Look, I dislike the IOC as much as the next rational person, and think the Olympics are a form of corporate imperialism, but the facts don't preclude me from admitting my feelings: the 2008 Olympics in Beijing were a lot of fun, and I'm kinda excited for it to come back. It'll be in 2022, when most of us will be DEAD, and it's the Winter Olympics, which Sochi probably ruined for everybody, but, you know, whatever. Beijing is getting the Olympics!
A goalkeeper makes dozens of decisions over the course of every match, from how to position himself to whether to attack or sit back on incoming crosses, and the slightest miscalculation can sometimes be the difference between a win and something lesser. Never will this point be more obviously illustrated than during Sunday's Chinese Super League match between Chongqing Lifan and Liaoning Hongyun, when Chongqing goalkeeper Sui Weijie's crucial decision to take a sip of water cost his team a victory.
Winning come with perks. After leading the Beijing Ducks to their first Chinese Basketball Association championship, Stephon Marbury was honored with a statue. Then he got a book deal. After championship No. 2, he was made an honorary citizen of Beijing. After championship no. 3, in which he was selected MVP, he's now on a Chinese postage stamp.
Don't look now, but a basketball dynasty is blossoming in Beijing, and the only man who was brash enough to dream it -- to, indeed, articulate that dream -- was the pride of Coney Island, Stephon Marbury.
Some day, when historians write the story of the rise of Chinese Football -- the team's long path from national laughingstock to World Cup champion -- they'll point to this year's Asian Cup as the turning point. More specifically, they'll cite tonight's game (7:30 pm China time, 9:30 Queensland), during which a scrappy and young squad caught magic and upset the tourney hosts in a sold-out and raucous Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane.