August 3, 2021
“… and my wife Nadia Comaneci”
The Olympics and all the OMG Yadda Yadda over Simone Biles brought to mind one of our family’s special memories. If I have told this one before … I’m telling it again.
Thru the 1990s and slightly into the 2000s I provided VIP photography services to The PGA Tour, Senior PGA, LPGA and to NASCAR. It took me all over the country with many memories, most of them positive. Such as …
Being on the first tee of The Bob Hope Desert Classic in Palm Springs for three days with a volunteer marshall who had been chief writer for Gunsmoke! Very Cool! …
At a cocktail party at Riviera CC in Santa Monica with “Kid”. She saw a chubby fellow over in a corner with no one to talk to so she went over to be nice. He had just begun a new TV series – The King of Queens. It was Kevin James … later to be Mall Cop.
Earlier, two celebrities had me take their picture with “Kid”. She had no clue who they were … “some friends of my Dad” … When she showed those pics to her friends, they were flabbergasted – Jack Nicholson and Sly Stallone … “just some friends of my Dad”.
But the “oddest” moment took place in Dallas/ Ft Worth around 1998 or so at Texas Motor Speedway. It was an Indy Car Race.
To keep fans occupied Pre-Race there was a celebrity go-kart race in the infield involving various Dallas-area notables … Troy Aikman … Chuck Norris … a few C&W singers … etc etc … a coupla dozen folks of various degrees of notoriety.
I’m standing at the Start/Finish line next to Cowboys’ Jerry Jones and NASCAR mogul Bruton Smith. They were deep in conversation about whatever sports moguls talk about … probably “hot wimmen” in the grandstand. This nice looking couple walks up …
“Hello, I’m Bart Connor – The Gymnast – and this is my wife Nadia Comaneci” …. That line would be oft-repeated within our family.
Neither Jerry Jones nor Bruton Smith had the slightest clue who Bart Connor and Nadia Comaneci were but here they were standing in front of them. They looked at me … I shrugged. “Let’s get a picture” I said … we did. Bart & Nadia wandered off.
Within a 10′ radius were two elite world champion athletes and two billionaire sports moguls and me … and “me” is the only one who saw the dynamics in play.
“Olympic gold medalists” I whispered to Jerry and Bruton. They rolled their eyes and went back to “mogul talk”. A totally innocent moment. Bart & Nadia politely thanking Bruton for inviting them to the event. But the juxtaposition of Time – Place – People made it memorable.
“Kid” and I have repeated “the line” numerous times in awkward social situations.
A ponderable moment involving USWNT … US Women’s Soccer.
I’m guessing … prior to 3-4 years ago before you first heard the name Megan Rapinoe, 99.9% of you had totally positive feelings about USA Women’s Soccer Team. VERY positive feeling! Right?
The legacy of Mia Hamm and Brandi Chastain’s classic “rip off her jersey” moment as USA defeated China in the 1999 World Cup in The Rose Bowl. One of the most iconic moments in American sports history.
The provocative OMG! – “this girl soccer player RIPPED OFF HER JERSEY and there she was in her sports bra in front of a worldwide audience…” – was a bit risque back in “those days” – 1999. These days gals go to Wal Mart wearing more revealing attire. It made Brandi Chastain forever famous.
That 1999 World Cup win created a tremendous growth in women’s soccer and for women / girls’ sports in general in America A source of unbridled National Pride … a 100% Good Thing!
Now 22 years later … arguably 50% of America is saying “Good Riddance” or worse to USA Women’s Soccer and their disappointing showing in The Olympics. Because of Megan Rapinoe – a purple-haired angry lesbian using her bully pulpit on the USWNT to scream F-bombs about how much she hates Donald Trump’s America and those who support that America.
Yes, it is her right to her opinion … but actions do have consequences. Her words and actions reflect directly on her USWNT teammates. Not all of the 22 members of USWNT agree with Rapinoe’s LOOK AT ME antics … not all of them “kneel” with her to show their disrespect for America.
All of them however have been tainted by her words / actions … and by “the media’s” treating Rapinoe as a modern-day Joan of Arc … a socio-cultural-political martyr. Especially that portion of “the media” that is also of the very angry lesbian persuasion … a majority of the female sports media.
Megan Rapinoe is a useful idiot … used by a vengeful mainstream media that – like Rapinoe – despises 50% of America and its values.
Yes … Rapinoe has her fans … who also despise traditional America and those of us who support traditional “American values”. She is a hero to them. Such are the times we are living in.
The issue of how much $$$ the USWNT receive versus the USMNT is a legitimate debatable issue … but it has gotten lost amid the F-bombs and other overt public histrionics of Rapinoe.
I have never been impressed by Rapinoe and her LOOK AT ME antics. As noted in a previous column, UNC’s legendary Soccer Coach Anson Dorrance knows Rapinoe personally and applauds her as “one of the finest people I know”.
I suspect Anson Dorrance and I disagree on many socio-cultural issues circa 2021. His comments do not cause me to think more of Rapinoe but rather to think less of Dorrance. If word of this reaches Anson, I’m sure he can handle it.
Rapinoe’s soccer playing career is likely over. Whether she remains a controversial high profile public figure is to be determined. She is a contracted spokesperson for SUBWAY and for Victoria Secret and maybe others. She definitely has a fan constituency … likely including some people in your social / occupational orbits.
Regardless,The War for Americas Future continues 24/7. There is every indication We Aint Seen Nuthin’ Yet in terms of public protests and violence. If you still think “it’s just politics as usual” you really haven’t been paying attention.
Do you ever get a song stuck in your head that won’t stop? Olympic gymnastics led me to have “Hello Mary Lou … Good by Heart” by Ricky Nelson going around in my head these days. That will pass … and I’ll revert back to Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer. Don’t ask me WHY that. I don’t know WHY … ???