Where Did The Week Go…
The Olympic games are supposed to represent the pinnacle of athletic competition. Athletes from more than 200 countries have waited four long years to realize whether all that hard work has paid off and because of all that time and effort they put in, you’d think their mentality would be to win at all costs. Apparently that notion isn’t shared by eight badminton players who were booted from the games for intentionally trying to lose matches.
Lose? Why would anyone want to lose in the Olympics? In the case of these eight women, losing meant having an easier path to a medal. Two South Korean pairs, a Chinese and an Indonesian team were stripped of their place in the quarterfinals after it was determined that they tried to lose their final matches in the women’s doubles group stage in order to secure a more favorable draw in the knockout round.
As players deliberately served into the net and made no effort to sustain rallies, the audience at Wembley Arena began to boo and jeer. Everyone, including the judges and commentators calling the game, knew what was going on. Competition was replaced with manipulation. But besides the players, who else is to blame for this bizarre and shameful incident?
Organizers for the badminton event made a change for the 2012 games. By implementing a group system instead of a single-elimination format as used previously, teams didn’t have to worry about losing in earlier rounds and because of this, they could manipulate the system so that they could face easier opponents.
With half of the teams competing in the tournament now gone, organizers are left with an embarrassing situation that may lead to canceling one of the rounds with only four teams left, or to reinstate teams that had already been eliminated.
In any case, by the time we get to Rio in 2016, you can be sure this group system will be gone. Badminton is a great sport and only every four years do we get to see it on a national stage. The players weren’t technically cheating, but for the organizers to allow players the possibility of throwing matches, they have forever tarnished these Olympic games for the sport. The players may be getting all of the attention and scrutiny, but it’s the organizers who should really be facing the critics right now.
Netflix Instant Pick: Night of the Comet
The other day I was flipping through channels trying to find something to fill 30 minutes before I had to go to work. It was one of those days when nothing was on. But then I realized I’d forgotten about my new favorite channel that I didn’t know existed until recently. THiS Eugene on channel 313, or 13-2 if you don’t have cable, is a unique movie channel in that it plays different movies every day instead of picking eight and playing them on rotation every week (I’m looking at you HBO and ENCORE).
I’m quite the movie buff, but even I don’t know 80 percent of the movies they play on this channel. The majority of films are corny B-Movies made in the ’70s and ’80s and while most of them are terrible, every once in a while I’ll find a diamond in the rough. Case in point: Night of the Comet. Now because I only had a half hour, I hoped that this ’80s sci-fi zombie flick was available on Netflix instant. To my delight it was and I got to watch the whole thing.
Released in 1984, Night of the Comet stars eighties beauty Catherine Mary Stewart as Regina, a spunky teenage version of Ellen Ripley who wakes up one morning to discover that everyone is gone. Following a comet that either flew by or crashed on Earth (I’m not sure which), nearly everyone has been turned into chili powder. Regina returns home to discover her cheer-leading young sister Samantha is still alive.
Realizing they may be the only survivors, the girls travel to the local radio station to reach out to anyone who may be out there. But in the process of finding others and seeking help, they run into talking zombies (Why do they talk? They’re brain dead.), psycho mall security and members of an underground government facility who look like they came from the Dharma Initiative.
This is classic ’80s B-movie camp. The hair, the clothes, the boom box playing Cyndi Lauper, the fake-looking guns and sex jokes all fit nicely into the ’80s zeitgeist. But with two female leads in a post-apocalyptic setting, NIght of the Comet is refreshingly original. Where a conventional end-of-the-world movie would have one brooding man with a shotgun looking for trouble, these girls figure the best place to go when no one’s around is the mall.
The film is silly, but there is room for legitimately scary imagery, like an abandon Los Angeles, a Mars-like sky and multiple threats including zombies, viruses and shady government agents. But when a movie like this can feature all that plus Santa Claus, you know it’s something worth seeing at least once. My only gripe is that they should have stuck with the original title; Teenage Mutant Horror Comet Zombies. People know what they’re getting with a title like that.
MLB Facebook Pages Hacked
Now this is funny. If you’re a fan of a Major League Baseball team and happened to be on their Facebook page around 4 pm on Thursday, you were probably a little confused and somewhat frightened because a number of teams had their Facebook accounts hacked. Among the victims were the Chicago Cubs, Atlanta Braves and San Francisco Giants. Some of the posts are a little racy, but I’d like to share a couple of them with you anyway.
Nationals: “We’re going back to Montreal. SEE YA SUCKERS!!!!!”
(The Nationals used to be the Montreal Expos before they moved to Washington in 2005.)
Cubs: “F — Bill Murray.” (Bill Murray is a die hard Chicago Cubs fan who once negotiated in his contract to have a live feed of all Cubs’ games while shooting a movie.)
But my personal favorite and the one that got the most attention was the New York Yankees’ fake post about star player Derek Jeter.
“We regret to inform our fans that Derek Jeter will miss the rest of the season with sexual reassignment surgery. He promises to come back stronger than ever in 2013 as Minnie Mantlez.”
Now that’s creative. Not only did the hackers pick the right Yankee to go after in the beloved Derek Jeter, but they also acutely referenced his appearance on Saturday Night Live in 2001 when he dressed as a woman and threw in another Yankee great, Mickey Mantle, just as a bonus.
I can just see Yankee fan losing it after seeing this post. The fact that it was done randomly at the beginning of August instead of on something like April Fools Day is even better. No doubt irrational fans were calling and tweeting friends that their playoff hopes this year were over because Jeter had a sex operation.