Yeah, I know. The college and NFL football seasons have kicked off, the baseball playoffs are coming up, and NASCAR's "chase" has started. Hockey and maybe basketball are on deck. So with all this going on in America -- why would anybody in their right mind be thinking about Russians?
Because we need more of them here to set examples in the sports world. Anti-American and outrageous you say? I don't think so.
Consider: When's the last time you heard of a Russian athlete coming to North America to make a living and play a sport at it's highest levels -- and getting in trouble? You haven't. There's no alleged wife or girlfriend beatings, no late night "club" incidents, no dog fighting, no guns, no association with people that may or may not have committed a violent act, no drugs, no steroids and, last time I looked, people like Pavel Datsyuk didn't have a "posse".
The Russians don't talk smack to the media and public after they had a good game. Quite the contrary. They quietly go back to work getting ready for the next one. Stupid commercials, like Deion Sanders becoming a fairy to hawk a product for a few bucks? Russians have far more dignity than that. Ever heard of a Russian athlete holding out for more money while under an existing contract? I doubt it. A deal is a deal, and they honor it.
While the powers that be have been busy since WWII trying to pit Americans against Russians, and had a great deal of success doing so over the decades -- the people here and the people there are pretty much the same. (I can remember in grade school going through a drill, whereby we'd have to line up in the hallway and sit down with our heads between our knees in case of nuclear attack. In hindsight, it was ludicrous, of course, and just meant to cause fear and hatred.) There's a few rich ones, a lot more poor ones, crime and corruption. Politicians and others on both sides have exploited this to their own advantage. The US refused to play in the Moscow Olympics in 1980 because the USSR had invaded Afghanistan. The Soviets returned the favor in the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. Athletes on both sides that had trained since childhood just to have a once in a lifetime chance of participating in the Olympics -- were denied. Fast forward a few years and the US is the occupying force in Afghanistan and looking for a way out that won't cause a loss of face. The militaries have changed, but Afghanistan is still Afghanistan. Nevermind the countless thousands that have been killed or maimed in the process. It's crazy, if you think about it. But I digress.
I think maybe the Beatles had it right a long time ago.
Well, the Ukraine girls really knock me out.........
And Moscow girls make me sing and shout.
Take me to your daddy's farm.
Let me hear your balalaikas ringing out.......
But mostly --
Come and keep your comrade warm........
I'm back in the US--
Yep, that's it.
But while I'm here, when it comes to class, give me Pavel over Deion any day.
Does Russia churn out world-class athletes? Da.
Would any of them ever turn themselves into Tinkerbell for a few bucks? Nyet.