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Thursday, Aug. 25, 2016

So much to see. So little time.

Posted Wednesday, June 25, 2008, at 4:08 PM

While my chosen career path has led me to this sports desk, I have to allow that my sports tastes have not always been the most varied in the world. I have always been your football/baseball/basketball guy (basically in that order) with possibly a little bit of golf, hockey and auto racing sprinkled in.

That was pretty much it. Anything beyond that, and I'd just as soon be reading a book. (Not a bad thing, mind you.)

But I have to say that my reading habits have suffered thus far this summer. A serious Triple Crown bid in Big Brown, the Tiger/Rocco classic at the U.S. Open, Euro 2008, the College World Series and Wimbledon have all helped expand my tastes considerably of late. (Much to the chagrin of my wife. There's always something on).

I used to try and be a hardliner, but I can't do it anymore. I supposed I've soften somewhat by being a sports editor and seeing that all these kids work just as hard, regardless of whether or not they are in a sport that gets all the usual publicity.

I suppose it also doesn't hurt that my beloved Reds and Tigers have been disappointments this year. (But then again, what makes that any different from most years?)

However the real test will come in August with the Beijing Olympics. I am not a big fan of the Olympics in general because I think they encourage high levels of blind nationalism. (Blind nationalism did give us two world wars, approximately 20 million deaths and most of the major political problems of the 20th Century.)

But this Olympics is especially troubling to me given its location. For starters, Beijing is one of the world's most polluted cities, and therefore a horrible place for top-level athletic competition. Secondly, it gives the Chinese government a chance to clang its own gong and try to show what a "great nation" China is.

What part is great? The oppression of working class that makes cheap goods for the west, the countless human rights violations or the vilification of Tibetan Buddhism and the Dalai Lama?

No thanks, China.

On the other hand, though, all bets are off for me this summer. I probably won't like it, but my recent track record indicates I'll be tuned in with everyone else.

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Jared, Jared, Jared what am I gonna do with you?? Iknow you are the smartest person I have ever met in my entire life, and I would say that even if you werent my family, but the Blind Nationalism comment about the World Wars was totally uncalled for. I dare you to ask anyone of the World War Veterans that question and you might get smacked.

-- Posted by jaredscousin on Wed, Jun 25, 2008, at 11:35 PM

What an interesting blog! I was not aware that blind nationalism, "gave" us two world wars. That is a frightening statement to see in print without a mere mention of other causations of possibly the two most signigicant events that helped to shape modern world culture. You might find academics (especially economists) unsettled by your statement that links blind nationalism to, "most of the major political problems of the 20th Century" and "the Olympics."

Do you think that blind nationalism drove Jessi Owens incredible feats during the 1936 games in Berlin? Maybe. Could have there been something much bigger at stake? Possibly. What about Derek Redmond's semi-final 400m qualifing run in Barcelona? You must remember these images of a runner who crumbled and was helped to the finish by his father who came out of the stands.


If the promotion of blind nationalism your refering to is a result from the endless promotion of medal counts or Soviet/Chinese/American athlete farming then your point begins to have some focus. Although, I hope you take more time to consider the flip side. You said, "I supposed I've soften somewhat by being a sports editor and seeing that all these kids work just as hard, regardless of whether or not they are in a sport that gets all the usual publicity." I agree with you. That is why it is hard for me to identify with the double standered you have seemed to place in this article. The Olympics seems to me (maybe to all?) the only time when athletes in sports that do not get ANY public notice have a chance to shine in their respective ways. You have also neglected to mention the amazing sportsmanship that has historically been on display at the Olympics. "Larry Lemieux dropped out of the 1988 South Korean Olympics yachting race to save the lives of two competitors whose boat had capsized. Though costing him a GOLD medal, his act of bravery did not go unnoticed.IOC President Juan Antonio Samaranch honoured Lemieux's heroism by presenting him with a porcelain jar with the Olympic insignia, in a private ceremony." Blind nationalism on display?

Obviously you are not seriously suggesting Lemieux checked the countries flag on the other yacht before ditching his shoe-in gold medal performance....right? Of course your not...that would be foolish and irresponsible. Just like wipping broad historical information around. That is low-rent and above a sports editor like yourself.

What are we to make of your comments about the location of the games? This Olympics seems especially troubling to you because of it's location. Living in Asia (NOT CHINA), I can say that pollution is a big problem. One that grows with the passing of time while the world looks the other way. E.S.P.N.'s current examination of the pollution of Beijing has been a wonderful (and painful)look at the plague of pollution that exists. You complain that it is a horrible place for top-level athletic competition....but what if you are a resident? Does your concern lie with the athletes who are just competing or our global community? Secondly, how is China's clanging it's own, "gong" (your words not mine) any different than any other Olympic year? Why would countries complete to lose money (the last Olympics that turned out to be profitable for a government after all the investment was LA in 84')? Oh ya......it is a great way to boost your global image and tourism. Has it not always been that way? Im sure you still stand at your closet on Sunday's (provided you attend services) and pause for thought about what clothes you would like to be represented by. Maybe you choose the first thing that your hand touches, but for most of us we think about putting something on other than the daily rags.

About human rights violations and the vilification of religions....do I really need to educate you on post 911 U.S. policies? Check out the biggest human rights violators and you might find a uncomfortable name at the top of the list.

My faviorite part of this blog is the ending when about the Olympics you say..."No thanks, China. On the other hand, though, all bets are off for me this summer. I probably won't like it, but my recent track record indicates I'll be tuned in with everyone else."

Way to stand by your convictions. It might be easy to put something together to meet a deadline (believe me...I read your blogs) but next time, put some thought into what your actually saying...and if it is worth looking like a low-rent editor who thought he has something important to say....and then flushed it all away because past evidence, "indicates i'll be tuned in with everyone else."

-- Posted by Called-OUT! on Wed, Jun 25, 2008, at 11:09 PM

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Jared Jernagan
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Jared Jernagan is a 2003 graduate of Wabash College and has been in journalism since 2005.
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