This morning we’re shocked to find that Olympians have been trying to win medals by strategically losing at an earlier stage. I refer, of course, to the badminton matches yesterday, which surprised so many Londoners who had expected to see better techniques than they could muster themselves in their own back gardens with a bit of rope tied between a tree and a washing line hook. The South Koreans, Chinese and Indonesian teams had been knocking the shuttlecock deliberately into the net and off the court. Warnings by the match referee made little difference and, one imagines, they were perplexed by the booing that followed them off the court. Didn’t the Brits understand sport? Were we really so rubbish at most of the sports we invented because we had forgotten the art of strategy?
Normally at this point in a blog post I would present my reader with a picture of the offending badminsterer or whatever they’re called, perhaps even a video clip and one to compare with. Here’s an excellent example of a more traditional approach to the spirit of sport:
Unfortunately, the clips of the bad sports just don’t seem to be available. This is because YouTube and other video services are being policed as heavily as bagel shops in East London when it comes to references to the Olympics. Before the games began, the twittersphere and the bloggersphere was alive with legal talk: the very words “2012″, “Summer”, “Olympics” and various others are actually now owned by the games organisers. Whereas everybody else on planet earth now accepts that the best way to promote an event is to allow everybody else to promote it for them, for some reason known only them, the International Olympic Committee and their bastard son LOCOG consider this to be an offence punishable only by the most severe means imaginable. They don’t care that preventing people without a television from seeing the Games live on the internet does not promote sport. The sponsors apparently don’t care either. So long as you buy their life threatening products, they’re happy. The promotion of peace, understanding and sporting glory is less important than their own profits. The 2012 Games are undeniably popular in its host nation but there the increasingly loud voices pointing out the hypocrisy involved are reduced to angry statements from outside the arena, articulating little more than this:
Playing to lose is a well established strategy outside the sporting arena too. Look at our government. It is comprised of two political parties. One of these failed to win the general election (the thieving Tory bastards) so it co-opted the other to the run the country. I refer, of course, to the Liberal Democrats (LibDems). The LibDems have gained nothing from their involvement in government except polishing their arses on some comfy cushions behind some nice big official desks. In this case, they get the medals first and lose later on, when they also will be booed off the stage. It is particularly perplexing strategy, apparently designed to prevent them from ever competing at the top level ever again. Do they imagine that their memoirs will sell? At least the offending badminton teams are working through a strategy with a clear goal in mind.