Similar to this time last year (maybe a little earlier in the month, but nevertheless) I'm off on vacation during summer, and have decided to compile a list of thoughts. That said, this list should be more sport-related than the last one.
1. Golf should never, ever be an Olympic sport. I could live with Rugby 7s being in the Olympics, it's a great sport, it might increase rugby's popularity (not just league, union or 7s, but as a whole) and is evenly contested (the alleged problem with softball and baseball). Don't get me wrong, the concept of the amateur athlete competing in the Olympics is totally false, and that's not the argument against golf. It's a bit like tennis in the Olympics -- they're nothing special, just another blip on the Championship circuit. For every other sport, the Olympics are something really special, something to work towards, something to take your game to a higher level for. For tennis it's just another tournament, except with less prize money. And I feel that's what would happen with golf.
2. I've been watching Czech league hockey as they compete for the Tipsport Hockey Cup* (I think it's this thing... but it's clubs so I'm confused now) and have come up with three conclusions. (a) You don't really notice the ads on the jerseys unless you look for them. (b) I love big-ice hockey, there's so much space, defense needs to be more positional, hits need to be more thought out (and the Czechs love to throw hits, I didn't know it either), and transfer between defense and attack is unbelievably fast. It's really entertaining. (c) I like no-touch icing, it's safer and doesn't seem to kill the game all that much.
2a. Where else can a lowly North American like me continue to watch Hasek do the worm on ice?
3. Czechs drink some weird, weird hard liquor. There's Becherovka, which is a 'must-have' drink that tastes like a mouthful of herbs. There's just about 5 different colours of absynthe, and a cannabis flavoured absynthe, not to mention cannabis flavoured vodka, rum and all kinds of other drinks (including tea).
4. Czech beer is fantastic. Doubleplus delicious.
5. There are souvenir shops galore in Prague, and a lot of them sell North American sport-related Matryoshka dolls. It's weird to be in central Europe, and seeing a little Russian doll painted up like a Montreal Canadian, another one painted up like Tony Romo, one beside that in Chicago Bulls strip, and finally a nondescript Boston Red Sock to finish up a row of bizareness. (I couldn't be bothered to resize my own ginormous digital camera picture, so I'm ripping this one off the internet... much like all the other pictures. It does the trick).
Anyways, as you read in yesterday's post from Phil, England seemed to do pretty well against the Dutch. Unlike Phil, I think England are actually capable of winning 2010's World Cup for two reasons:
1) With a solid, first-choice keeper in goal who doesn't play for West Ham, England can be a force to be reckoned with (as long as the media doesn't tear their confidence to shreds... read; Robinson, Paul whose gaffe against Crotia [which I still argue was Neville's fault] continues to haunt him)
2) Spain won their second Euro 44 years after winning their first. England won their first World Cup in 1966. There ya go.