Why is there no thread criticizing the French team for their unsportsmanly conduct before the 400 m swimming relay race?

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    Aug 15, 2008 2:34 PM GMT
    I am not the least bit surprised that foreigners overlook the french behavior, tho.
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    Aug 15, 2008 2:56 PM GMT
    The NY Times had this blog article on August 11:

    http://olympics.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/08/11/what-the-world-is-saying-in-france-a-bitter-defeat-yes-but-no-mention-of-freedom-fries/

    August 11, 2008, 5:02 pm
    What the World Is Saying: In France, a Bitter Defeat, but No Mention of Freedom Fries

    By Jeff Z. Klein
    REUTERS/Jason ReedThe French 4×100 relay team after the race on Monday. (Reuters/Jason Reed)

    Many Americans seem to be taking special relish in the come-from-behind hair’s-breadth victory by the U.S. men’s 4×100 relay team over the French swim team in Beijing on Monday, judging from the comments to our earlier post. What stirred so many Americans’ wrath, beyond their usual resentment of the French (what was France’s offense again … it didn’t go along with the invasion of Iraq, was that it?), was the vow by one of the relayeurs, anchor-leg swimmer Alain Bernard, that his team would “smash” the Americans. It was a point repeated frequently by the NBC announcers on Monday morning and, in fairness, cited also by the US swimmers, like Michael Phelps, who said the “smash” statement “fired me up more than anything else.”

    But in France, reports of Monday’s dramatic relay race put the vow to smash the Yanks in a very secondary position, when it was mentioned at all. The authoritative sports daily L’Equipe did not include it in its natation roundup from Beijing, instead focusing on the “cursed eight hundredths,” which was “exactly what separated France from the USA, silver from the 4×100m gold, a race which will stand in Olympic history.” The paper added that even though it was the first Olympic medal Frenchmen had ever won in a swim relay, “that silver has a taste of bitterness.”

    Neither Liberation nor Le Figaro had Bernard’s vow in their articles. You had to go to Le Monde to find a mention of it, down deep in one of its articles on the relay. Among a number of other factors, Le Monde wrote, the race “was also tempered by the arrogance of the blue-white-red ‘rookies.’ Had not Alain Bernard promised to ’smash’ [exploser] the Americans? ‘I keep this phrase in mind,’ warned Bob Bowman, coach of Michael Phelps.”

    Le Nouvel Observateur didn’t have the vow in its article, but it did have something so many of the American reports neglected to include: Phelps taking the time to applaud and console Bernard. What Phelps did, the NouvelObs wrote, was “proof that the person who swims in the wake of Mark Spitz is also a great gentleman.”
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    Aug 15, 2008 3:00 PM GMT
    I think the reaction against the US swim team by some people is partially due to the hubris the Bush administration has exhibited in foreign policy.

    When you are #1 like the USA is in so many facets of world society (economics, military, modern culture) you become a lightning rod for some people.

    The French arrogance by the sounds of it was pretty bad, but they don't have the same profile in the world as the US does (much to their chagrin), so people ignore them.
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    Aug 15, 2008 3:11 PM GMT
    Caslon6000 saidI am not the least bit surprised that foreigners overlook the french behavior, tho.


    I think possibly becuase the US Team were guilty of trash talking before the same race at the 2000 games? And because not many people particularly care?
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    Aug 15, 2008 8:22 PM GMT
    Mebbe it bcoz French mek better cheezburgers.
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    Aug 15, 2008 10:08 PM GMT
    Caslon, why are you constantly trying to start flame wars and bait people?
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    Aug 15, 2008 10:10 PM GMT
    Because the French Team was just being "french" maybe??
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    Aug 15, 2008 10:10 PM GMT
    Caslon6000 saidI am not the least bit surprised that foreigners overlook the french behavior, tho.


    Uhhh...you just started one. icon_rolleyes.gif
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    Aug 15, 2008 10:13 PM GMT
    ChrisInLDN said
    Caslon6000 saidI am not the least bit surprised that foreigners overlook the french behavior, tho.


    I think possibly becuase the US Team were guilty of trash talking before the same race at the 2000 games? And because not many people particularly care?


    fo shiz!
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    Aug 15, 2008 10:13 PM GMT
    What is the French word for arrogant FRENCH that is why. The Germans have been behaving themselves time for another good ass pounding
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    Aug 15, 2008 10:17 PM GMT
    You guys really think that anyone (outside the swim forum) really was thinking about what happened in the 2000 Olympics and therefore acted that way? Where were those Olympics anyway?? ;-)

    As far as those trying to drag politics into the sport...get a life. Politics don't belong in the Olympics and stop trying to make a non-political issue into one. For F sake.
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    Aug 15, 2008 10:18 PM GMT
    VineyardHmo saidYou guys really think that anyone (outside the swim forum) really was thinking about what happened in the 2000 Olympics and therefore acted that way? Where were they anyway?? ;-)

    As far as those trying to drag politics into the sport...get a life. Politics don't belong in the Olympics and stop trying to make a non-political issue into one. For F sake.



    Got a point there, "politics do not belong in the Olympics!!"
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    Aug 15, 2008 10:32 PM GMT
    ok, maybe i missed something, but isn't this kind of bravado typical between rivals anyway? i mean, sports of all places too. Granted, it's the Olympics and IDEALLY that should be left out, but c'mon, people are people.

    *braces for the onslaught*
  • ShawnTX

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    Aug 16, 2008 1:56 AM GMT
    kiwilelutin saidIf only American and French people knew how similar they are...


    So true!
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    Aug 16, 2008 4:53 AM GMT
    Pointing out the flaws of the French is like fitting a dead horse for trousers: pointless, since we all know horses don't wear trousers.

    Be glad I'm here to enlighten of you such things, lest you starting fitting opossums with brassieres.
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    Aug 16, 2008 4:56 AM GMT
    Blah, blah, blah
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    Aug 16, 2008 5:05 AM GMT
    Did anyone read the title of this thread?

    "Why is there no thread criticizing the French team for their unsportsmanly conduct before the 400 m swimming relay race?"

    It is asking about RJ, not the French team?


    But since we are on the French...

    Do you know why all the boulevards in Paris are tree-lined?






    Because Germans like to march in the shade.

    What? ... icon_eek.gif
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    Aug 16, 2008 5:10 AM GMT
    redheadguy saidCaslon, why are you constantly trying to start flame wars and bait people?


    "Hello Kettle? This is Pot....."
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    Aug 16, 2008 5:14 AM GMT
    It is undeniable that the lack of outcry regarding the French swimming team's lackluster sportsmanship is wholly and redundantly related to the fact it is the French swimming team.

    (haha, I said it first and you can't disprove it, so I'm right and your wrong, now shuffle along peasants lest I find a cudgel)

    *sigh* The French are arrogant, and so they had to eat crow when they were found wanting in the fulfillment of their own arrogant boasting. Crying 'Haha, guess NOT!' serves no purpose and is poor sportsmanship if looked at from the French's perspective: though a silver medal, a great loss.
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    Aug 16, 2008 5:17 AM GMT
    RBY71 said
    redheadguy saidCaslon, why are you constantly trying to start flame wars and bait people?


    "Hello Kettle? This is Pot....."

    Oh, he's just annoyed because I connected the dots on his face and made him look like the queen. See...

    queenelizabeth.jpg

    ... and she wasnt in her best mood apparently
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    Aug 16, 2008 5:18 AM GMT
    Buckwheet saidIt is undeniable that the lack of outcry regarding the French swimming team's lackluster sportsmanship is wholly and redundantly related to the fact it is the French swimming team.

    (haha, I said it first and you can't disprove it, so I'm right and your wrong, now shuffle along peasants lest I find a cudgel)

    *sigh* The French are arrogant, and so they had to eat crow when they were found wanting in the fulfillment of their own arrogant boasting. Crying 'Haha, guess NOT!' serves no purpose and is poor sportsmanship if looked at from the French's perspective: though a silver medal, a great loss.


    I hope this wasnt an attempt to answer the topic of this thread.
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    Aug 16, 2008 5:21 AM GMT
    Caslon6000 said
    RBY71 said
    redheadguy saidCaslon, why are you constantly trying to start flame wars and bait people?


    "Hello Kettle? This is Pot....."

    Oh, he's just annoyed because I connected the dots on his face and made him look like the queen. See...

    queenelizabeth.jpg

    ... and she wasnt in her best mood apparently


    Well, that and she not only stole best his hat, but wears it better too.
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    Aug 16, 2008 4:14 PM GMT
    Caslon6000 saidDid anyone read the title of this thread?

    "Why is there no thread criticizing the French team for their unsportsmanly conduct before the 400 m swimming relay race?"

    It is asking about RJ, not the French team?


    But since we are on the French...

    Do you know why all the boulevards in Paris are tree-lined?






    Because Germans like to march in the shade.

    What? ... icon_eek.gif


    Did you know that the wide boulevards of Paris were commissioned by Napoleon III to be done by Baron Haussman. It was reputedly to prevent malcontents and rebels from ambushing his troops in the narrow streets and hovels of old Paris after Napoleon seized power in a coup.
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    Aug 16, 2008 4:19 PM GMT
    Caslon6000 saidI am not the least bit surprised that foreigners overlook the french behavior, tho.


    Hehe probably because it's expected of themicon_razz.gif