Sunday, August 5, 2012

Olympics 2020

Okay, Andy Murray beat Roger Federrer for Olympic gold, the US Men's Basketball team demolished Nigeria by over 80 points. And John White resigned the Pro Squash Tour (PST) to play in a Pro Squash Association (PSA) event and the continued pathetic squash community's lament of why Squash isn't in these Olympics. Frankly, who cares? Do I want to see Ramy Ashour play Nick Matthew in the gold medal match when I can see them in a professional capacity 5-8 times a year? Does anyone really care that Niclas Massu won the Olympic gold for tennis in 2004 and 2008? Will anyone care all that much in four years about Murray winning in the Olympics except a few patriotic starved Brits (by the way Murray is Scottish and they are up for independence in 2013 so Murray's gold for the queen will matter even less). As I watched track and field and swimming events, these are the true and purest form of athleticism, they play not for Lebron size contracts and Murray's certain leveraged medal endorsements. Okay, Michael Phelps was pitching Subway and any other corporate product sponsors but the path that got him to to Beijing and now London was a path of exalted amateur athletics.

The distinction between professional and amateur was abolished in 1986 because the Soviet Union paid it's athletes and supported them much like corporations now do.By the way, the Soviet Union is dead and gone some 23 years ago. Soviet athletes were considered professional because they took money. And our athletes, hmmm, never seem to take money, from anyone. Well, since 1986 everyone now takes money from all the big bad corporations, the very same corporations that cheated investors, consumers and those pest environmentalists that hate when Exxon or BP decimate the environment for generations -- dare I mention Coca-Cola which studies have indicated are responsible a good part of obesity in the US.

The Olympics will mean something to me when Todd Harrity represents the United States squash team in the Olympics actually he is probably too old so Mason Ripka or Faraz Khan will have to do, not when professionals like Chris Gordon or Julian Illingsworth represent the U.S. which I'm sure they won't be in 2020 they'll be old men. Restore the integrity of the spirit of the Olympics, bring back the vision of purity of Jesse Owens, Bruce Jenner and Olga Corbet. I don't want to see Roger Federrer or Labron James in the Olympics because they happen to have mass appeal and stuff the advertising coffers of all the corporate sponsors.

For all those squash and Olympic proponents (sorry Mr. Thatcher), including the professional players themselves, show how squash transcends money and greed and corporate sponsorship, promote amateur athletics, promote participation in the Olympics, but at the amateur level, uphold the highest ideals of amateur athletics, somewhere in the United States, in India, in Pakistan, a young player with ideals as high as the sky, with purity of soul, uncorrupted, who embraces the pursuit of perfection in the true Rousseauian manner, refuting institutions as inherently corrupt. It is only the individual we should rest our hopes and dreams and gold upon, not the corporate sponsored icons of professional athletes.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Another Nail in the Coffin of Manhattan Squash

Another nail in the coffin for New York City Squash. What had been rumored for the past couple of months that New York Sports' Lincoln Squash courts will be closing seems a reality as of October 1, 2012. This is very sad. And the sadness has nothing to do with sentiment, it has to do with the fact that the greatest sport in the world cannot seem to survive in the greatest city in the world. Sure, there are private clubs still and a a few, sorry, 2 City Clubs (not counting the outer Boroughs) remaining. But there's always Chelsea Piers, right? Sorry not those Chelsea Piers in Manhattan, but the one which is a transit system away and just opened in Connecticut. Unless the US squash search engine for Manhattan squash tournaments is wrong (one of my students asked about playing in an adult tournament), there aren't any in Manhattan through the end of 2012. To those who have helped put the nails in the coffin for New York City squash, you can just imagine to which after life I am sending you.