FanDuel - WFBC

February 11, 2006

The Olympics are becoming more like soccer, no one in the US will care in 20 years

posted by mick at 11:54 AM on February 11

The Olympics are becoming more like soccer, no one in the US will care in 20 years That seems like a stretch. The Olympics were popular in the US for a long time before baseball and softball were adopted in '92, and I think there will always be support for our athletes in all of the existing sports (including those American-born like basketball). The sports that have endured are what they are, and I doubt that US representation on the IOC board would influence our athletes' desire to participate or our fans' willingness to root them on. The suggestion to pull American money out of the games sounds a bit to me like petulance that serves nobody.

posted by BullpenPro at 12:34 PM on February 11

Bullpenpro I agree with alot of what you said but this was clearly meant as an insult to the Americans. 85% of the IOC budget comes from American wallets, to not have American representation is clearly meant as a snub. I say let some of the other countries start spending some of their money if they wish to exclude the US from the IOC decision making process.

posted by skydivedad at 01:14 PM on February 11

I suppose the US will always prop up the rest of the world. Jealousy is born through helping out people and then they find they still can't do it on their own. The IOC is like the UN. Full of over-cottled, over-fed, over-indulged, self-rightous hypocrites. They cry about their countries, but do nothing except help themselves to the spoils of being the privileged.

posted by XY in YL at 01:28 PM on February 11

skydivedad: I didn't mean to suggest that America wasn't slighted in these votes (baseball, softball and the board). I was only arguing for reasonable response in the face of these slights. America, it should be noted, does NOT provide 85% of the IOC budget. The articles note that 85% of the IOC budget comes from broadcast rights and corporate sponsorship. Of that 85%, Americans provide "most" (vague term) of the pool. I suspect that little of this money comes in the form of pure charity -- our networks and corporations are motivated by a return on their investment. The US routinely sends among the largest groups of athletes to the Olympics, and generally fare pretty well on the medal board. As a result, the US viewers are more emotionally invested than most other countries, so it makes sense that sponsorship comes in larger quantity from US entities. Pulling our sponsorship sounds to me like cutting off our noses to spite our helmets.

posted by BullpenPro at 02:38 PM on February 11

The Olympics are becoming more like soccer, no one in the US will care in 20 years It's hard for me to care now much less 20 years. I coached softball for 12 years up to HS level and interest really took off when softball was added. Not to have Baseball or Softball is a slam to the US considering some of the other activities trying to pass as sports. Regarding Basketball being the only US grown sport, I'm wondering about the origins of Softball. Clearly it's much like baseball but there are many differences.

posted by STLCardinalfan at 03:02 PM on February 11

Regarding Basketball being the only US grown sport, I'm wondering about the origins of Softball. Where else would it have come from?

posted by tron7 at 03:23 PM on February 11

Where else would it have come from? I can think of many countries that could have made the changes to become the sport we know today. The US isn't the only country that could have tried a bigger ball, shortened the base paths, torn up the infield grass and so on. I'm thinking those changes were made here but I wouldn't bet my house on it.

posted by STLCardinalfan at 04:40 PM on February 11

In 1887 George Hancock a Pro Baseball Player invented "indoor softball" to stay in shape offseason, the Canadians took the game outside and it was further refined in Chicago in the 1920's. Here's a link written by a member of the Softball Hall of Fame.

posted by skydivedad at 05:03 PM on February 11

Even if the US government (or some proxy like the USOC) paid 85% of the IOC budget as a pure donation which, per BullpenPro's link, it doesn't I don't see how that would automatically justify a US seat on the executive committee. Donations are not the same as service fees or purchase prices and are presumably given because the donor believes in the ideals of the recipient organization. Otherwise why wouldn't we expect the money to get us the same 85% votes, athlete's spots and medals?

posted by billsaysthis at 05:47 PM on February 11

billsaysthis Let me say it straight up. This was an intentional snub of the US by the IOC Executive Committee, a blatant insult to say the least and has absolutely nothing to do with the US expecting anything else, your jump to the US expecting 85% of the medals is silly and dubious at best.

posted by skydivedad at 06:33 PM on February 11

billsaysthis, one correction: all three votes were by the IOC delegates, not the executive board.

posted by Amateur at 06:50 PM on February 11

Another reason the Olympics are a joke! Speed Walking, Snowboarding, Sync Swimming, or Skateboarding, but not one of the most popular sports in the world...baseball(softball). No wonder rating are lower than the Springer Show, nobody gives a shit anymore.

posted by CountDracula58 at 07:43 PM on February 11

In 1887 George Hancock a Pro Baseball Player invented "indoor softball" to stay in shape offseason Thanks, skydivedad -- although I've heard of rounders and townball, I had no idea about the origin of softball. That's good info (as usual). I found similar info on wikipedia. I think it's interesting that both the 12" and 16" versions of the game were invented in Chicago -- almost like they were going to keep making the game weirder until they had a version that they could call exclusively theirs.

posted by BullpenPro at 09:19 PM on February 11

it is time to tell the ioc eo shove it.get your own funding

posted by arturo at 09:36 PM on February 11

As BullpenPro pointed out, this call for the US to withhold funding is just bullshit. The IOC does "get its own funding," mostly from selling the broadcast and sponsorship rights to the Olympic games. If you want to decrease the IOC's revenue, then turn off your TV, and don't buy from Olympic sponsors. It's pretty simple.

posted by Amateur at 11:55 PM on February 11

Only have one comment.Shuffle board o ice???LOL LOL LOL

posted by mdavidsf at 05:42 AM on February 12

Great. Let's all take it personally. The truth is - no one was watching baseball or softball at the Olympics. No one cared - Including the American audience. Just chill with the sour grapes and "The whole world is jealous of America" clap trap and that the IOC is engaging in some kind of petty grade-school revenge. C'mon, do you honestly think that simply? The whole world is not jealous of America. Get over yourselves. The sheer amount of hubris is enough to make Greek playwrites groan. The IOC is a European invention, has been Euro-dominated forever and has met with a certain success if I may be understated for a moment. Frankly, it's their show - they've earned it. I don't suggest for a second that the IOC is perfect, but I would suggest that they consider a little more than just the sensibilities of the good ol' US of A when making their decisions. Sorry. Life will somehow grind on.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 07:48 AM on February 12

Of course nobody watched baseball or softball at the Olympics! There are no professionals to represent America, so the US baseball team didn't even qualify. As for softball, who is going to stay up until four in the morning to watch softball or pay a million dollars to fly over to see it? I would have watched it more but it was never on! The fact of the matter is that the Olympics are obsolete and stupid and softball needs to follow the example of the World Baseball Classic and just stick with it's own more legitimate international tournament, maybe even played in different countries instead of waiting every four years to play. Seriously, who is going to watch curling or any of that other crap they call a sport? Europe can keep the Olympics, as well as their wine, cheese and cigarettes. All they have become is another corrupt and politicized corporation.

posted by mrj171 at 11:50 AM on February 12

Europe is a corporation? Why doesn't anybody tell me these things?

posted by Amateur at 12:15 PM on February 12

mrj, do you know why professional baseball players didn't play in the Olympics? Do you think that was what the IOC wanted? Think again. To echo what Weedy said, how can so many people simultaneously hold the opinion that "Olympic baseball sux!" and "They cut baseball -- that's an insult!"

posted by Amateur at 12:19 PM on February 12

Weedy, I think the jingoistic paranoia that is generally exhibited by Americans these days is, to some extent, warranted. And just because we're paranoid doesn't mean someone isn't out to get us. I think it is totally fair for Americans to examine the motivation of the IOC in a series of votes that COULD all be interpreted as driven by anti-American sentiment. I do think, though, that we are primed to overreact to this situation -- ruining the Olympics for the athletes that CAN participate is not a good solution. "Olympic baseball sux!" and "They cut baseball -- that's an insult!" I don't see these as mutually exclusive -- just because Americans may not want to see baseball in the Olympics (note: I am not among them) doesn't mean they won't see a vote against baseball as a vote against a US institution and take offense. Europe can keep the Olympics, as well as their wine, cheese and cigarettes. But not their beer.

posted by BullpenPro at 01:10 PM on February 12

The fact of the matter is that the Olympics are obsolete and stupid and softball needs to follow the example of the World Baseball Classic and just stick with it's own more legitimate international tournament, maybe even played in different countries instead of waiting every four years to play. Seriously, who is going to watch curling or any of that other crap they call a sport? Europe can keep the Olympics, as well as their wine, cheese and cigarettes. All they have become is another corrupt and politicized corporation Given that the excitement the more legitimate international tournament (the WBC) has generated, that enough should prove that what you just said is bullshit. The reason MLB players aren't allowed to partcipate is because the Olympic sadly represent a huge scheduling conflict, just like any other international baseball tournament would. As for the Olympics being obsolete and stupid, go back to the hellhole from which you crawled because there is no way you can understand the immense pride and glory that comes from representing your nation in the Olympics. For many people, you don't even have to win a medal to become a national hero. The Olympics are the greatest sporting event in the world, the fact that they can hold them during times of conflict is simply amazing. Seriously, who is going to watch curling or any of that other crap they call a sport? The hundreds of people on this site who contribute in discussions and write collumns about the most prestigeous international sporting event that also only happens every four years.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 07:06 PM on February 12

This is not in the least an anti-American thing, but it has to do with the fact that the Olympics doesn't want a sport - and I think they're right in this - unless the Olympic competition is going to be the best in the World. The fact is that the way baseball is organized doesn't adhere to any principle of the other International Sports federations, and even though there is an international organization for baseball, it doesn't actually have much to do with the mainstream of the game, which is represented by professional baseball in the US. The only sports in which the competition does not include the participants at the highest level in the world is in boxing and soccer. In the case of boxing, it is because international boxing is run internationally in a way that is conducive to Olympic competitiion, whereas soccer is a different case altogether due to the sheer size and popularity of the sport (which outstrips that of my beloved baseball by a factor of ten or a hundred). People suggest that somehow having NHL and NBA players in the Olympics is contrary to the spirit of the Games. I suggest the opposite - if they weren't there, they would no longer be Olympic sports. The Olympics wants the best, and if they cannot get it, they'll cancel it altogether.

posted by mikelbyl at 08:31 PM on February 12

This is not in the least an anti-American thing, but it has to do with the fact that the Olympics doesn't want a sport - and I think they're right in this - unless the Olympic competition is going to be the best in the World. This doesn't explain voting against softball. I suspect there isn't a softball organization in the world that wouldn't drop everything to allow its athletes to participate in the Olympics. I don't agree with your argument that the Olympic focus is to get the best-of-the-best except in a few sports they are willing to overlook because of their organization, but even if that was the case I see no reason not to include softball (even with the exclusion of baseball).

posted by BullpenPro at 06:49 AM on February 13

You're right about softball I think. I still don't think it's an anti-American thing though. Everywhere else in the world they feel that the IOC bends over backwards to accomodate the US and cater to the US. As for the best-of-the-best, I think it's clear in all sports that's what they're after. That's also likely why a sport like rugby union (or sevens rugby), which has far wider international popularity than baseball, is also not included in the Games.

posted by mikelbyl at 10:14 AM on February 13

SKD: This was an intentional snub of the US by the IOC Executive Committee, a blatant insult to say the least and has absolutely nothing to do with the US expecting anything else, your jump to the US expecting 85% of the medals is silly and dubious at best. Um, that was a rhetorical argument. My point is not what people from other countries might say or do but what we Americans might or should expect. If some doofuses (doofii?) from elsewhere want to get their kicks by some foolish but meaningless maneuvers, well, hooray for them. We don't need to stoop to that level.

posted by billsaysthis at 03:47 PM on February 13

billsaysthis I didn't look at it that way. Now that you point it out I couldn't agree more. For some reason I needlessly let this get my goat, I think it's just my complete passion for anything Baseball and the sense of loss of I feel now that it is no longer an Olympic Sport (post 2008).

posted by skydivedad at 04:44 PM on February 13

Well, good on you for being big about it. But it's still a strawman argument. No one is stooping to some kind of petty take-the-ball-home strategy. Not with billions at stake. It just isn't happening. Olympic baseball was a mediocre product that didn't deserve renewing. Hey, it was a close vote, though. Plus, this is a TERRIBLE article about it. Talk about a moron with a typewriter.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 06:09 PM on February 13

Olympic baseball was a mediocre product that didn't deserve renewing. Boy, if the target was weeding out mediocre events, I have a hard time believing they'd START with baseball. They hardly gave it time to come into its own. I don't want to pick on anybody, but I have to think there are better candidates for contraction. Not with billions at stake. I admittedly don't know much about the organizational process of the Olympics, but billions of what? Did the vote over baseball and softball really have billions of ANYTHING hanging over it? Not even CANADIAN dollars, I don't think. (Insert smart-ass smirk here.) Talk about a moron with a typewriter. Man, you are right on there.

posted by BullpenPro at 06:33 PM on February 13

Talk about a moron with a typewriter. Man, you are right on there. Weedy, I realized after I wrote this that, after disagreeing with two of your points, suspicious minds might interpret this as turning your own words on you -- I wasn't. This was a total agreement on the "TERRIBLE article" -- I should have pulled the whole comment instead of just that sentence. Sorry. Continue.

posted by BullpenPro at 07:20 PM on February 13

Olympic baseball was a mediocre product that didn't deserve renewing. Boy, if the target was weeding out mediocre events, I have a hard time believing they'd START with baseball. Wonder what the television ratings for curling are in the USA (not counting farther north states like Michigan since they're almost in Canada anyway.)

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 05:36 PM on February 14

Not with billions at stake. Naw, I meant that organizations like the IOC probably don't take petty grievances over hard cold data when making decisions that affect the profitability of their billion-dollar product. Then again, maybe they do. Who am I, the Pope? I just object to the point that any decision made that doesn't favour the US is immediately explained by the transgressor hating America, or being jealous of her gloriosity and splendiferousness. It just ain't happening folks.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 08:08 PM on February 14

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