You thought the political leaders in Russia were pissed when Rocky Balboa beat Ivan Drago at the end of “Rocky IV?” Well, you ain’t seen nothing yet.
In a verbal smackdown heard ’round the world, Russian president/puppet of Putin Dmitry Medvedev was seriously pissed off, and not afraid to say so, about his country’s pathetic 11th-place showing in medals won at the Vancouver Olympics.
“Those responsible should take the brave decision and sign a letter (of resignation),” Medvedev said in televised comments. “If they can’t we will help them.”
Then, my man Dmitry admitted failure some more.
“For a long time we have benefited from Soviet achievements. At some point they ran out. We have lost the Soviet sports school, it is simply gone, but we have not formed our own system,” Medvedev said.
You know, it can’t be easy for the Russian people. Twenty years ago, they were on top of the world, going toe-to-toe with the Americans in sports. Now, they whine like that Pluschenko dude when they don’t win a figure skating medal. Look, it’s hard to win Olympic medals, and of course these Russian athletes of today aren’t able to dominate like the old U.S.S.R. used to (ah, how I miss those “CCCP” letters on Russian uniforms).
Still, I loved the quote from Supreme Ruler Vladimir Putin when he was asked about his country’s failures at the Olympics.
“Of course we expected more from our team,” Putin said, while the games were nearing their close on Friday. “But that’s not cause to throw up our hands, wear a sackcloth and ashes or beat ourselves with chains.”
Um, sure Vladimir. Don’t beat yourself with chains. The sackcloth look might work for you, though.
**One final Olympics thought: The Canadian TV ratings are in, and 80 percent of the country watched at least some of the gold medal hockey game between the U.S. and Canada. EIGHTY PERCENT! That’s an insane amount of people. Just shows you how incredibly important winning the gold was to our northern friends.
**I thought I was immune to shock when it came to stories about college football players committing crimes. But this one made my jaw drop.
A quarterback at The Citadel, the military academy in Virginia, was arrested for kidnapping, armed robbery and first degree burglary.
His victim? A Citadel assistant coach.
The details of the story can be read here. I’m just blown away by this; apparently the kid had two accomplices, both former players at the school. Of all places for this to happen, it happens at the Citadel, which is an incredibly strict and forbidding place?
Crazy stuff. By the way, for a truly outstanding piece of writing, here’s Rick Reilly’s classic 1992 story about The Citadel. He takes you inside the place beautifully, and terrifyingly.