Tag: Olympics

Must See TV: The Legend of Don Ohlmeyer

 

Don Ohlmeyer in 1998 (AP)

There are but a handful of American network executives that can rightly be called legends in the land of television. There were the founders, David Sarnoff and William Paley, the mavericks like Ted Turner and the two men that shaped what I and thousands of others do for a living — live sports production. Those men were a vibrant force at ABC and their names were Roone Arledge and Don Ohlmeyer.

The Obamaville Olympics?

 

I live near Los Angeles’s most infamous green space, the titular grounds of what may be the strangest hit in pop song history (the original hit № 2 on the charts in 1968 for Richard Harris — yes, the actor Richard Harris — while the more famous rendition by Donna Summer topped the charts a decade later). MacArthur Park has seen a lot of problems in the 15 years I’ve lived near it. In that time, it has gone from a No Man’s Land where gangs — notably the 18th Street Gang and Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13), two infamous international criminal organizations with roots in the area — would sell drugs and dump bodies in the lake, to the vital heart of the mostly densely populated area of the country west of the Mississippi River. The area, known as Westlake (because the lake was on Los Angeles’s western periphery about a century ago), is home to Central American immigrants, many of them illegals, though also some Koreans priced-out of neighboring Koreatown.

Many groups have sought to rehabilitate MacArthur Park, making the area a safer, more livable place for some of Los Angeles’s poorest residents by encouraging families, especially mothers, to use the park en masse. The strategy worked: The presence of moms, kids, and even intact families in the park and on the adjacent streets has gone a long way toward reducing crime and changing the neighborhood for the better. But, in the last year or so, a new problem has shown up in MacArthur Park and the surrounding streets that has beaten back the families and made the streets more dangerous: the tents. In the past few years, homeless encampments and tent villages have proliferated across Los Angeles. The city has always has a massive homelessness problem, so much so that it even became the ultimate punchline of the 2007 South Park episode “Night of the Living Homeless.”

Simone Biles and the Magic of the Internet

 

proxyTake a minute to watch The New York Times presentation on Simone Biles, soon to be declared, probably, the greatest gymnast in history. You’ll thank me. At a time when all the news fills us with horror, it’s wonderful to see a few things here. First, her. I’m speechless. Second, she’s American! She’s ours! We still do it, despite everything — we make things bigger, better, faster, open longer — and in her case stronger, bouncier, twistier, and more buoyant. USA! USA! USA! Third, however much the death of a newspaper has destroyed journalism and made us all more stupid, this kind of graphic story is so much more fun than any newspaper used to be.

Does anyone else get so nervous for these girls when they compete that they can’t watch? I do. I can’t bear it.

End the Olympics

 
Olympic Rings

Discarded Olympic rings from Beijing sit among garbage and overgrown with weeds.

The 1940 and ’44 Olympic Games were cancelled due to the war. And although she was still rebuilding, London held the first Summer Games afterwards in ’48. The total cost? £761,688. Converted to today’s currency that’s around $10.8 million (US).

Olympic Hurdles

 

LHMOjgYVThe splendid news that Boston’s controversial 2024 Olympics bid has come to an end is just the latest evidence that people are beginning to wake up to the fact that hosting a five-ring spectacle of totalitarian bloat is not something that any city should want to do. As NPR notes:

The Olympics are often presented as a chance to enrich a city with new public spending. But Bent Flyvbjerg and Allison Stewart, the Oxford economists, point out that every Olympics since 1960 has gone above budget an average of 179 percent. They call the Olympics “one of the most financially risky type of mega projects that exists, something that many cities and nations have learned to their peril.”

Mayor Walsh of Boston said, “no benefit is so great that it is worth handing over the financial future of our city.”

Member Post

 

I’ve seen several spot-on, anti-FIFA commentaries in recent weeks, but this one has nothing to do with corruption. Rather than focus on the scandal that has rocked FIFA, Kate Fagan’s ESPNw piece took soccer’s governing body to task over “gender verification” testing: Specifically, the screening tests used to determine the level of testosterone in female athletes.  The […]

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Member Post

 

I write a weekly book review for the Daily News of Galveston County. (It is not the biggest daily newspaper in Texas, but it is the oldest.) My review appears Sunday. When it appears, I post the previous week’s review on Ricochet. Seawriter Book review More than sports Posted: Sunday, October 5, 2014 1:45 am By […]

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