San Fran Loses Battle With A Badminton Badass

Due to the economy, a lot of local governments have had to raise prices or fees regarding certain hobbies and recreational activities. For instance, in Iowa there was talk of raising the price of hunting and fishing license fees 34% until public outcry caused the state to drop the issue. The same thing happened in Idaho.

Now, in San Francisco there isn’t much hunting or fishing going on, so the local government there has to think of other areas to make some extra money. Which is why the Parks Department decided to start charging badminton players at the city’s public gyms $4 to rent a court for 45 minutes. Of course, the fact that they weren’t charging any of the basketball or volleyball players using the same court kind of ticked off the badminton players (are they called shuttlecockers?), and they didn’t just stand there and take it.

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U.S. Reaching Out To Iranians…With Badminton?

It’s no secret that Iran isn’t exactly high on the list of countries that the U.S. is friendly with, but that’s not stopping the State Department from sending America’s women’s badminton team to Iran for a major international tournament. Because, as we all know, the key to mending broken diplomatic relations involves weird rackets and a shuttlecock.

Iran badminton

The Americans were invited by the Iranian Badminton Federation to play in the Fajr Tournament, which is apparently a big deal to badminton enthusiasts. And lest you think this signifies some change in America’s stance toward Iran, think again. The State Department has been involved in cultural exchange programs with Iran since 2006.

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Your Typical FBI Agent/Badminton Champ Story

From FARK SPORTS late yesterday: Joe Alston worked major cases for the FBI, including the Patty Hearst kidnapping. He also won a dozen national championships in badminton. He’s also the only player from that sport to ever appear on the cover of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED.

Joe Alston SI cover

Three weeks ago, amid little fanfare, Alston died from complications of cardiac arrest. He was 81.

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