Among the many, many things we’ve never really understood about human nature is the temptation to blatantly cheat at insignificant things. Like, we understand the allure of cheating, but there’s got to be some quick risk-reward analysis being done, or it’s just foolish.
(If it helps - and we really doubt that it would - the fans were fighting over this guy. No, really, that’s not a joke.)
Like, let’s say… the Chinese Short People Basketball League. That’s not the preferred nomenclature - “Dream League,” please - but that’s the basic gist. It’s a league for Chinese people of 6′2″ and under to play ball without getting faced by a bunch of Yao Mings and Wang Zhizhis all day long. You’d think such a setup wouldn’t lend itself to outbreaks of violence. Yes, you’d think that, and you’d be wrong.
Whether you love it or hate it, 2009 is going to go down in history as the year social media busted out into the mainstream. It’s taken everyone by storm, but for pro athletes especially it’s a way to “keep it real” with fans in real time while still keeping them at a safe distance. Shaq may have started the craze, but it’s been people like Stephon Marbury and Ron Artest that have taken social media to new extremes.
And while Starbury has used it mostly to show the world how insane he is, Artest has embraced the opportunity to show his less-punchy side to the world. Just last week he was setting the story straight regarding his role in The Brawl, but he was only getting warmed up. Not content to interact with his fans a mere 140 characters at a time, Artest spent his latest video blogs talking directly to his fans, via telephone, from China, after he Tweeted out his actual cellphone number. Your move, Shaq.
(Video and more after the jump.)
First things first: trying to attack a referee is poor form for any number of reasons. You’re not going to accomplish a damn thing other than getting yourself in a metric assload of trouble. Punching somebody isn’t worth it.
(I was at a soccer match…
and a track and field meet broke out! Yes? No? Fine, no. Whatever.)
It’s very, very, very not worth it in that bastion of freedom, China. A young soccer player named Zhao Shitong (heh) went after a referee who dared give him a red card after a not-so-subtle stomp on an opposing player’s stomach. Video of the foul and the subsequent attack are after the break.
Unfortunately for Shitong, the Chinese Football Association was all too eager to put on their Keyser Soze hats when it came to meting out punishment.
Oh, China, how fast you’ve grown. Just think, it was a mere twenty years ago that you were openly and ham-handedly crushing dissent by massacring students in Tianamen Square. Now, look at you. Your most popular car is Buick, your favorite pastime is watching reality TV, and you own most of the American economy. You’re just like us - well, except for that Buick thing. None of us would be caught dead in one.
With well over a billion people just waking up to the joys of consumer culture, it’s no surprise that American companies and sports leagues are angling for a piece of the action. The NBA has been promoting basketball in China for over a decade, and basketball is serious business over there. Brands like Nike and adidas are ubiquitous on billboards and in stores. Now the NFL has done the math and, with
dollar yuan signs in their eyes, have turned their attention to the Chinese markets in true American fashion - with a reality show!
Yao Ming’s got time on his hands. Lots of time, as it were, and not just because his hands are the size of Colorado. He’s using the offseason to recover from a broken foot, one that effectively ended Houston’s shot in the playoffs against the Lakers.
(”Wait a second, this is a sound booth! This isn’t a foot rehab clinic at all!”)
Luckily, because he’s so tall, Yao can do many things at once. [Wait, what?–ed.] To that end, according to CHINA DAILY, he’s lending his voice to a new Chinese animated film, “The Magic Aster”. He doesn’t need the money, of course, so his share’s going to the Shanghai Special-care Foundation. A charitable man, that Yao. But the real story might be the fact that he’s probably the third-most interesting member of the cast.
If tug-of-war ever becomes an Olympic event (oh, and it will), I say just give the gold to the Chinese. I wouldn’t take them on after this: A Chinese man lost his hand recently while, during a game of tug-of-war, his hand refused to drop the rope but the rest of his body went ahead and let go. Yikes.
A man named Shi was celebrating the Dragon Boat Festival on a beach in Shenzhen at 4:30 a.m. (?!) when the spirited competition turned grotesque. Evidently a bunch of spectators joined in on both sides and, well, let’s just say the Chinese take their tug-of-war rather seriously. Read more…
China’s got a ways to go with race relations; during the Olympics, they held many black people in custody because they were believed to be drug dealers. But the world is about to get its first look at China’s surprisingly heterogeneous population.
Ding Hui will be China’s first black international athlete. The 19-year-old volleyballer has been named to the highly competitive national team, and is likely to make his Olympic debut in 2012. How are the notoriously exlusionary Chinese handling it?
In news that shocks nobody, more evidence has come out that many of China’s young athletes have faked their ages. But this time, rather than allegations from the USOC or an investigative piece on Real Sports, the accuser is infallible. It’s science!
Tests carried out by a provincial Chinese sports federation on the bones of 13,000 athletes found that 3,000 of them were older than their stated age. And since this is an official Chinese report, you know they’ll under-report it by a factor of ten. Therefore, I can say with complete certainty, that 300% of Chinese athletes lie about their age.
Leave it to the Chinese to appropriate whatever they want from western culture, use it to sell slumping consumer goods and then expect the rest of the world to understand that they just don’t believe in individual property rights. Last month it was David Beckham. This month? It’s one of the world’s great WAGs (wives and girlfriends), Kelly Brook.
(Kelly Brook, coming soon to a condom near you … you wish.)
According to the blog DJ MICK, the eyesome Chinese condom company is using images of Brook, the girlfriend of young English rugby star Danny Cipriani, and actress Mena Suvari to peddle their rubbers. And before Brook and co. even consider suing eyesore, they need to know that the condoms bearing their faces are only selling for about $1.50. So much for that copyright infringement case, huh? At least Brook has her 34GG assets to fall back on.
Beckham doesn’t have that, but he does have plenty of cash. Somehow, something tells us that he’ll want even more money for being plastered across a prophylactic.
Recently we posted a story about how basketball is now the most popular sport in China, surpassing soccer. But 12-year-old Chinese swimmer Qian Hongyan has long been ahead of that trend, as she quite obviously preferred basketball beginning nine years ago.
(Qian has been fortunate enough to avoid dreaded NBA composite balls)
A two-year-old report from CHINA DAILY (via DEADSPIN) has the reason:
The 10 year-old was injured trajically in an auto accident when she was only 3 years old. To insure her survival, the doctors were forced to amputate her legs.
Qian’s family, living in Zhuangxia, China, was unable to afford modern prosthetics and instead used a half a basketball to get around on. Once on the ball she uses two wooden props to help her move around.
The little girl, who is now in training for the 2012 Paralympic Games, has become an inspirational story throughout China.
More pics and video of her after the jump. Read more…