Msnowe's Blog

Pissed off and Pissed on

Posted in Uncategorized by m.snowe on January 8, 2009

{msnowe never made a comment about baseball and softball being stricken from the Olympic record after this year. So let’s take a moment to think about this now.}

Olympics, by and large, really aren’t that great. They’re more a showcase of brute country strength (OMG medal count!) than they are of individual talent (Phelps aside, of course). Americans (and to some extent international folks) recognize pro athletes from the US teams more than they ever will Olympic athletes. And that makes sense–pros play hundred of games, and have major endorsements, and live lavish lifestyles we’re obsessed with chronicling. But the Olympics offer a chance for relative unknowns to show off their abilities (hopefully gained naturally, and not by juicing), and gain a little renown while promoting sport and competition. Also, they can propel a sport’s popularity (Think: American women’s soccer right after the US Women’s world cup final; though we won’t mention how women’s pro soccer is now defunct in the US).

But to get back on track–the Olympic committee, in their ignorance disguised as wisdom, scratched baseball and softball from the sports roster for the next summer games. Whatever you think about this decision, right or wrong–it is more of a blow to women’s softball than it will ever be to baseball–and the idea that if you cut one sport you have to cut the other, well that’s just plain sexist.

Why? –Baseball will not suffer. The dream of making the big leagues will still be there. But with softball? There are no big leagues. There was only the shot at special tournaments, and the Olympics. Not many people may know of Dot Richardson, or Lisa Fernandez, but if you played little league softball 10 years ago, these were your idols (especially Richardson, who’s a kick-ass player and orthopedic surgeon–how many Yankees or Dodgers do you know with a doctorate?). They earned their status by winning the Olympics, and yes msnowe did consider trying to have the nickname of “Dot” catch on, to no avail.

This is why it pains msnowe to hear about the “parity” of cutting both sports from the Olmypics. At least kick-ass Dot is still fighting the good fight.