BEIJING -- Many people think since I am a sports journalist that I get to go to a lot of sporting events. Well, since I have been an editor for most of my career (which started in 1993), I have always worked behind the scenes to make sure the paper is produced on a daily basis.
This year has been a blessing for me because I am now in the position to go to big events because of my job requirements. So this year I went to my first NBA All-Star Game, my first extensive NBA playoffs coverage and the NBA Finals.
Now, I am covering my first Olympics. It has been an exciting time so far. There is a lot of work that goes into preparing the coverage of the worldís biggest sporting event.
Part of the fun of the Olympics is covering sports that I have never done before. Two days ago, I covered my first boxing match. Today (itís Wednesday night, Beijing time), I am covering local judo star Rhonda Rouseyís bid to become the first American to make a bid for a medal in that sport.
The crowd here was festive as we waited for the next session to begin. There are workers here leading a chant behind the sounds of Chinese music. Everyone is getting into the mix.
I say bring in some Michael Jackson, Usher, and Prince and we could get down in here.
Well thatís what would happen if I were running things. Thatís what happens who you have a kid from New Orleans covering judo in Beijing. Iím just saying...
- In most traveling experiences, I am staying in a hotel. Included in the hotel room are the usual things: bed, toiletries that you can take home, towels, flat-screen TV, sofa, mini bar, robes, etc.
But here in (Greater) China there is something missing: In the stand next to your bed you would usually find a Gideon Bible. But not here in China. They donít play with religion here. But in its place, when you slide open the drawer, is a pack of condoms.
I guess here it is OK to say no to God and yes to safe sex. I'm just saying...
- Last night there were some weird nationalism things going on around here. So my man, Marc Spears, and I were at the tennis competition, where we wanted to check out the Williams sisters in a doubles match, followed by Harvardís own James Blake.
So the Williams sisters were in a struggle with the Czechs. The sisters looked like they were not interested in this match until they were down a break in the second set, then they imposed their will and won the match in three sets.
During the match there was a loud Czech fan base. There were also some USA fans. One dude was screaming U.S. of A (beeeeeep). There was a stir in the crowd. There was one Chinese man who was talking major trash against the Czechs. So much so, there were five staffers surrounding the dude. The fans around were screaming to get him out. But he never left. Then about 20 minutes later the dude left his seat and gave the fans a thumbs down. The fans started to applaud his departure.
Whatís up with the trash talking, you knew the Williams sisters were going to kick butt? Just uncalled for.
I know one thing, I will be on my best behavior here. I saw the movie "Romeo Must Die" and I saw where they held Jet Li in the Chinese prison. It was not a good look. Iím just saying ...
- I had a random thought while I was riding the shuttle bus to the Judo site. (I have a lot of random thoughts.) I was thinking: Man, when I leave with Spears to head back to the States, we would need to get two taxis to go to the airport. I will have three bags and I am sure Spears will have the same. Plus my man is 6 foot 7. But the Chinese taxis are small. They drive either Hyundai Elantras or Volkswagens. As a matter of fact, every time I eat, I get small portions. But there is a positive for me. Since a lot of things are made small, my clothing choices are excellent and have plenty of nice-fitting gear. I guess you can call this Gregory Lee Land. Not the U.S. menís basketball team nor Marc Spears, there are no big and tall stores for them. Iím just saying...