$0.02: ‘Swiss’ win again … or so it seemed
I admit that I’ve been among those caught up in the irony that Switzerland, a landlocked nation, has now won the past two America’s Cup sailing titles, the latter in a 5-2 series win over New Zealand that wrapped up Tuesday. But the whole Swiss irony, I’ve since learned, might be getting blown out of proportion by the uninformed.Consider this odd collage of facts, as reported by the Associated Press after the Cup was clinched with a stirring 1-second win (in Spain, of course). For starters, Ernesto Bertarelli, team Alinghi’s owner and president, was the only Swiss on board the Cup-winning vessel. And even he was born in Italy. To assemble his crew, he hired six Kiwis – all of whom had played key roles in helping New Zealand defend the Cup in 2000 – as well as three Americans, two Italians, and one sailor each from Canada, the Netherlands, Spain and Australia.Which is why Swiss President Micheline Calmy-Rey’s congratulatory telegram seems a wee bit silly. “We Swiss,” it read, “find our way at sea, not just in the mountains.”OK buddy. We astronauts find our way as sports writers, too.Seriously, though, the way this series played out did plenty to put the America’s Cup (another ironic title, considering our nation’s failures of late) in elite sports company. After Alinghi and Emirates New Zealand split the first four races in the best-of-nine affair, Emirates led each of the next three before Alinghi stormed back to win each one.Thus, even an annoying skeptic like yours truly can accept the ironies and focus instead on a grand competition.”I don’t think anyone can remember a more exciting match,” Bertarelli told reporters after Tuesday’s clincher. “Every single race was unbelievable.” …Does anyone else find it interesting that George Steinbrenner, posterowner for using his contracts to buy a share of the professional athlete’s freedom (you must wear your hair according to his taste, for instance), was born on Independence Day? The Boss turns 77 today. …A quiet applause goes to Derek Fisher, the Jazz guard who walked away from his multimillion-dollar contract in Utah so that he’d be free to find optimal care for his 11-month-old daughter, who has cancer in her left eye.It’s pretty easy to dismiss whatever hardships ail the wealthy pros, but Fisher has grown desperate and he’s not hiding it. Which, in an odd, sad way, is a refreshing thing to see. …Tank Johnson’s blood-alcohol content taken after the defensive tackle was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving recently came back below the legal limit Monday; at .072, it was eight-thousandths below Arizona’s limit of .08. The Bears, of course, had already released Johnson by the time this news broke, so you might say they owe the guy an apology. Not a chance. It would be more appropriate for Tank to explain how he grew to be so empty-headed. He just got suspended for half the season, his entire career is at stake, and what does he do – he goes out drinking and then gets in his car and speeds down the street at 3:30 in the morning. Which is basically like lugging a 100-pound dumbell out to the middle of a thin-ice lake. …FYI: Broncos camp opens in 23 days, on July 27. …In parting, this may sound weird, but does anyone else find themselves ordering their entree based on what side dishes it comes with?Devon O’Neil can be contacted at (970) 668-4633, or at email@example.com.
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