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Here’s one for you:
In case you haven’t been paying attention, and I presume the vast majority of you haven’t, Israel won its first two games at the WBC in shocking fashion, beating South Korea 2-1 in 10 innings first and then rolling 15-7 over Taiwan.
They have another first round game left, against Netherlands, and since they’re playing in Seoul it might have already happened and I missed it because I can never figure what day it is once the International Dateline comes into play.
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So the question probably boils down to this:
Who ya got?
Me, I got Iceland.
Not to take anything away from what Israel’s done but it’s a team that’s populated by professionals who get to represent the country just because they have some link – parental, mainly – to Israel. Of the 36 players in the available pool, 35 were born in the United States.
That was a helluva story and the magnitude of the win over England was incredible. Like Israel, it’s a country with no history in the sport that came out of nowhere to provide a fortnight of Cinderella dreams.
But given the relative magnitude of the Euros compared to the WBC, that’s how I give Iceland the nod.
I guess the biggest thing right now is that no one’s paying much attention to what Israel’s doing because, first, the World Baseball Classic with its pitch limits, expanded rosters and timing on the calendar is somewhat bogus and, second, playing a first round in South Korea hardly draws the attention of the North American media.
When in NOLA ….
So the day’s been a rush, the practice, getting to the airport in time, get through security, take a train to some silly satellite terminal where the best you can find is a prefab $ 9.50 ham and cheese sandwich (sorry, Mr. and Mrs. Accounting) and it’s pouring rain in New Orleans because it’s always pouring rain in New Orleans it seems and you get checked in and stop by the lobby bar to take the edge off the day.
“I’ll have an Abita Amber, please.”
“Here you are, sir, but it’s the last one we have.”
Yep, one of those days.
Oh, speaking of schedules, have somehow gotten myself on a 7:30 a.m. flight tomorrow so that means a stupid early wakeup call so we might be later than usual here.
Jack’s one of the best — on TV, on a stool, pretty much everywhere — and was well deserving of the award.
Guess we’ll have to find another night on the road.
It’s not enough, I don’t know how it could be, but you know I think it’s hugely important that young girls have role models across the spectrum of all sports because, as was once told me by someone far smarter than I involved in women’s sports “you can’t be what you can’t see.”
And that’s why the women who play sports at a high level are so important to the athletic development of youngsters who want it, just as why the women in our industry are important to aspiring journalists; same with lawyers and doctors and businesswomen of every ilk.
The women I wrote about unfailingly told me every time I asked that they took their responsibility as role models extremely seriously, it was almost as important as winning, it was their legacy and it was important to them.
I’ve kind of lost touch with a lot of those women since Rio finished and that’s too bad. I track their careers from afar and am sure that at least some of the girls they reached out to after games, practices, whatever, are doing the same thing.
This being International Women’s Day and all, I thought it was important to once again remind you that there Canadian women people should be proud of as much because of what they’ve gone for future generations as what they did for themselves.