Not sure where this originated, but it's been passed to me multiple times by my co-workers...my Chinese co-workers. Receiving forwarded emails is nothing new, but receiving something that openly makes China look bad is a little strange...
To put it simply, Typepad has been blocked in China, so I'm cut off from a lot of the blogs I enjoy reading. Oddly enough though, I can log onto my account and continue to post. So as the local government tends to turn blog sites on and off, bouncing us back and forth from contact with the real world, I though it appropriate to share this with you:
One of Bill Simmon's readers at ESPN.com offers the a theory as to why the China Bowl was really canceled. As I mentioned in my April Fool's piece...I can almost believe anything that is involved with China. Take a look and let me know what you think:
Thoroughly enjoyed this conspiracy theory from Kevin F. in Boston: "I
just figured out what nobody in the media has reported on yet: why the
Patriots' exhibition game in China this August was canceled. On March
31, the U.S. hit China with a tariff on imported Chinese coated-paper. One day later, the Pats-Seahawks game was oddly and abruptly canceled.
My theory is that Kraft's paper business was expanding its presence in
China (hence, he lobbied for the China Bowl game so he could hob-nob
with top Chinese officials which would be good for business) and the
Chinese were pissed about the U.S. paper tariff news, so they abruptly
canceled the NFL game and the Krafts have remained mum on the topic
because they don't want to ruffle feathers. Notice how they keep
refusing to comment on the situation? If you don't believe me, check
out the Pravda-like NFL spin. How great is that?
I was excited about this event, although I had a hard time understanding how Worker's Stadium would be able to give an event like this the venue it deserves. I guess the NFL figured that out as well and is now postponing their entry into China for a few more years.
It appears as though football will still equal soccer in China for at least a few more years.
Jim Caple at ESPN has a pretty good readership, so reading his initial impression of Beijing's preparation for the Olympics is sure to raise some eyebrows with the uninitiated. He's being completely honest about what happens around here, meaning this is what people will now remember about Beijing:
"I feared the worst. Had we overheated or run out of gas during the
awful backup? Was that the reason for the driver's anxiety and
squirming? I raised my hands in the universal gesture of "What the
@#&$?" but the driver only smiled at me and got out of the car. He
rushed around to my side of the taxi and took a familiar stance by the
front passenger door that quickly conveyed the problem: He needed to
urinate. And he proceeded to do so right there in the middle of traffic."
It's a shame, because some days, it gets even more absurd:
"The China Daily, the English-language newspaper, ran an item one
morning reporting the 11th of each month is designated as a day Beijing
residents are supposed to train themselves how to stand in line."
But he's not exaggerating about anything here. These things do happen, and will continue to happen far beyond the Olympics in 2008. I just hope it doesn't sway too many people from ever coming to China though. Despite the extreme number of oddities about it, I can't think of anywhere more interesting to be right now.
And speaking of motivational speakers, my Chinese tutor and I were discussing how it seems many Chinese people have a lack of self-confidence. Much of this conversation boiled down to recent historical and long-standing educational factors.
So how can create this self-confidence into a group people? Well, the best way is NOT to let a 5'9" (175cm) guy block your shot when you are a 7'6" (228.6cm) professional NBA player that is considered to be one of the best big men in basketball right now. Yikes!