Sports Roundtable – Aug. 2/12


1. The new stadium is all the buzz in Regina at the moment. City council recently agreed to move forward with the project. It seems like the entire city is polarized on this issue, where do you stand? Do we need a new stadium or are there other things we should be spending taxpayer money on?

Jonathan Hamelin: I like the idea of getting better seating – it's not pretty trying to make your way to your seat when others are already seated; I even stubbed my toe pretty bad once – but I'd still be fine with the current stadium. It's a great place to watch the game and the money should go elsewhere.

Dietrich Neu: I’ve talked a lot about this issue in the past. The money would clearly be spent better spent on fixing this city, which is falling apart at the seams. Instead the province decided to purchase 675 million dollar penis extension.

Julia Dima: We need to spend those tax dollars on other things. The primary concern at that city council meeting was housing. For the cost of the stadium we could build just about 2,600 low income housing units, enough for almost all of Regina’s homeless. The question of whether we need this stadium is like standing in between a Tiffany’s and a Safeway with your welfare check.

Dustin Christianson: Where I stand in relation to the new stadium is (and forever will be) outside the gate, shouting into a megaphone and waving a sign which reads "STOP, ye foolish spend-thrifts, the end is nigh!" We certainly do not need a new stadium, and it is barely clear that a majority of the population even wants a new stadium. There are much better things to spend taxpayer money on.

2. The 2012 Olympics are well underway at this point. Do you watch the games or even care? If so, which events are you most looking forward to this year?

JH: I don't watch the Olympics. If I did, it would be Canadian events and Canada usually underachieves so much that I don't see the need to tune in. As an example, the Canadian women's basketball team came close to losing to Britain, ranked 49th in the world.

DN: I’m a pretty big combat sports fan. Usually when I tune into the Olympics I do so casually. But I like watching the Judo bouts, speaking of which, Canadian Antoine Valois-Fortier won recently won bronze. I wouldn’t mind watching boxing either.

JD: I never watch Summer Olympics, because quite frankly, all the sports bore me. I sometimes tune in to hear tennis players grunt.

DC: Watching the Olympic events requires, first and foremost, watching television. This is a behaviour that I purposefully tend to avoid, regardless of the popularity of the contents. Radio-news raved recently that over a billion individuals would watch the opening ceremonies – however, two billion eyes transfixed on some televised event is probably enough people to render my “not caring enough” irrelevant.

"The Olympics should widen the foray of events … Such new events may include: synchronized coffee consumption, Jimmy-legging, potato salad sculpture, yodeling, and of course – everyone's favourite – breathing!"

3. Greek triple jumper Voula Papachristou was banned from this year’s games for an incredibly racist tweet earlier this month. We can all agree that Papachristou’s comments were despicable and deserved punishment, but in a more global sense, do you think the Olympic committee should monitor and reprimand athletes for their comments?

JH: Voula Papachristou deserved to be suspended and the Olympic committee should definitely monitor and reprimand athletes. The Olympics is all about representing your country through your actions and your words. But don't worry Papachristou, you too can enjoy some home cooking … while you're at home watching the Olympics.

DN: Athletes at this level are role models to so many people around the world. If you want to be a shit human being, fine, but do it in private, not on the world’s biggest stage for everyone to see. Unfortunately Papachristou has also used her twitter account to display her support for Golden Dawn, the Greek neo-nazi party. What a piece of garbage.

JD: My mom-style advice is “never post something you wouldn’t want your boss, your grandma, or a cop to see.” Like any of us follow that. But when you’re representing your country, you should probably not be racist. And yes, Olympic committees should reprimand hurtful comments. The spirit of the Olympics is about acceptance and coming together, right?

DC: I think the Olympic committee would be better off to refrain from muzzling the speech of their competing athletes, from any country. I do not condone (or even know of) what was said, but it is up to an individual to take responsibility for their own claims. The Olympic committee need not play Kindergarten Cop amongst the good and bad sports of sport.

4. The National Football League has recently stated that they are “closer than you think” to making gridiron football an Olympic sport. Do you buy this, is there any point? Would any country other than the United State ever win gold?

JH: Not only would the U.S.A thoroughly dominate, but I don't see how it would be feasible. Football games take a lot of effort and time. I don't think football players could play so many games close together. There would have to be some changes to the set-up.

DN: I don’t know what the hell the NFL is thinking with all of these “coming soon,” and “who would be the United States’ quarterback for our Olympic dream team?” posts. It’s pointless. There is literally no international competition. Canada is probably the only other country that could even field a team, and we would get our asses kicked.

JD: After looking up gridiron football on Google, and being embarrassed with myself for being so oblivious, I can now state that I didn’t even know it wasn’t an Olympic sport. Do any other major countries play this style of football besides Canada and the US? If so, sure, why not? It’s a pretty popular game, my sports friends tell me.

DC: If American-style football is to become an Olympic sport, it will hopefully fail miserably in doing so. I do not see the point, though if football players would like to compete at a world-level then they should, ideally, be allowed the opportunity to do so.  I am not sure that the United States would completely dominate the competition, perhaps Canada would have some sort of chances – but where else, outside of North America, is gridiron football actually popular?

5. Are there any sports omitted from Olympic competition that you think should be on the bill? This could be for either the winter or summer Olympics.

JH: I saw that tug of war used to be a thing. While it might sound silly to some, in my mind that would be the perfect way to judge the strength of the competing countries. It would be fairer than other events that some countries focus more on than others. You can't really train more for strength.

DN: I would like to see Brazilian Jujitsu in the Olympics. A lot of people argue that it is basically a subset of Judo, which might be fair. But I think the style of competition would fit right in with the Olympics. Also, the athletes don’t suffer a tremendous amount of damage during their fights so setting up a legitimate tournament would be easy.

JD: Roller Derby!

DC: The Olympics should widen the foray of events it presents tremendously to allow for more competitors and a larger audience, as well as a more generally pleasing competition.  Such new events may include:  synchronized coffee consumption, Jimmy-legging, potato salad sculpture, yodeling, and of course – everyone's favourite – breathing!  Imagine, being crowned the world's greatest breather! The glory, the fame!

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