grey have asked anymore superficial filler questions beyond the 16 that wasted so much airtime?
The Boys and Girls Club of America raked in almost half of the $6 million generated in advertising by LeWho's televised spectacle that did more to damage his celebrity image than raise money for charity. Why didn't South Beach's newest sports star simply write a $3 million check instead?
At least ESPN resorted to quality television earlier this month when it aired the annual Nathan's Famous Fourth Hot Dog Eating Contest on Coney Island - complete with a two-hour pre-game show. I really wanted ESPN to cover Jamaica's Usain Bolt sprinting his 100 meters race (clocked at 9.82 seconds) at the Olympic Stadium in Lausanne, Switzerland. You may remember last month's column focused on a visit to the Olympic Capitol city.
Within walking distance of the stadium is the Curling Club, official training site of the Swiss Olympic team who won the bronze in Vancouver.
We literally stumbled upon the club while wandering around the fishing port in Ouchy. Surprisingly, the curling venue is perched on top of a long, narrow shipyard on the shores of Lake Geneva where the snow-topped French Alps line the horizon. The narrow icy lanes resemble a cross between a shuffleboard court and a bowling alley. Peering through the obscure second-story windows, it is difficult to imagine the racks of curling stones and brooms lining the ally while locals tend to boat
repairs on the open floor level.
Earlier in the day, my presentation analyzing the connection between the cultural dimensions of former Olympic host countries and the logistical operations for the Games led to predictions of what London and Rio de Janeiro might be like when they fascinate the world in 2012 and 2016. London, I predicted, will be remembered for its emphasis on diversity and equality. In a timely follow-up, Anita DeFrantz, chair of the IOC women and sports commission, held a news conference announcing the ties with the United Nations [UN] in pressuring Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Brunei to send female athletes to the 2012 Olympic Games for their first time ever. Culturally speaking, London is the right location to pull of
International competition has boomed during the summer months. Global events even became a bit localized as Hedges-Boyer Park served as one of the stops for the 2010 Amateur Disc Golf World Championships. There is nothing like driving slowly around the loop and being confused by the caddie carrying a portable stool and what seemingly is a golf bag, but knowing it is loaded with nothing but weighted Frisbees.
At least the gallery of fans weren't playing any vuvuzelas. The annoying South African instrument sounds like a swarm of bees 50 times louder than the buzzing cicadas who returned to Muirfield Village
at the 2004 Memorial golf tourney following a 17-year hiatus. When the Marlins gifted 15,000 horns in a World Cup theme night, it made the list for worst promotions in MLB history.
Believe it or not, 90 percent of vuvuzelas are manufactured in China for a whopping 30 cents each. Another interesting sport finance note from Sports Illustrated is that the Ohio State Buckeyes supposedly spent over $32 million on football operations two years ago and finished with a fifth-place national record while fourth-place Boise State only spent an estimated $5.4 million. Those figures pale in comparison, however, to the estimated $120 million spent on the retractable roof on Wimbledon's Center Court.
And what about the millions earned in incentive bonuses by 33 of the MLB All-Stars? Poor rookie pitching sensation Stephen Strasburg didn't make the roster despite 78,000 of his jerseys being sold last month which eclipsed all other MLB players. Considering all of those major league salaries, it doesn't seem fair that the Pittsburgh Pirates mascot who was fired - and later rehired - for posting unfavorable comments on Facebook, only earned $25 per game.
So, remember July - the month George Steinbrenner passed away and Spain ruled the sport world [in soccer and tennis anyways]. Stay tuned: August is surely ready to remain hot with equally interesting sport news. Hey, wasn't Switzerland the only team to defeat the Spaniards in this year's World Cup? Go Swiss!
Bonnie Tiell is the Tiffin University faculty representative to the NCAA.