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Sunday, February 14, 2010

Ramble On ... Notes

Happy Valentine's Day to one and all.  Well, not really... just to my little Valentines and to everyone in the Lyons/Martin family!


An interesting note on the globalization of the rank and file teams of the NCAA:  According to STATS LLC, 214 Division I programs have at least one non-American player, a 71 percent jump from the 125 schools just 15 years ago. Among players who have appeared in at least one game this season, 8.4 percent are foreign-born. That figure jumps to 31 percent for players 6 feet 10 and taller.


This news item from the NYT Publishing blog:

It looks as if Kirkus Reviews will live another day to praise — and skewer — authors, but with some rather unorthodox owners. Herb Simon, the owner of the Indiana Pacers and chairman emeritus of Simon Property Group, a shopping mall developer, has bought the venerable journal of prepublication book reviews from the Nielsen Company, which announced in December that it was closing the magazine. Terms were not disclosed.


Please tell me when Brit Hume lost his mind? Wasn't he an emmy award winning reporter for ABC News in the '80s and '90s with the White House beat and frequent hosting roles on Nightline?  Now, at FOX, he's a cartoon character.  Too bad.


The Vancouver Winter Olympics began in full crisis communications mode when a member of the luge team of Georgia died in a test run during the afternoon before opening ceremonies on Feb 12.  All the planning and all the preparation in the world cannot prepare anyone for the loss of a human life in such an instant.

The New York Times Blog report from a day after the tragedy states:

While insisting that the track at the Whistler Sliding Center was safe, Olympic and luge officials announced at a news conference here Saturday morning that the men’s competition would start lower on the track, at the current women’s start, to limit speeds. They also said that the wall around Curve 16 had been raised.

The modifications to the track, an unusual move at an Olympics, were announced less than 24 hours after Nodar Kumaritashvili of Georgia died after crashing during a training run. He flew over the wall after losing control in Curve 16.

Officials also said they were considering whether to adjust the women’s and doubles start as precautionary measures, which may mean eliminating the first curve.

Svein Romstad, secretary general for luge’s international governing body, said the decisions were made by the race director, the group’s jury and the technical delegates, who consulted the team captains before the decision. “The primary concern we have right now is the emotional component,” he said, adding that the changes might lower speeds around 10 kilometers an hour.

Kumaritashvili was reportedly going 143.3 kilometers per hour on his fatal run, or 89.7 miles per hour. 

The IOC dedicated the opening ceremony to Kumaritashvilli and his teammates marched in the procession of athletes, grim-faced and in shock.  It was a terrible accident and the Vancouver Olympics will always be remembered by the loss of life, rather than the celebration of sport.  See this report from the Washington Post.


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