The Viking ship has sailed into some scalding waters lately. Chris DeSantis’ recent sarcastic post brought on seventeen comments, including one from Craig Lord himself! Then, my post about Craig Lord’s resistance to splitting the world record book between tech and textile brought on a SwimNews editorial! Hot damn! I knew I would never swim fast enough for him to include me in an article, so I guess pestering him was the only other way to go. :)
It is too bad that he didn’t provide a link to my site. I am pretty sure that only about half of my nine loyal readers even figured out that he was referring to me as the “helmet and horns of a different opinion.” At least he didn’t call me a “blogging blockhead” this time. And the best part is that he actually said that I am “not stupid,” and he even threw a Monty Python reference my direction. It is nice to see that he is able to play along with the blog-fight. Mr. Lord, if we ever meet, I will buy you a tall one, we can have a fun-spirited, fist-waving argument entirely in the third person, and then throw back a hearty skoal to the greatest sport in the world. The best part of a blog-fight is always the making up afterwards, if you know what I mean. Wink, wink… ;)
Tony Austin recently suggested I get in on the talk about the possibility of a pro league with a producer who is willing to pitch it. I am all for that, but I want to suggest another idea for a show first. We oughtta have a big-brother style TV series with the whole swim blogger community living together in one house until we finally settle the swimsuit technology issue and all of it’s subsequent “baggage” once and for all. Just think. We would have the world’s geekiest swim geek, a Viking, Lord Voldemort, and a host of other opinionated and passionate thinkers all in one big powder keg of an apartment. It would be like a dysfunctional superhero swim nerd costume party! I am pretty sure we could come up with some really goofy challenges to make it fun. We could go to the Y and start coaching random people. We could each take a turn writing work-outs and coaching the national team for a day. We might each have to go Christmas shopping at the mall in briefs, or maybe take a run on the slip n’ slide in a Jaked. Now that would be great TV drama and definitely good for the sport. It could end with Craig Lord and Tony Austin on Split Time, announcing the solution we all came up with. Holding hands, of course.
The fact is, as Chris DeSantis so humbly suggested, that perhaps none of us completely disagrees with Craig Lord, and he doesn’t entirely disagree with us. We all want what is best for the sport and it is okay to argue out the details on the web. That is how we get into the discussions that bring the best solutions. As for me, I feel that tech did interfere with the purity of our sport in a way, but I don’t feel that tech has to completely disappear. I think we could find a way to include it, even if it is in a limited fashion. NASCAR and Formula 1 are both car racing. They both have a place on the road. If we are really smart about it, allowing technology in certain specific locations and dates, with separate records to chase, could help us to promote traditional swimming.
There is something exciting about in-season swimming being fast. That is one of the benefits of suits with full legs. If we left our traditional meets alone, what harm would it do to offer a pro-am type of competition at different points of the year that don’t interfere with what we already have going on? What harm is there in allowing suit companies to form teams that compete in duals which might bring more sponsors on board to support the world’s best athletes and keep them in the water? There could be a place for shiny suits, and I feel the idea needs to be explored. If we came up with some workable ideas, we would have to keep a separate set of records. Period. If there is not any possibility of future tech in any way, then I feel the proposal from Craig Lord and Phil Whitten far outshines the idea of splitting records that was presented by the FINA commission. Two sets of records make no sense unless we have two categories of competition.
Now I have to wonder… how many times has Craig Lord anonymously commented on my blog? How many anonymice are actually world class swimmers and coaches who don’t want it known that they are participating the realm of the swim-blogger? Has the great Bob Bowman deigned to grace my blogspot with his presence? Hmmm… must investigate further. Maybe it is time to start rattling his cage.
Of course Tony Austin, as usual, is one step ahead of me on that one too.