The weirdest thing about the equal pay or equal anything argument to be broad, is that it is never about being rich and poor. It is more about jealousy and gluttony. The Canadian Women’s soccer national team has joined the bandwagon of liberal irrationality. The CWNT which did so well at the Tokyo 2020, have threatened strike action against their FA over what they deem unfair pay compared to their male counterparts. First, a little economics basics shall we. From my basic economics, labor is paid to PRODUCE goods and is paid in proportion to what value the employer perceives the worker. Let’s compare the two teams, the women’s and man’s national teams. The WNT’s calendar program is as thin as rail compared to the men’s. In other words they produce men get to work a lot more. The basis for the CWNT is that they “deserve” equal or more pay than their gender counterparts. It is born out of a socialist ideal that we are all equal no matter what we achieve individually. But is this reality? This is the reality. Equality is part of civilization. We can never be equal because , let’s face it, we have different DNA so John is bound to be more intelligent and more enterprising than me or vice versa.
This is to say that in this imperfect world, there are people who work harder than the next person (and smarter) so they are bound to accumulate wealth more than you and me. That is why Cristiano Ronaldo is the highest paid soccer player on the planet, that is why Rihanna(Super Bowl LVII here we go)is the highest paid musician in the world and Bill Gates can pay a third world country’s GDP and have change left. They can do things that most of us can’t phantom to do in our lifetime. So until CWNT can prove that they can do better than their male counterparts, they might as well be masked robbers trying to jack the Canadian FA. Money isn’t an infinite resource. Budgets have to be done, allocation of funds according to the greatest need. By forcing the Canadian FA to go above their budget forces them to take desperate measures. One of which is to take money from worthy causes such as junior teams or funding for developmental programs. All this to satisfy certain egos and make someone feel “important”. The Canadian players haven’t thought through this one at all. The players even if they manage to win their extortion war will let loose an uncontrollable spiral of events. The men are possibly going to demand more for their efforts, even the junior teams can demand more for appearances and a vicious cycle ensues. I hope they back down and get back to do what they do best, putting their country first and making them proud on the pitch.
Like everything else, sports can take a political and divided approach to life. Depending on who you support or who you are affiliated to , you can be either pro showmanship or pro sportsmanship. It is either or, no middle ground from my observation. My focus today is on showboating, with Vinicius Junior the Brazilian attacker of Real Madrid being my main. Who is the most fouled man in soccer? According to this season’s stats BY BIG FIVE LEAGUE, Neymar is the man, Premier League it’s Wilf Zaha(with the number of times Jack Grealish hits the deck this is an upset) and finally La Liga it’s Vini. One school of thought is that Vini gets kicked a lot because he shows off like a clown therefore he baits his opponents to do so. Another says he is expressing himself artistically (like a Brazilian should), the client(the fans) enjoys the show everybody is happy. Here is my take. When you go to the boxing ring expect one of many things. Expect a punch to the face, expect more of them and expect high probability of a swollen face. When you go onto the pitch expect to be kicked or fouled. How many times doesn’t really matter, you paid for such. In a not so politically correct way I say man up.
Like everything in life nowadays , when all else fails don’t seek the all mighty, blame it on racism. In a twist, Real Madrid has come out publicly and accused the criticizing public of racism towards him saying it’s a La Liga problem. I get it the us against them narrative works wonders when you are under the cosh. The victim is always held in high regards and always given the sympathy. Is racism there? Yes. Is it the extent to which it is being put in the limelight the reality? Not on your life. Not condoning racist behavior. The main reason fans attack Vini in that way is that they view him as disrespectful when he does his party tricks. The fact that the Spanish authorities couldn’t identify the perpetrators should be clue that the problem isn’t as pronounced as they would like to make it out to be. Russell Westbrook, the new Utah baller, is known for not taking any prisoners when it comes to showboating. Last year, he got angry with Darius Bazley of the OKC who robbed him of the ball and dunked it unguarded in the final secs of a game Russ’s team the Lakers blew a 26 point lead.”There are some things you just don’t do in sports” is what Russ said and right on he was. It’s about the old R.E.S.P.E.C.T Aretha style. Your opponent may be down but he is a professional just like you and you can also have a bad day in the office. Kind of like that annoying office guy you work with who always wants to put himself over by pointing to your mistakes. Showboating happens in a lot of sports, like tennis. So to showboat or not? Don’t. It’s dangerous to your health, physical and mental and creates enemies.
One thing that has made the Davis Cup just a footnote in a season is the fact that most so called top guys shun the annual event. It was as refreshing as it comes to see two top talents in Stan and Sascha coming head to head. But Wawrinka , in the twilight years of his career now, came into the Swiss-German tie at number two. The odds were certainly against the Swiss. Up stepped relatively unknown Marc-Andrea Huesler ranked 53 in the world, who surprised with two wins in the tie. Huesler didn’t really come out of the blue as some may like to think. He is Junior Roland Garros winner three years ago, potential is the word. Sascha Zverev, working his way back from a long term injury maybe should be given a break here especially with his win over Stan in the first round of matches on Friday. Huesler’s style of tennis is rally based baseliner, not necessarily a strong serve, but has a wicken return of serve to boot. Check out 1-1(30-30) first set. In the world of tennis we love to classify players as one thing or another. Mixing it up gets you results and leaves your opponent bewildered as to how to approach the game plan. Watch the serve and volley ala grass court 2-1 Switzerland (40-30). Sascha did have a look in at 3-2 Switzerland 30-15 but blew it on the unforced error , which was his story of the match.
Look both players were at the net center of the court, Huesler gambles obviously, Sascha goes for power unnecessarily. Chance gone. Huesler full value for the first set W on the double break. Sascha found it hard to deal with the lefty. You couldn’t tell that Germany had home court advantage with the way the crowd was silenced by the on fire Huesler. Second set was more like it from Zverev. He has always had that first serve accuracy that sets him up for the points. Check out first game 40-15. He also started to attack the second serve of Huesler more, watch 1-0 Germany first point. Any return that takes your opponent off the center and wide will almost always win you the point. But Sascha blew it and blew it badly. Zverev’s record in final tie breaks is a stinker. Best practice approach to breakers is to get the first mini break at all cost. Zverev did just that at 1-0. Monster return catching Huesler out, who was trying the serve and volley probably coming ,a very low and hard return. Huesler snuffed out the mini break advantage with a monster return of his on at 2-1. I loved this match, a match of great returns refreshing from the usual service based. A very close tie breaker but the unforced errors again reared their ugly head from the German. It took me a while to warm up to this version of the Davis Cup, this tie brought me back.
Let’s face it, Juventus are the outlaws of the sport of soccer. They have got to be used to being punished like a delinquent school kid by now. But one thing I always got from watching the Bianconerri was results soccer. They always put in results based performances year in year out(overlooking the match fixing of course). This season they lack that consistent performance. Fine they were docked 15 points for not having their ducks(books) in a row, it’s the lack of for a lack of better word, balls and fight for that badge. Whilst in the past Juve had players like Del Piero and Buffon who were willing to sink to the depths of Serie B, you will find it hard to find such players among the class of 2023. It is time to get over the punishment and fight for a place in Europe, yes it is still possible, the side needs to string a run of victories which was supposed to start with Monza. To say Juventus has lost it’s identity is an understatement. They always had a solid backbone of a defense, now they can’t spring an offside trap to save their lives, Check out the first Monza goal. Part of the reason Max Allegri has gone for a back three was to get a more attacking Juve, unfortunately players like Danilo have been exposed by that system. So does the coach change the system to suit the player or the player to suit the system?
A player can be coached into a system it depends how much patience the fans and the new board have. Given that it looks like a lost season already they have no choice but. Monza were promoted to Serie A last year and given that a familiar and somewhat experience hand of Silvio Berlusconi owns the team, their fans can rest assured of a long stay in the top flight. Although Monza doesn’t score a lot of goals, they have a penchant of taking the little chances that come their way. That second goal came out of nothing really but guts and determination from the Carlos Augusto who created the panic in the Juve ranks with his lung busting run. A back three needs a good Defensive midfielder to protect that back three, another problem position for the Bianconerri. Bright spark for Juve? Angel Di Maria, the world cup winner has been an inspired signing and important one given the constant absence of Chiesa through injury. Like I mentioned earlier the fight for the Conference League is still on and in times of crisis we usually see who the real leaders are in a team. Let’s see.
There is no question the hottest debate in sports for the last decade or so has been whether trans athletes should compete in male or female category sports. That is to say someone born scientifically a man or a woman and now identifies as the opposite gender now wants to compete with natural born men or women. Some say sport is actually about taking advantage of those physiological differences on your way to victory such that transgender athletes should be allowed to compete.The report states that biomedical factors such as testosterone, lung size and bone density aren’t the dominant factor in whether someone wins a race or not, but other factors like whether you have quality training facilities and nutrition. What automatically came to my mind reading this was that if this was all true why do we even have separate categories in sports in the first place. Come on, the report is saying just train hard and eat right then you can outrace Tadej Pogacar at the next Tour De France. If that was correct why have the average finishing times between men and women differ so much by as much That’s right I am questioning the motives of this report and it’s not the first time science has taken a side in political debate. Just go back to the 1930s and 1940s. Didn’t science say back then that there is no evidence that tobacco smoke has any lasting physical harm to the lungs and body? There are “Merchants of Doubt” out there. What is that old adage? Whoever pays the piper…
If I am a scientist in desperate need of funding or work and there so happens to be a pro liberal company with millions looking at trans research in sports, I am bound to make my piper happy. Everything else goes out of the window. Look, every human being has a right to choice. If you choose to identify as any gender , good for you. When it comes to sports we should draw the line. There were numerous instances of men competing with women and men crashed the women easily, no science is even needed. The report points out that some previous reports have used non athletic trans women as subjects and also not considering that hormone replacement therapy such as testosterone suppression has a way of leveling the playing field a bit. That in itself is hypocrisy at the worst. Why are we banning athletes for doping? We are banning them because having a higher than normal red blood cell count because it has advantages in the endurance races. The fact that it normalizes after a few months of taking testosterone suppression drugs doesn’t mean it applies to every single athlete. Different bodies react differently to different drugs. The last thing I have against this review is that it actually doesn’t do a trial race between a subject transgender cyclist for example and a professional cis athlete(a person assigned a gender at birth). There is no better evidence than observation. Just observe how your subject actually compete in actual competitive matches. A wrestling match between a trans and a cis man can only go one way. A football game between them usually goes a certain way most of the times. Ye, we live in an all inclusive world but the buck surely has to stop with sports.